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Shots Fired

(x = space)

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Shots Fired

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Shooting in Indianapolis

Many killed

Then the shooter

Suicides,

Which might have been the plan

Or nascent horror

In reaction

That what has been done

And how it really looks

And sounds

And smells

All senses bely everything,

The shooter’s truth

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I know people there

So do you

Six degrees

Less

Five for being

Human

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Now there’s talk

About the weather

As if there were

No separation

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We can graft it all together—

Watch, we’re doing it

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I don’t want

To know, either

It’s gross, and I’m trying

To deal in closer things

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But there it is

We do living color well

In irony of tones

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The coffee’s late

The toast is early

I’m not cycling well with the news

And please

Sell windows at another time

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In Europe,

I understand

They used to add them up

The advertisements

To show them at one time

A day

And give awards for them

That everyone would follow

In gratitude, no doubt,

For separation

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That we can do

Ecclesiastes says so

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C L Couch

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https://www.cnn.com/2021/04/16/us/mass-shootings-45-one-month/index.html

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Photo by Zinko Hein on Unsplash

Yangon, Myanmar (Burma)

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a medium for heroes

(x = space)

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a medium for heroes

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what if a dream deferred

is not enough?

(it is a cruel question)

what if our refusal

to lift up each one

is a matter

for the Earth’s survival?

who is the next Einstein

or Jenner or the Curies

who will save us

from nature’s catastrophes

or our own?

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they may rise

unless we have refused

them breath and opportunity

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and without knowing

(and we never know)

we simply have to raise

each one

each one on the Earth

and the Earth itself

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c l couch

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photo by Jeff Ackley on Unsplash

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Signs of Protest

(x = space)

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Signs of Protest

(civilly offered)

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I do not understand

The people who have died

From shooting,

From hunger

Or lack of safe water,

From COVID

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You know what I mean,

I don’t understand

The situation

That allows for these

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Too many guns,

Not enough

Food and water,

Too much disease

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The solution seems mathematic

Fewer guns,

More food and water,

Less disease

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I don’t care about the politics

We’ve made death too easy

And where politics might be concerned,

We’ve rendered people into blots:

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We take off our glasses

And look at the blots from a distance

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We have the right

To kill

Except we don’t have it

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Made-up spies, perhaps

Soldiers who follow orders,

Though there’s too much a burden

For them,

The soldiers and the orders

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Stay strong

Broker peace

Don’t outlaw emotions

But outlaw hate

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Maybe slowly we’re getting there

I don’t know

Maybe you do

I hope so

Because I have to count on you

And you and you

Not as blots

But with the most urgent

Kind of clarity

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C L Couch

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International Women’s Day in Barcelona, Spain (2009). The motto, written in Catalan, says: “Total crisis in the patriarchal system”.

By Mutari – Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6151838

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finding an image to represent protest was harder than I thought it would be; I chose this photograph because I agree that the patriarchal system is in crisis: in fact, IS a crisis

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Salutation

(x = space)

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Salutation

(meaning health)

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I hope this is

A good day for you

You deserve it

I know it’s Monday, but

It is as full of opportunity

As yesterday

Tomorrow

And the next time

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I’m not saying

Everyone has the same

Opportunity, because

In no way

Do we all have the same

I wish we did

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But the hours are

Ahead of us,

And the moments of now

Have arrived

What shall we do, not

To pass the time

But to make it

Into something that is

Prosperous and peaceful,

Ancient wishes

Rendered imminent

For all of us

Here and now

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C L Couch

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There is a good book by Henri Nouwen entitled Here and Now.  And by Jean-Pierre de Caussadethere is The Sacrament of the Present Moment.  Each book is brief, imperfect, yet brimming.

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Nobility of Time by Salvador Dalí

(photograph) by fabiolah, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=51922306

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Papa

(x = space)

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Papa

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I’ve said this before

Because Hemingway once said

Once a dishonest thing is written,

Nothing honest can be written

Again

But Hemingway might have known

Nothing about repentance,

Which might explain

Why tries at reconciliation

Failed

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He liked Spain so much

I’m sure he met some priests;

Maybe they were trout-fishing, too

Or he might have talked of God

With someone else

Who knew

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C L Couch

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Photo by Alejandro Piñero Amerio on Unsplash

Río Miño, Galicia, Spain

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Shopping

(x = space)

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Shopping

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I’m getting food,

And I am thankful

Being useless on the farm

Or in the forest

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I’d poison myself

Over mushrooms,

Love the animals too much

To kill;

I do murder houseplants

And so doubt I could

Raise a crop of anything

But turned earth

And weeds

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C L Couch

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Photo by Dorothea OLDANI on Unsplash

Alikon, Sins, Switzerland

Mushrooms in the Forest

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from yesterday’s journal

(x = space)

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from yesterday’s journal

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(later)

I’ve just finished watching and listening to the third episode of a three-episode film by Ken Burns about the life of Ernest Hemingway.  I watched all three episodes though maybe could have done without the final episode.  My father looked like Hemingway, especially late in life.  Besides looks, something they shared was paranoia.  Or is it schizophrenia?  Both men were sure they were dogged by agents of the federal government.  Hemingway talked about the FBI.  My father about the CIA.

My dad died, and what killed him?  Organ dysfunction due to poisoning from alcohol?  Pneumonia?  I think pneumonia might have been the official cause.  He’d had melanoma and evidently beat it.  He had diabetes and beat that, too.  How an alcoholic can win out over diabetes is unclear to me.  He didn’t need to take the diabetes medication after a while.  There was a cancer on or in the brain that was being treated, evidently with success.

Hemingway we know, we believe we know—I mean no one else was there in the room—died by suicide.  By pressing the gun against his forehead and pushing the trigger.

I got the diabetes diagnosis recently.  I’m not sure what I should be doing about it, though I’m trying, well, to take in less sugar, not so much, that is, at least.  I’m not sure what else I should do.  Taking walks would be good, I’m sure.

I could end up diabetic, fat, grizzled, paranoic with delusions—and too weak to want to live.  I could die as these men died, one man all at once and the other by some arrangement of stages.  Both men declined physically, inwardly.  I’m struggling physically but trying to create.  To send something out.  I don’t know if I’m trying to stave off death by legacy.  To have and have not.  I started writing every day—and it wasn’t every day at first—simply to have something to do while recovering from surgery.  How the blog came to mind I do not know.  But it did, and I am thankful.

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C L Couch

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Hemingway, a film by Ken Burns

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By unattributed – Photograph by Mary Hemingway, in the Ernest Hemingway Photograph Collection, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11539931

Ernest Hemingway at “La Consula”, Bill Davis’ estate in Spain, 1959.

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The Devil in the Middle

(x = space)

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The Devil in the Middle

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What is in

The center of it all?

A devil laughing?

Why should a devil

Laugh?  Why should

A devil care?

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Devil-may-care,

What does that mean?

It means cavalier

In this instance;

Cavalier meaning gallant,

Gallant meaning piquant

Small matters

To the devil

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Some imply a drama:

The devil made an angel,

Risen through the rank

To be chief angel

Even over arches

The prince of light

In the maker’s eye

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Then came ambition

There must be more

(there isn’t

there is),

A form of pride

Borrowed from the will

The maker gave

The last things made,

Before resting

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Pride made or given,

The angel rises

Now to have something

Of its own,

The will to chase the universe

To know

And thus have

Everything that moves—

Better yet, motion itself

And heat

And all reactions,

The moving in everything

That moves

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The universe is not

Statuary;

I will own dynamos

All that makes possible

All else—this

Is ambition

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And the maker,

The maker said no

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Other than the tree,

The first time

That was said

More so imposed,

And the devil knew

The maker meant it

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And there was howling,

The first kind

Ever heard in heaven

And rebellion

And rejection

As decreed

In the moment before

And in between

Anything beyond the host

Was made

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The devil thought

Nothing like this could apply

To an angel

Better than archangels—

But this was meant,

It knew and so

It and its own followers

Must leave,

The devil

And the devil’s own

Sliding onto Earth

In a compromise, it hoped,

Of creation’s creating,

Maker’s binding law

Not to destroy in victory

Anything that was made,

Even with

Accounting the defeated

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Earth the great place

In between,

Where battles might be fought

Until the last engagement;

The devil knew it all

And didn’t care—there

Were its own skirmishes to win,

A campaign of turning

And, turned enough,

To ruin Eden’s darlings

Even turn the animals

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Twisting the good

In molecules

And lightning

And all forces remade

Into viscous virtue,

Easy to remake

And redirect,

Blurring the vision of the end

Even in its sight—

Maybe the devil and an army

Of the Earth

Will split the maker’s love

And all will overthrown,

New laws

With everything its own

With what might be taken

From each other

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All anarchies,

All chaos

Water will not fill the shape

Of its container

For physics overthrown

With anything agreed-upon

Undone

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Undo it all,

The devil owning energy

Would win

And have its own,

More than any other

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Enough of a plan

To ruin Eden’s promises

Then go from there

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C L Couch

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there is more

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Photo by Jonathan Bean on Unsplash

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No Woman Is an Island

(x = space)

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No Woman Is an Island

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I exhale a puff of air

Carbon dioxide

And yet that’s all right for kissing

And for lifting the lungs

Of someone who’s in trouble

And not breathing

The kiss of life, we call it

And it is

Both sides of air being good

The oxygen, the CO-2

Both give life all around

Our daily allies on the planet

Are the plants in our

Inhale-exhale

Symbiosis

All is relationship

No one goes alone

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C L Couch

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No Man Is an Island, a poem, a contemplation, a movie, a song

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Photo by Kyle Wagner on Unsplash

Allan Gardens Children’s Conservatory, Toronto, Canada

the greenhouse

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