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Advent

Modranicht

(x = space)

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Modranicht

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Maybe I need a break

Go somewhere

Look at lights that others

Have put up

Phantom merrymaking

On my part

No, wait, they were put up

For me and others like me

To go by

To gaze at from afar

Appreciate the rainbow lights

Against the snow,

If snow,

Against the dark

Of night

Of loneliness

Of season’s night

Of season’s loneliness

That say, we’re here

And some of us

Are here for you

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C L Couch

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Modranicht, Night of the Mothers (a Yule celebration, now Christmas Eve)

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Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash

Ilkley, United Kingdom

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The Peaceable Kingdom

(x = space)

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The Peaceable Kingdom

(Isaiah 11:1-9)

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Cheetahs wouldn’t have

To kill,

And they could run with their

Great speed for delight

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There would not be war,

For everything we wanted

Could be gotten

In a better way

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We’d have peace with each other;

We’d have so much

Extra time

To do good things

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Peaceable admittedly

Is an antique word,

But it speaks to potential

To talent

And to quantity

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Who makes this peace?

God does–

But what shall we have

In the mean time?

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It’s in our time,

Our will

To make it happen

From able to have peace

To having it;

The worth is us and

Our mortal talents

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The Earth burns,

Weapons are secretly supplied

To war:

It is crazed comfort

(in both aspects)

To wait for an apocalypse

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We have now–

Heaven, in fact,

Might be waiting for us

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C L Couch

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Photo by Hari Nandakumar on Unsplash

Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya

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Advent 2

(x = space)

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Advent 2

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Shall we light

Two lights from

One light

To move the meaning out

A little

To say this is a season, now

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As the light is shared

So should we share

Our hopes

And dream

Intentions

For more light

Of our own making

For mercy

And a thoughtfulness

Toward love

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C L Couch

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Photo by Carson Arias on Unsplash

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Ready or Not

(x = space)

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Ready or Not

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God is coming

God is here

God is a child

God is a teen

God is a grownup

God is a spirit

God is love

Everything at once

The Medievals didn’t mind

Neither should we

It is a time

Of amazement

Dare I say, magic

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Each year God comes down

While angels rise

We look up

And on the Earth

Feel our investment firmer

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Prophecy

And miracle

A merging of all tenses

Where

And when

God is involved

All things

Work for good

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It is our age

Sick, healthy

Corrupt and even

We merge tenses, too,

Hoping for

Everything

To work out right

What’s left is

What there is

Illuminated by a star

The gift

The trash

The holes

The holes filled in

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Whether or not

We are ready

For the light

It is an age of light

It was

It will be

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C L Couch

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Photo by Krissana Porto on Unsplash

Paris, France

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Spiced Life

(x = space)

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Spiced Life

(Advent)

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A season starts

Tomorrow

On my grandmother’s

Birthday

She would be

Well over a hundred

The season’s been around

Since

I imagine

Medieval times

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We light candles,

One Sunday

By one

Four candles

We might use another candle

Lighting the four

Or a candle might

Appear later

Set in or near the others

Call it

The Christ candle

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A circle

A wreath

Is a common design

And practice

Into which we set the candles

All four there

(light them

one by one)

There are songs

I think my favorite

Is the song about

Keeping mortal flesh

Silent

To stand rather

In fear and trembling

Because it’s God who comes to

Earth

And is near

As at creation,

First birth of everything

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It is typically

A darker season

Church rooms slowly rebuilt

With light

Ideally, it is a quiet

Time, though

The world gets noisier

All the time

And in our

Insides, too

A challenge it might be to find

Minutes

Inside hours

Inside and out

To sip, to think

To have quiet words

With company

Or for oneself

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Not that Christmas noise is bad

Because it’s not

With bells

And open presents

Come enjoyment

And, if we have it right,

Joy itself

I hope joy arrives for you

Starting in the quiet

Building toward a jubilee,

Even a

New year with

All menacing overthrown

All things allowed

That need to

To begin again

Or simply better days

In coming

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C L Couch

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Three candles lit for the three first Sundays of advent.

Photo: Niklas Nordblad – Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1488786

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silent flesh

(x = space)

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silent flesh

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god made into flesh

while divinity wasn’t noticing

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how else could perfection

give up eternal everything,

knowledge and power

and everything we want

and some of us think we should have

right now

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jesus, god and human

how hard must that be

and who among of us would do it

knowing invincibility would be

a memory, only

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as mortal, god would know us

as god might know a deer

or a rainbow

or unrequited love

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that is, from the inside out

from the other side of creation

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god will know us

as we live

give up a cure for every illness

prevention in perfection

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excruciating

loving

all love because

there is no other reason

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c l couch

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notes

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reading a prayer that mentions (I think) God made flesh (or maybe it was human) in a baby

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thinking of an old hymn whose lyrics I find haunting (with a haunting melody):

Let all mortal flesh keep silent

And in fear and trembling stand;

Ponder nothing earthly minded;

For with bless in his hand,

Christ our God to Earth descended,

Our full homage to demand

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Wellcome Collection, London, United Kingdom

The Body

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The Present Season

(x = space)

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The Present Season

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It is Advent I know

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Last year I wrote

A perambular devotional

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It comes without

My help and does in

Fact mean coming

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As it is a season

A loving kind

Of pre-Christmas warning

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Well I hope it is

Such a good season for you

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The kind of joy

That prophets might

Foretell but that

By planned devotion

Or surprise

We get

To live anyway

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Let all of us

As if from Santa Claus

Delivered

To the city- and cave-dwellers

And those who live

Under palm trees

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Or on high mountains

Inside windy forests

Or on moving sand

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Have such a season and

At the season’s end

Such and more so

A merry day

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C L Couch

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Photo by Sebastian Fröhlich on Unsplash

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Invitation from Earth and Sky

(x = space)

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Invitation from Earth and Sky

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Briefly then,

There are good things

On the earth

And inside sky

And inside far below

We can ask for

Closeness to good things,

And we should:

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For good warmth

From the sky,

Good feeling in our bodies,

Good reason for

Decision-making

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The substance of the

Asking might be

Prayer of a kind of

Cosmic negotiating

For agnostics

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Either way

Or with simpler hope,

We can let goodness

Have its way

With core and crust

And breathy atmosphere

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Inhale, exhale—

Walk to stretch things out

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Extend our fingers,

Reach out with our palms,

And turn our wrists

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The cosmos will

Appreciate our reaching out

So and more so

Would the mortals

And the ineffable

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Let all mortal flesh keep silent

And in fear and trembling stand

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Each year there is an advent

And most days,

Our response invited

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Our planet awaits

As does everything beyond

The sky that our shiny satellites

Detect, now draw from

For extraterrestrial

(extra-lunar)

Samples

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The maker awaits

Here and there as well,

Inviting us inside

Community, one by one

And altogether

To believe

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C L Couch

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Photo by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen on Unsplash

Strong wind, frost and rays of sunlight created this wonderful pattern on my windshield.

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“Let All Mortal Flesh” is an old hymn out of the Christian tradition.

A newer hymn, “Earth and All Stars,” also comes to mind.

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to readers, then a poem

I hope it is a holiday of blessings for you, regardless of tradition or having no tradition.  It’s a time when at least we speak to peace on Earth, which means more people think about it, if only in reaction.  And reactive thought can realized in action.

I’m still dealing with new pain, and I hardly sleep at night (from old pain and the new).  I’m sorry, this makes me less communicative than I’d so much like to be.  I’m trying some new medication.  Maybe that will provide enough amelioration.

I wish and pray for you a Merry Christmas, leading to the start of what will be a Happy New Year.

Christopher

 

Let Earth

(end of Advent, Christmas Eve or Christmas day, or, you know, anytime)

 

And where is joy?

It’s here

 

Depending on your mood

Or how you’re treated

How you treat someone else

You may not see it

The wrong ones will not pay attention

The ones who are wronged will

Because they must

It often goes this way

With wisdom to

Make a choice,

A pledge to difference

 

If you can,

In all moods choose joy

If you can’t, maybe joy will find you

If not, we’ll have to wait

Endure

‘Til there is allowance

And recourse

 

Sorry if that’s hollow

Everything cannot be fixed

In a day

A year

And not a moment

But where is joy?

It’s here

If within opacity like crystals in

The tube of a kaleidoscope

But made of a magic kind of gem that

Someday must crash through

 

Into release

A new promise of day

Without involvement of the persecutor

With unbound chances

To live openly and well

 

A day of birth

Such as this one

 

C L Couch

 

Larisa-K / 471 images

https://pixabay.com/en/winter-patterns-freezes-design-20135/

 

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