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Temporary Beautiful

(x = space)



Temporary Beautiful


I don’t know

We walk in snow today

If we want to

It fell when nighttime degrees

Encountered would-be rain


There is wind

To keep it down

For a while

Though the temperatures

Won’t keep it long


Without worry,

We can hear the muffled sounds

Or spring and morning

Watch the white

Most of which will disappear

Before it’s trodden



No slush

No pushing it

This way or that

Simply have it

Behold the art

That won’t outlast the Grecian urn

Except by hours

Give credit to

The artist of the

Temporary beautiful


C L Couch



“The Artist of the Beautiful” is a short story by Nathaniel Hawthorne.  “Ode to a Grecian Urn” is a poem by John Keats.


Photo by Nadiia Ploshchenko on Unsplash

snowfall January 13th 2021



Pollock Shock

(x = space)



Pollock Shock


What is honest,


(people might ask

they might)

Is it when we cry in pain

From suffering?

Is suffering so honest?

No great art

Without suffering

Speaking to the vision,

I suppose

Michelangelo before

The chapel ceiling


Before the floor

Art that changes everyone

Born from the pain of one

Or more

And what about beholders?

Do I understand,

Bring it close to heart/

To home

Because I hurt before

I see above/


Hear the music,

Touch the statue,

Walk the garden,

Smell the cooking?

A world of pain, they say

No other way to

Know magnificence

But through agony

Small pain

Great pain

Small art

Great art

I want to fight the premises

Argue them for

Ordinary time


Maybe we have to hurt

Before even plain beauty’s

(leaf’s magnificence,

soup in the pot)



C L Couch



Photo by Jené Stephaniuk on Unsplash

Part of the painting “Day Trip” from Jene Gallery.

Austin, TX, USA



(x = space)





There is a

God of beauty

Who by our accounts

Is fickle

Beauty in a storm

In wrinkly babies

While we determine

Beauty in a car

(I like the lines)

Or a figure on a screen

Receiving millions

Of both kinds


Beauty truth

The eye of the beholder

Do we know anything?

I wonder

Extremists destroy ruins

That are also

A record

A child destroys the fragile

In “The Artist of the Beautiful,”

And I think

About that often


But if the cell is beautiful

And it is,

Then beauty cannot

Be destroyed forever

As long as we have



C L Couch



This is a photograph of a sculpture of 20 centimeters made with wire and pigmented beeswax.

By Ordnajela Zenitram – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,


Sometimes It’s Penance

Sometimes It’s Penance


I’d rather write of beauty

In unlikely places

Alleyways and freckles

Left-handed people

Curved things

Where everything is straight

Wild violets and dandelions

Saved before indifferently

Cut down


But there are people doing

Ugly things, who

Must be chastised

If not by me, by someone

And then there’s me

And the ugly things I’ve done

I’m going for redemption

Within my grasp

Like the exceeding heaven

In my faith

And literary tradition


C L Couch



Photo by David Clode on Unsplash

St Marys, Tasmania, Australia

A red poppy pops its head out through a park bench in Saint Mary’s in Tasmania Australia.



Twilight of the Gods

Twilight of the Gods


Last night we sat out

On the porch

The heat of day upon us

A little lessened

One cat on the rail

(screens on the other side)

One cat stretched out upon the

Teak dining table,

The center of a set purchased after

A fire burned half of the house

A year and more ago


We watched lightning in the distance

I tried to count the miles

But didn’t hear anything

The storm must have been far away

The lightning cracked again in silence

Split that part of night

So far away


I had been reading of the death of Baldur

And now could wonder if he might

Be falling through the sky to Earth

Where we could mourn him, too

With all the gods and, yes, the giants

All the seasons of the year

All trees and even metals

Other elements, so says the storyteller


But Baldur went to Hel and hell

As the Norse configure these

My version cannot last

Though it made me sad enough

To wish more beauty, even slain

To Earth


C L Couch



Photo by Marc Clinton Labiano on Unsplash


Lent 5

Lent 5


Why do we swim

I guess for recreation

Maybe for competition

Sometimes for exploration

We can at least explore our muscles

Get to the depths of us


“All asymmetrical

All beautiful”

I just heard someone

Say that into the room


And it’s true

In the smallest of ways, we are

Wondrously imbalanced


Floating around in freedom

Might free us of

The need to count with calipers

What is not exact

Yet can be so compelling

(not correcting)

In ourselves

In each other



Yet more like an amoeba

By grace, unforming


C L Couch



A pod of narwhals. Note the spiral configuration of the single tusk.

Dr. Kristin Laidre, Polar Science Center, UW NOAA/OAR/OER – NOAA Photolib Library

(public domain)


The Lesson of Saint Francis

The Lesson of Saint Francis


We are all animals in

Beauty, here:


And we need guide each

Other to

A pilgrim path

In walking with the saints

Who would eschew

The capital s


Service is ennobled

(As are all better things)

When we love

To give away

What we have


To share with

All other creatures of

The Earth—


The sky, what’s

Under the water,

And what dances upon

The surface


In the measures and the


Of creation




We talk a lot about that here

Which is good, I think—it must

Be an important theme


I’m not sure why I was talking

Yesterday with my brother

About Guy Fawkes


It’s a strange holiday from my

American look—you know,

“Remember the fifth of

November and such”—but


Then, I have “the eighteenth

Of April, in Seventy-five;/

Hardly a man is now alive”



Remembering, as we should,

That Revere had help from

Other riders, a man and a

Young woman


There—I’ve forgotten about

Masks, like the one on Guy

Fawkes (used in V is for

Vendetta), a definition of

Wry, sardonic looks broadcast

Throughout the realm


Carnivals (pick a nation) wear

Masks, as do some super-

Heroes and, well, bank

Robbers, too


Celebration (okay, maybe

Criminality), impression,

Second plastic skin, the

Need to turn away


But I think we mean the

Masks that hide our feelings,

Even our deeper thoughts—


Things that need concealment

And from which we fear



Do you know who I am? a

Twenty-first century search


Finds sad response: a number

Of YouTubes (Do you know

Who I am? I’m entitled to

Road rage),


Well-known persons in the

Mind, at least, who have

Declared this in a gross

Way—and a book for women


(And, who knows, the book

Might be good)


But for the earnest question,

We don’t perceive the block,

Which is, we cannot ask

The question:


Masks inhibit the seeing of

Another and the hearing of



It’s really a question that

Has beauty; now it needs



To ask and, on the way, taking

Down—relenting—of our

Masks, souls in disguise



Such painful beauty here.
It rains with truthly tear.


The Essence, created by Emily Romano, is a short, structured form of two-lines, six syllables each with an end rhyme and internal rhyme. (From the definition Annie cites.)

Annie at What the Woman Wrote crafted with this poetic form: her work, “Forlorn.”  (The link is just above.)  I responded in kind.  She, then, kindly shared her expectation that I would post my response in my blog.  So I’ve posted, here.

What can I say?  She’s influential.

Annie posts wonderful images to complement her written work.  I’m not nearly so skillful.  So I’m afraid that “here” is going to have to be a reference to anytime in life itself, as can be imagined or recalled.  Readers may fill in with a time from your experience.  Or take it that mortal life is often this way, when we must, you know, cry.

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