I talk you talk we'll talk



Flying, Creeping Things

(x = space)



Flying, Creeping Things


I liken the bird

To the Holy Spirit

That flies with grace,



Often arrives

As a surprise

That on good

Days knows the wind

And all the stirrings

Of the Earth,

That often arrives

As shadow,


As prophecy



The Bible kind

Nothing marketed


We can aim

And shoot

And tear the metaphor


Or we can listen



A song announcing

God is alive

In fragile revelation

For our sakes


Closely attend

An irony of notice,

Trampling the uncertainty

Doctrine or fear


With the way in

We’ve always wanted


C L Couch



Leviticus 11:21-22


Photo by Agustin Fernandez on Unsplash

Punta Alta, Buenos Aires, Argentina



(x = space)





It sounded like

The birds at first

The screeching of a

Saw outside

Maybe a leaf-blower

Blower, most likely

It being fall

But either way,

At first the narrow, high-pitched

Range bird-sounds might own

As if to say

Not only that I’m here

But also come here

Like the

First message on

The telephone

Watson, I want you

Or some such

Another day, another range

Of sounds to own:

These are mine

These are mine

(the utterances)

Where are you?


One bird

Lonely bird


C L Couch



Photo by Ynne on Unsplash


The Bird of Alcatraz

(x = space)



The Bird of Alcatraz


There’s red outside

The leaves are changing

The sky is painted blue

Behind them

Maybe it’s a perfect autumn day

Not that the window panes

Are bars (I know better),

But there are so many things

In here to attend to,

And the meanness of the neighbors

Has an imprisoning effect

As well—I know, you’d think

It would drive me out as

Often as possible


Well, the car needs work

I could simply walk somewhere

I’m not feeling well

In my head or in my stomach,

And there are so many things

In here

I need the energy to manage them

How did so much accumulate?

Maybe it’s a consequence

Of being poor,

Though much of it came

From the work I used to do,

That was taken from me

Through jealousy

And worldly machination


Well, I’m here

I just exhaled

I can do that

Consciously or through

Human impulse

I hope that it continues for

A good long while

Along with the other part


I’ll wait, eat, drink something

Then get up and go


C L Couch



English teacher note

The “Birdman of Alcatraz” is a person who became the basis for a book and a film.


Photo by Pete Nuij on Unsplash

Langley, BC, Canada

Robin on a branch.





I can see the shadow of a bird

Through the air-conditioner baffling

Maybe it wants to build a nest

It’s happened before

Hopefully, everything will last long enough

To bear eggs and to hatch

It’s all happened before


This will add a little tension

To already tense days

But it’s creation,

And I won’t be removing the air-

Conditioner for a while, now

For cleaning or what have you


And when I turn it on, the birds will be

Okay with the new noise

That’s worked out all right

As well, before

Oh, and so you know

I won’t be looking further


C L Couch



Photo by Dean Ward on Unsplash

Before chopping down one of the trees in our garden we did an inspection to make sure there were no nests in it. This gorgeous little nest was in one on the lower branches so it looks like the tree is staying.



Where Are You?

Where Are You?


A single bird sings to the rest

I’m here

I’m here

I’m here

Come to me

I’m lonely

And I’m hungry

I’m here

I’m here

I’m here

I have this nest, you see

I’m here

I’m here

I’m here

And I must stay

Until they’re here

And then

We’re here

We’re here

We’re here


C L Couch


in part inspired by Leaf and Twig,, and the declaration of what birds sing

I heard a single bird, which was also inspiration



Photo by Wengang Zhai on Unsplash


We Can Play

We Can Play


A squirrel and a bird play

In the tree

At least that’s how it looks

And sounds

The bird flies up; the squirrel follows

The sounds of chirping and chittering

Sound friendly,

As if I’d know

Though I know the difference between

A purr and a hiss

Ears up or ears laid back

The growl that leads to the bark

So I’m going to call it


There is no better way to spend

An early morning

If you’re a squirrel or a bird

So let’s pretend

We are squirrels or birds


C L Couch



Photo by Rowan Heuvel on Unsplash

Unawatuna, Sri Lanka


Eccentric Season

Eccentric Season


A loud single song out the window

For a second day I’m greeted this way

Whom is it calling?

I’d like to think it was me, but it must be

Another creature

Singing to to say hello, come over here

There’s a divot-space next to the air-conditioner

Might make a nice place for a nest


I guess this because it’s happened

More than once

That through the panel I can see bird-shadows


They come and go for a while

I should worry, and I do, that all goes well

While there is waiting for small, gray life

To emerge—

Usually, they’re gray—

To add their greetings to the day

And the days ahead


I think maybe I shouldn’t look through

The window, down so much at what’s going on

I can listen to some small cacophony



Life will emerge, and then the nest becomes

Useless, falls apart, not fit

For a sparrow

My odd season with the nesting birds is over

I’ll clear out what remains, maybe there’s

A crack of egg to see

I tried to bring the rounded twigs inside one time,

But they fell apart too easily

A sparrow wouldn’t want it

Such a fragile operation, all this is

To make more birds

Especially in a small space on the window sill


And my own sign in parts that at last the weather’s

Turned into a fecund opportunity

As the planted fields around the town

Will also show, certainly in

Wider, columned ways


C L Couch



Photo by Chromatograph on Unsplash

Hong Kong


Tree of Life

Tree of Life


The soul must be amazing

Some say it’s like a bird

And why not


I don’t mean a matter for debate

I mean the spirit that’s inside us

That leaves us when

We can bear no more


Where it catches next, I do not know

Branches in a tree

What has it for keeping


I think it is somewhere

I guess it might be doctrine

And so for argument

To say it owns eternal


C L Couch



Photo by Kushagra Kevat on Unsplash


Origami Transportation

Origami Transportation


How close am I to

Earth when

Help would push me

To the sky

And pain still wishes to

Pull me to the ground?

I guess I speak of

Medicine and illness

And the rips, the tears they make

Ideally with coordination

(patch over wound)

But with parts of the heart

Still pouring over into

Nets of capillaries



What can artificiality construct

(what can making make)

To that will mend with

Flesh parts that have

Been hung for years

Red, brown, freckled, white

Flesh like bird-feathers, birds

Waiting on a branch to fly

Once the banding’s done?


Fly so well, then?

Metal and claw, we have to hope

Human mends

Steel and plastic

Cotton, nylon fiber

Chemicals repurposed from

Repose inside the Earth

Give it all a chance


The gently shackled bird

The patient with medicines

In binding


C L Couch



Photo by Nikoline Arns on Unsplash


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