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bread

So Much on One Day

(x = space)

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So Much on One Day

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Yesterday was

Father’s Day

Juneteenth

Corpus Christi

My

The body of Christ

Evidenced

Manifest

In Eucharist

This is important

This is my body

Christ said to disciples

This is my blood

Do this in remembrance of me

x

A priest once explained to me

That the change is not molecular

That substance

To the medieval minds

To the makers of the doctrine

Did not mean flesh

As in meat

But substance as in essence

As in presence

Belief and purpose

Inside, all around

x

These were believers

And philosophers

Not alchemists

(so much)

x

The reason for the bread and wine

Is changed

Our reason to be there in the moment

With a bell

Is changed from bread and wine

To faith

And even penitence

The salvation of the world

At hand

And hand outside as well

As inside we take and ingest

And move with nourishment

Into the world,

After

x

A professor told us

Once in class

Of her being in line

At a holy place in western Asia

Then in

Chatting about faith

With a stranger there—she

Was asked

(if not told)

Are not you Christians cannibals?

You believe in consuming

Flesh and blood

x

And my prof remembered

As I remember

With remembrance

The details and essence of

Her story

x

And is there physicality?

Yes, I think so

Bread, wine

And there is more

And the bell changes things

Things are changed in substance

For the better

Christ isn’t changed

Bread, wine

We are

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C L Couch

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Photo by Josh Applegate on Unsplash

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Fish and Bread for Breakfast

(x = space)

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Fish and Bread for Breakfast

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And he does

Jesus loves you

Grumpy we might be

Though post-resurrection letdown

A haze of liturgy

Formal words that don’t match up

With Easter

But here we are

Since the book is ours

Invited to have breakfast with Jesus

Fish and bread

Common enough fare

Or not

The English

And others I’m sure

Have kippers

That is herring

England is an island nation

Israel is by the sea

And by an inland sea

We’re having breakfast

And hearing about metaphoric sheep

From a shepherd who knows the work

Perfectly

And is calling us to do it

What

How can we take from perfection

Well, we can’t

But we’re all here

It’s what and whom we have

We can dine with Jesus

That is the Christian church experience

But then we have to be out there

Out here

x         

A message from white men

We need to hear from everyone

We need to hear the story

From the lips

And other parts

The parts that move,

That dance,

That look and try to look with love

On a good day

While struggling on another

This can’t be a message of perfection

It has to be real

And what do we know of perfect

That is real?

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And we are loved, anyway

And we must love

And it’s the best thing going, anyway

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C L Couch

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(church with preaching on John 21)

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Photo by Andrew Valdivia on Unsplash

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There’s a Story at the End

(x = space)

x

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There’s a Story at the End

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I don’t know what to say.

I need the birds to

dance across the

page

with their feet dipped in ink.

It’s a medieval riddle’s

answer,

though it would be cruel

to force birds’ feet

into wells.

x

I guess we take their feathers,

turn them into quills;

maybe we could wait

to find quills

inside forests:

gifts from the sources of stories

and the desert

and the sky

and moving waters

taking the shape

of earth below.

That’s what I want to tell,

a story!

Something for everyone.  And

is there such a thing?

x

Once there was a child

in a forest

Who came upon a grown-up

clearly starving.

The child gave the grown-up

the only piece of

bread

in the child’s bag.

The adult rose up and thanked

the child.

Then they noticed that

the child’s bag

had a hole through which

crumbs had fallen—and through

forest-magic

had not been eaten

by birds or other creatures!

x

They knew certainly where the

crumbs

would take them,

so they went home

where everyone was

known,

because everyone was

home.

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C L Couch

x

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Photo by Jan Kopřiva on Unsplash

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The Dailies

The Dailies

 

God, you give me this day

Give us this day

Sounds strange, now I think on it,

To be saying it so late in church

Since we’ve already had the day

For a while—thank you

For giving us this some hours

Ago

 

I guess the gratitude’s still in it

And a God of kairos shouldn’t mind

But what is daily bread? Bread?

Food? Any food?

Water? Something else we drink?

Is it to have enough only for today

So we should pray again

Tomorrow?

The Israelites could not keep the manna

Miracle it was, falling from heaven

Like that

But it would not keep

They really had daily bread

 

And is that now for us?

Give us what we need today

Help us not to hoard against tomorrow

Give others daily bread as well

We know too many won’t have it

Maybe this is a trespass of the one

Who prays,

Who has bread for today

Who might have some to share

With those who might pray yet still go

Without bread

If so, it isn’t a trespass like the one

We should forgive

We should ask to be forgiven,

Then to share the daily bread

 

So that prayer and all things magical

Might have substance on Earth

Such that everyone may pray

For food and air and water

And then have it

 

How many Shakespeares would we save?

How many Achebes?

Which is not the point but

Could be a boon for all of us

Simply keeping someone else in

Bread, of all things

What we have every day

While others starve

And die

 

Then if a Morrison should thank us later

Or a Cervantes or Sun Tzu

A Dickinson come out the house,

Daily will have some status and memory

In inspiration

For the world

Or you and I will have bread

With a little more to share with someone

Else

To re-create it all tomorrow

 

C L Couch

 

 

Photo by Bank Phrom on Unsplash

Print Is Alive

 

Psalm 49 (a penultimate song)

Psalm 49

(a penultimate song)

 

Before the last,

One more thing,

Please, to say:

 

O Lord, like all

The seasons that

You muster,

 

You are constant

In provision;

 

Might we live in

Gratitude,

 

Thirsty children

Who can yet look

Up before

 

We stoop, saving,

To drink—

 

Risking, yes, a

Moment of hurt

Brilliance

 

Gazing, as we

Do, toward the

Direction of one

Who has

 

Left life for us

 

In a healing cup,

Freely filled with

Consequence,

 

And bread that

Was earth-fired,

Once

Bread and Stone

Bread and Stone

 

All that’s left

Is the heel of the

Rye bread loaf

And a small pile of

Caraway seeds

(Inside) made

When I lift

The bag

 

Bread and bitter herbs

I could be

A Celtic sin-eater

 

A job from long ago

In smaller, well-defined

Communities—and

For their sake

 

The task has left us,

While the cause

For eating and then

Running out the

One fed

Remains

 

Bitterness

Of sin—perhaps

Given the time

And hard hearts—

 

We

Should tear off

A bit of bread

To take with

Zealous spice

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