I talk you talk we'll talk



Brother Cat

(x = space)



Brother Cat

(about Hannah, rescued on Hanover Street)


I was the brother cat

Sometimes father

Sometimes mother

We could get confused

You were the sister cat


Though you didn’t seem

To mind it

When I used Your Majesty


Sister queen cat

Cat with an attitude

Little cat

Who acted big

Alpha cat

When there was a beta


Funny cat

You were so serious

Except when you weren’t

You’d run out the door

And up the tree

High enough for me

To reach you

Bring you down

Hold you ‘til we were both



You were the cat

Who gave me cues

For petting

And for making

Entryways for sleeping

Out of blankets, though

Mostly out of me


I could work

As long as you were

On my lap,

Which was your strategy


A challenge came

When people came to call

If they wanted you,

You would check out their laps

Sometimes their faces

Generally, be slow and still

More so

Than you were with me

Or if you weren’t sure about

Who was visiting,

You’d jump up, pour into

My lap

And from there

Stare at the suspect


For nineteen years

You were remarkable cat company

Despite the allergies

I miss you

And would have you back

In fact, occasionally I see you

In a blurred and catly place

Inside the corner of my eye


C L Couch


yesterday I read “Sister Cat” by Frances Mayes



Photo by Sourish Trivedy on Unsplash

A super good-looking lion (like me of course [photographer talking]) enjoying an evening on a cool rock in B&W!

Maasai Mara National Reserve, Ngiro-are Road, Kenya


Renovations of Divine Love

(x = space)



Renovations of Divine Love


She saw creation

In a hazelnut

The way Blake saw the universe

In a grain of sand

And microscopes would render


Subatomic worlds


As such, the world might be understood

As something to take care of

To have holiness in peelings

While there are leftovers

From the seasons

There is no trash

Each cell revealing plans

For perfection

When all shall be well


We don’t know her name

She had a cell

Part of

The church of Saint Julian

She was God’s prisoner

By devotion

Many came outside her cell

To talk with her

About visions of the world

About someday considerations

Passed into today


To replicate her life,

We need our version

Our version

Of a place

With a cat

Maybe with people going by

Life of a town

A neighborhood

A city block

A farm

We need time without calling it


It is devotion

It is service that is easy

As in receiving love is easy

And honing faith

A pursuit of both

Earthly and ethereal



C L Couch



Photo by Hatice Yardım on Unsplash


To the Cat Who Called at 3 a.m.

(x = space)



To the Cat Who Called at 3 a.m.



(must be how we got the word)

I open the door, look down

Into round eyes,

Fuzzy-looking face, striped fur

You come in

Walk around, inspecting

You like to have me pet your face

And around your ears

I try to pick you up

That does not go well


So I leave you to explore

Find all the levels

Try them out

You knock some things over

I sit until you jump on me

Time for more petting

Then we’re tired

‘Cause it was already late

I leave the door ajar

Lie down

I wake up, there you are

Close by

Looking sleepy, too


After a while, you leave

You meow some more

But now it’s daytime

Better for meows’ acceptance


Later on, it’s quiet

You had made another visit


Then gone out


I trust you are back in your place

I hope it’s a good one

Feel free to drop by



C L Couch



Photo by Bogdan Farca on Unsplash

not the cat (but looks like)


Boiling Springs Fire

(x = space)



Boiling Springs Fire


I caught some

Of the story


A fire burned



(fourth floor)

Smoke and water through

All the floors

Of the apartment building

A converted mill

In the town of Boiling Springs

One town away


I hear details of the fire

Nothing yet about the people

I’m sure I missed

That part


I used to drive by the building

Hoped about living there,

Each time

Now it’s gone

Or at least

Forever changed

Now sorrow for

All displaced


The town is small

An unincorporated village

It will be affected

Me, too

And you, too,

As you know about

Such things


(after reading)

Everyone got out

One cat

The headlines say

Eleven displaced,

Which includes ten people

And the cat

The Red Cross has been

At the scene


There was a fire

In the village

Two years ago

One person was killed

Welcome that person

To another home


God bless the town

And all the towns

That gather loss


C L Couch




Photo by Daniel Tausis on Unsplash

“Fighting Fire”

Sundsvall, Sweden

not the Boiling Springs fire (the photos of that fire are copyrighted, sigh) but a fire


Faithful Skeptic

(x = space)



Faithful Skeptic

(spiritual humanist)


I sin

And then I go to church

How does that work?

We sing that it is well,

Which Saint Julian proposes

We pray for the world

And for concerns

In the parish

We sing some more

We’ll pray some more

Then there will be teaching

(word and sacrament

for those who have sacraments)

Through it all,

We’re singing now

And thank goodness there is

Justice in that

Mingled with grace and mercy


Through sin and virtue

Through indifference and zeal

Through exhaustion and desire

There is something

Going on,

Something moving

Call it spirit

Call it the orbit of the Earth

And the pressing down of gravity

Call it God’s

Call it nature’s

Call it ours


And, yes, through it all

It is well


C L Couch



Saint Julian of Norwich is a saint in the Catholic, Anglican, and Lutheran churches.  Other traditional Protestant churches recognize her standing.  Many Christians of all kinds respect her work in parish service and the service of the Christian Church, overall.  Her name is not known:  she is called Julian because that was the name of the church in Norwich, England where she lived.  She had a cell there, not a jail cell but a hermit’s.  She had a cat.  Each day people of the town would come to her to speak with her through a window, asking her for wisdom and advice.  I’m sorry, I should have mentioned that she lived and worked from the latter decades of the fourteenth century into the first years of the fifteenth century.

She wrote Revelations of Divine Love, a widely-read spiritual text.  It is also taken as the oldest book written in English by a woman.  Two things Julian is popularly known for asserting are the metaphor of the world as a hazelnut (long before William Blake asserted perceiving the world as and through a grain of sand).  And she claimed that, no matter how grim or unhopeful or destructive the world might seem, all shall be well.  She says this many times.

And all shall be well.


Photo by Külli Kittus on Unsplash

Tallinn, Estonia


Who Knows How to Live

(x = space)



Who Knows How to Live

(not a question)


It’s evening now,

An old movie is on TV

If there were a cat

As there has been,

She would be sleeping

Until she wakes, eats

Something, demands

Face-rubbing, then

Goes to sleep again


C L Couch



Photo by MILKOVÍ on Unsplash

Los Gatos Theatre, Los Gatos, United States


Narby Not of Narberth

Narby Not of Narberth

(though his human mother once lived nearby)


Narby’s gone

I’m sorry

And I’m sad

He was a foundling from the beach

Community of the Outer Banks

He lived for many years, cat-wise

He was the definition of

A scaredy-cat

New people in the room caused him

Not to be there, anymore

He had a strident yell,

Maybe so that he could cross distances

Telling his human family

Hey, I’m in this part of the house

Come take care of me


He was blackish and small

He had an older brother from the beach

A year before

This cat was more a dog

He loved to eat food

For cat or people

Probably for dog

He was huge and round and gray

I figure that

The two cats had the

Jack Sprat and his wife thing going,

Though they were boys


Narby received a yurt one year

That’s what it was called

(it was for cats)

He liked to live in it

I think imagining

He was on the roof of the world

In Nepal, that is

Wishing everyone away

Except when he was hungry


In recent days, he had declined

And today I got the phone call

He was not my cat,

But I will miss him

Sometimes I cared for him

Sometimes he almost sat

Upon my lap

He had a quiet purr

Sometimes invoked,

Which also quieted the

Catly rebel yell


As I say for all I know


Narby, welcome home


C L Couch



Photo by Bekky Bekks on Unsplash

Cologne, Germany

long live the life street art cat


Cat House

Cat House


Last night I saw


Allergies notwithstanding

There were people, too

They’re fine, I think,

The cats (I guess the people, too)

The screened-in porch was open to them

In fact, a breeze

And persons to protect the bowls

One cat’s from the other

The skittish cat leaped up

The other flowed like mercury

Upon the floor

Seeking a container of some sort,

I think

The way liquid does

We ate

They hoped

We watched a film

They stayed away

We had to pass through, after

Their insistence came alive again

Furballs of self-interest

That is their purpose

And their lesson

Nature to the rest of us

Not wrong to want our way

Not bad to serve affection

For no reason

Beyond being


C L Couch



Image by cocoparisienne from Pixabay


Feeding Friends’ Cats

Feeding Friends’ Cats

(or Feeding Cat Friends)


One cat makes

Little cat-sounds while eating

I don’t mean slurps and burps

I mean sighs and mews

As if to say,

This is good

This is thoughtful work

Leave me alone


The other cat’s a vacuum

And has become dog-sized

Going after food that cats typically

Eschew (not chew)

He does this because

Like the tall mountain,

The food is there


I like them both

Each a version of cat-crazy

And me for volunteering

Their human parents get a trip to


I stay here and stoke my allergens

I’ll recover later


Maybe they’ll offer me

A cushion in cat-heaven

Probably not


C L Couch



Photo by Harshil Gudka on Unsplash



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