I talk you talk we'll talk



Dear Earth

(x = space)



Dear Earth


I don’t know what to say

One person can’t apologize

We destroy you

And we need you

We like you for you move

Unlike the decorations

On the ancient vase

You move

With beauty

And with truth


You have renewing skills

We won’t take them on

Or indeed respect them

We need pollution

Acid rain

Discarded plastic

Unsafe water

Trash as mountains

Outside cities,

All to justify

Our way of life

Our shiny, blindered way of life

That is so good

To look the other way


Toward the moon?

Toward Mars?

Is there a hope

A plan

We can leave you

When our destructive preferences

Have finished you?

I think we see the Earth as vast

And it is

You are

So we have time

To reach the corners,

So to say



Horizons shall meet

The burning and the melting

From each side

The drowning

The dissolving of safe ground


And overwhelming water

Taking us away,

Which we can’t drink

Or with which to build

To clean

To take our oxygen


How shall we change?

How can we say we’re sorry?

We try to change

But we’ve set up our war in this

Anti-polluters fight polluters

With the great indifference

In between



There are few agreements


Like broken bulkheads,

There is no more breathing

To share

Each box of us collapses

Into an airless deep

The ship of Earth

Of you

Founders and

Shall sink

into gravity, under magnetic waves

Of other worlds

Whose LaGrange we used to share

In orbital mediation

With satellites

Asteroids and meteoroids

Not always in place, admittedly

And comets

Farther off yet neighborly

The suns that also spun out worlds

Other life forms

After here

To try at wholeness


While there had been us

Who had a turn

And turned


Whose only hope

Might be in turning more

Turn again,

Which is repentance


C L Couch



A calving glacier. Witness to global warming.

Photo by NOAA on Unsplash


A Simple Love then Complicates in Fear

(x = space)



A Simple Love then Complicates in Fear


A simple love then complicates in fear

A lust begins a hot surrendering

We think we have it all when love is near

T’ward deeper feeling’s ember tendering

And we believe a faithful person true

We’re human, after all, possessing flaws

And may decide what is for fondness due

Those fails incumbent not unto our laws

The question is what flaws will each abide?

We fear to change, though poems say we must

‘Cause perfect love won’t find us on this side

Thus alter will or no or aging just

New and anew, decide for you and me

Then we shall be and Hamlet’s not not be


C L Couch



Photo by Leo Fosdal on Unsplash



(x = space)





Leaves change

As time changes

As time changes

Green becomes memory

Until green times



Leaves of pages


As time changes

As time changes

The memory of reading

Reading now


C L Couch






Photo by Chinnu Indrakumar on Unsplash


Photo by Roman Trifonov on Unsplash


Victory at Sea

(x = space)



Victory at Sea


The sadness

That so much is done,

So much never started

But then I’d want

Eternity here and now


All possibilities

From which to choose

And choose again

To get it right


Would that Earth

Could turn peacefully

So that choices might

Be made from

Wisdom and from joy


But too many

Steal podiums to say

Beat the other side,

Don’t hesitate

To shoot


The second problem is

That hate will shoot back,

And when our

Magazines are empty

There is only peace

In death, that is,

Lives taken


Sibling murder

We pretend the other

Is not human

But a target for our rage,

For demon-stoked



This is so the world is mine,

Rendered in my own image

With death the medium


Would that

Famous people

Would shut up

And listen to the Earth

For a while

Then listen to us,

Which is nearly all of us


Pain, thirst

All kinds of ideas

And agendas

Find them

Find the stories

Hear them


Let change happen

Speak to it

Let peace prevail

And every other goodness


Favorite recipes

Homemade holidays

Comfortable shoes

Barefoot where the Earth

Is welcoming


We welcome each other

Sparing the lives that only

Insanity demands

And criminality


There is little more to say

Stop destroying

Leave self-righteousness to God

From whom we can learn about


And safe water

And living as if everything

Is home

For everyone


C L Couch


The title is taken from a TV series about bravery in war.  Music by Richard Rodgers.

To be at sea also means to be adrift.  Wanting to head for home.

(Not that the ship in the image is adrift, as in having no control. I don’t know.  The ship looks lonely, though.)


Photo by Javier Balseiro on Unsplash


Precipitous Evolution

(x = space)



Precipitous Evolution


We have atomic bombs

In silos, ready to launch

There is a pandemic

We’re trying to ignore

Despite the rise in cases

Second wave, extension of

The first

We’ve heated up the Earth

So that volcanos and

Windstorms, forest fires

Are all readier

Their unleashing is worse

Could nature ever be

Our friend again?

But we are consumed with

Human ratings on TV and in

Our other media:

They must exist, they must

Be good or something’s

Terribly wrong with us

Though there are better

Judges than celebrities

What shall we say,

We’re living on the edge?

Not of adventure

But of living

Plainly if at all

Yes, I know it’s preachy

But I want you tomorrow,

People and the Earth

Everything that lives and breathes

And maybe changes

Under a too-tolerant God


C L Couch



Photo by JD X on Unsplash


Earthly Revelation

Earthly Revelation



Let us have peace

The Skeksis pleaded

In The Dark Crystal

I think he meant it, though

The times were changing

And so he couldn’t have it,

Not his way

The way was not to change

To keep power in its place

Let prophecies go by,

Ignore the signs


But sometimes things are

Larger than ambition

(Did I say sometimes?),

And the larger things will have

Their way, especially

When, what do you know,

Peace is the end

A lasting kind

Because the sky has willed it

Not violent design

No, never


My voice sounds old

Maybe it is

I tire of the ranting

Maybe you do, too

And if you’re young,

Then you have an early start

On wisdom

Good for you

And for the world,

Remembering that fantasy

As dear Jim knew

Can inspire minds

And hearts

For real,

For really good work

Since change is destiny


Since change is destiny,

Let’s make it grand


C L Couch



Photo by Justin Kauffman on Unsplash



Door Prize

Door Prize


Through a door to Narnia

For others, it has been a dream

Or through a wall

Something that opens between worlds

Because we have to be there

There is a story half-done, only

We must change something

And be changed

And someone else will tell

The now-whole story

And we who might not go anywhere

Will go through, too


C L Couch



Photo by Ronald Cuyan on Unsplash

Antigua, Guatemala


Let Those Who Have Ears to Hear, Hear

Let Those Who Have Ears to Hear, Hear

(remembering the literal deaf hear better than most)


It’s odd to look outside

And see warm darkness

It should be colder, it’s December

In the immediacy of it, I don’t

Mind so much

It’s cool, my favorite kind of time

And whole cool days and nights are the best

But it feels like October

When October felt like August

It’s a good thing there’s no climate change

Those with no authority (the authority

of observation, anyway)

Have said so


But it is warmer

And after the convenience,

The warmer polar weather and

Elsewhere will turn catastrophic

There will so much evaporation from

The ground that in the air

There will be greater condensation,

Which leads to cloud cover

That can introduce another Ice Age

Earth had not been planning for,

Not yet


The irony of global warming,

We will have planetary winter

And unending

So what do we do?

You and I? I do not know

Listen to the scientists, the ones

Not in departments, ‘til they

(and they)

Are freed

Challenge corporations

Not because they are evil

But because they can be good

A new Earth-winter won’t serve

Them, either


Nations and industries will have to work

In tandem, and we mean it this time

We can make new jobs

And offer living wages, too

No real reason not to


If we remember that the Earth should be

Blue and green, mostly

All the other colors in their places

It really is a splendid sphere

That shines uniquely in the local heavens


If we decide that

Breathing air outside is good

Drinking water, too

Having grass and leaves to walk upon

Stones to climb

If we reason that a living planet’s better

Well, there is no better start,

Is there?

And now to join

Talk and move

Breathe and drink

Live as the Earth we need

And want


C L Couch



Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Fenton, Michigan, United States

Frozen Lake


A Climate Change

A Climate Change

(an issue in iambic)


We had rain yesterday

The kind of rain that soaks

Into the ground that that needs it

It’s still too warm for autumn

But the wind, I think,

Is trying to be cold

There is some color in the leaves

The brilliance in their own tradition

Hasn’t happened

The days we want to call crisp

As in Frostiana,

Which is persistent, begs a fire

Inside or in a ring at camp

Life in the north, I know

The south of Earth doesn’t have to care

I think it does


C L Couch



Photo by Irena Carpaccio on Unsplash


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