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The Drive to Church on Christmas Eve

(x = space)

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The Drive to Church on Christmas Eve

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What shall we say

On this night

There might be stars

There might be clouds

There might be snow

(depending upon

temperature,

elevation, and

the axis tilt)

I know there were

Christmas Eves

When it rained

They come to mind

Evoked by

Memory

Bright lights in dots

Upon the windshield

I am on the way

To church,

A child myself

On the way

To meet another

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C L Couch

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Photo by Zach Lucero on Unsplash

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The Once King without a Future

(x = space)

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The Once King without a Future

(23 November 1963)

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We were told he was a king

Who lived in Camelot

I didn’t know

I was a child and

At home

We didn’t talk about the king

I have a memory from school

Then at home

In following days

In front of the TV

My mother ironing, behind

x

A king

A coup d’état

The vice-king became king

The jesters all moved over

And up one

x

Mostly, he was killed

His wife picked up a piece of him

For the doctors

The killer then was killed

And that killer died

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And we all moved over in the nation

Though we did not move up

There was no domino

There was a funeral

That everyone attended

For me

And children like me,

It was in black and white

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C L Couch

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Photo by NASA on Unsplash

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A Child Doesn’t Have to Lead Them

(x = space)

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A Child Doesn’t Have to Lead Them

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When children have food

And people to talk with

Of a variety of ages

When their dreams aren’t stanched

And they have a chance

To grow into who they are

Then any child can make it

x

I know this: I see and hear it happen

On TV all the time

In scripted shows

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C L Couch

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Children are amazing.  And there are amazing young people who are leading in the areas of racism, sexism, and climate change (climate crisis).  The only fault in this arrangements is not with the youth but with adults.  Adults should be leading for the youth.

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Photo by Foroozan Faraji on Unsplash

Shiraz, Iran

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Childhood’s Beginning

(x = space)

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Childhood’s Beginning

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Here is the litany of complaints:

My back hurts;

I’m tired;

I’m tired of my back hurting

And my feet

And sometimes my left shoulder

And the headaches

x

I should soak my feet in

Medicated water,

Something like the

Still water

We are promised in

The company of the Lord

x

You have a list,

I’m sure

x

And I mean to be respectful,

But sometimes

The child’s cry is stronger than the

Grown-up’s

Sense of things; and

We should listen to

The child,

The plaintive child,

The honest child

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Sometimes it hurts—

That’s all there is

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C L Couch

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A Silent Little Girl Looks at Camera

Photo by Assad Tanoli on Unsplash

Lassan Thakral, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan

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English teacher’s note

Arthur C. Clarke wrote a novel called Childhood’s End.

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No Woman Is an Island

(x = space)

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No Woman Is an Island

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I exhale a puff of air

Carbon dioxide

And yet that’s all right for kissing

And for lifting the lungs

Of someone who’s in trouble

And not breathing

The kiss of life, we call it

And it is

Both sides of air being good

The oxygen, the CO-2

Both give life all around

Our daily allies on the planet

Are the plants in our

Inhale-exhale

Symbiosis

All is relationship

No one goes alone

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C L Couch

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No Man Is an Island, a poem, a contemplation, a movie, a song

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Photo by Kyle Wagner on Unsplash

Allan Gardens Children’s Conservatory, Toronto, Canada

the greenhouse

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Chocolate Milk

(x = space)

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Chocolate Milk

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I used to like

To mix in Nestle’s Quik

Sold by a rabbit

x

It was powder then,

And I was not good

With the result

x

Little globs of wet

Powder on the surface

Of the milk

x

But I liked the process,

Spinning the Quik around

Making a maelstrom

In the center of it all

x

I don’t know if

I had been in the southern world

Would I have stirred it

The other way

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I’m drinking coffee

From a glass just now

(it’s customized),

And everything is smoother

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I’m grown up

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But the stirring

Just this morning

Reminded me of

Turning galaxies

In my child’s glass

Of milk and Nestle’s Quik

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C L Couch

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Photo by Arnaud Mariat on Unsplash

universe

Far away Andromeda galaxy, or M31, in deep space.

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Unbelief

Unbelief

(in Mark, chapter 9)

 

My favorite story from the

Christian New Testament

Isn’t easy

 

A father brings his son

(a parent brings a child)

To Jesus, saying

A demon throws his son into

The fire or the water

Anything destructive, for

The demon wants

To kill the child

 

To the father, Jesus says

That with faith, the boy

Will be cured,

The demon itself thrown out

To which the father says,

I believe

Help my unbelief

 

He had been told what to do

What was pat, even a guarantee

But the father’s honesty

Precluded the code

He bravely and with broken heart

Told Jesus what was real

 

The crowd pressed in

There was no more time for

Conversation, not even for proof

Of faith

But what we know is that

Jesus healed the child

If there was a test

The father passed,

Though there wasn’t

And he didn’t

 

Was Jesus surprised?

Was the father?

What is authentic was not

Surprised

 

Faith will out

And doubt

They both had their turns

And they

 

And theys did well

They made healing

They made good

 

C L Couch

 

 

Photo by Paweł Czerwiński on Unsplash

 

Night Study

Night Study

 

I just heard

A study shows

The work of studiers

That trees sleep at night

Circadian life

From the sometime home of the cicadas

And, you know, I don’t think I ever climbed

My treehouse at night,

Which has nothing to do with anything

 

Except that if I had

Disrespect now showing

I might have felt them rest

And had more of my own:

A web of branches overhead

My father’s skill beneath

And the noise of night

Singing as it should

For the child’s ears

 

C L Couch

 

 

Photo by manu schwendener on Unsplash

Münsterplatz, Basel, Switzerland

Antares lights at the Christmas market in Basel. More here https://manuschwendener.ch/2016/12/04/antares

 

Visible and Invisible

Visible and Invisible

 

The Lord sings,

and there’s a world.

The Spirit shimmers, and love

all inspires.

The Child touches one and then another,

and everything is better.

Healing and teaching,

death and resurrection.

 

There are other personages

in other stories.

I like well enough this tale of mine, which

comes from a people I must own.  I am

content mostly to do so.

 

I want to learn more and more:

to hear the single notes

that rise into a melody

of sacred time

for sacred dance.

 

And everything is better.

 

C L Couch

 

 

CC BY-SA 2.0 fr, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=125333

English: Coptic crosses in Philae Temple of Isis. Aswan, Egypt.
Français : Autel chrétien dans à l’intérieur du temple d’Isis à Philaé. Assouan, Égypte
Image taken by Gilles RENAULT

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