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Gospel According to Today

(x = space)



Gospel According to Today


The gospel for today

Is pick something

Choose something like a star

Says Frost

Or enter through time’s wrinkle

Teaches L’Engle

Who taught us to type this way?

They have names

And objects as names

They are the first typewriter

Makers, manufacturers,

And agents

Not bad people

How would we have got this far?


Forget them all today

Go outside

And listen for good news

Type it on your minds

Let your tongues be pages

As you tell


What is wonderful

And challenging

And terrible

And potential

In the day


C L Couch



Photo by alyssa teboda 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





It’s Sunday, and I’m tired

Somewhere the Gospel’s being read

And someone’s teaching from it

Good words, I’d like to think

I am here and writing differently about

A story that won’t be read in church

Not to sour-grape it

I don’t mind the anonymity

My story’s sad and uninspiring, unless

One needs to hear about

A mundane struggle, mostly secular

The seeking of good news inside one’s head

Though it’s not there

Not in the neighbor’s heart, either

It’s in the book

It’s in the neighbor’s heart

It’s in my head

(My heart, too)

But I have to hear

With two sets of ears that hear

In case the first set’s not so functional

(If you didn’t know, the deaf tend

To hear better)


Until something is opened

Nothing is going to happen

That’s the capacity that’s missing

And the action


They are there

It’s simple access, really

Like most things, altruism, sympathy,

Or sacrifice,

It’s made

It happens

With a choice

And on a tired day

When Sunday best is not enough

(It rarely is)

When the soul is split between awakening

Or remain embraced within the monolith


Half-shut is still half-open

And sides are being called for

Final play


Choose this day

Choose, this day


C L Couch



gospel choir

image courtesy of Charlotte Zoller





Today we need to save the world

Because we don’t know how

We sit in the dark, a fine day for crucifixion

We betray all elements

In chosen ignorance of how to fix things


Not to those who know better

Who have the technicalities

Each of us in normalcy must choose

To save the world

Our own heroes in a comic book

And like those stories,


Our local universe is at stake


C L Couch





I don’t know much about the world

It seems

I wish it were better


I’m offended

And I’m angry

Who really wants to care?


We have other things to do, less

Pandering to moods

Chosen when something more promising

Could be selected


Another code pressed on the emotion

Vending machine

I wonder maybe we have a number of tokens

And then the rest are gone

For deciding badly


For too-small convictions

When being noble in an un-ranked way

Would make the difference


Would light the factories

Would illuminate

Pockets and portals of prosperity

Nether (never) world

Intentions hide


Give it a chance

A two-step beneath the table

Smiling for no reason


The joy in dawn-split morning

Or romantic night

The splendid times when

In spite of rusted gags and


Joy breaks free

Black Life Matters

an opinion expressed potently
in a White House meeting about
murdered Blacks, the living
marginalized—here’s my response


Black Life Matters

Do I even need to say it
Yes, I do

My best friend was Black
He died too young—
Complications from surgery

What a teacher
And a humorist as well
At least, to me

I am not Black, part
Native American according
To a family historian,
Which is good, though
Looking at me, I doubt
That you could tell

I am not female; I am
The enemy: an older,
White male

I eschewed the ol’-boy
Invitation and have
Often paid the price

Not in my life (though
Maybe there, too)
But in my work
In which I’ve lost the
Favored political place

Maybe each one has
A circle drawn around
From fear and politics

Leaving that (or never
Entering) means that
Protection from the
Core is not available

And some measure of
Persecution too easily
Is acted on

“Loving Engagement”
From a better Black-drawn
Circle of union and
Society change—I don’t
Know if I’ll be let in,
Resembling and, appropriately
(Regrettably), perceived

I’d stay in the back
And write my verse
In which I argue that
All are free

And should be free

That to usurp the job of
God in assessing human
Worth is about as wrong
As this world can get

Black folk (Black discourse
Uses that word; and,
Being from Kentucky, I like
Folk and folks, though I’d
Change the old state-song
Lyrics, too)—Black folk are
Self-determining, of course

I cringe to have to make the
The claim, as all persons,
Being made, are free and
Free to choose



Psalm 17, a difficult song about mourning

Psalm 17
a difficult song about mourning

Lord, how do we mourn
in a free land? How do
we allow atrocity and

still have the freedom
to choose? We do not
cry in empty space: but

our crying would be worse
in a revenge-wrought iron
land, where security

would be the only aim
and no one would have
open air to breathe

or drop tears for the
dead and for the living.
We must choose to

choose. Not to allow
evil or to destroy
democracy. Mourning

and breathing while we
arm, yes, and await
evil’s annihilate implosion.

For now we choose, in
a free place, to bear
the weight of death—in

nations wounded and in
the raw-split parts
of the human heart.

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