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Christmas

3 poems for summer solstice

(x = space)

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3 poems for summer solstice

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Merry July

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Solstice

It’s summer now

Summer weather smacks us

Here

Temps aiming for 90

I guess in Australia

New Zealand

New Guinea

Little America

Winter is begun

Throw logs on the fire

Sing winter carols

Withholding Christmas and

The other holidays

‘Til the start of summer

In December

Christmas in July

A custom mostly mercantile

In the north

Could be the real thing

With trees and

Were it high enough

Some snow

Ornaments and lights

Certainly

Merry Christmas in

Alice Springs

Wellington

Tierre del Fuego

On the Falklands

At the southern pole

Santa’s summer home

Like winter

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Intentions

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God, what shall I

Say to you?

I worship you

In contemporary ways

I’m sorry for sins

You have seen in me

And known for centuries

I thank you for your presence

Having made all good things

And the ways to deal

With the bad

I ask of you

To welcome home

Those who die

And heal those who live

Cure cancer

End war

Well, I can ask

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Siblinghood

x

It’s like science fiction

Slipping out of time

Our of normalcy

Eating meals on time

Cleaning on a schedule

Ingrained expectations

Instinctive, conditioned

Responses

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To fall outside of these

To live with fewer clothes

To hope for decent meals

In penury,

To dream of trips

But only travel like Thoreau

Walking to and from

The town

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Everything else happens

On the inside

How sad this is

At least how strange

But there’s a purpose

Those who fall outside

Will look back

And when not wistful

Will prophecy

In art

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C L Couch

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Saint John’s (Midsummer) Fire at Dragør Beach (Denmark)

XSimon, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=53634435

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Christmas Tomorrow

(x = space)

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Christmas Tomorrow

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Christmas is

As Christmas does,

Which makes little sense

To say

x

I must watching and listening to

Doctor Who messing about

With time and space

And tense

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Then, again, why not

Do Christmas, the

Way some of us

Do lunch?

Or, better yet,

Lunch can be a verb

Without

An object’s help, as in

I lunched

With so-and-so today

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Christmas as a verb,

An action that helps people

In a newborn way

Maybe toward reconciliation,

Maybe simply

Opening a gift of

Time, of small materials,

Of love

x

To Christmas every day–

Merry Christmas Boxing Day

And Merry Christmas New Year’s Day

And Groundhog’s Day

And equinox

The other solstice

Then the first one

Again

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And, more importantly,

Merry Christmas in

Our ordinary time

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C L Couch

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Photo by Valentin Antonini on Unsplash

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Trying Time

(x = space)

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Trying Time

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Christmastime is here

Guaraldi plays to this

We shop

We pray

We put up stock

In pantries

To last throughout assembly

And the lie-in, after

After

All the franticness is done

x

Christmastime is here

Days on

To get ready

Hours, minutes

Winding down

Christmas will happen, anyway,

You know

A festive day

Followed by more days

Maybe eleven

The partridge sings the day

All we have to do is sing

Along

Or, if we’re tired,

Only listen

x

C L Couch

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Photo by Jad Limcaco on Unsplash

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Advent 4

(x = space)

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Advent 4

(in pandemic time)

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The test was negative

An early Christmas present

So I’m sick with something else

A strain of flu the shot

Could not take cover of,

A cold that has

Gone deep

x

A sliced-up immune system

Trauma, medication

Treatments, operations

But I’m here

And should be

For Christmas day

x

And, yes, I’m thankful

I’d rather be

Knit together better

But I’m here

Have all appendages

Insides busted up, here and there

While finding aging

To be a cranky business

‘Tis the season

x

‘Tis the season

The wreath is almost done

The Hanukkah lights

Have been done for days

The early miracle

The rituals continue

Lights and green and red and gold

And have I finished all the gathering

For the holiday?

You know, I think I could say

“Stop” and “ready”

Anytime

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I hope the world

Beyond sectarian

Has a fine Christmas time

The solstice will happen soon

With tiny increments toward

Spring

Cold weather

Hot toward the south

Until it chills again

But Christmastide all over

All kinds of holidays

With expectations

x

Maybe we may take

Some freer, fuller breaths

Because much of the world

Is slowing down

And ceasing for a time

And, if not,

We can imagine

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Fill the time

With something good

With something stopped

With easy joy

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C L Couch

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Photo by Grant Whitty on Unsplash

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Modranicht

(x = space)

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Modranicht

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Maybe I need a break

Go somewhere

Look at lights that others

Have put up

Phantom merrymaking

On my part

No, wait, they were put up

For me and others like me

To go by

To gaze at from afar

Appreciate the rainbow lights

Against the snow,

If snow,

Against the dark

Of night

Of loneliness

Of season’s night

Of season’s loneliness

That say, we’re here

And some of us

Are here for you

x

C L Couch

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Modranicht, Night of the Mothers (a Yule celebration, now Christmas Eve)

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Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash

Ilkley, United Kingdom

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Red, Gold, and Green

(x = space)

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Red, Gold, and Green

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Friends are back,

And they will leave again

I come and go

As well

We are the

“Karma Chameleon”

x

There is more space

Here, because good people

Took some

Things away

To have new homes and uses

Elsewhere

x

Not all is well:

Headaches

Of all kinds

You know

I try to sleep

I try to write

x

But the sun is out

The humidity is broken for

A while

There is a-c and another fan;

There is food in

The fridge

And on some shelves

x

Not exactly

Christmas in July

And, yes,

Christmas in July

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C L Couch

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“Karma Chameleon” by Culture Club

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Photo by Sonder Quest on Unsplash

Rockefeller Center, New York City, United States

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The Magician’s Children

(x = space)

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The Magician’s Children

(Christmas 2020)

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It’s a magic time

The animals will talk at midnight

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Light of many colors

Will shine inside and outside

Of hours

And tall buildings in the city

x

People who don’t believe

Will be quiet for a while

Almost in honor of the child

x

Christmas might be

A chore for them,

But they take the quiet anyway,

Until the noises of the morning

In the household begin

x

And there are those who will be quiet

Because they are the only ones,

Each one in a home of sorts

To bring in the day

On one’s own

x

Each one has a job

To send out the peace

Just beyond, until the next one

Take it,

Send it out in thought or feeling

Or a prayer

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Others will be so busy

But the lonely could do this

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Create a spirit-band across the world

Through many places,

Many nations,

Many destinations

That can’t be reached yet

x

Someday, perhaps

When we have enough health,

Enough determination,

Enough interest in the risk

x

Merry Christmas to each one

And from each to everyone

Live in peace for a day

And remember that a day

Can be an age

x

C L Couch

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Photo by Daniil Silantev on Unsplash

Ozero Turgoyak, Челябинская область, Россия

Ice on the Lake Turgoyak

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A Night to Remember

(x = space)

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A Night to Remember

(Christmas Eve)

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So there’s this sleigh

A regrettable homonym;

It might be as big as a spaceship

In a science-fiction series,

One that might carry generations

To the next set

Of sun and planets

x

The sleigh could have a crew,

Though

We know of only one,

The captain and the power

That comes from reindeer

x

There are deliveries to make,

Though what might be most important

Is the trip around the world

In certitude

We have a world to play with

And work on

For keeping homes

With some promise of a future

Under brick and wood and canvas,

Stone and shale

x

Will it be a merry Christmas

For those who don’t believe?

Well, why not

x

No punishment is promised inside

Skepticism;

One might simply enjoy

The colors, the materials, the brilliant

Detritus, after

All the domestic parties

‘Round a tree or in another

Fine arrangement

Or in a place that looks the same

As it did the day before—

Thank goodness, there are no requirements

x

It’s a day,

A unique day we’ve held

In the offing

In anticipation

For a while

x

C L Couch

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A Night to Remember is the name of an old, bittersweet movie.

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By Sierra Nevada Space Systems – Sierra Nevada Space Systems, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=25460329

Artist’s conception of the Dream Chaser commercial human space transportation vehicle docked to the International Space Station.

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silent flesh

(x = space)

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silent flesh

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god made into flesh

while divinity wasn’t noticing

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how else could perfection

give up eternal everything,

knowledge and power

and everything we want

and some of us think we should have

right now

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jesus, god and human

how hard must that be

and who among of us would do it

knowing invincibility would be

a memory, only

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as mortal, god would know us

as god might know a deer

or a rainbow

or unrequited love

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that is, from the inside out

from the other side of creation

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god will know us

as we live

give up a cure for every illness

prevention in perfection

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excruciating

loving

all love because

there is no other reason

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c l couch

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notes

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reading a prayer that mentions (I think) God made flesh (or maybe it was human) in a baby

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thinking of an old hymn whose lyrics I find haunting (with a haunting melody):

Let all mortal flesh keep silent

And in fear and trembling stand;

Ponder nothing earthly minded;

For with bless in his hand,

Christ our God to Earth descended,

Our full homage to demand

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Wellcome Collection, London, United Kingdom

The Body

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