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Catbird

(x = space)

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Catbird

(recalled)

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I’d like to speak

Of God

But sometimes silence

Is called for

To listen to the maybe

Maybe something grand

Maybe single

Bird-call

Can one hear the dawn

Or the vibrations in

The setting sun?

Hearing apparatus

Is not required

So much as to

Open up whoever we are

Enough to gather in

What the quiet Earth

Has to say

A gift for any, all the senses

We may have

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Speak through the Earth

If we are mute

Savor unimpeded,

Unreconstituted wind

If we have lost our

Sense of taste

Let the sun move us through

The day

If we have no movement

Otherwise

What we’ve had,

What we’ve never had,

What we’ve lost

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We have so much

To take in

Then contribute

To the cause,

Nourishing

And strengthening

All our

Good communities

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C L Couch

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On the Road from Stanley to Boise, Idaho

By TonyCastro – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=83018649

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Writing Us

(x = space)

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Writing Us

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I suppose

We have to talk about ourselves

Each utterance an unwilling

Biography

I want to hear your story

And in the electron universe I do,

And I am thankful

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I hope that you are well

I hope that God protects you

Via angels

Or the arrival of a cathartic,

Gentler day

Then when inner wind’s inhaled

Back to the fray

That is the rest of today

Into tomorrow

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So I might hear,

Inshallah,

And you tell me

Tell us all

So we might breathe

For sharing

And consider this community

With certain anonymities

Withstanding

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Talk to me

I can talk back

Unless listening

In the quiet space between us

Is better

For the call

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C L Couch

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Photo by Ricardo Gomez Angel on Unsplash

Drops

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Frozen Yellow Rose

(x = space)

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Frozen Yellow Rose

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Is this a prose-poem or an essay or a Sunday homily (the text would be the Good Samaritan)?  I don’t know, but here it is.  Something I heard at church from those who were there.  I mean, were there in Houston.

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here’s what happened in Houston (Texas, USA) yesterday:

most homes do not have fireplaces and instead rely on electricity to power furnaces for heat and appliances for cooking and computers, but the power grid is out, it’s blank in Houston;

in grills or in makeshift places, Duralogs were burned and any wood that could be found or any charcoal left from summer or, indeed in a deep Southern place, the last time there was a barbecue;

the feeling was post-apocalyptic

there was a certain grocery store that powered up enough generators to preserve food and to allow people inside safely, though the numbers who could enter at a time were severely limited (because there is a pandemic raging ‘round the world and through Houston); this meant that there were thousands outside the store in line, waiting for their turn;

keep in mind it’s extra winter there just now, the temperature having gone into the teens during the day;

the manager of this grocery store or maybe it was the owner, walked up and down the line outside and said to folks, if you can’t pay for your groceries just now, don’t worry—get what your family needs, bread and baby food and such;

according to those who were there, this kind of thing was happening all over the city

coda

this does not account or provide sustenance for those assailed by the crisis of collapsing glacial ice in India that has stolen the lives of scores of people; this does not take care of COVID-19 or provide vaccine, something that the world sorely needs; this does not answer all the problems and frankly all the disasters that we suffer with here and there on planet Earth; it is a single story, and maybe we could let it have the power of a single story, which like creation stories or apocalypses or “The Gift of the Magi” or “The Artist of the Beautiful,” can be, well, pretty powerful

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C L Couch

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Power Failure: How a Winter Storm Pushed Texas into Crisis

https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/article/Power-failure-How-a-winter-storm-pushed-Texas-15967411.php

Around 2 a.m. Monday, the full measure of the crisis Texas faced began to be apparent. Cold and ice had set in the day before, leading to spreading power outages across the state.

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Photo by Vlad Busuioc on Unsplash

Downtown, Houston, Texas, United States

drone view of a city

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Gatherings

Gatherings

 

There are many thoughts

In the in-between

Waking, prior to rising

But now there’s light and rising

Ablutions, coffee-making

And they’re mostly gone

Damn

There were some good things

There

 

Now I have to work it

Strive to half-express

Not give everything away

Not only because I do not know

But also so that, you know,

There is something

For you

 

It’s all for you at last

I will be absent

This is what you will have

Copyright and other

Social niceties aside

This it’s yours

As anyone who sets these down

Might say

It’s all for you

 

So what do we have?

We are in a circle

(please sit down)

Taking part in great

Ordinary meaning

These circles happening anywhere

Or so they should

To share responses

And like Pietists

To temper revelation

Our event horizon, so to say,

Is now and what’s next

A crisis, maybe

Always an opportunity

Remember to be civil

Give everyone a turn

Don’t let one thing take over

Though everything is bias

 

That’s okay

It has to be

It’s natural

Impulsive

It’s how we were made

And if you don’t go for making

It’s practical, alone

 

Our circle might contract

Better to expand

To divide when a certain number’s reached

Nothing wrong with chapters

We can communicate

We’ll need an index

 

But this will be

Good turning and good living

 

C L Couch

 

 

Photo by Sebastian Schuppik on Unsplash

Berlinka, gallery café & bistro, Slovakia

 

The Formal Feeling

The Formal Feeling

(title from Emily Dickinson)

 

Catharsis after tragedy

The sad rush we feel, knowing

The experience is over, that we got it

Vicariously,

That it will not happen to us

And by the way

The community depicted now is stronger

It’s after the terrible and blessed

Have both transpired

And watchers leave the scene

(we leave the theatre)

To go home, chastened and relieved

It wasn’t us

They got their due

Their nation will be better

Let’s go home

 

It’s not closure

(what is)

For a future ticket will bring it all to

Action, opportunity, and desire

For mortal flaws to seed

And then to flourish

And are these analogues for

Life outside

Well, for those who must

Who will not learn

By mastery of organs or

Of language

Who will not hear

And will not heed delaying paradise

So not to have it at all

 

C L Couch

 

 

image from a production of Hamlet, 1899

 

Barn-Raising

Barn-Raising

 

It’s a day, a process

As long as many are involved

It stands a chance

But that’s the deal: we must

Come together to make it

Happen

And afterward we have a barn

And each other

All in company

 

Maybe the U.N. should go into this

Raising barns in needful places

And then making delegates

Raise barns in troubled places

No doubt some of the work would be bombed

And other work burned down

We have to allow

For that without ever

Approving

 

C L Couch

 

 

Catskill Animal Sanctuary Needs Your Help to Complete New Barn …

 

To Stanford and the Rest

To Stanford and the Rest

 

Rape ruins lives

It is not the end

But it is an end

 

You are too many

You can’t provide

For all of you

Make smaller then

Your schools and

Your communities

 

We think coming together

And layering

Big crowds in accretion

Speak to progress and

The good in us

 

But large looms and then

Shadows grow larger

In which we hide the

Worse longings of the

Heart

 

Planning destruction

To call it strategy

And high living

 

Grow up, grow down

Grow out, grow in

Or grow apart

 

Take care of each

Or give it up

Brave lives endure

In spite of you

That is the message now

Canada on Fire

Canada on Fire

 

Wish it were an idiom

Expression of fashion

A bon mot, small jest

Here

 

But the country burns

In unbordered reach

Of untamed fire

Destroying all that

Lives: dissolved into

Libation for a demon’s

Thirst of unsatisfied

Flame

 

With all we have and

Are—think, feel, pray,

Help

 

Reaching must meet

Rescue,

 

Our community rain

Life

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