I talk you talk we'll talk



Eve X

(x = space)



Eve X


I cannot help

But love the evening

Maybe you feel the same

And in the quiet night

A miracle

And it can’t have been quiet

With the mother

And the father

And the animals

And the outside

Night noises

And yet the heart is quiet



There is the birth

To contemplate

In the dark

And after


An extraordinary light

That might be candlelight

Or dawn

Or an inside



And it could happen

In an hour of

Any Christmas Eve

With apologies to mothers

And to fathers

And to animals

The wilderness


But we might need

Silent consideration

Of it all

And then to have a new day

In more silence

Or the noise

Of a wonderful

However illuminated




And light


And lights

We might need both

To understand

How a birth leads

To eternal life

Because it may

It does


C L Couch



Photo by Remy Gieling on Unsplash

Believer holding candle at evening church ceremony in Paris.


We Didn’t Know Who You Was

(x = space)



We Didn’t Know Who You Was

(Christmas Eve)


Let’s not slice it to death

This time

Let’s simply have observances

Let all the contradictions go

We know there’s folklore involved,

Which should fascinate


There was such darkness

At hand

Of one kind or another

Of the past, of

The present

Lack of awareness

Of the import of events;

Only to the players

Did things matter,

They in acts

No one to put it all together until Luke

And a little bit in Matthew and in John


Prophets old and new

We have to say

Knew and know some measure

Of the meaning

Of it all

They are extracted

And we read them, too


Such dulled and slow senses

Sometimes history goes that way

Sometimes it’s spiritual

The people walked in darkness

There might be other forces, too,

To keep us from the light


But it is there

The birth is there

Incarnation as a doctrine

Thought some of it at least

Might have been as any birth

A baby in the world

This one in a cave

And that’s unusual

And all around

The mystery

The strangeness

There was adventure in the sky

And from some people

Who in an iron empire

Chose to dedicate another lord,

Another life to follow


The child is God

But who knew that?

Mary and Joseph


And the magi knew something

While the shepherds were told something

As good news

This is the messiah!

Who really understood?

How could a baby save the world

Who is not Caesar

With family, tutors, strategists

Sheltered behind stone walls,

Armies out front

That keep the world

For them?


Well, other parts conspired

Into a birth, a life

That through faith

And later patchwork

Yielded doctrine

And a way

The people of the way


As on that night

(let’s call it a night)

There would be amazement

There would be awful things as well

But wonder now

And wonder later on

And with us, still


Praise God, for God is good

God is love

God is a spirit

Who wonders now

And offers light inside the darkness,

The kind of darkness that is not

Romantic but it

Stultifies and kills


Believe the child

Humbly, take the child in

To dwell with you

Maybe like a foundling, at the start,

Then as a teacher

And a savior

And a temple of salvation

In the city of God

(new heaven)

And on God’s free land

(new Earth)



Sweet, little Jesus child,

They made you be born in a manger;

Sweet, little holy child,

We didn’t know who you was.


Didn’t know you’d come to save us, Lord,

To take our sins away:

Our eyes was blind, we could not see;

We didn’t know who you was.


We didn’t know who you was

Maybe we should have

Maybe we can, now,

And into new ages

Love revealed

Prophecy fulfilled

The child grows up

We grow up


And for this night we way

Welcome to the world, child,

And everything that starts



C L Couch



could be a choral or a choir reading


“Sweet, Little Jesus Child” is a song of African American origin.  The precise source is unknown, and there are variants and variations.


This is the third in a creative, liturgical series for Advent and Christmas.  The other two parts are the last two days’ posts.  I think I’ll work on something else now.


Photo by Agung Raharja on Unsplash


In Darkness

I’ve been having trouble with WordPress.  I can’t leave comments on your pages.  I get an “error” block that tells me to go back and when I do I still get the “error” block.  I don’t know if anyone has experienced this.  Maybe the problem is with my computer.  Frustrating!

This won’t fix the problem and doesn’t really address it; but if want to get in touch with me (especially while I’m not able to reach you via the blog), you may use my e-mail address,




(x = space)



In Darkness


A child is born

Into this?

How cruel

Such cruelty

If God should call this down

A child of God

(a child?)

Then why not to cushions

In a palace

For a start?

Why not with special parents

In a prominent family?

Why not with

Advisors and with teachers

Frankly, generals




Why not with a well-known name

Conveying might

Mixed with celebrity?



There are two such places

You are inviting debate

And neither is a capital

An important place

For births

Unless by the mother stopped

By happenstance

On the way to Jerusalem

Or Rome

Somewhere we can argue is

The center of the world

Where we can triumph

(two drum beats)

Where are the triumphs?


Where are the angels


Well, there are

The angels

We are frightened

They say

Don’t be afraid

(we are afraid)


Good news?

To our cynic selves we know

There is never good news


And who are the shepherds?

Smelly men

Who should be outside town

Yet they pass us by

With purpose




Bethlehem, again

And we people of the world

Maybe we should follow


Or, you know,

We could wait for the news

When it’s official

The sky is dark again

With normal night

We have two years

And more,

Should something else


(two drum beats, bells)


C L Couch



A companion piece to yesterday’s.  Another one tomorrow—there you will have a trilogy of liturgy for Advent and Christmas Eve.  Or for some other reason.  Or for none.  Note this verse has sound effects.  They can be left out, I’m sure.



Photo by Lasse Møller on Unsplash


The People Walked

The People Walked


God announces

God’s own birth

An absurdity of prophecy

Things bang together

Light good

Dark bad

(for now

for often dark is good)

People in darkness

Who understands?

God is coming

But God is here

God has been here

From the start

Before the start

God was

And is

And shall be

And now, what,

A child?

A virgin birth,

Come on


A working together

Of generations,


So that everything

Comes together


Too much

It is too much

You try the words too much

The documents are old

And sacrosanct

We keep them in a temple

Leave them be

What we believe

Is in the temple

Leave it be

We sacrifice flora and fauna

We dedicate

Our children

We don’t need another child

Or of such scandal

Leave us be


We are specific

We are everyone


We have freedom

In measure

We hate the other measure

But taxes

And armies

Are the world

It could be worse

It has been worse

We plot

Inside the darkness

In our own planning time

As we say,

Leave us be


So God is coming

And it’s taken centuries

Ages, if we count

From the beginning

And before

The God who answered nothing

With creation

And now a child

Without instruction

For our training

As a Caesar

(any Caesar)

This is too much

We have our own children

And for Caesar

Charges and complaints

From Spain and France

Morocco, Egypt

To Iraq and Israel

Rumors in Russia, India, and


All the world



And everywhere we know

Is burden

Don’t weigh us down with more

Words and promises

And obligations


You expect us to believe?



C L Couch



I don’t know how I got to thinking about Christmas while summer is hot on.  Maybe it’s wishful thinking, though I like the seasons as they happen.  Maybe I need a charge of faith, like a CO2 cartridge making soda pop in the soda fountain.  Maybe I need some soda pop.  Maybe I’m preparing what might seem way ahead for liturgies in Advent (the good news and the difficult).  Or maybe a little future holiday (of any number of holidays) is okay for the present, that is, right now.


Photo by Alistair MacRobert on Unsplash


When Day and Night Knew Each Other Well

When Day and Night Knew Each Other Well


We had a solstice over the weekend

And a new moon


It was easier

To live in the dark

A hundred years ago

And a hundred more

Maybe a hundred more

Not to equate darkness with ignorance,

Not at all


Imagine how the stars must

Have been,

For certainly they’ve changed

How secret was a secret

When extinguishing a candle

Could blow out the gathering

Make unreadable

An agenda

To send us home, instead


The greater darkness

Wasn’t bad or good

It was

It was the setting

And the means

Maybe we paid more attention then

Our night-vision was better

When ambience was lightless

In the distance

Or up front


It might have been generally possible

Not to see the hand before the face

And not to be afraid of that

Maybe darkness

Was a friend

To the criminal

And carpenter, alike

The darkness said

Slow down

Don’t move without

Knowing where you’re going


It was a signal

For the rest

For rest

(yes, maybe in a forest)

Maybe for rehabilitation:

Come the new day

You will be needed with

New muscles

And a readiness

In attitude

To contribute to

An ever-new, new world


C L Couch



Photo by Gabriel on Unsplash


Dark Heart

Dark Heart


Light, bring me light!

It must be nice to call for it

A monarch

Then expect it

If I want light, I’ll have to get it

Not to complain

I have matches that strike on anything

And it’s one payment of my bills

That’s current

And now we have the bulbs

That light and last

That are expensive

That is a promise of investment in


As for what’s inside, I’m unsure what to say

We say or see each new idea

As a light

A symbol in a balloon

A cartoon moment without words

Light to curse the darkness

Say the Christophers

Because darkness isn’t always bad

We call them the Dark Ages

We called it the dark continent

Though that was agenda

And racism

The agenda of racism

Belief to form a profit

Over people

Maybe we do better with the heart of darkness

Maybe not

But that is the end of light at the horizon

The entrance of the Congo

And the human being

And who is the main character

If not the continent itself

That without restraint

(another sort of character)

Ruins each of us—

And whose restraint


C L Couch



Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad, 1899 serially in Blackwood’s Magazine, published (whole) with other stories in 1902


The mission of The Christophers is to encourage people of all ages, and from all walks of life, to use their God-given talents to make a positive difference in the world. The mission is best expressed in The Christophers’ motto: “It’s better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.”


Photo by Nathan John on Unsplash


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