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Stone Soup

(x = space)

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Stone Soup

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I don’t know what to say today

I want you to have a good day

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And for a while

To know good days

And what to do when days are bad

Beyond the dreaming we all do

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So that it’s

What we know to do with what we have

Sometimes that’s hard

And hard to believe we have

I’m poor

I know

Too close to the legacy

Of art and artists

x

But I know good people

Am learning to ask

And not gauge heaven by response

Or lack thereof

But to keep trying

x

Also allowing expectation

We live

We are entitled to live

I don’t know about evil people

I know so few

You are entitled, too, I suppose

I am not God

And cannot judge as God

x

But the many, many, many

Of us who are not evil, not pure good

A mix, you know–

Choose a complementary color

We are colors

We color the world

x

And are deserving

You deserve

A good day and another

A whole bunch like bananas

Or corn kernels on the cob

Or other things so many colors

(as I’ve said)

x

Anyway,

A wish is not a horse

Or an electric car

And, drat, we have to try

The curse of Adam, some would say

Eve is cursed as well

But curses are not endings

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“We have to make our own way,”

I just heard,

Which is true

And there’s so much more

There’s you

There’s me

And any me or you who happens

To be close to you or me

In distance

Actual

Or relative

(and there’s cyber-),

Which is to say

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A nearness

(actual or relative)

To help make life

One bowl of stone soup

At a time

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C L Couch

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     Stone Soup is a European folk story in which hungry strangers convince the people of a town to each share a small amount of their food in order to make a meal that everyone enjoys, and exists as a moral regarding the value of sharing. In varying traditions, the stone has been replaced with other common inedible objects, and therefore the fable is also known as axe soup, button soup, nail soup, and wood soup.

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Statue of a monk and stone soup (sopa da pedra) in Almeirim, Portugal

By Adriao – Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7645719

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Escape Room

(x = space)

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Escape Room

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Once again

For Passover,

Too many now

Are refugees

Fleeing Pharaohnic tyranny

Fear from explosions

Falling walls

Broken bodies

Family annihilation

Other countries take them

Sacred and secular

The people

The new homes

More than Jews in Ukraine

More people leaving

Refugees from Syria

Those who are “repatriated”

(strategic term)

From island nations

To the south

Those who want to leave for life

From Mexico,

Parts of Central America

And when there’s disaster,

We flee from parts

Of our land as well

x

Passover

For so many, many now

Might the angel of death

Give leave

For space and means

For victims

For escape

Blood on the lintels

Before leaving

Death for the victimizers

As angels

As an agency of God

See fit

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Passover

For Jews in Ukraine

Jews in Israel

And everywhere

Good people have to run

For life

x

C L Couch

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For Jews fleeing Ukraine, Passover takes on new meaning

“Good morning! Happy morning!” Rabbi Avraham Wolff exclaimed, with a big smile, as he walked into the Chabad synagogue in Odesa on a recent morning. Russian missiles had just struck an oil refinery in . . .

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Photo by Vitamina Poleznova on Unsplash

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The Gospel

(x = space)

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The Gospel

x

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The gospel in a word

Is love

The gospel in a word

Is news

The gospel in two words is

Saving story

The gospel is for you and me

And all of us

Yes, it is

No one is excluded

No matter how we wish it so

We might be disbelieving

When we meet them

Later on

Even then

It is a book of love, after all

A story of salvation

Good news for everyone

No one excluded

No adult swim

No east or west

North or south

Exclusions

I don’t know about a ladies’ night

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C L Couch

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Photo by Susan Wilkinson on Unsplash

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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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Who Wins

(x = space)

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Who Wins

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An empty room

Where there might have been a meal

Smell the hope and then the fear

And here’s a garden

Pretty

There was violence here

Now the plot is done,

Everything realized

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Another foe

Who sought to shift the blame

From Rome to us

Our need to have an enemy

To stoke our places

In tradition

x

The others should be caught

The followers

No hurry

The serpent is now headless

Only nerves remain

x

The world has won

And we are glad

Our own strategy to overthrow

Goes back into a box

In which there is less silver

To count

x

An easy price

To pay

For indolence

Now back to lethargy

We have time

And everything is scheduled quiet

Scheduled noise

Again

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C L Couch

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Photo by Daniel Katz on Unsplash

Masada

Lookout through ancient Masada building.

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Convictions

(x = space)

x

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Convictions

(last day of Lent)

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I look around at everything

Liturgically, it is the day before

A triumph

Such as Roman victors knew

No wonder Herod was frightened

And Pilate tactically

Concerned

None of it was sanctioned

It spoke to rebellion

Though everything was peaceful

In that way

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I look around

And wonder about everyone

How to celebrate an arrival

And then turn on the one

A few days later

Or however long it took

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I want to say I’m sorry

I look around at everything

And say I’m sorry

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C L Couch

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Photo by MAURICIO EJCHEL on Unsplash

Jerusalém, Israel

Traditional loaf salesman at Old Town in Jerusalem.

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You before Me

(x = space)

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You before Me

(for everyone)

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You’re in line

In front of me for friendship

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We’ve been here

For an age

And hear the hits,

One hit at a time,

Behind us

x

To feel the hit

Anonymous

Then know by instinct

Now

(it’s how the world works)

To strike the person

Back of the head in front

Anonymous (we’ll

get away with it)

And then receive

The things,

What people say

We’re due

x

In a line of greed

Even for an age,

Someone must turn first

To receive the slap

Looking into the face

x

Then the forward movement

Stops and painless

Possibilities considered

x

It’s risky

Being hit so hard

(regulations say each

must hit hard),

But all good things are chances;

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Life might end for me

Or in part,

Begin for you

And everyone

Ahead of you

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C L Couch

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Photo by Srivatsa Sreenivasarao on Unsplash

Four Birds and Reflections

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Me before You

(x = space)

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Me before You

(for youth)

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Peace in our time,

Which implied more strongly

Than the message

That there would be no peace

In their time,

The coming generation’s

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We bargain with our children’s

Lives and should

Know better,

Abrogating wisdom

And the sacrifice of us

So that they have a world

Better than we found it

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There used to be a message,

Parents investing

So that children should have

Better lives than theirs,

A message that had stopped

Variably in the seventies

And eighties,

Not to mention attitudes

Toward annihilation

From the war that was so cold

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Sorry about all that,

All this

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C L Couch

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Photo by Hasan Almasi on Unsplash

Freedom

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An Eighth Day

An Eighth Day

 

If we were given

an extra day,

would we play?

 

It if were announced,

a day that wouldn’t count

for acquisition,

a gift of food and air

and water,

a day when no one could

wage war

or victimize another,

would we play?

 

Would some say

not me,

I’m too urgent,

I have to impress,

nature to command,

so many things to hoard

and wielding bellicose conversation,

I will not play.

 

Well, go home, then.  You may

have a room in which to

exist; nothing

will work, and there will be

no toys.

 

Angels will referee, if need be,

though mainly they’ll be waiting

by the fields, near the water,

at the table in the

houses that have

family rooms

 

to help, to pass out balls and

gloves and discs that fly,

to spread out the board, play-cash,

and tokens

while everyone gets the piece

they want to play.

 

Everyone gets chosen

everyone feels first

everyone gets a turn;

agendas are released

and for a change, all genders

and colors are assets like

winning extra turns.

 

The cosmos will keep quiet,

slide over to tomorrow.

When it’s time, we’ll catch up fine.

After our eighth day

for play.

 

C L Couch

 

 

Nyla Moss, an eighth grader at Polaris Charter Academy, plays at Kells Park in Chicago’s West Humboldt Park neighborhood.

Andrew Gill/WBEZ

For West Side Students, Playing Outside Is Protesting Against Gun Violence

Linda Lutton

May 26, 2017

https://www.wbez.org/shows/wbez-news/for-west-side-students-playing-outside-is-protesting-against-gun-violence/3f7a4cb7-ec1c-4cc4-817e-3ee5e5ca865a

 

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