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Prevarication

(x = space)

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Prevarication

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How do I write about my brother

Again

And be ready one more time?

The doctor gave him time

Then that was it,

The doctor said

. . .

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C L Couch

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Photo by jules a. on Unsplash

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We Prayed Today

(x = space)

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We Prayed Today

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“Today is a privilege” she said she’d

Embroider on a pillow

And on the other side, “I’m still

Breathing”

Because for all the despondence,

The despair we take to prayer

In our group,

There is beauty and joy

And so much to love

In fact, it’s what we love that turns

That often

Leads us to prayer

Compels us

We pray for the good things, too,

Wanting the goodness

We pray over cherishing the messed-up

World we have

And the messed-up lives we care for

And our own

We say amen

Knowing it’s never

The end

And we say thank you

With intention

We mean it

We are grateful

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C L Couch

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Photo by KARTIK GADA on Unsplash

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Death and Saint Patrick’s Day

(x = space)

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Death and Saint Patrick’s Day

(17 March 2022)

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There has been

A death in the family

We will gather tonight

It might seem

As a wake

Though really it’s for comfort

Something pleasant

In all the difficulty

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Which is maybe what

A wake is

Why the Irish developed

The remembrance

Bittersweet

Like coffee with sugar

Porter in a glass

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Though the glasses

Won’t be broken

Ritually,

It might feel like a christening

Launching a spirit

Into heaven

While

Our part in having something

Unofficially good to do

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Goodbye

Farewell

Fair winds, as sailors

From many nations say,

And following seas

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C L Couch

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Photo by SpaceX on Unsplash

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How We Ate

(x = space)

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How We Ate

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Somehow,

We had turkey

On Thanksgiving and on

Christmas though not at any

Other time of year,

Not even from the deli

We had ham at Easter

Corned beef and cabbage on

Saint Patrick’s Day

Pork and sauerkraut for New Year’s

Cheeseburgers and fries,

Holiday cookies on

Christmas Eve

On Valentine’s my mother would make

And serve a two-later, pink

Heart-shaped cake

Speaking of cake, the Easter cake

Was made into the shape of

A bunny with coconut

For fur

With cardboard ears

The insides colored pink

With the carnation crayon,

Then all laid upon a grass of green-

Dyed coconut with jelly beans

Scattered in the grass

My brother Rick taking black jelly-beans

To place behind the bunny’s butt,

Which aggravated my mother

Every year

That was family holiday food

I could be missing something

We ate well

Better and better,

I’m thinking each year

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C L Couch

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Photo by Maddy Hunt on Unsplash

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(no, we didn’t eat bunnies—we were bunnies)

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Holy Families

(x = space)

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Holy Families

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Candles lit

Season’s days are counted

It’s easy, given the

Days, to think on

Family

The sacred family

The holy family

Set apart

Unusually constructed

Older husband

So it’s said

Check the old windows

His hair is thinning

Brown to gray

She in blue and white

Meaning peace

And youth

How often

That may happen

And the child

Born to the mother

Not the father

Though he will be the

Father as that

Matters day to day (and

it matters greatly)

A boy

Who grows

Then moves apart

To heal

And to teach

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This is the family

With the child

Warranting visits from

Shepherds

And from magi

With the calls of angels

Splitting the sky into

Pieces of cosmos

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A family

Spirit-set

And in that way

Each family is

A holy family

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C L Couch

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Loretto Motherhouse (Nerinx, Kentucky) – Seven Dolors stations, Station 2 – Flight into Egypt

By Nheyob – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=34985128

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Missioning

(x = space)

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Missioning

(for Mandy Shunnarah)

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It’s Wednesday

And a hump day

Too many cases breaking out

Al-Qaeda talking up Afghanistan

Fires in California

New Apple phones

Unveiled there

I need shoes

More importantly a place to live

Local friends are helping

And good thoughts

Come from everywhere

Faroff family stands by

I’m eaten up with nerves

They eat me

Consume the calm

Like the noise above

That means I’m leaving

After many years

Too many jobs

That took up all

My energy allotment

Concentration

And my attempts to rest

And now

Semi-retired

Accosted with all that

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My heart needs fixing up

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This should not

Be all for me

Too many people

Have revocable need

I pray

Others help

With worldly substance

So much more than I have

But this should not be for me

In what I cannot do

It’s to put out fires

Help first-responders

Let go those

Who have no perspective

Build up health

Yes

It’s true

And I must ask

For all of us

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C L Couch

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Mandy Shunnarah has been writing about skateboarding and skateboarding—forthcoming book, Midwest Shreds: Skaters and Skateparks of Middle America from Belt Publishing (fall 2022).  Hers is a positive, inclusive, encouraging voice.

https://mandyshunnarah.com/

https://www.offthebeatenshelf.com/blog

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Skateboard on Dry Lakebed

Photo by Kelsey Dody on Unsplash

Alvord Desert, Oregon, USA

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Love Song of the Mendicant

(x = space)

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Love Song of the Mendicant

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I sit by the side

Begging bread for my bowl

I drink thin liquid,

Hoping to sustain me

Is it Egypt

Of long ago,

A curb in Cairo

Or in Rome

Or New York City?

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We dream,

And in our dreams

We look for many things

Gold, perhaps—

More so for love, I think

The love of God

Of one another

Of those we know

And those we knew

Who have been away

For a long while,

Now

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Now

We wake

And everything begins again

We are cast outside

By the world’s demand

To beg for bread

And something cool

To drink

And that, with enough,

We can share with

Others

In our group,

With our family

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C L Couch

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Photo by Viviane Okubo on Unsplash

Palhano, Brazil

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Folding Expectations

(x = space)

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Folding Expectations

(thanks to Meg and Madeleine L’Engle)

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There’s a physics

In the characters

Who wake up late

And join each other

In the kitchen

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Eating liverwurst-and-onion

Sandwiches

And discussing tesseract,

Other functions and ideas,

The day,

The world,

And each other

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I can’t pardon their menu

But I applaud the way

They spend secret,

Winking time

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Wrinkling it,

To say,

Slipping a dynamo

Inside hours that pass

Most of us as

Static

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I long to sit

At Meg’s table

Then join her

Sometimes with siblings

On the seeing rock

Out back

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C L Couch

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photo by Vinicius “amnx” Amano on Unsplash

gym ceiling in sao paulo, brasil

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Wolf Gang

(x = space)

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Wolf Gang

(winter song)

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Up and down

The streets at night

Back and forth

Across the city

We go for what we want

We don’t care about

The human race

Except as a resource

For the things

We need

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It’s winter time,

Our favorite time

We take what we need

You could wish

For a gang as this

Keep wishing

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We owe no one anything

We take what

Evolution dictates

Our strength

Is a number, only

Each of us

Would rather be alone

As our howl sings

At the break of day

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We are wolves

We are alone

We haunt

The human mind

We break apart

To make each one

A scoundrel of the day

Then we sleep

We sleep long hours

Then when

The weakling day is done

We wake up to

The power of night

And

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And none of this

Is true

We are families

And our power’s for

Our children

And the pack

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We mate for life

We do not wander

Unless the food is far away

You might fear us

We need our teeth and jowls

And a howl that sings

We know you’re there

We sing

To each other

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What we want

Is life together

You ruin all our seasons

In the land

Sometimes

When you can’t hear,

We also cry to Earth

To punish you

And save us

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C L Couch

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This is a response to a prompt: https://wyrdwordsandeffigies.wordpress.com/2021/01/17/write-yourself-awake-wyrd-creative-writing-prompts/.  Katie writes fantastically about winter and folklore, self-awareness and the growth of self.  The prompt is for the season, and there are many good cues there from which to choose.  An opportunity to express (and thus enhance) creative health in winter.

https://wyrdwordsandeffigies.wordpress.com/

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Photo by Chris Henry on Unsplash

Canada

Please follow me on Instagram! @chrishenry

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