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Visit to a Third Planet

Visit to a Third Planet


Who’s hungry

Raise your hands

Now those of you who have

Extra food

There are millions of you

And we’ll take it one by one

Find an outstretched hand

Take hold

Place food in it

If need be, help with preparation

Then be pleased to sit

At the table


Anyone who’s cold

Millions of you with extra blankets

One by one, gently and firmly

Place them



Anyone who’s thirsty

Is a bigger deal

Because we keep poisoning the water

But for now there still is more

Pass it out in safe containers

To those for whom

Answering thirst is life


Who needs shelter

Millions of us know how to

Build roofs and walls

And bridges that will get

Each one security

To home


Now who’s lonely

Who’s afraid

Who needs countries that provide

They’re here

They can help


Can all the multitudes

Nations and people

Provide assistance

Well, we can

I think we know

That we can

We shall


C L Couch

Welcome to The Helpful Art Teacher, an interdisciplinary website linking visual arts to math, social studies, science and language arts.

image (kindly) used with kind permission


Delhi and Flint

Delhi and Flint

Pay for water; no water comes

There is no Moses at the spring
To channel water from an
Ordinary source made
Miraculously (cleanly) abundant
Through divine agency

Flint, a town in Michigan,
Faced with lead-infecting water
For the families and the other
Centers of community

Delhi, the second most-populated
City, now with broken waterways
Facing silent threats of thirst
And starvation and disease

Mis-directed plans, protests
Aggressive, violent

Innocents trapped between;

For lack of clean, living currents,
Why cannot—in global, protected
Pipes the size of bunkers made
Of (lead-free) new solid kinds
Of concrete and PVC (see, plastic
Can have its use)—why cannot

The world simply drink?

I’d do the same with food to
Stave off starving, if I could, and
Disease, if it could be tunneled
Under without harming anything,

But instead of magic utterances
Or nations’ decrees

I have only these

The Farm Show

(what we celebrate)

The Farm Show

The Farm Show is happening
in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania,
the state capital. If you’ve
ever shopped, looked at the
markings on a package of food,
and seen (you may say penna-
dept) “Penna. Dept. of
Agriculture,” that’s us.
That’s Pennsylvania. With
standards so high for food
that theirs is an approving
agency relied on
‘round the world.

Not local mythology (not
yet), this state (my state
for now) is important for
food—and the annual
Farm Show is a celebration
of this.

Is there anything better
to recognize than organic
eatable or otherwise livable
selection? I know there’s
a classically brutal aspect
to farming of most kinds.
Animals are raised to
die, lands are turned under
losing ancient undergrowth
and artifact, and now
there’s the tension of
losing farm land itself to
other development. But
for now and anyway, we
celebrate what we need
to eat.

Sheep-to-shawl (alpaca-
to-shawl) and field-
to-shelf, the process of
feeding, clothing, and
sheltering America and
the world is exhibited. Yes,
there are statues made
of butter. Enjoy! (A PA
celebrity famous for saying
that, although he said it
twice.) And there are
auctions for animals.
Many shows of the rodeo
kind abound, and many
buy the food there as well,
which I’m afraid refers to
some snacks better-suited
for carnivals. Though baked
potatoes don’t sound so bad.
Even loaded. Even chased
with a Pennsylvania dairy-
made milk shake. (Sorry, Mister
Weldon Johnson, but for these
Bits of cooperative creation:
That’s good!)

These festivals take place
elsewhere, certainly. And
so might we agree that
raising up the cause of
(say viddles) victuals is
worthy for all? (To borrow
again:) That’s good!

Missive. Truly yours,
from Harrisburg’s
Farm Show.

C L Couch

Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
January 2016

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