I talk you talk we'll talk



An Angel Visits Francis

(x = space)



An Angel Visits Francis


I speak to God today

God is quiet

Not uninvolved

With nothing noisy

To contribute

Beyond the rain outside

The singing tires

The occasional movement


From a neighbor

Or from me


I wonder when an angel

Visits Francis

How it goes

No, don’t get up

Relax the hand with the ring

No doubt you lift the office

With an instinct


I’m here to rest with you

For a moment

To be still

You know the issues

And the crises in the world

One of us will tell you

When there are

Awful surprises

You are doing well

We are

I am

Sorry when you’re sick

The age and job

Do take it out of you

You could retire

Like your peer

Sometimes I think

He has the better part

But I don’t think you’ll give up

‘Til you have the sense

You’re done

Remember I am here

We are here

We fly around you

Dance with happiness

Or grief

You know we are not

The round things of the Renaissance

But are might beings

Wide in span

And awful

As in full of awe

To know us

And carry power

You know whose

And are ready

Should you wish us to defend

Evil forefend

Should you wish to rest with us around

And when you’re ready

To be escorted

Even carried



We are will

And we love you


Back to me

And God is ready for your voice

When you wish to speak

Or keep it in your mind

The better things

Are in your heart

We’re told,

Which means your spirit

The spirit of the Lord

Is with you, too,

Waking or sleeping

Like the song

Agents of God

Angels and nature

Sing around you

Sometimes difficult

Impossible, it seems,

To hear

But singing nonetheless

The music of the spheres

The song that’s in your sphere

Of hope

And love

To resonate with good things

To navigate the bad

There is help

In that

In both


C L Couch



Photo by gil on Unsplash


Sermons on Leaves

(x = space)



Sermons on Leaves


One bird makes a small song

Unless a condor

Or a million of its own,

Whatever kind


I’m not thinking of Hitchcock

But of Francis

Who preached to birds

Because humans wouldn’t listen


In response,

A little bit invested

From each one

Raises the songs of saints,

Reinvesting into land


Traversing through the sky

And now orbiting


A song to welcome


Aliens or angels,

To Earth


A hybrid song

Is and shows

The way


C L Couch



Photo by Paul Teysen on Unsplash

Nachtegalenhof, Antwerpen, België


Sister Moon

Sister Moon

(song by Francis, metaphor by Zeffirelli)


I cannot fathom Clare

Understand her depths

I do not have to

I’ll readily admit

She is beyond me


Companion to Francis except

Well, except it was boy and girl

(convicted young)

And in communities

Established one gender from the other,

I’m not sure how much

They could be together

Though I imagine them working

Side by side with nascent followers

And I want to think of them

Playing games as well

Between bouts

Of growing things

(vegetables and campaigns)

Washing the poor

Wishing the church into a better place

For service and to any


Could she have gone with him to meet the

Sultan as

A missionary team

In hardship, danger

Doctrinal snares

And opportunities as well

For the sultan (as was the pope)

Was powerful and smart

Well, too much is binary

I should not define one by the other

She was her own

She has it

Who chose to become God’s and his,

The moon in canticle

So sing to the sun


Brother, we are here

We dress the sky above the earth

In dreams

In daylight, we work hard

Harder than our flesh can bear

Than flesh can bear all orders of our calling


At night and for all times

All things

We pray


Be with me, brother, as at Mizpah

When we are apart

Consider the stars at night

I the clouds by day

We are in each other

Inside God’s creation

And the same calling,

The announcement of redemption

While working to save mortal lives

Upon the ground


C L Couch



Detail depicting Saint Clare from a fresco (c. 1320) by Simone Martini in the Lower basilica of San Francesco, Assisi

Simone Martini – The Yorck Project (2002) 10.000 Meisterwerke der Malerei (DVD-ROM), distributed by DIRECTMEDIA Publishing GmbH. ISBN: 3936122202., Public Domain,


first World Day of the Poor

first World Day of the Poor

(day late, no dollar short)


Francis says to us

Blessed are the hands that reach beyond

Every hindrance of creed or culture

That in a profane way keeps us



The physician quotes

Blessed are the poor

In spirit or

In flesh—

For yours is the realm of God

In this love is not a democracy but

Obeisance to a royal decree

From the one who

Rules perfectly with justice

And unerring care


This is not the kind of mystery that’s hard

To resolve

Who made the poor? we did, and

We keep ours down in a fallen world

That drives them, drives us



The answer to all questions is, Who cares?

Acceptable question this time to

A question

To those in front of us, a catechesis, a

Secular investigation doesn’t



The poor are here,

A monarchy for them and us;

That’s far off


The open hand is empty, and sometimes it’s

Clenched in pain

The challenge in the giving is

Courage to unclose, to press into the soul

The bravery, tenacity


The food and water

And more

And better

For the living

And the dying

In the right time for each

For the change


When all are blessed


C L Couch


first World Day of the Poor

We cannot remain passive. Blessed are the hands that reach beyond every barrier of culture, religion, and nationality, and pour the balm of consolation over the wounds of humanity.  Blessed are the open hands that ask nothing in exchange, with no “ifs” or “buts” or “maybes”: they are hands that call down God’s blessing upon their brothers and sisters.

Pope Francis (who proclaimed the day)

First World Day of the Poor, 2017: Let us love, not with words but with …


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