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Cold Comfort

(x = space)



Cold Comfort

(without irony)


I’ve gone on before about

The cup of cool water

I mean it’s cool

And it’s water

And to offer it

Is so good

Is it easy?

In an applianced culture,


Where ice is a small push away

But in a desert land,

One must find the water

And if inside rock

The water might be cool

And we can offer it

To relatives

To friends

And strangers

Even adversaries

Enemies who might need

To drink first

Before starting negotiations

Or given simply because

The gift of water

Is small


Brings peace to the home

And for any



C L Couch



Photo by Ilya Plakhuta on Unsplash



Doctrine for Three

(x = space)



Doctrine for Three


In dim light,

Something was handed me

A gift

In the dark outside,

We talked about

His father

Who had died recently

Whom I liked

(whom he liked)

And of family, generally


His father’s legacy

Was to share outside

The family

I being one

I could argue worthiness

But then I’d miss the point:

Grace is free

It really is

Without conditions

And has to be


C L Couch



Anatomy of a dying stormcell. A stormcell dissolves over the San Francisco Peaks.

Photo by NOAA on Unsplash





I’ve noticed writers

Of mysteries, especially

Make eyes with

Improbable eye colors

The color of steel

Purple, amber

Blue so blue no sky could

Manage it


Thank goodness

We have not assigned a rank

For irises


They are the curtains for the windows,


They are evocative

Entirely from outside

Inside them, I’m not sure

How much we

Care except in mirrors

That take us outside again


Though there’s the liking of,

It’s something,

A gift


C L Couch



Photo by Ian Wetherill on Unsplash

Odenberg, Germany


I Give You This

I Give You This


I give you this

Because I haven’t washed a dish,

A piece of flatware, or a glass

I give you this

Because I will not clean the car

Because cleaning it never, ever comes to mind


I give you this

Because I haven’t ironed shirts

I give you this

Because we should starve, based on

My inefficiency when shopping


I give you this

Because I cannot do much more

And, as I age, that will only increase

I give you this

Because I have a moment, if a moment

To try to get it right


I give you this

Because I love the world

But fear so much that’s in it

I give you this

Because of all the mistakes I haven’t made

And apologizing early doesn’t count


I give you this

Because I do not know you

But I’m sure I love you

And I give you this

Because it might last more than a day

It might be left behind

You might love this

And give it to another


C L Couch



Image by djedj from Pixabay


Returning Gifts

Returning Gifts


Praise the Lord

And all that is in me praise the Lord

Or something like that

How can I praise such a thing as God

When I am such a thing as me?

To God be the glory

How can I glorify

When I am so small,

And my voice is broken?

I know the story of the smallest angel

In the movie, Fred Gwynne as

Mentor angel talks of his mother’s

Brown bread, when all

Were mortal


But in the young one

(newly angelified)

There is purity

And innocence to give

As gifts in the small box emblemize

What have I like these?


And wouldn’t I look at you

To say there is so much

Because there is—I

Guess I need to understand

That everything with life has worth

Even if itself it were a gift

I can turn it over

(so can you)

And that’s the act of service

And of love


C L Couch



Image by Marc Pascual from Pixabay

The Littlest Angel by Charles Tazewell (1946)





I have words on deck

Nervous words, maybe

Never having been at bat before

It’s a spring day, looks to be warm

And humid

Cloudy for the outfield

We play on grass, of course


But I don’t know

I’d like to ask for something new

That would be a prayer

Not in desperation

Not as in I haven’t got a prayer

(what does that mean, anyway—

who came up with that?)

But a petition with some savor

Since it’s offered on the plate

The paten

Both with words


Might I add something new

To the drafts of yesterday,


What I’m wondering on this hazy

Day is about the gift

Of time, of weather, gravity

The air I breathe, the water I hope

To drink

What food I’ll have

And maybe something valid or

Viable to do

All these things,

A gift for me?


I am no worthier, and I think that’s the point

Pulled out of eternity and time

There are things for me

Because there are things for you

The largesse of the cosmos is

For all of us

It has to be

Not to own but certainly to use

Not to twist and tear into submission

We know that nature will not stand for that

There will be repercussion

That will

Ruin the unrighteous

And take all of us along as well


A gift that is judicious

A gift that is not kept

More gifts will come tomorrow

If we do our part receiving

The universe is ready


C L Couch



NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA) –, Public Domain,

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has revisited the famous Pillars of Creation, originally photographed in 1995, revealing a sharper and wider view of the structures in this visible-light image. Astronomers combined several Hubble exposures to assemble the wider view. The towering pillars are about 5 light-years tall.


Lent 37

Lent 37


After rain,

Sometimes the closeness of humidity remains

And sometimes the world feels washed

For a while

It’s a good feeling

In autumn we might call it crisp

Though that is more for morning air

Cold from night, first breathed

The seasons turn, we know this

The watery rush of spring

Becomes the lush, rising life of summer

Before the time for

Earth to prepare to rest again

I know I say this for the northern part

In the southern, it’s reversed


But we share the notion that

All things are passing

Everything moves or is moved

And it is not in the nature of molecules

Or constituent atoms

To cease in function

Stop, whenever


Do you have a craft?

I think you do

Something you make or on your own

Pursue to make the time

Your own

Don’t be discouraged if the only thing you see

Is need

It is sadly that way for too many

And where does need allow for contemplation,

For an unhurried gaze into the world

On all sides?


Whether it’s need or want of need,

We are made for giving and receiving

And while so much is in motion

Newtonian claims notwithstanding

A part of us must stop

From time to time

To orient the brain and other organs

Where we are,

In what direction we might be going


Have a care for all seasons

Try them out

Let’s try ourselves

In patience and in

Openness for recollection

In spirit, an attitude for gathering anew

All the better parts

Gifts to receive

So many gifts to bestow


C L Couch



Image by illustrated Cottage from Pixabay


The Artist of the Beautiful

The Artist of the Beautiful


When I was a child

My oldest brother gave me a plastic car

He had a model kit

And applied blue and paint

And his ingenuity

To make it beautiful

Why he gave it to me, I don’t know

I was not known for being careful

And he told to take care with it

To keep it whole and as it was


I did not

Maybe if he hadn’t said anything

I’d have done better

But in a while, not so little while, it

Was ruined

And now five decades later

I still feel badly

It’s possible, though I doubt I will inquire,

He doesn’t remember any

Of this


C L Couch




title a title of a short story by Nathaniel Hawthorne, one place to find it


Bill AbbottBeautiful 1/24 Ford Thunderbird above, port quarter fancy paint


Big Inning

Big Inning


I have another Sunday

So do you

Maybe it was yesterday

When I’ve worked the weekend,

It has been a Friday


A sabbath is a gift

After six days

Though a maker might forgive

A perspective that appreciates

A day before

The next six days


I guess this means

God invented the weekend

And the nineteenth century finally


Way to go, eighteen-hundreds

Catching up after

Forty billion years and change


A gift in receiving should be opened

How will we open this

Hold it to the light

Show it to our kith

And then our kin


Batteries not needed

Already given with a source of power

In the beginning


There are times when we force cessation

For a time

The seventh-inning stretch

Standing for “The Hallelujah Chorus”

Making Mondayholidays


Pausing must be good

We certainly need it

I hope your pause is good

Maybe sometime you will join me

And I you


C L Couch



Photo by PatrickHendry on Unsplash


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