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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)


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


Twelfth Night or

Twelfth Night or

(6 January)


What You Will

A modest title

For a late, great play

Did he mean the pun about

His name?


What you will, Will

Will who was not the starving

Artist or

Unknown in his time


It is twelfth night

Or the twelfth day of Christmas

Christmas, in fact, in the east

In may (and maybe your) liturgical

Calendar, Epiphany


In some parts I know, there will be

A boar’s head festival

A Christian way to say

We remember our English

And European roots

Deep down as they might be

Unseen for an age


What is epiphanous today is

What is found and realized in the

Christ story


The magi come to visit with the family

Of Joseph

To leave gifts for the child who

They discover is

The one they were searching for

The sky was writing them about

That was the ink

They were the page

The message now fulfilled


No return to Herod

The last part


There are other matters of

New knowledge in new light

Years after,

He comes to his cousin John

Whose voice speaks to

The wildness in the wilderness

He splits the world in truth

Those who will believe the one

Those who will believe the other

A parable one day applies

Of sheep and goats



Turn around

Follow his way,

Says he of the one he must baptize

Because deep knowing says they must

Do this


A dove descends

The Spirit is involved

To have a litany of three

Whose echoes elicited the start

Of everything from nothing


What happened to the gifts

Sometimes I wonder

Over-obsessed, they would become a movie

Like the subjects of both arks

And a spear of destiny

Maybe they were covered in a box kept by his mother

As was her way

To have her son and all that followed, after


The season before the season

An ending and beginning

It truly is

A new year

Time for decisions

Whom to follow

In the drama that our forms reflect

The play between all things

The material our due

The cosmos in the universe

Play on


C L Couch



Andrew Atzert from Mesa, AZ, USA – Family of DovesUploaded by Snowmanradio, CC BY 2.0,

A Mourning Dove parent with two chicks in Mesa, Arizona, USA.


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