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God

The Loneliness of God

(x = space)

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The Loneliness of God

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God is not alone

For God is

In three parts

And always

One

And always three

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Jesus in the flesh

Could leave

And left

For hillsides

Other isolated places

Divine agony

And privilege

For sorrow

Things to feel the first time

All alone

x

Divine surprise

Pain

And maybe

Astonishment

x

C L Couch

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Photo by Alex Blăjan on Unsplash

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Our Turn

(x = space)

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Our Turn

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What does God say

But something that

Could be without words,

Could be in a breath

Of moving air,

Could be something

In the quiet

Or in cacophony

x

Order speaks,

Chaos works its way,

There’s miracle in timing

Though the measure isn’t ours

x

Someone else is keeping time

For music we can’t hear

But moves us

Like vibration through the floor

When a band we know

Is playing

x

The universe is a song

Whose senses are involved,

All of them

Measured out

To everyone

x

With a constant invitation

To the dance

Whose steps we know

For having once been made

And being made again

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Yes, and fallenness

x

Get up,

Step away

Into the dance

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C L Couch

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Photo by tabitha turner on Unsplash

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Sides, The Earth Is Ours (2 poems)

(x = space)

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Sides

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If God is for us

Whom shall stand against us

Well, they will

They are they

They will

These are not shadows

Except in meaning,

Haunting for a while

Our better selves and motives

x

They are there

They are ghosts

(with apologies to ghosts)

Who look as if

They are substantial

And their weapons

Somehow

Wound and even kill

x

They (with those)

Tempt us from our fate

One by one

And altogether as

People loved by God

Who have a purpose covered

For the moment

Until the glass

Is clear

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The battle won

Life prefigures death,

Better shows the shape

Of life again

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C L Couch

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If God is for us, who can be against us?

Romans 8:31

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Earth Is Ours

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Do you hate the sides?

I often do

Jerusalem and Antioch

East and west

(Istanbul and Rome

as part of that)

China and Taiwan

Town and gown

City and countryside

North and south

And much, much worse

Cain and Abel

So that only Seth remains

For legacy

One without three

x

We need our groups

We don’t need the borders

In between

We should have the joy

To have our own

The strength in defending

Everyone

The Earth

Our own

Everyone’s Earth

To own

x

What does this mean?

It’s right to ask

Since we ask

And everything is lent

And legacy is life that

We cannot gift ourselves

But there’s a promise

Prophecy

Assurance in or as

What we believe

x

What we shall own

Though frankly we must share

The bigger parts

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C L Couch

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Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

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The Conditions of the Prophet

(x = space)

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The Conditions of the Prophet

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What shall God say today?

Not to me

I am not a vessel

Until God doesn’t mind the cracks

And grime

Under the rim

And maybe not:

Maybe God calls on us

To call

Who are not unblemished alabaster

Uncracked

Ancient yet young

To appreciate

x

Well, there are no museums here

Not inside the person

If there is a purpose

And I’m told

Rather explicitly,

I’ll follow

Though there are conditions

x

I can’t be crazy

Or made crazy

There must be gentle tones allowed

Simplicity

Would be instructive

While dignity

Would be grand

x

If these can be traits

In a manifesto

Then I’ll call it

x

And if these traits

Cannot be followed, well,

I’ll follow

Share the word

With the same conviction

Sigh,

No conditions

And apologizing for

Conditions

x

C L Couch

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Photo by Bruno van der Kraan on Unsplash

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Mystic Coffee

(x = space)

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Mystic Coffee

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What does God say

Today?

Not in the mystic sense

Or way

That I do not understand

Bur in a parochial,

Five-senses fashion

Over the sink

Or at the table

In front of this machine

Not to take over

As in a speculative episode

Simply to be here

I could try to keep

The holy fear

At bay

In order to entertain

If only with companionship

Unless God would like

Some coffee

Or cold water

x

Maybe so

Maybe God would like

Coffee or some water

In water, there are so many

Lessons

Though water can be water, too

x

As for coffee

It has been created

And remade

(we may ask how)

And so also has provenance

x

The day, the day

The hour

Without counting

We are here

God speaks

I listen

God asks me questions

Though God knows;

Shall I say anything,

I would not know

x

Maybe this is mystic

My senses would be frozen

Like the frost before the sunrise

God is God

Though God could warm me

I could try to talk,

Be thankful for

The perfect listening

x

C L Couch

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Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

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The Latest

(x = space)

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The Latest

(family things)

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My brother’s in the hospital

I’m not sure what that means

He fell

I know that much

He spent the night outside,

Which I think must mean

There’s trauma

x

A body worked too hard

A body with cancer worked too hard

A neighbor saw him in the morning

And called 911

He’s hundreds of miles away

And he’s in the hospital

In downtown Pittsburgh

My sister says the hospital is good

Urban, smart, efficient

x

Everyone knows their jobs

And what to do for him

x

Now we know

We’re standing by

Something will happen

And we’ll all come in

It doesn’t have to take an ending

He simply needs to be in one place

Or another

For a time

x

What contemporary medicine allows

And Medicare affords

A rehab center

For new fractures

While his cancer’s tended

And he

And everyone

Must deal with that

x

We’ve been out there

When and where shall we go now?

x

I’ve rattled all this off

Because

I don’t know how to be ready

For what’s next

I wish I had resources

Of all kinds

x

Family things

Obviously

Certainly (to push on

the conceit) I don’t mind

If you know

x

If you pray,

Maybe you’ll pray

I believe the power in that

God bless him

And help us all

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C L Couch

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Photo by Marcelo Leal on Unsplash

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Quiet Victory

(x = space)

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Quiet Victory

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There is yellow sunlight

On things this morning

Or is it gold

Or is it wishful thinking?

Church is going on

I’m trying to listen

The advantage and the irony

Of virtual

If I’m distracted

If I distract myself

It sticks

(the distraction)

x

(Saint) Paul is confessional

I think that’s good

I was thinking yesterday

Of (Saint) Peter

And his qualities to lead

That are pretty awful

He leads anyway

Jesus said so

Called him foundational

To a new movement,

A new church

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We are flawed

And at our best

We do not deny our flaws

Because that is honest

Because vanity

And ego

Won’t win anything

The battle

Or the day

Or the age

Or the world

Or the cosmos

Better to be the silent planet

As Lewis has created

Until we speak in power

Due to love

And lead the battle

And the world

And the age

In love

x

C L Couch

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Solar Eclipse

Photo by Obed Hernández on Unsplash

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Wake Up, Now

(x = space)

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Wake Up, Now

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I haven’t heard

Or read the news

Seen images move

Across the screen

Or be still

There

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So what happened

Overnight?

It’s Saturday

What high schools

Might be happier

For Friday’s games?

What nations

Changed?

Who might be in charge

Now?

x

How many

In the hospital

From one of or some or all the reasons

Who is on the way to heaven

Or purgation

We can only pray

And hope

For good things now for them

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What have I wakened

Into?

How is my home

Of planet Earth?

What’s happening outside

That we only know now

As news,

Carried from light years away?

x

And what might happen here

Today?

I won’t know, of course,

Until the hours

Come to me

And I to them

Good morning, world

Good morning beyond the world

And inside

Where things are happening

Cellularly, too

x

And can I think of God

First thing?

I don’t think I can

I’m not devout

I’ll get to God

Once consciousness

And the lines of things

The shadows

And the shapes of light

Are seen

And anything to hear

Is heard

Maybe what woke me up

If the timing is untoward

x

I’m thinking of God now

For correction

A moment of chagrin

Wishing

(one wish of three wishes,

if there were a story

happening)

Wishing

I were faithful

Like the faithful

Waking up

To hear

And somehow see

Taste and smell

And touch

The agencies of God

And then the world

x

Sigh,

Good people

Special people

Waking up

So wonderfully

And usefully

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C L Couch

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Photo by Rhamely on Unsplash

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Simon Says

(x = space)

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Simon Says

(based in part on verses)

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Is that the pie-man

Or Simon Peter?

Anyone

Who’d rather simonize

A game

x

We know what Simon Peter says

He wrote letters

We have two

He fished

One kind and then the other

It seems he went back and forth

Between despair

And inspiration

His is a good cause

For reconciliation

Saying the one thing

You are Christ

Then falling, failing

Into water

(he is rescued)

First refusing foot-washing

Then wanting it all over

x

Yet somehow he is the rock

A name

A metaphor

For church

Jesus says so

Then there’s the episode

Chapter and verse for us

When it is night

And his rabbi, his leader,

And his friend is arrested

xxxxxtaken away

xxxxxto the authorities

xxxxxwho can determine

xxxxxtemporal and real

xxxxxcontinued life

xxxxxor death

And when he’s near

To everything

And asked about it

Says he doesn’t know

He doesn’t know the man

And upon the last

Of three of these

He curses

And the rooster crows

And he sees

Maybe in every way

The savior

Who was his teacher

And his friend

And it’s over

No paradox remains

The holes have been dug

Into conviction

Into faith

And practice

In some new ways perhaps

At least on the inside

Where it matters

Unless feeding others

That is an outside matter

x

What faith,

The joy he had

Have gone into the void

Like mortality

Into the entrance of a tomb

He goes away

He’s out of everything

For a chapter

Or two chapters

His own story

Torn out by the tearing actions

Of denial

Help my unbelief

He could have remembered

The cry of the parent

For the healing of the child

He could have wept

For Jerusalem

And for his friend

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Peter, Peter

Denier

Pumpkin-eater

Follower and friend

He said so

Jesus said so

Then everything was gone

He was gone

With the other one

Sometimes we lose our way

With the other

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C L Couch

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Matthew 26:69-75

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(the letters that are 1 and 2 Peter)

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nursery rhymes that are the stuff of ages, now

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Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

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