I talk you talk we'll talk



Dire Invocation

(x = space)



Dire Invocation



Help us

We need you


And when

The world is too much

And we can’t get away

For love

Of being here

Unreadiness for heaven

‘Til you say so

And we can’t live

‘Til you say so

We have to do


We think you made us

This way


C L Couch



Photo by Jack van der Spoel on Unsplash


They Seek Him There

(x = space)



They Seek Him There


O God, our help

In ages past

Our hope for years to come


And what do we need today

But to know you are near

Some miracles would not go

Amiss, I must confess

(unless they do)

For a week of flood and fire

End or start to war

A sickness that has taken many lives

Corruption from the fruit of Eden

For the way we ate

For the way we live

For the way we want to live

On this side or that


C L Couch



title borrowed respectfully from The Scarlet Pimpernel


by Lawn Weeds – Scarlet Pimpernel, CC BY 2.0,

Scarlet Pimpernel (Anagallis arvensis) is a summer annual plant and a member of the primrose family. As its name suggest[s,] it has bright red/orange flowers, which only open when the sun shines.


After I Believe

(x = space)



After I Believe


I don’t know how

     to live for you

I wish I did

I know

     the Spirit is supposed

To guide me,

Though what are

     the steps to take

And practices

     to follow

I don’t know or am

     out of practice


Or never knew and need


     also in the flesh

To help me


C L Couch



Photo taken from The Nue Co. marketing campaign.

Photo by Finn on Unsplash


Unbroken Surprise

(x = space)



Unbroken Surprise


I’d like to offer prayer

Of thanksgiving

For I have received

Good help

I can question how deserving

But I got it, anyway


In the moment,

Certain things let go:

Doubt, worth,


People give, and I receive

Not that I haven’t helped before


But here is the receiving side:

Thankful, relieved

Not burden-free

But bearing less

Than before


All this to say thank you

To both sides of prayer

The givers

And this time

The one who has so gladly taken


C L Couch



National Day Fireworks

Photo by Erwan Hesry on Unsplash

Perros-Guirec, France


This Is Not a Test

This Is Not a Test

(Psalm 121:1-2)


It isn’t that the help

Comes from the hills

But that it comes

From God

It might come from the

Hills, or it might come

From the valley

Or the desert or the

Outskirts of the city or

Fallow farmland


It might come from Rahab

Or from Zipporah

Or from Ruth

It might come from

All expected places

Or from surprises,


Balaam’s donkey


Don’t box in the help

From God

There’s no container,


Let it flow like Micah

And all salient prophecy


Trust, now that’s the

Hard part

When there is no formula

Beyond a prayer

Or looking up in hope


C L Couch



Photo by David Monje on Unsplash

Girona, Spain


Gods and Heroes

Gods and Heroes


Today is one day in a heatwave


Some will suffer in silence

And might be found anyway

Some will reach out to ask for help

So many are so bad at that


And there are those who

Will reach out to give it

Class and qualifiers will not matter


For all the sagas

All the stories of the past

They matter

Sometimes they teach

If we will learn


But more important still are the

Rough-edged, awkward things

The good will do today


Jesus saves

There will be companionship today


C L Couch



fir0002flagstaffotos [at] gmail.comCanon 20D + Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 – Own work, GFDL 1.2,


Man Bites Dog

Man Bites Dog

(that’s news)


Somewhere it’s been said

That news isn’t dog-bites-man but

When it’s

Man bites dog


This morning police came

With a heavy knock on my door

It was loud, I was asleep

So everything happened fast and fuzzy

A muscled officer, the kind

I want when on my side,

Told me urgently and kindly

That a tree was about to fall on my car

I guess we had a storm last night,

Which I did not hear

(sometimes I take a pill)


I pulled on jeans and left

Pausing I guess because we had to

For some official information

To pass from me to him

Outside it’s mid-morning, gray and

Dim with rainfall, lights off of

Firefighting vehicles not really changing things

So much

There was my car

My hobbit car

Tall but narrow, close to the ground

I had taken my keys (where

was my license?) and knew enough

To start the car and move it forward


Now there’s buzz-sawing for the tree

Though I hear nothing for the moment

(I’m nothing like a gawker and have been

inside), so maybe

It’s done

And with the tree

Our being in the local news for Sunday morning


C L Couch



Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay


Therapy Human

Therapy Human

(fable with a person in the part)


The people she is speaking with

Think that it’s a hoot

And knife-like insight:


My brother-in-law helps my sister

When they’re on an airplane

Because my sister hates to fly


He gets to know the people

Sitting nearby

He’s excellent at striking up conversations

Works at exchanging seats,

When necessary


At the airport, she

Refers to him as “my therapy human”

Since therapy animals are in vogue


But we can do this for each other,

And it’s good to say so


C L Couch



By Liabilly Wildflower – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Allee is a Labrador who acts as an assistance dog for someone with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.


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


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