I talk you talk we'll talk



a medium for heroes

(x = space)



a medium for heroes


what if a dream deferred

is not enough?

(it is a cruel question)

what if our refusal

to lift up each one

is a matter

for the Earth’s survival?

who is the next Einstein

or Jenner or the Curies

who will save us

from nature’s catastrophes

or our own?


they may rise

unless we have refused

them breath and opportunity


and without knowing

(and we never know)

we simply have to raise

each one

each one on the Earth

and the Earth itself


c l couch



photo by Jeff Ackley on Unsplash


Doctrine Inside a Mask

(x = space)



Doctrine Inside a Mask


Grace is sufficient

It is miracle

It is salvation


It is surprise

Totally untimed

Kairos, never chronos


So what shall we have?

Salvation’s disguise

They seek it here


They seek it there

We have a



A small, red flower

Maybe a Z against the wall

A bag of gold


Tossed through

My window by

Valentine or Robin Hood


Or with Meg

Atop the seeing stone

After cosmos-saving


Or while the saving

Happens (I doubt that

grace is averse to

en media res)


Stories for our souls,

Enough awareness

For our


Noticing in time

To say thank you

And our hero’s




Another rescue’s

Needed there


C L Couch



the Wrinkle in Time series by Madeleine L’Engle


image by fabrice Verrier – originally posted to Flickr as Mouron rouge Anagallis arvensis, CC BY 2.0,

anagallis arvensis mouron rouge Seine-Port avec racines jardin


…Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest on me. That is why, for the sake of Christ, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.…

Berean Study Bible · Download

(Second Corinthians 8-10)


Reading Romance, Gothica (two poems)

(x = space)



Reading Romance, Gothica (two poems)



Reading Romance


Standing there,

Waiting for approval,

The ingenue wonders

If she should

Enter the room


Strangers, unaware,

Are dancing to a

Waltz she’s known

Since childhood

Always listening

From the stairs,

A risky place for

Children, though with

Darkness behind

And light pouring from

The party floor,

Sneaking a look at

Parties was



I’m sure you understand


Now she’s here,

Inside the first

Arc, grown up

Into her story:

Does someone wait

Inside?  Should

She remain inside

The question mark

Or take another step

Step toward


The start of

Act 5, then



Questions demand

Answers; they

Crawl along the

Bannister; she’ll

Take the step

So we might breathe

Into the

Final chapters






A Gothic word

For swamp

(try moor

in the British Isles)


I look up through

The window

At black branches

Fronting a sky of unformed

Cloud, tunneling

Everything to gray


November’s tilting;

We head

Toward winter’s reign,

Cold and gloomy

All our storytelling


There might be a

Ghost—there certainly

Will be ghosts

Inhabiting one place,

One will or another


The house that

Has a crack in it,

Ready to descend

With all the

Failing generations

(I think you know

the one I mean)


But there’s

A house of every heart,

A sprit calling

At the door or, when


Wailing like a banshee



Everything will

Open and then close up

At the last


A deserted house—the

Tarn shall have it

(the swamp, the moor)

From which may

Emerge new

Heroes to try



C L Couch



Photo by Tim Rebkavets on Unsplash

Eltz Castle, Wierschem, Germany

We woke up at 3am so we could drive to Germany. We arrived just in time for sunrise and that’s how this shot came to live. The reflection was made with the reflection of the screen of my phone.


No Indifference

No Indifference


If there is a God

And there is

Then why all the terrible things?

Because there are

There have to be

Otherwise, it’s all a game

And God is a demon,

Only the biggest

But there’s another question, too

For all the terrible things

That happen,

There should be no inspiration

No interest in virtue

Even to using it when lying

Why should good have an interest

At all in our deliberations?

But it does

We want it, pursue it

Even bad people

Want good things

Companionship, ambition

Self-satisfaction, pleasure

Nice things

Nice sensations

The bad has been twisting them

Hiding inside means that

Should be hidden,

A bent form of going after

What is good

Like every villain in every story


But there are heroes

Please understand, as women

As men

And people of all colors

And locations

And there is virtue

That usually starts with something

That is true,

Perhaps the truth


C L Couch



Photo by Pavel Nekoranec on Unsplash

Am Lustgarten 1, 10178 Berlin, Germany, Berlin



We’re Having a Day

We’re Having a Day

(as they say in midwestern parts of the USA)


I’m having a good moment

Because exhaustion has caught up

With me,

And I slept through the dewy

Then the sunlit parts of morning


It’s hazy outside

Later on, there might be rain

I washed some dishes, dried a few,

Left the rest in the rack

(to dry, not to be tortured)

Made some tea, warmed up

A couple rolls,

Broke free a banana

Now I’m here

Breakfast and writing, though it’s

Shortly after one o’clock

I’m here

Where are you?

How has your day been so far?

Good day, I hope

We each need one


I think of all the spots on fire

Burning into hatred

And simple, dangerous

Needless larceny

(but for those who lose

and shouldn’t have to)

There are the other fires, woodland

And volcanoes


There are small hatreds, too

No one in my building

Likes each other,

And I don’t know how

To reconcile the importance of

My problems

Against those in bigger cities,

Wilder places


But we’re all here

I think there must be a reason

It used to be that people

Would drop by

In southern places

I don’t know if that still

Goes on,

Though there can be charm

And even balm

In this


All the hatred that’s incited—in

Part, I blame the leadership

Large part

Yes, the thing that’s in the

White House

And its cronies

Another league of hatred turned to

Disgust for power, inhabiting

The Congress

You know, a vampire smile

Doesn’t hide the fact

That you’re a vampire


And those lurking behind,


Who rake in ever-sordid

Kinds of profit

You know who you are

Though the last thing you desire

Is the light of day as well


What do my small problems

Have to do with these?

I think it’s that

Most of us simply want to live

Have our babies

Keep a home

Go to church or

Temple when we should

Look at those we do not know

And wonder who they are

Only in idle ways

Until by surprise or small design

We meet them

Not so bad, we’ll baldly say

To ourselves and our companions,

While the neighborhood grows

In kinship

A little, as is said, at a time


It’s what we want

A life

We’ll work for it

But all the subterfuge from

All the kinds of hell

We can do without

Take it from us, please

Maybe we can vote it

Out of office

Though I think something more

Is called for

To quiet my third-floor neighbor

To extinguish flames of anarchy

(ridiculous, they say, and sublime)

To find another way than

By looking at and by praising anger as

A tone and an intent

For the nation


We need the superheroes

Justice League

Justice Society

Avengers, reassemble

But then we can’t have these

Though we can have the comics

And the movies

And the CW

We can have heroics on the upside

And the inside

But I’m afraid we’ll have to be

Our Thors

Our Wonder Women

Even the Watchmen (Watch People)

On the outside

A new assembly

Maybe based on old heroics

With some rules, some standards

That we find in ancient literature,

Stories retold

Many of us hear them once a week

(though if your leaders are yelling

there, go somewhere else)


I’m done for now

While some of you

Dear ones

Saving ones

Are only starting


C L Couch



Photo by Donovan Valdivia on Unsplash


Life in Fiction

Life in Fiction


I can’t recommend it

Though I’ve tried it

There are dangers

You can enumerate as well

As I

But we can incorporate

We like our heroes, after all

And want to have them with us

Better yet, inside us

Or the ingenue

The clever mentor

Master-mistress of arms

Or the crafty villain

Who may or may not repent


There are heroes in reality

To emulate

Such as the Ganders in Newfoundland

On 9/11

But sometimes exaggeration helps,

Which is what we get in stories

Sometimes in poems

Certainly in sagas


C L Couch



Gregory Peck publicity photo for the film To Kill a Mockingbird, 1962

Universal Pictures – eBay, Public Domain,


The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland by Jim DeFede


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,


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