I talk you talk we'll talk


Holy Week

A Now That Must Also Look Ahead

A Now That Must Also Look Ahead


It’s Tuesday

It’s a nuthin’ day

A sick day

Among sick days

The novelty’s worn off

Some learning’s needed

With the cooking

And the cleaning

The boxing

(of both kinds)

All the games that

Walls and cyber-walls allow

Thank goodness, we can

Look outside and go there


There’s real talking, too

In many ways

A face to face

That’s a comfort

And we learn from this

A different kind

Of schooling, maybe

There are books

Paper and pencil, too

Or let them be totems for

Pens or the electron kind,

What it all might represent

The faces

All the forms


We can through this, now

Until the angel passes

Our own kind of rite

The Jewish own so well


Singing for pass-over

Blood upon the lintel

Chair for the prophet, should

The prophet come to call

Food, some of it with bitter herbs

But everything we need

For the journey

Into such desert and

At last

A homeland


The Passover is family

Each tradition has its form

And if we have none,

What better time than pandemic’s

For making something new?

For the world needs cleaning

Not a purging

But a dusting off

Soap and water

Disinfectant for the worst

While we wait


And wait

With everything that passes over


Having something of the new


Maybe inexorably, ineffably

Once shared,

New ritual

Based on care for what we’ve learned

Of who we’ve been

And who we are

Again and for the first time


As for death and mourning,

Each tradition knows that well

And those without

However we might feel

I don’t know how to count

While others do

Remember, in the future,

It was this kind of plague

I might not be here

Or another witness

Closer and more qualified

You’ll have to have a story

Back to learning, again

Sad lessons

And tragic

And a void

We learn this other kind of life

Lived through emptiness

It is time for a wake, the Irish say

(who also know bread

and bitter herbs for sin and hope,

Irish Jews more so)

Though this party if too big

Too many coffins to line up

Along the bar

What the dead drink

Will do nothing for a tab

Only take coins in readiness for

Ferry pilots

Announced by banshees


These groups I know a little of

You have your own

And stories

Set them down and tell them

Try not to worry about variants

They happen

There is a narrative here

Part of the story of the Earth

If we tell it well,

The Earth might weep

For us


C L Couch



Photo by David T on Unsplash

Serifos, Greece


Holey Week 3


One More

One More


Some might say

Since we are ash

At the end, then

Let us burn now


They are wrong

Enough goes up

In flame, not the

Good kind, either

Not the sun

That through the

Ozone give us

Life, that lights up

The moon for our



The flame that

Takes, we understand

As Pogo says, this

Enemy is us


And yet the comic

Character is funny;

My dad read him

Later quoted him

Year in, year out


And he is right:

We know the enemy,

And it is funny

Laughter, sardonic,

Otherwise, does

Drive the devil

Mad, so much so

There’s a rule,

No jokes in hell


So breathe and

Do not breathe for


Is more water,

Sometimes with a

Kick, always more

Until the barkeep

Calls last call,


There having been

Enough, even if

We are left, human

Will in strange

Partnership with

Eternity, wanting

While we’re here

One more


C L Couch



Photo by Chronis Yan on Unsplash


“We have met the enemy and he is us” is a parody of a message sent in 1813 from U.S. Navy Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry to Army General William Henry Harrison after his victory in the Battle of Lake Erie, stating, “We have met the enemy, and they are ours.”


Holey Week 2


We’ll Burn the Palms for Next Year’s Ash

We’ll Burn the Palms for Next Year’s Ash


Today is Palm Sunday.  I recall this because I saw,

just now, an image with two pieces of wood, tied and

at an angle.  I suppose many are celebrating—feasting,

in fact, since it is the end of Lent—the way I am but

with honest hearts.


Lent is done, although the days of ash continue.  Nothing

new for planet Earth and the people of it.  What do we

know of ash but that it’s final in remembrance?

We might take the stuff and try to rework it, but what it means

remains the same.  We are of ash.  We’ve tasted it.


We try to contain it, though it’s mischievous in

blowing around.  Where does that wind come from?

“Dust in the wind.” “Turn, turn, turn.”  Every generation asks

the question, needs an answer, doesn’t get one.

There is ash.  It’s everywhere.  We think it’s dust, though we’ll never

clear it out.  We can’t.  As I say with all the singers,


it is us.  We are ash.


C L Couch



Photo by Niklas Tidbury on Unsplash

This was a picture I took just for fun. One of those “that would look cool”-moments. I only realised the contrast between the new, fresh, ready-to-burn wood and the spent ashes of a campfire, like the wood was ready to meet its maker. Kinda sad actually.


This begins a week-long devotional, “Holey Week.”  The title is intentionally spelled.





Life is important

Though we contract on its importance

With agreements tissue-thin

On paper we’ve polluted

For nation-states that richer folk

Have hollowed out


What is left but

Value that has no protection

Words in a chamber without power

Charged with nothing but

Intention and

Words for marketing


How then are the poor protected

But they’re not

Maybe we live today

Maybe we don’t get the chance


Because the opportunity

Created in creation

Was stolen long ago

And we are left as shells

Abandoned by inhabitants

Left to dry on beaches

Away from water


The poor you will have with you

Is not an excuse for


Lack of action

Real food to go with

Living water


And who is the poor

But all of us connected

To judge by what we take at last

You are impoverished

So am I


Not one escapes

We’re all the same

As we’re all unique


No one person gets it all

That’s delusion

(you know that)

We share what we have

And leave more for the future

That’s a planet

Worthy to explore

Worthy to make contact

With beings, angels, and God

Of the universe


C L Couch



Image by StockSnap from Pixabay


After Words

After Words

(Lent 41)


There must still be words

We’re stuck with them, I guess

Or at least I am


We could end here

Or yesterday

But we won’t,

Which is not a matter of words

As it is of life


Yet we should be ready


To pause when needed

Maybe turn the pause to play

Whatever is called for


It’s called for often

Snow day

Day in the sun

Comp time (whoever has this)

Playing hooky

(you can look it up)


Work will resume

With its kind of

Awareness, learning, deciding

Not in cryptic ways

Or inaccessible

Though recall that there’s a mystery

In pretty much everything


The kind that moves a martyr’s heart

And for other reasons, too, can thrill the heart

Of each of us

Of the sort like

Joan, Priscilla, Rachel, Esther

Judith, Hrosvitha, and Hildegard

Who found their way with God

While in the world


And for the Joans, Priscillas, Rachels, Esthers

Judiths, though I don’t suppose we’ll be

Naming anyone Hildegard or

Hrosvitha for a while

We may

We will


I don’t know, I think we’ll find

What we need

As long as we don’t keep the process to ourselves

Or the results



I thought I should say something once it’s all over,

Our Lenten experience

We’re comingling times and traditions

Of the end of Lent (for those still counting),

The Passion, the Triduum, then

Easter and the Easter season


I pray

Together and apart

These are all good for you

The way spring days, clean from rain,

Can be


C L Couch


note for the blog

Counting forty days from Ash Wednesday takes Lent through Palm Sunday, which might seem odd given the reflective nature of the season maybe abandoned in triumphant celebration.  But the count of days in Lent can take out the Sundays and Holy (Maundy) Thursday (when the celebration of the Eucharist occurs) and add in Good Friday and Holy Saturday to make up a count and observation of forty days.  Timing of events for the Passion and the Triduum might overlap this way of counting, and it’s also true that some have it (more or less officially, according to one’s tradition) that the length of Lent (even the sense of forty days) be taken metaphorically.

I guess I’m counting forty days from Ash Wednesday and let the paradox of Palm Sunday prevail.



Photo Credit: Wikimedia User John Morgan CC-BY-2.0

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