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The Second Day

(x = space)



The Second Day


The day

After resurrection

Jesus appears to many

There is work to do

After the great miracle,

It seems

Affirming what Mary

Has said

Showing marks of wounds

To Thomas

Teaching, still

Cooking fish beside a fire

Talking about metaphors

Of sheep

Hoping Peter understands

Then after many days

Of words and signs

A leavetaking

Leaving instructions

Until he should come back

Having left a promise, too,

Of help

Like his

In fact, him still

This person will indwell

Like blood, like bone,

Like organs

Like thoughts and feelings

That’s pretty close


A guide

Someone to speak to worth

 A presence, bearing

Through the times

Of pleasure and of pain

The ease of life

The things we never think

To get through


It’s a busy time

After Easter Day

There will be letters


Greetings, admonishments


Affirming of directions

These all will last

In the book through Revelation

Until, in fact,


And the obvious way to do it

Spirit inside, outside

All partners now

Treading the new fields

Of new Earth


C L Couch



Interested Bunny waiting for food.

photo by Stefan Fluck on Unsplash



(x = space)




(for friends)


You know,

I write several things

A day

And then choose

One of them

Some days I only write

One thing

And I use that

I tell myself that if there’s

Nothing, then I won’t

Have anything

To share

And that has to be

All right

Occasionally, that happens

Not so often

If I have access to my

Small machines

Among them the device



I say this because

This is where I am today

Not quite Pooh Corner

I admit

I cannot do everything

I want and like the apostle

Sometimes I do

The thing I hate

Though I think it’s more

That I don’t do

The thing I want

Even love

To do


I could ask

Where is the energy

Of youth, that

Sweet bird,

Though I think we know

That energy is finite

Like the push-pull


And that we always tire

So we

Run the race we can

Then rest


I know

You’re at the

Starting line

With me each day

I want to be with you

We go

And if we’re smart

We’ll rest

When there’s been enough

Join me today

Won’t you

In the race

That for us

Is cosmic laced,

Spiced, intertwined

With spirit

(or have spirit

laced with cosmic

thinking the spirit understands

either way)

The cosmic race

The spirit race

The human race


C L Couch



Isaac Newton Telescope on La Palma in the evening light

Photo by Frantisek Duris on Unsplash

Roque de los Muchachos, Spain


Romans 7:14-15

(Hebrews 12:1 et al)



(x = space)





Cats and dogs

And cows

Wolves in pictures

Videos of bears

Eagle nests

Through cameras


What do I know

Of beasts

In my suburban place?

I know the stories

Fairy stories

Thanks to

Father’s reading

And some records on

The record-player


And then,

You know,

I met the human kind


C L Couch



Photo by Axel Blanchard on Unsplash

Zoo de Beauval, Saint Aignan, France

A White Tiger


The Monster Speaks

The Monster Speaks


One thing the movies miss

Nearly all the time

Is to let the monsters speak

I’m hearing gargoyles talking

They make scary sense

They’re vicious and

Want to be left alone


If you want to see Frankenstein

Then read it

It’s not long

The most humane speeches

Are from the creature

Made by Victor

Who abhorred his work and then

Abandoned it

An ugly, powered creature

Left to roam the Earth

A child in a Golem’s body

With no control

Or advice to live


But when it speaks

The words are articulate

And passionate

Having been made by a human

Why can’t there be something of

The humans’ own?

The parent’s own and

Something of companionship

The words show us who

The monsters are

We slip into barbarity of action

While the best words remain

The creature’s own


No mistaking, the creature-made

Commits atrocities

There is a tragedy in the making

In having been made

In human vanity to make

But forestalling

Or destroying

Might have happened early on

As it is, the monster (so we way)

Is left alive

I know, for sequels

While the human maker


Pursues his own destruction,

Which is no kind of justice

She knew what she was doing


C L Couch



Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

Peloton Cellars, Front Street, Avila Beach, CA, USA


New Nicaean Thinking

New Nicaean Thinking


Fully human

Fully divine

That’s what we say

In answer to an old debate

Whose contesters have

Been dust a while

And still we say it

Because there are those who

Who want only flesh

While there are others

Who would only have perfection

Inside a ghostly presence


I don’t mean Hallowe’en

When the veil is thin

But every day, impossibly

God is only flesh

Or a spirit

I didn’t realize

(and don’t)

That, perhaps attaining

Certain saving ranks,

God could be rendered

I suppose beneath the mitre

Or in a meeting room


Though God might be outside

In holy, wild majesty

Waiting for the conference to end

To show debate instead

In hurricanes

Or life inside the vacuum

Of space, waiting for visitation


There’s flesh

There’s spirit

They stand and move apart

Or somehow they’re conjoined,

Which would be awe


Try to understand a black hole

Or transcendent Pi

Find life inside CERN

Or the baby,

Once conceived


Maybe we’ll find that we can

Create amazement, too

(I think we’ve done it)

Maybe we’ll be inventing God

As Voltaire did or did not mean

To advise,


Or we’ll say it is a better machine

Matching the workings of

A molecule or cell


Realizing dispensation

Plenary indulging


C L Couch



Photo by Don Shin on Unsplash

Stanford Dish


Keeping Faith in Time

Keeping Faith in Time


Big days are coming

Liturgically speaking

For practitioners of child and

Parent faiths

Maybe today should have gone quietly

There’s daily service

To attend to

I don’t know how to make

Every day spiritually special

As one of those practitioners, I should

But weak flesh and sometimes

Unwilling spirit,

Which is to say I’m human

So are you

Not as an excuse for anything

While there are certain things, at large and internal,

To give in to

There are things we must keep trying for

Let this day found goodness

In the next one

And if we miss a step

Let’s remember certain rhythms

And their seasons

Allow for discord

(against the chord)

Without ruining the music

Might make it better


C L Couch



Photo by Zachary Nelson on Unsplash

Bethel College, Mishawaka, United States


Holey Week 4


What We Can Give

What We Can Give

(and following)


Grace to you

And mercy

Though I cannot dispense them

(even mercy is borrowed)

I am not the source


And not to splinter things too fine,

Neither I think are you

But we know the one is

Source and giver,

Who releases memory to us

Of past performance

And of gratitude


As a surrogate, I can offer blessing

(so can you)

Though it is not mine (not ours)

To award

But mercy we can show

Maybe not as miracle

But hard work can come across


Especially without invoice

There’s grace in that



Grace Act II


And now, the sequel

We can give grace

Our own kind

A human sort that is not

Of the Spirit

But which it approves


A love that doesn’t

Think of it as gift

Nothing to consider on

The page

But that which cuts through mysteries

To ponder,

Nighttime, candlelit considerations

No, in this light of day

We don’t deliberate the question

Simply provide the act

In, you know, action

That, aside, is enough of an answer


Maybe we own our kind of mercy

As well


C L Couch



Photo by Ricardo Gomez Angel on Unsplash

“music in the air”


Maybe I’m Not Human

Maybe I’m Not Human


Don’t listen to me

I am woman

What do I know


Please vote in place of me

Rule me in a democracy

Of one in which

I’m other


Am I human

Sometimes I must wonder

I should read up on this*


In the mean time,

I plot my course from


For, really,

How could I make my way without



Okay, now the nightmare’s over

I will make it so

Hear me howl across the ages into

Modern reckoning

I am here

I know

I love you

Now be with me

And let me be


*Dorothy Sayers was once asked in outrageous sincerity to pen an essay to the question “Are Women Human?”  She wrote, planting her tongue in her cheek and opening up her brilliant mind.  The title is eponymous of the question.  Please read the essay.  It’s good.


C L Couch

C is for Chorus

C is for Chorus


We bend our knee to no one;

No one surrenders to us


Human players are tragic:

Even in our comedies, vicious


We bend our knee to no one;

No one surrenders to us


What we see can blind, but

Unlike Oedipus can’t self-maim


We bend our knee to no one;

No one surrenders to us


Our role is comment for you

Who attend our seeing-place


We bend our knee to no one;

No one surrenders to us


Like Antigone, we’re horrified

In forsaking our heroic dead


We bend our knee to no one;

No one surrenders to us


Cynics abandon Parnassus;

We will stay, the human voice


We bend our knee to no one;

No one surrenders to us

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