I talk you talk we'll talk



A Count of Days

(x = space)



A Count of Days


The Sabbath comes

And in ten days

And counting more

Is Hanukkah

Lights and chocolate

Latkes and other gifts

Of earth

And from each other


Blue and silver

Days and nights

The nights show off the lights

That show the miracle

When we got our temple


To find it desecrated

And no fuel for lamps

We lighted them anyway

And they burned eight days

For us

And for our faith


We’re not perfect

We need to keep commandments,

After all

That remind us

And our neighbors

And the world

But we own miracles as well

As the menorah

And the gifts

And the food

And the blue nights

Shall show us

As the first time

The grace and love

And strength of God

For us

In faith

And you

In yours

If we may say,

Welcome to our festival


C L Couch

9th of Kislev (after sundown), 5783



Photo by Gaelle Marcel on Unsplash


An Inadequate Understanding

(x = space)



An Inadequate Understanding


The Torah tells us how to live

The Talmud makes it real

The Jews worship on Friday

And on many other occasions

Their community has its

Not so pleasant parts, I’m sure

But I find it beautiful

I find them beautiful

When I was invited to

Rosh Hashanah services by a

Friend, because my birthday

Coincided as it sometimes has


Also Yom Kippur

But anyway,

Talk about evangelism

Accidental maybe, since Jews

Don’t promote for converts as

A rule

But living out the faith in friendship—

Not bad, not bad

Christians of the children faith,

Take note


C L Couch



Photo by Tetiana SHYSHKINA on Unsplash

Kraków, Poland

door to the Jewish cheder in Krakow

(a kind of school that sadly I have not attended)


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


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