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Shadowlands

(x = space)

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Shadowlands

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Plato

C. S. Lewis

My hand by

The computer light

Shadows with shadows,

I suppose

With something firmer

On the other side

That could be relied on

For an eternity

Something waiting

Something inspiring

An ideal

A world of ideals

That’s what we learned

In school

So what have we here?

Which world shimmers

For the other

Though we presume

The other world’s better?

What do we sense here?

What do we make?

What lasts?

We have our treasures

And we try to keep them

We use guards

We have alarms

Things might fade anyway

Or break

And we keep making

Stockpiling art

With care

In both kinds of caves

Like those who aren’t so well-

Obsessed with money

Or better

With a hope for all

The way we might stockpile food

And why not

Against the day

Except for exigent hunger

(there should be enough

for both)

x

Yet if they’re right

We’ll have it all again

Art and food

Anything of profit

By virtue,

Perfect there

And permanent

And with ourselves, perhaps,

Polished and redeemed

As on this side

We sometimes polish

Precious metal with

Satisfaction after

That self-effacing

Might be and become

A shimmering

Evangelism:

Grand art, you see,

And easy,

Arduous science

For both

x

C L Couch

x

x

the verse alludes to Plato’s allegory of the cave

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the title is a term that is a metaphor for mortal life

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Photo by Jed Owen on Unsplash

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About Some Light

(x = space)

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x

About Some Light

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It’s dark:

Light a candle

(It can be electric)

To know the darkness

In relationship,

Which is the way to know

Nearly all

Good things

x

Knowing things

In relationship

(well,)

It can be electric,

Maybe a shock

But mostly learning,

Reflecting (hah) on

Brighter

(darker)

Currents through

Creation

x

C L Couch

x

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Photo by PhotographyCourse on Unsplash

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From Chairs

(x = space)

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x

From Chairs

x

We look over,

see

Winter’s lower light

Break

Through

The invention of

The window

x

Relief

In viewing

An out-there when

In-here becomes

Too close,

Distractions

Not enough to keep

Supernal us

From rush to and through

The stars

We know are out there, bearing

The truth

Of things

x

Maybe

Especially when exigent

We hear

As well

The angels’ songs

For mortals

x

C L Couch

x

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Photo by Ariel on Unsplash

x

The Necessary Shadow

(x = space)

x

x

The Necessary Shadow

x

If we

Turn toward light,

We’ll need some shade

Not the kind to throw

But that kind that is

Provided by

Glasses or

A hand over our eyes,

Better still by

Trees inspired by

Craters on the moon

x

Unmoored,

The light might take us far

If our eyes will need contrast

Even shadows

Providing shapes

Familiar or strange

Along the way

x

I’m not sure that

This is death

When it might be something new

That will bring us home,

Afterward

The end of an exhausting day

As at work

Or an amusement park

x

Light and darkness

Shape and shadow

Strenuous meditation

And there is such a thing

x

The quiet life is not

An easy one,

Given the world

And our natures

While listening

Is hard as well

And nothing automatic

x

Listen for the litany,

Expression and response

Between root and branch,

Wing and song

Listen for the turn of

Earth and the stretching

Of the band with

Its own satellite

x

We are part of all this interaction

The universe a living place

For us

Life in life

All loves excelling

x

C L Couch

x

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Photo by Thomas Richter on Unsplash

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“Love Divine, All Loves Excelling,” a hymn

x

Dark Heart

Dark Heart

 

Light, bring me light!

It must be nice to call for it

A monarch

Then expect it

If I want light, I’ll have to get it

Not to complain

I have matches that strike on anything

And it’s one payment of my bills

That’s current

And now we have the bulbs

That light and last

That are expensive

That is a promise of investment in

Illumination

As for what’s inside, I’m unsure what to say

We say or see each new idea

As a light

A symbol in a balloon

A cartoon moment without words

Light to curse the darkness

Say the Christophers

Because darkness isn’t always bad

We call them the Dark Ages

We called it the dark continent

Though that was agenda

And racism

The agenda of racism

Belief to form a profit

Over people

Maybe we do better with the heart of darkness

Maybe not

But that is the end of light at the horizon

The entrance of the Congo

And the human being

And who is the main character

If not the continent itself

That without restraint

(another sort of character)

Ruins each of us—

And whose restraint

 

C L Couch

 

 

Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad, 1899 serially in Blackwood’s Magazine, published (whole) with other stories in 1902

 

The mission of The Christophers is to encourage people of all ages, and from all walks of life, to use their God-given talents to make a positive difference in the world. The mission is best expressed in The Christophers’ motto: “It’s better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.”

https://www.christophers.org/

 

Photo by Nathan John on Unsplash

 

Lumen

Lumen

 

And if there might be something brief

Through which some color, texture pique

Something that says, let’s hope awhile

Let’s take the light

Whate’er we can

Let fire our receptors to

Ignite incumbent senses and

Help those withal

 

We have our space and time

And time to find inside

And when we can no longer bear

The creature in the garden will return

To make it right

At last

With everything contracted in

First promises

First days

 

C L Couch

 

 

Photo by Katie Moum on Unsplash

Driving through the tunnel, the lights alongside, guiding our path beckoned me.

 

Spacetime

Spacetime

(as a single word, a thing)

 

I’ve been learning

About this

I’m amateurish

But it seems that it’s a gift

Of fluidity

Against intractability of

What we take for

Metronomic living

 

I could take a trip

Come back still alive

Barely older

When the cure has been invented

And those on Earth might

Wonder how we

Lived so long without it

Then recall

By my spaceship evidence

We didn’t

 

Light bends

Takes its time around galactic clusters

Because it’s needed elsewhere

Later than the normal pace

Allows

Or maybe it’s a cosmic celebration

Of forlorn parts

That, folded,

May come back

 

You see, it’s faster and it’s slower

More wonders to be added

More paper in the capsule

More pencils by the cosmonauts

Who already learned

To write upside-down

 

Fear not

Schools will expand

Along with all the options

Requiring machines

To be stretched into curves

Reshaped into marvels

Potters know the way

 

Each moment will be new

A little chaos is good for everyone

And twisted into tapestry

So that everything

The cosmos and our lives

Is also home

 

C L Couch

 

 

Photo by Genessa Panainte on Unsplash

Calgary, Canada

Fairy Dust

I believe

 

Wrought

Wrought

 

A new way of thinking

That’s what we make

Well, we make the frame

The content of new thinking

Is up to you

Which I mean in the best way possible

Fantastic responsibility

To move yourself

And your people

Forward

 

Maybe help with the first of these

So many layers added al the time

 

There was gray light

And I turned it on, and the lamp

The bulb

Changed light to gold

Like Rumpelstiltskin’s straw

 

It might rain

It might be on the way

We’ve had some downpours recently

But the forecaster says that

Our water table’s low

 

Good time for participation

For new things to fall

To wash the world some

Offering nourishment to the ground

And those who live upon it

 

It means grayness continues

Though we can have better light against

The darkness

Through craft

And letting go the work

 

C L Couch

 

 

Image by Raheel Shakeel from Pixabay

 

Lent 11

Lent 11

 

It’s easy to feel pent up,

If not overwhelmed

 

Our world tells us to keep moving

And that’s fine

 

But if the wisdom-writer’s right,

Then there is a time for all things

 

In that, a time to let all

Movement happen all around

 

While we savor what there is

Or step out

 

Because it’s also time for

Taking up what is close by

 

Just behind the shoulder

And it goes unnoticed, even when

 

It presses from wherever

Time to look again

 

To hear

To touch

 

To taste

To smell

 

To pick up and take in

Like a newfound work of art

 

That otherwise might have only lived in dust,

Which is not living at all,

 

Lost to light

But now

 

Like this (dusted off),

We can

 

Enter into

A tasking of illumination

 

C L Couch

 

 

Adamantios – Own work

Attic (aka garret, loft or sky parlor) in Berlin, Germany.

(symbolism unplanned—synchronicitous?)

 

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