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We Didn’t Know Who You Was

(x = space)



We Didn’t Know Who You Was

(Christmas Eve)


Let’s not slice it to death

This time

Let’s simply have observances

Let all the contradictions go

We know there’s folklore involved,

Which should fascinate


There was such darkness

At hand

Of one kind or another

Of the past, of

The present

Lack of awareness

Of the import of events;

Only to the players

Did things matter,

They in acts

No one to put it all together until Luke

And a little bit in Matthew and in John


Prophets old and new

We have to say

Knew and know some measure

Of the meaning

Of it all

They are extracted

And we read them, too


Such dulled and slow senses

Sometimes history goes that way

Sometimes it’s spiritual

The people walked in darkness

There might be other forces, too,

To keep us from the light


But it is there

The birth is there

Incarnation as a doctrine

Thought some of it at least

Might have been as any birth

A baby in the world

This one in a cave

And that’s unusual

And all around

The mystery

The strangeness

There was adventure in the sky

And from some people

Who in an iron empire

Chose to dedicate another lord,

Another life to follow


The child is God

But who knew that?

Mary and Joseph


And the magi knew something

While the shepherds were told something

As good news

This is the messiah!

Who really understood?

How could a baby save the world

Who is not Caesar

With family, tutors, strategists

Sheltered behind stone walls,

Armies out front

That keep the world

For them?


Well, other parts conspired

Into a birth, a life

That through faith

And later patchwork

Yielded doctrine

And a way

The people of the way


As on that night

(let’s call it a night)

There would be amazement

There would be awful things as well

But wonder now

And wonder later on

And with us, still


Praise God, for God is good

God is love

God is a spirit

Who wonders now

And offers light inside the darkness,

The kind of darkness that is not

Romantic but it

Stultifies and kills


Believe the child

Humbly, take the child in

To dwell with you

Maybe like a foundling, at the start,

Then as a teacher

And a savior

And a temple of salvation

In the city of God

(new heaven)

And on God’s free land

(new Earth)



Sweet, little Jesus child,

They made you be born in a manger;

Sweet, little holy child,

We didn’t know who you was.


Didn’t know you’d come to save us, Lord,

To take our sins away:

Our eyes was blind, we could not see;

We didn’t know who you was.


We didn’t know who you was

Maybe we should have

Maybe we can, now,

And into new ages

Love revealed

Prophecy fulfilled

The child grows up

We grow up


And for this night we way

Welcome to the world, child,

And everything that starts



C L Couch



could be a choral or a choir reading


“Sweet, Little Jesus Child” is a song of African American origin.  The precise source is unknown, and there are variants and variations.


This is the third in a creative, liturgical series for Advent and Christmas.  The other two parts are the last two days’ posts.  I think I’ll work on something else now.


Photo by Agung Raharja on Unsplash


The People Walked

The People Walked


God announces

God’s own birth

An absurdity of prophecy

Things bang together

Light good

Dark bad

(for now

for often dark is good)

People in darkness

Who understands?

God is coming

But God is here

God has been here

From the start

Before the start

God was

And is

And shall be

And now, what,

A child?

A virgin birth,

Come on


A working together

Of generations,


So that everything

Comes together


Too much

It is too much

You try the words too much

The documents are old

And sacrosanct

We keep them in a temple

Leave them be

What we believe

Is in the temple

Leave it be

We sacrifice flora and fauna

We dedicate

Our children

We don’t need another child

Or of such scandal

Leave us be


We are specific

We are everyone


We have freedom

In measure

We hate the other measure

But taxes

And armies

Are the world

It could be worse

It has been worse

We plot

Inside the darkness

In our own planning time

As we say,

Leave us be


So God is coming

And it’s taken centuries

Ages, if we count

From the beginning

And before

The God who answered nothing

With creation

And now a child

Without instruction

For our training

As a Caesar

(any Caesar)

This is too much

We have our own children

And for Caesar

Charges and complaints

From Spain and France

Morocco, Egypt

To Iraq and Israel

Rumors in Russia, India, and


All the world



And everywhere we know

Is burden

Don’t weigh us down with more

Words and promises

And obligations


You expect us to believe?



C L Couch



I don’t know how I got to thinking about Christmas while summer is hot on.  Maybe it’s wishful thinking, though I like the seasons as they happen.  Maybe I need a charge of faith, like a CO2 cartridge making soda pop in the soda fountain.  Maybe I need some soda pop.  Maybe I’m preparing what might seem way ahead for liturgies in Advent (the good news and the difficult).  Or maybe a little future holiday (of any number of holidays) is okay for the present, that is, right now.


Photo by Alistair MacRobert on Unsplash



(x = space)






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)


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


Grand art, you see,

And easy,

Arduous science

For both


C L Couch



the verse alludes to Plato’s allegory of the cave


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


Photo by Jed Owen on Unsplash


About Some Light

(x = space)



About Some Light


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


Knowing things

In relationship


It can be electric,

Maybe a shock

But mostly learning,

Reflecting (hah) on



Currents through



C L Couch



Photo by PhotographyCourse on Unsplash


From Chairs

(x = space)



From Chairs


We look over,


Winter’s lower light



The invention of

The window



In viewing

An out-there when

In-here becomes

Too close,


Not enough to keep

Supernal us

From rush to and through

The stars

We know are out there, bearing

The truth

Of things



Especially when exigent

We hear

As well

The angels’ songs

For mortals


C L Couch



Photo by Ariel on Unsplash


The Necessary Shadow

(x = space)



The Necessary Shadow


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



The light might take us far

If our eyes will need contrast

Even shadows

Providing shapes

Familiar or strange

Along the way


I’m not sure that

This is death

When it might be something new

That will bring us home,


The end of an exhausting day

As at work

Or an amusement park


Light and darkness

Shape and shadow

Strenuous meditation

And there is such a thing


The quiet life is not

An easy one,

Given the world

And our natures

While listening

Is hard as well

And nothing automatic


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


We are part of all this interaction

The universe a living place

For us

Life in life

All loves excelling


C L Couch



Photo by Thomas Richter on Unsplash


“Love Divine, All Loves Excelling,” a hymn


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


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.”


Photo by Nathan John on Unsplash





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.




(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


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


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