I talk you talk we'll talk



The Autumn People

The Autumn People

(title and litany inspired by R. Bradbury)


World of stone

Ancient, difficult wood and sometimes glass

Though passageways for

Light and air are

Mostly shuttered nowadays


It is an age beyond the last

Ancient, classic, invasion, modern, after-modern

Mires of agenda

That refused to die

So that the next time had no name

No one after, either, to name in distant reason

This last time


In anarchy, all freedom’s lost

No one in safety alone

In groups of tribal bands

Joined for number


There is no core

Nothing on which to ride an atom or to

Split its parts


We came together as we could

Or nothing


Nothing, nothing, nothing

To have into grey days


Summer without

Winter long past to be accounted

No one remembers spring


This is what we are

This is what we left one season

Now only one time of year


Forever fallen

Ever falling


Who are we?

Once we were leaves

Attached, belonging to the binding of

The book of life


Where did we live?

In colors, living textures

On a primal world


What is left now?

Ghosts of patterns

What might have been


Why do we live?

It’s all that’s left

The spine is broken


We exist, barely assembled

What is left of

Dark matter, once

All light has been erased


The litany has ended

We return below ground

To sleep uneven with rude weapons

Close to our faces


Failing eyesight

Hands no longer trustworthy

In holding what is left

Into the evening of the Earth


C L Couch





I speak

Then you speak

It’s good

It’s good for the church

For the service

It’s even better for us

A way to talk that has rhythm and remembrance

Ages-long and fresh each time

You speak

Then I speak

We listen—we don’t forget that part

The service ended,

We go in peace


C L Couch


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