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Blue-Rolling Justice

(x = space)



Blue-Rolling Justice

(Amos 5:24)


More than a trope

Don’t make a meme

(a meme would be mean)

The Lord is real

And eminent

Faster than electrons

And so much more long-lasting

Than a fashion

Let your justice roll, O Lord,

In a world that doesn’t want

To know you

Or obey you

That keeps your name

As fodder for cursing

I know, it sounds Sunday School

Or Hebrew school

Or teaching in the mosque

Or learning circles elsewhere

But too bad

You don’t want to acknowledge

Someone larger, someone

Who could teach us

Perfect love

To keep us from assaulting,

Killing each other

Then takes your chances

With revelation

And apocalypse when

They cannot be denied


C L Couch



Photo by Susan Wilkinson on Unsplash


Deal-Making with the Lord

(x = space)



Deal-Making with the Lord

(sigh, didn’t work for Moses)



The stomach feels

So tight

I’d like relief



At the source


All my troubles

I can’t escape


Though I could

Escape a few


And is

Escape the answer?

Probably not

(worse the


I imagine there is


By the way of



But some things,

I think,

Can simply

Be made better

Call it grace or


Or one side

Of a pledge


Please, Lord,


The pain

Give me days


The consequences

I’ll work

On the rest,

I promise


C L Couch




Photo by Ella de Kross on Unsplash

New York, NY, USA


One More Act

One More Act


Regarding salvation,


It is an easy plan

It has to be

Don’t be disappointed

Each one of everyone

Must perceive

The Lord

It can’t be a secret,

Though for now we need a secret

To survive

A code

Or something


Somehow, each one

Gets the story

In a saving way

We can’t be hiding that

Thank goodness, we don’t

God would crowd in, anyway

Should we get it wrong

There must be

Truth in belief and a cadre

To keep it


Somehow the story

Must appeal

To the old, the young

The angry and the fearful

How much we know cannot be

The matter of

God’s apprehending each

Once the hand is raised

And if no skill to do that

Raised with help

From proxy friends


But each one’s own


Must compel

And must, because there is

Perfect love in the process

A compelling invitation

Stamped with joy

Delivered in peace

Whose cost, mind you,

Is nothing


It’s a great day,


Even though we scratch

Into the ground for recognition

We are fishers

With the perfect net

That will not kill or maim

Or serve up the wrong fish

Into the boat

Or on the shore

Consider it a plan

Better than any other

There should be no wounds

Outside or inside

Except those delivered

By the world


The net actually fails

There is no net

Yet the job is done

It’s done in thread

That holds nothing together

So must we in peace

Proclaim the Lord,

Which will be hard for us

Though God demands somehow we keep

The opposites together


(a greeting in my hand)

My peer, my student, and my friend

It is the hardest work we do

And rise above the scars

Yet the prize is easy

It is not ours

But kept by one who knows our names

Better yet, prizes our spirits

Gain the faith in truth and love

A day of gladness when there’s one

And only one


C L Couch



Photo by Brina Blum on Unsplash

Trèbes, France

It was on a lovely and sunny day in Trèbes in France. I found this lonely and lost mailbox on the wall of an old house. Looks so beautiful.




Fixing Morning

Fixing Morning



I don’t know what

To say or do

Thank goodness for the

Autonomic processes

I sit here, tempting frozenness

Fruit of depression

And anxiety, I know

Though like gout,

It could be an exigent bout

With indecision


But decision-making requires


And I have none

Feeling beaten around by

The world, because I have been

What is left?


Then I look outside:

It is a pale scene

Morning light-blue, yellow light

Upon some branches

Other branches in the shade

Though the leaves are waving green

As if to signal spring, perhaps

Officially some weeks away


While, I’m sorry for ingratitude,

I tend to savor

Seasons as they come, anymore

(dreading the extremes—

why did you make these?)

So a sign of spring is fine

Even a comfort (thank you) but

Not a pressing need

I tend to love even when they’re difficult

All times I have


So if this pastiche outside

That only I behold has been

(and maybe not)

Arranged at all for me,

It might be an invitation

You know (I know you know),

To sit up,

Eat the toast,

Finish the coffee,

And move on


It looks to be a lovely day outside

And if I leave the noise inside

I’m sure I will hear birdsong

So much better


C L Couch



Photo by Austrian National Library on Unsplash


One-Sided Catechism

One-Sided Catechism



I wonder Tevye-like,


When will I be rich

And healthy enough

To take it and relish the

Easy pleasures of the



When will I be young again

(and in so many ways

the first time)

To have a spirit free

Of mortal weights

Or maybe a few

To start

Of the more pernicious


To be rid of

So I might leap the

Barricades of illness

And of penury?


When, O Lord,

Will you love me less and

More than enough

That I might walk the world

In ignorance with

Something in my pocket

For a change

(more than change)?


I know you love me, Lord:

Would you make that at least

A little less challenging?



(exasperated sighs),

I’m waiting, Lord



C L Couch



kamshots – Fiddler in Darband, CC BY 2.0,


Young Athlete in Pain

Young Athlete in Pain


Lord, I don’t know what to do

The pain is bad

Shall I try hot or cold?

But it’s all kinds of muscles

The ones I think with

Play with

Occasionally make love with

Everything hurts

Everything is bad

That’s pretty simply put

And how I think

And how it feels

I don’t know what to do, Lord

Please help me

I don’t know if it’s an angel

Or a miracle

Or simply something I haven’t thought of

I don’t claim to be smart

Not now

When pain takes over

And my thinking’s overloaded


It’s not going to be a good day, is it?

A good year,

Good life?

How hard have I made it all?

Forgive me, if I’m faithless

Forgive me if I’m rude

It hurts is all

It hurts very much

And I get sidetracked or benched

(or bench myself)

From my better calling,

Please speak to me again

I will try to hear

And if my ears don’t work,

I have other senses


You could even tell me in a dream

Though that’s hard for me

I tend to think that dreams aren’t real

Once I’m awake

Even ones that have me wake up



Hear my voice, O Lord,

Even when I’m not speaking

I’m sorry, I should really believe that

You will reach out to me

It’s not magic or a game


It’s your way of being perfect

I must believe

I must love


It’s just that it’s really hard today

It was hard yesterday

I don’t know about tomorrow



Sometimes I don’t know what else to say




C L Couch



By Carlos Delgado, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Marta López being treated off the pitch at the Spain Handball All Star Game 2013, held in San Sebastián de los Reyes, Madrid, Spain.


Visible and Invisible

Visible and Invisible


The Lord sings,

and there’s a world.

The Spirit shimmers, and love

all inspires.

The Child touches one and then another,

and everything is better.

Healing and teaching,

death and resurrection.


There are other personages

in other stories.

I like well enough this tale of mine, which

comes from a people I must own.  I am

content mostly to do so.


I want to learn more and more:

to hear the single notes

that rise into a melody

of sacred time

for sacred dance.


And everything is better.


C L Couch



CC BY-SA 2.0 fr,

English: Coptic crosses in Philae Temple of Isis. Aswan, Egypt.
Français : Autel chrétien dans à l’intérieur du temple d’Isis à Philaé. Assouan, Égypte
Image taken by Gilles RENAULT

Prayers Pressed into Service

Prayers Pressed into Service


Oh, Lord

Not an invocation

Oh as a sigh

I love you,

You know that

Your people not always so much

But I try

And the world you made

We have sliced into it

Turned the pieces into fiefdoms

Pressed it in vices of all kinds

To render bits of gold

And abrogated power

From the rightful

And the fearful

Greed taken in handfuls

Lifted into stolen light

Slides onto the floor

To be returned to Earth one day

Though the guilty do not see that


When will we be whole?

One touch of your hand

But it’s not time for that

These are still our moments

To be righteous

To be fair

To be calm

And calmly take it back

Our will, our loves

Our control

Our world


C L Couch



By Gregory David Harington (user Gregorydavid) – Own work,


And Does It Take a Sabbath Day

And Does It Take a Sabbath Day


And does it take a sabbath day

To have a larger thought

To encounter feeling that goes

‘Round the world


Maybe it does

Though the Lord knows

I can make my own

And, like entitlement, could call it

Anything I want

Though usually it’s Friday

Maybe Thursday


I used to retreat and rearranged the week

I’d go out on Thursday afternoon

Stay through the night

Often not sleeping, maybe by intent

My own dark night of the soul

Then I’d have Friday to go downstairs

To meet with the director

We’d talk of Francis and Gerald May

And would I train as he did

So far, I haven’t done so


All that has ended, as I guess it had to

Not because of miffed occasions

I’m not sure we ever had a one of those

But because mortality calls unevenly

And those of us are left

To fill in steps like pulling in

Loose lines on board we weren’t expecting

Never are


I must do now for me

Chaos, order

Void, abundance

I don’t arrange these very well

But they are big

Like large thoughts on a sabbath day

Friday or whenever


I must find my own way home

Find more company than this

Than these

Sensations, wishes, little more

Not to fill in emptiness

But something hale to

Place over the pain

Like a well-timed blanket

On a cold, cold winter day


When I couldn’t go out, anyway

To find the house above the creek

On made-up sabbath days


C L Couch


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