I talk you talk we'll talk






I don’t know what I’m doing

I know I often act misdirected

But where is the magic

The spotlight that tells me

I’m in the right place

And on the good way?


Came out of nowhere

I just heard that phrase used to

Sell something

A cliché, but it’s poetic


Out of nowhere, ex nihilo


But isn’t that how you create?

Out of nothing appears


To set new flesh upon a wound or

Fill a gulley in the desert with

Water unheard-of in the



Out of nothing I was made

The spark in emptiness that fused

A spirit to new cells,

And I am here

Though you’ve always been here


And I can’t say I understand that

How you are in the charges

Of my neurons

And the pulses of my heart

And over Earth

And through the universe of chances


Although I still feel useless

And pathless

For the Gethsemani contemplative

It was enough to know

Random instincts somehow speak to



That isn’t me

I’m not so smart

Or self-sufficient



He wasn’t, either

We both want to know

And what do we find out?

We wander an agnostic landscape

Step toward uncertainty

An answer in a


And for the next,



Will that do?

For us, it has to

And bold enough, if cautious

To go beyond the mortal shell

To tread in a fossil sea

To take a walk on Mars


C L Couch



Mars by Curiosity




(note—yes, I saw the movie recently)


Nature and human come

Together for a sabbath day

A wilderness of possibilities set

Apart for eternity

The beauty in Amherst might



(she’d say it better)

Today I might be walking—

Will you walk with me, too?

Only if the crowd—will

Not be walking with you


A host of dashes hers to call

She commands them

Connections between words and a

Cosmos of actions

Options that will satisfy

Her divinities


We try to be friends—Emily,

The Lord, and I

But there is majesty in others and

Other entities to which

We must relent,

After the final time


C L Couch


beauty in Amherst

Terence Davies on the Hugeness of a Confined Life in His Emily Dickinson Biopic, ‘A Quiet Passion’



Psalm 41, steward’s song

Psalm 41

steward’s song


You are God

Female and male

You are king


I am servant

And for work

I am steward


We are bound

Guardians and



Whose lord

Returns one day

To take an



What was made

And shared


For what we’ve



Psalm 38, a morning song

Psalm 38

a morning song


A normal day, at last

Blue sky and green leaves

The air is cool


Ablutions and then coffee

I sit here

Bird-song is low


Maybe birds are taking

Time to let this day

Herald itself


I sit here

With a cool current on

My back and liquid warmth


Close by: you give me

This peace, dear Lord

And my heart


Only begins, with what

Capacity it has,

To thank you

Psalm 32

Psalm 32

a song when we are done


Lord, I’ve lost it all

Age and youth

Health and wealth

Whatever I possessed

Is no longer in my



I wagered life

And sometimes won

Gained much, gave it away

Squandered some

As we are likely to do


Here I am, and there

You are

We draw closer all the


With all that

I no longer have


Do you still love me,


The mystics’ reply is

Yes, always

Yes from the Lord

Psalm 31 — a song, a request

Psalm 31
a song, a request

Lord, your love rises above
All; let me, with your choosing,
Rise with you

Lift me without pain that
I might see the borderless
World below, source of your
Love in that we were made
Out of your will

Better than the dawn
Is waking to new life with
All things seeming new—so let
Me rise with you

Better than all other pleasures
And pursuits, please let
Me rise with you

Psalm 27, a birthdate song

Psalm 27
a birthdate song

My day once a month,
Nine times three or
Thrice three multiplied

Such numeric niceties:
How much do they

I make special one day
In my own way, taking
The number to own

My little arrangement,
My small deal, to
Negotiate in the world

A little something
Shadowed that is mine

Small possessions, Lord,
Do you mind?

I’m guessing not

We all need to remake
Certain days

Psalm 25, a song of after-celebration

Psalm 25
a song of after-celebration

It’s not Sunday, no
Official day of rest

But unofficially we
At home are done with
Formal celebration

Unusually fine food,
Goods in boxes wrapped
Just-so, paper, sticky
Tape, silk ribbons—all
Now vestiges

All the tries at sweeping
Up glitter and confetti,
Finished for a time

(Glitter on a surface
Somewhere, somewhen,
A sparkling moment of
Quiet surprise to come)

Cups are filled with
Plain coffee now

The dogs and other
Pets are tired, next
To us and at peace

We enjoy a holiday
Without the holiday

Happy and less-sated,
Gazing at our decorations
Also now at rest

Sipping our hot morning
Drinks (or cool), looking
Out glass panels upon a
Sun-lit, dampened yard

Lord, please pardon, if this
Is for us the better
Holiday after-day


Psalm 20, a song when celebration

Psalm 20
a song when celebration

When the world is celebrating
We remember those
Who cannot be

Not to diminish our joy
But to make it fuller
To have a thought for the care

Of, well, you know, everything
And everyone
Blanket all of us in safety, Lord

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