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What is the song

In your head

Just now?

Mine is “Song Sung Blue,”

Because everybody

Knows one

Sometimes it’s “One Voice”

Sometimes it’s

“Color My World”

Now you know

Where I’m from



It’s a theme

From a movie

Or a show

TV or Broadway

But if I stop

To catch it,

There’s always

Something there

Always music

And that is something


C L Couch



Pyrophone of Georges Frédéric Eugène Kastner (1852–1882).

By photographer unknown – Hermann Ludwig von Jan: Johann Georg Kastner, ein elsässischer Tondichter, Theoretiker und Musikforscher – sein Werden und Wirken. Breitkopf & Härtel, Band 2, Teil 2, Leipzig 1886, p. 308, Digitalisat (Internet Archive), Public Domain,


Christmas in July

(for the editor of a local newspaper)


I think it was largely a retail invention

I think it still is

There was a movement

For a while this year

To display Christmas

Or holiday lights,

But I don’t think it took on

Maybe was subsumed

By a trenchant desire

To be normal,

Which evidently has to be

A retrograde feeling

Too bad, since lights on houses

In July would be cool without,

You know, being cold

At least in these parts

I’d be up for Aussies and

Kiwis joining the movement,


Lights and music

Maybe a sensation or two

We wouldn’t have to call it

Christmas—how much does the

Birth of Christ resonate, anyway?

We could be respecting of

All the good traditions

(there are many)

Frankly, nodding toward

Colors, maybe music

Gift-giving could take a pass

Let’s use what we already


For fun, adding a toy penguin,

Maybe a dinosaur (also

stuffed, not stuffing us)

Or two

Not to make it chaos

But, to borrow from another

Celebration, a cornucopia

Inclusive, somewhat organized

Revelry without the stress

The other days have had

A campaign, then,

For all the senses in community

Unseasonal holidays in July


Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy


C L Couch



Photo by Sandra Grünewald on Unsplash


Soul Music

Soul Music


Start in Africa

Carry through to the Caribbean

To New Orleans

Then travel up to Detroit

And with a kind of partnership

In New York and Nashville,

You have soul


The other kind, we know

From long ago

When breath entered earth

To form a person, rising


Was there music in the garden?

I think there must have been

A shame that in a lull

Between certain movements,

The serpent talked with Eve

And then Adam

All too easily

Fell, too

Then there must have been a kind

Of silence for a time

In mourning, angels set to guard

Then maybe once emptied of us,

Music returned to Eden,

Which was its nature


It we listen, will we hear it,

The music in our souls?

Back in Detroit, maybe

Or in the backyard,

Where a picnic turns to small

And loving concerting

For the family

And for friends


It might be gone or hidden

(hiding’s a kind of gone),

But like the soul

The music might be found again

Turn to archaeologists,

Turn inward

We can have it

We can play it all


C L Couch



Last concert of Ray Charles at Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier of the Place des Arts during the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal in 2003. Photo by Victor Diaz Lamich.

Victor Diaz Lamich, CC BY 3.0,


The Best Is Yet to Come

The Best Is Yet to Come


The best is yet to come and, babe, won’t it be fine?


Dancing, crooning

Love songs

Ties and gowns or overalls and pinafores,

Doesn’t matter

There is glitter in the air

The lights of romance

There’s music from a combo

Ain’t it all fine?


There has to be more of this

Not an increase

Or exaggeration

But ongoing

The laughing, dancing, crooning combo

Always at hand

To have and have again

Not a party without end

But reasons to

Celebrate that last


The kind of work

(exertion of energy)

That heals

The smiles from musicians, which

Can say

We are free at last

And we love you

And an audience

In equal measure grateful

Taking part

Tomorrow there will be other things

And there will be tomorrow

For now,

There’s confidence

In this place of music

Fancy lights

(not the kind that blind)

Hands clasping on the dancing floor


Maybe we’ll go outside

Not because nature is tame

But because

It tames us

With its own lights of night

And gift of rock

For a dancing floor


This is a vision

Of necessity

Because the flesh that hears,

Touches, and responds

Should go on in some way

Call it paradise

The life renewed

That hasn’t lost a note or a step


C L Couch



“The Best Is Yet to Come”

written by Cy Coleman and Carolyn Leigh

Frank Sinatra and Count Basie performed and recorded for the album It Might as Well Be Swing (1964) and performed and recorded by many others.


photo by Manuel Inglez on Unsplash

Parque Natural de Sintra-Cascais, Sintra, Portugal





High notes are too much

Piano, then the strings

Of violin, viola, and the cello

Maybe someone adds

Spanish guitar

Too much, even one

To make them


No wonder the heart is said

To have and have not

Its strings

To resonate

And somehow in between them all

Outside, inside

There’s weeping


C L Couch



Photo by Belen Garrido on Unsplash

Villafranca del Castillo, Spain


If Music Be

If Music Be


The life of a conductor

Intensity in perfect clothes

The privilege of


A reason for performance


I used to attend

I used to direct

I enjoyed the motion

In the rhythm of the spheres


So what shall we do

Have a romantic ending

After a crisis of crescendo

A denouement that tells us that

The story’s over

Soon will be time to go home


I think that sounds right

Let the music take us


The passages

The energy

The final resolutions

Then, you know,

The end


C L Couch

image there without specific credit but a good story about Bernstein and legacy






I like music of all kinds

Which is not to say I like all songs

Especially the ones that yell at me

I can do without


It’s better to be in the room, I guess

Certainly for jazz

But either way I hear

Barber’s Adagio for Strings

I want to weep



Listening to gospel music on the radio

I can get two stations

One I think is broadcast from the fifties

One is from my time but

Comes in fuzzy

I think I’ll go with fuzzy to


Listen (fuzzily) to

Contemporary Christian

Except when it yells at me

Then I’m not sure it’s

Anybody’s Christian



Party on






C L Couch



a close-up of a Time-coded vinyl record by Jason Ruck


The Circle Will

The Circle Will


Jesus loves me, this I know

For the Bible tells me so

All of Christian theology in a

Capsule, so I’m told

And I can believe it


Little ones to him belong

Who said he will not suffer fools

It was not Jesus

He welcomed the small, the foolish,

And the outcast

I take great comfort from his


And so might you


They are weak, but he is strong

Is there strength in doubt

In cynical insight—if

So, then I might qualify for

Divine companionship

To marvel in the one who

Walks beside me


Yes, Jesus loves me

Yes, Jesus loves me

One more time, and the spell is cast

It becomes official

He has pledged some kind of

Fidelity to me

Because an invocation counts

So much so we give it once a week

That, like the bath on Saturday,

We take it, needing one or not


Yes, Jesus loves me

The Bible tells me so

Ancient lore

Interpretation of the text

Desert mothers and our fathers

Keepers of oldest insight

Dry seeds in small packages

Waiting for young water


What will be our next song, children

Maybe about fittin’ Jericho

Or whether or not we know we


Songs go back to truth,

Which is why it’s clever when

We can sing all the verses


Time for reading now

And later there’ll be play

It’s a good day in God’s land

However many rainy days

Or rungs to climb

It takes to get there


C L Couch




The original uploader was Merphant at English Wikipedia


L is for Lyric

L is for Lyric


Will you sing with me?

If I start,

If you start,

Shall we sing together?


The earth spins off harmony,

A jubilance of sparks—


In the mind


Our words become song

And, while orbiting,

An invitation:


Into our creating cups,


Liquid inspiration


Not for drinking but for


Music becoming

Current  in the cosmos

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