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New Year


(x = space)





On this numbered

Christmas day

There is a new year

Counting as we do

By Gregory

Of course

It’s not new year


(or maybe before)

In other places

Other traditions


Whoever has a lunar year

Whoever numbers


The Christian Orthodox

In a couple of weeks

Or so




west and north

and much of

east and south)

Being we

Might say

We have an atomic clock

And we prefer the sun

For clocks

That has lasted for a while


Will last

On our own

Until the Martian landings

Not only by machines

But by people

With machines


When we shall have

Two clocks

On walls

In ships

On wrists

Intentional for

Arean negotiation

And for fashion

We start our chronicles

By keeping double time

That yes means fast

For Mars

Is a smaller planet

Get there

Get it fast

We need new years

On new Earths


C L Couch



Photo by Dan Meyers on Unsplash

All that’s missing is Homer Simpson sleeping in a chair with a box of pink donuts nearby. This is the control panel of the first nuclear power plant ever built. I love the retro 1950s style, dials, buttons, and lights. This is a free museum located in a remote part of Idaho, that’s only open to the public for a few months each summer.


3 brief poems for the new year

3 brief poems for the new year

(x = space)



May I Sell You a Machine?

(end of December)


According to commercials

At this time of year,

We should be losing weight


Grinding on exercise machines,

Finding our food in a box,

Engaging meditation maybe

Thirty seconds, maybe



I suppose the box companies

Are doing well

And companies that make

Machines—I wonder

That machines are always doing well


We lose weight,

They weigh us down






God, help us in new years

Whenever they begin

In calendars,

In life


When someone dies,

When someone comes to life


Because she or he is born,

Because there is a return

To life

After pain, as she says


When the formal feeling comes

And something after



Our Sci-Fi Lives


Now is the science-fiction time,

Far enough into

The twenty-first century

That we may have some expectations

For reverse magnetism

And anti-gravity


For cities in the air and mining solely

By machines, enough that humans

Have jobs again

In new alliances


But we know how to fix it, at least

I hope we do,

The Earth that we have harmed;

And when we go, the missions we take

With us will not harm



C L Couch



I was a suburban kid but grew up in or near mining and steel-making country.  And our city fell apart when the industries fell apart.  If they could come back in local and safe ways, I should be relieved and very glad.


After great pain, a formal feeling comes –

The Nerves sit ceremonious, like Tombs –

The stiff Heart questions ‘was it He, that bore,’

And ‘Yesterday, or Centuries before’?

. . .

Emily Dickinson


Photo by Fabrício Severo on Unsplash

Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Bishop Street, The Lough, Cork, Irlanda


Stopwatch for Genesis

Stopwatch for Genesis

(1 January 2020)


How do Arabs count the new year

How do Jews

How does China of

A billion tens of fingers?

How do those who know only seasons,

Who count days as

One traversal of the sun,

Then of the moon?

A change of feeling in the year

To favor birth or harvest?

It would be fair of all of them

To ask of us

The people of the nanosecond

Why there is counting and, once-measured,

Presumption to ownership


How does God who with better reason

Owns the days count them?

We guess a lot about this

A day

A day that is an age

I don’t think God can be bound

Held by our computing

Any more than the bars of an abacus

Should make a cage

Or calculators calibrated to electrocute

(maybe watch out for

servers serving)


There is even scandal in census-taking

For the king rather than the nation

It’s in the Chronicles and Samuels

People dying for

The autocrat’s close ticking


Now’s a fine and healthy time for remembering

God’s of chaos, too

And if we want, if we will

We can be held ourselves

(by God or ourselves)

To keep it either way


C L Couch



Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

hide and seek


Twelfth Night or

Twelfth Night or

(6 January)


What You Will

A modest title

For a late, great play

Did he mean the pun about

His name?


What you will, Will

Will who was not the starving

Artist or

Unknown in his time


It is twelfth night

Or the twelfth day of Christmas

Christmas, in fact, in the east

In may (and maybe your) liturgical

Calendar, Epiphany


In some parts I know, there will be

A boar’s head festival

A Christian way to say

We remember our English

And European roots

Deep down as they might be

Unseen for an age


What is epiphanous today is

What is found and realized in the

Christ story


The magi come to visit with the family

Of Joseph

To leave gifts for the child who

They discover is

The one they were searching for

The sky was writing them about

That was the ink

They were the page

The message now fulfilled


No return to Herod

The last part


There are other matters of

New knowledge in new light

Years after,

He comes to his cousin John

Whose voice speaks to

The wildness in the wilderness

He splits the world in truth

Those who will believe the one

Those who will believe the other

A parable one day applies

Of sheep and goats



Turn around

Follow his way,

Says he of the one he must baptize

Because deep knowing says they must

Do this


A dove descends

The Spirit is involved

To have a litany of three

Whose echoes elicited the start

Of everything from nothing


What happened to the gifts

Sometimes I wonder

Over-obsessed, they would become a movie

Like the subjects of both arks

And a spear of destiny

Maybe they were covered in a box kept by his mother

As was her way

To have her son and all that followed, after


The season before the season

An ending and beginning

It truly is

A new year

Time for decisions

Whom to follow

In the drama that our forms reflect

The play between all things

The material our due

The cosmos in the universe

Play on


C L Couch



Andrew Atzert from Mesa, AZ, USA – Family of DovesUploaded by Snowmanradio, CC BY 2.0,

A Mourning Dove parent with two chicks in Mesa, Arizona, USA.


As We Are, as We Want to Be

As We Are, as We Want to Be

(Advent, anytime)


There’s an invitation

For new year’s

Please join

I don’t know how we set the dates

I don’t think we know

There are forgotten, buried stories

Maybe we’ll unearth someday


Some have already started

Some will start today

Some will start tomorrow

In the vigil

Many will wait until the planet begins

To turn the other way

And many, many more will wait until

It’s been decided that it’s time


In the north, the cold time will begin

And though it might be harder,

The days will be getting


Maybe it makes more sense in the south


But I’m here

And you are where you are

Maybe here,

And we’ll have what we have

And, ironies aside,

It’s still something new



The season

More importantly, inside

As new as we want or need


New year

As we are,

As we want to be


C L Couch



By Henk Caspers/Naturalis Biodiversity Center, CC BY-SA 3.0,


New Year

New Year

(first day in Advent)


Lord, I love you

But sometimes

You make things so hard

I’m not saying life can’t have

Its sharpness

We all get cut from time to tome

There are always to stanch the bleeding


It hurts each time

And some hurts, well, keep on hurting

Damaged nerves

Wounded organs

Burdens in the blood

I guess I’m complaining

What could I ask for?

Most anodynes aren’t real

And aren’t cheap

And I am not a boy in a cave

Who found a magic lamp

And you are not a genie


Some help, please—

Are you listening?


I am

You had me at I love you


C L Couch




in case you’re counting, which is a point for seasons, Advent starts Sunday 2 December; for the Christian church, Advent starts the new year


at A Good Morning Café, Los Altos, California (USA)


New Year

New Year


The rooster

Takes a turn

(the monkey

Is my year)

Oriental means eastern

But in China it is meridian

The center

For people and the life


We take these years

In twelve,

Which is significant for

Occidentals, too

Maybe we should learn to count

Together, dismiss compass



Respecting the zenith

Of each degree

Each one


C L Couch


Happy Gregorian new year.  Happy lunar new year.

Still writing from a place of pain that tends to overwhelm.  I’ll be rethinking that relationship between art and suffering, sometime.

Meanwhile I’m trying.


New Year’s Turn, a diamante

a diamante, inspired by What the Woman Wrote,

New Year’s Turn

We’ll drop
down gradually
a diamond-looking ball
in each shiny place around the world, where
it’s suitable to celebrate New Year’s Eve as style—and yet
in three-hundred sixty-four (or five) more days,
we’ll do it again in lights
for the new time:
one year

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