I talk you talk we'll talk




(x = space)





The brown blade sinks

And feeds the seed

That was a part


Seeds that sleep through

Cold time

Far enough

North or south


Something new and all the same

For being new

Will rise in spring


C L Couch



The Colors of Nature Caught on a Hike

Photo by Don Raridon on Unsplash


The Lathe of Earth

(x = space)



The Lathe of Earth


We will get used

To being back,

Back from the edge

Of the disease

And into something new,

A new shape to life

Because there is no back

To normal, though

Touchstones of our lives

Might be used again


No back to the basics

Only forward to the basics

Forward to new normal,

As is said already


We’ll closet all our plague


The way the Swiss

Keep their arms in closets

After military service

Though I think they prefer

Chocolate and negotiation

And so should we

Until and when

The next, dire thing

Should happen




We’ll bury our dead

As after war

We could deal kindly

With each other,

Though the tone set

In the nation

Went against that

And we have found

That we have

Way too many guns

And, unlike the Swiss,

Don’t know how to use them


C L Couch



The Lathe of Heaven is a novel by Ursula K. Le Guin.


Photo by Rosie Steggles on Unsplash

Death Valley National Park, United States


The News

The News

(for those for whom there’s something new)


Are the fires out?

Where are new ones rising?

We could say vigilance

But not, I think, so much

Against our own

It is democracy, still

When there are good decisions

Made (listen,


And we should listen to

Our neighbors

Excusing ourselves not

To talk so much


There is freedom

To be rung

If all the bells are silent,


There is a time to mourn

A time to repair

A time to do things better

And to celebrate

Memory is fine

Remember them

Who died, and we

Are here


We have the present to repair

With children to look after

Teens to slide into involvement

Or-and they’ll do it,


And should—though they

Should also be allowed to


That’s natural


Do you camp

And leave it better than you found?

Try doing that with Earth

And all the parts we tread

And take

There is a future

Or there better be


Earth-crimes against children

You don’t think the cosmos

Is keeping track?

It is,

And before there’s heaven

With a judgment,

There will be accounting

From all things behind the sky

A reckoning for all

Materials lost,

Lives wasted by other lives,

A universe securing

All there is

From what we had

From what we thought we owned


C L Couch



Photo by Mike Marrah on Unsplash


Something Sacred This Way Comes

Something Sacred This Way Comes


The tyranny of religion

Has called up wars, which we can do, anyway

On our own, thank you very much


Has forestalled advances in astronomy and

Hygiene (Christians took cold baths because

Muslim took hot ones)

Has decided what we read

And how to think,

Making translation and the Reformation



The problem is not Catholic

Any denomination

Or a group formed last night

Becomes an orthodoxy

And so finds a way to rust thought over

Given time, it always happens


The bigger problem should be keeping

God in a box

God might be in there

But I think we measure better when we witness

God everywhere

In the pit or in the sky

Or on our middle Earth between


God has created old

And re-creates in everything that’s new

We give God shelf life

We feared

The smells inside the tomb

From death and execution

So we, as they, thought

But God was fresh that day, because there’s

Nothing newer, once first made,

Than resurrection


This is for Christians, though the problem

Lay on each one’s lintel

God is ancient; God is new

We should know this when we breathe

To give ourselves green opportunities

Not to reinvent the world each day

Until the day it’s called for

But revel in the many cells that rise up in

Creation overnight


Morning has broken

Midnight, too

Ancient of days

Makes new,

Dropped on the horizon

Folded into hills

Pressed over the plains

And pushed into water


Orthodoxy isn’t bad

But don’t forget

That in a favorite story

The Tin Man needs anointing,

Which is ongoing


Join me for church today

(it’s happening somewhere)

Maybe we’ll remember that we’re old

And also facing something delightfully unknown


C L Couch



Rennett Stowe from USA – Saint Francis of Assisi, CC BY 2.0,





I’d rather write about how

The gift of God is

Given on this day in the first


It is the day itself and more

Opportunities in time

In a culture of newness

So that good things might grow

I know we think of cultures

(the kind in Petri dishes)

For disease

But we might also harvest and

Turn (as on a potter’s wheel)


Once everything is studied

And we prudently co-try

Many things


C L Couch



Image by PDPics from Pixabay


Lent 28

Lent 28


We learn

That we have toes

They are small

And essential,

Keeping the rest upright

We might lose the toes

Or never have them


All right,

Other parts are trained


With the impulse of surprise

A finger can be worked until

It learns to raise the rest


New balance

More exact


C L Couch



Nicholas A. Tonelli from Pennsylvania, USA – Floored

(Tonelli photographing toenails)


Lent 20

Lent 20


Where are we now?

Somewhere in a season

Let’s not count

But let slip a moment, here and there

To find a new way

To breathe and not to worry


To accept something familiar-feeling

And not be surprised

That something new can feel this way

And, yes, it feels true


C L Couch



Hildegard of Bingen – Hildegard von Bingen: ‘Werk Gottes’ (Codex Latinus 1942 in der Bibliotheca Governativa di Lucca?)., Public Domain,

Medieval depiction of a spherical earth with different seasons at the same time (from the book “Liber Divinorum Operum”).


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,


Odd Gratitude

Odd Gratitude


The weight is in my eyes

Just over my lungs

Inside the muscles

Pressing on the bones

Everything moves, anyway

Fingers, hands

Knees stretch

I blink, swallow, turn my neck

To see what’s what


The day’s ahead, and I’m


Surprised?  Shouldn’t be

Life is nearly always worth it

And always, really

There’s torture in the world,

Which must challenge the price

To pay


But this is being tired

Really tired

And there’s pain

Though not enough

To wreck the odds

Of there being maybe many

Good things ahead


C L Couch



Gratitude Stones


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