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Paradise Neither Lost nor Found

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Paradise Neither Lost nor Found


It is not the best of times

Just now

I have to own that part

Of the Dickens


Too many sick

I know

And there is war


Famously defended

I’d like to know the wisdom

Of the ages

Those who contemplated

Long ago

How to redeem the mind

And sanctify the heart

How did they do it

When we’re so

Smarter now


How may I call up

Desert mothers

Desert fathers

My might I stir

My own kind of Celtic blood

That came to northern shores

And tried to have companionship

With nature and each other

Until organized, metallic

Factions entered

And took over

Slew what did not submit

Killed what submitted



That’s my northernness

I guess

I guess I like it well enough

I’d like to know yours

And what you have from the

Southern half

Because you might

Have that

East or west

As interesting


The fascination of our differences

Shared in easy friendship

Easy joy

The direction points aren’t bad

Unless you make them

Points of dominion

Or points of fear


Fear not

We can come toward each other with

Fingertip excitement

Passing through time

And sentiment

To share a call that says

The Earth is one

We are one

We are one and one and one

And one


C L Couch


If she doesn’t mind, I’d like to dedicate this work to Judith Nilan who wrote so kindly of me recently and whose friendship is cherished by me and by anyone else who is her friend, I’m sure.  You should read her blog because it would be good for you.  Her blog address is



Photo by Solen Feyissa on Unsplash


Three, One, Three Again

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sorry, long



Three, One, Three Again



Creator, savior, guide

Maybe I understand the trinity

Maybe not

They are lively

And immediate

They are at work all the time

And understand rest

They commend a sabbath

And the days on either side

They are all efficiency

And all love

We have access to them

And, as teachers and advisors

Not to mention


They nudge us

All the time



What kind of commanders

Legions at their call

They give us time

And patience

Before anything like

A final battle

Victory assured

I mean in this moment

We wait and wait and wait

Or, worse, deny

While they withhold rejection

Until the moment

Past the moment

Before judgment

Should decide


They give us time

Keeping everything at bay,

Which is love

All love

Splicing revelation

Tailoring salvation

For each one

Each encounter

How wondrously and thunderously


What kind of God

What parts of God

Can do this

And then do it



Hear, O Israel

And all other nations,

Catch them in the human heart

Live as one

Each one as all

Repair the ruin of the Earth

There is so much faith

And good work to do


They are mild

They are also Armageddon

What kind of love

What kind of God

Three then one

Then three again

They live in constant relationship

So should we

Within the parts

Of ourselves,

Each one

And then



More than one in one

We can have that, too:

Remember might

Remember love

Both mingled in each moment


And slow water

Everything that moves

And tries to rest

They show us the way

To give us something every day

Then just after our last day

After work

And battling

And sabbathing

To lead us home


C L Couch



Maybe it’s not my tradition, but I mean to be respectful of the Shema.


Temple of Edfu, Egypt

Photo by Jeremy Zero on Unsplash



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God, help me

With devotion

Not the famous kind

I don’t think

I could hold that well

But quieter,

Between the two of us

And any interested

That we all might


And turn again

So that you and the sun might

Bleed together

And everything

Be many

And be one


Maybe it is famous,

After all

I learned certain moments

From someone

To begin with

And the well-known word

That ends

It all

‘Til next time


C L Couch



Photo by Nsey Benajah on Unsplash


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.




Sunset Ramadan

Sunset Ramadan

(5 June 2016)


I have memories

Of a Ramadan, a

Rosh Hashanah, too


I like the Christian

Holidays, but others

From these faiths

Invited me


To ritual and cuisine

And, best of all,



Love permeates

Actions when they

Are in spirit



And our God is

Pleased when we

Are one


Psalm 30, a song of I-don’t-know

Psalm 30
a song of I-don’t-know

what is the resolution
of an unsolvable equation
when one plus one
makes love

what more is there to say
to add or calculate
what function can enhance
the totality of this

one plus one makes love



Three minutes past
My time, which is
All ones

But three is for the
Trinity, so I can’t

The numbers of
Our lives: my dates
In spite of ones
Are rife with threes:

Add up the numbers
Of my birth and now
Divide—there are
Exponents of three

Multiples abound
And I am only one
Of these

Sometimes there’s
Great comfort in
That, in being one
Of these

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