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Missing Magic

(x = space)



Missing Magic


Well, that was a clutter

Messages, groceries by the door

Coffeemaker, toaster


And nearly all of it

I slept through

Catching the final beep

From the phone

Signaling that

So many things had happened

In my Prufrock world

I don’t have a peach

And the part is in the middle

I’ve only heard the mermaid sing

In the Disney movie

But there is color outside

And cool air to breathe


And I shall go


To strive or find

Yes, not

To yield

I doubt there will be a grail,


Or a dragon

And if a dragon, we should

Become acquainted


C L Couch



Photo by Artiom Vallat on Unsplash



(x = space)





Sorry that this must be news

This should be ordinary


There will be a shot today

Not heard ‘round the world

Simply a needle into skin

With the release of

New chemicals inside

The body


Then another shot, as is the

Protocol, in a while


C L Couch



Image by Markus Distelrath from Pixabay


The Ordinaries

The Ordinaries


The dog is old and that concerns me

It should concern me for me, too

But I am inside and have some idea of

What’s going on

What’s going on with you?


It is in ordinary time

Running long between Pentecost and


With special days in between, such as

All Saints’ and All Souls’

It is our time

As Sean Astin’s character in The Goonies


Down here, this is our time


Down here, we are ordinary

I have little idea how time in heaven goes

There was a war there, so we think

Our lore recalls a third of heaven fell

Maybe Eden was

A strategy for getting back


What we know is

We have this day

For our old dogs

An aging Earth that sometimes

In whirlwinds

Acts as if it knows no limits

And will live forever

In wildness

Without rules or counting,

Which is amazing

And is dangerous


Down south where I am now,

Folk really like their porches

They sit on special outside chairs

They rock, they glide

They tell stories

Sometimes it’s only the weather


But tell me there isn’t gospel in this

Good news that after storms

We will recover

And we will meet each other at least twice

Here and in extraordinary living



C L Couch



Photo by Jason Chen on Unsplash

Every Time I Feel

Every Time I Feel


Every time I write

I might mean to do the spiritual

Thing, idea, icon


(I know it’s okay if I don’t)

Not to moralize

Though I suppose there is that, too

Not question training, either


But to say the numinous is here

Real as a knife

Diaphanous as insect wings

Forever as gravity

(there are fields in space)

Earth itself a lesson for


And the need for choice

To have it


I think God is present

In the grocery store

Between the dog’s shoulders where

I rub

Riding on the new back bumper

Installed after the accident


God is inside the mosquito

Next to the disease

Maybe to apologize

As if to say, you chose this way

Back in the garden

Though maybe you hate me for it

Maybe you want to know I want everyone

To be well

Maybe you don’t


There is the book, the letters on a page

The mountaintop, the solid roots


God is not these things

But is with them all

And with us in the shallow or the deep

In something no one knows

And the everything under the sun

That no one’s ever overlooked


C L Couch



Photo by Chen YiChun on Unsplash


Hello, It’s Me

Hello, It’s Me


It’s Saturday

An ordinary day

Maybe it’s ordinary time

In the liturgy

Ain’t extraordinary, that’s for sure

It’s dark before dawn

Why was it said the darkest time

The fading has begun


Just before dawn, there’s light

It’s an announcement

I am coming

Get ready for me, day


C L Couch



Photo by Jenna Anderson on Unsplash

Was driving early in the morning to shoot a wedding and saw this to my right. Had to pull over to capture it.




(believe it or not, for J K Rowling)


Suddenly the steam from

The coffee rises in an eldritch way

Because the cup is now a cauldron and

The liquid is the matter of a


Not the dangerous kind

The easy, adolescent kind that only

Causes sit-com harm,

The kind that must be resolved in

A half-hour

And hadn’t hurt that much, to begin with


But rain is coming on

Humidity is high

There is wind high in the trees

The branches dance to universal motion

And I wonder who

Casts such a summer day

As this


C L Couch


Burnt Cabins, Pennsylvania

Burnt Cabins,



We’ve suffered

A local tragedy

That might never

Be explained

Even if a reason’s



We have a super



First “super


Is the Pennsylvania

Turnpike, and

A retired trooper

Of the state

Police tried a

Robbery at one

Of the stations



Between small

Towns in the

Allegheny Mountains,

Two workers

Are taken, held

By his gun,

Until the truck

Arrives to gather

Monies from the

Turnpike tolls


The theft occurs

And fails, the

Captives shot

And killed; the


Suspect is killed,



Serving troopers

Prepared and

assigned, had

Arrived to restore

An aberrant,

Criminal scene

Back to ordinary


Nothing ordinary

Anymore here:

With tears, the

Deaths are told


Each word

Sounding like

The heavy note

Of a mourning



Sadness ringed

Round sadness,

As voices split

To tell


It will be a

Story of


And the sorrow

Brought to many

Kinds of

Families, and

It might pass

From focused



But here was a

Neighbor tragedy

On persons who

Will not

Appear in their

Expected places

At work or at



And others living

Who will never

Be the same


A chance for

Money maybe

Too easy a

Reason for all

That befell

Close by—I

Tend to believe


Something else

About surrendering

Life happened


Epiphany (prose poem)


Epiphany. Twelfth Night. The magi come upon the infant Jesus at his family’s home. They are amazed. They give gifts. A tribute.

Epiphany means discovery. An ordinary act that brings new insight to life. The magi, I imagine, were not ordinary people, though what they did was hardly unusual. Many traveled land to land and town to town back when. The caravans were living roads to make trade and civilization possible.

They are not the only ones who had read and studied the stars to find alternative direction. Astrology, astronomy. They were blurred pursuits in this region of the past. There was meaning in the sky. The seasons brought us learning there. We looked for all these.

But when these magic persons, in their learn(ed) wisdom of the world, travel west at last to find this child at home, sameness leaves their lives and all the worlds’. Forever.

What did they discover? What was realized? They beheld a person who meant change.

How so? Two thousand years and some, we still ask.

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