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During Great Pain

(x = space)



During Great Pain

(preempting Ms. Dickinson)


In the ‘midst of pain

There is no formal feeling

It hurts is not a great pronouncement

One could, when it’s bad,

Wish to call up the carriage

That Death provides,

Though that arrival should be way,

Way off

And when it’s time

Will call up itself


No, this is pain

That ends with mortal life ahead

But now the middle time’s invested

Having begun some time ago

Has an ending to which to look forward

And now

Is now

The beginning and the ending

That don’t matter

As this moment

When we wish it  had

Never happened

If there’s awareness


Or we simply want it

To go away


C L Couch



Sobieszewo, Gdańsk, Polska





(“note well” but note however you like)


I’m sorry, but for a while I’ve been dealing with new pain of a sort that feels as if it wants to cut me in two.  I go to the doctor’s on Friday and a specialist in two weeks.  This has been claiming too much of my energy and my concentration.  I still try to commit to writing and posting, but I’m behind on other things such as being in touch with responders. I’m sorry.





Greyson Joralemon

When It Hurts to Live

When It Hurts to Live


Well, I’ve been smacked down

By those who say, I do not care

I will not get involved

Happened again, just now

There’s money on the line and

The having of it

Me more than you

Is what matters,

The currency in hell

It doesn’t have to be

It can simply be a resource

But you’ve heard of moneychangers

I must go

Where it will always matter

Where there will be a wilderness

Atop the one that values Earth

And first-making


I don’t know how to make my way

I’m with the eccentric saint (and

aren’t all the saints?) who says

I have no idea where I am going


But if you will, dear one, if only at a distance,

I’ll come with


C L Couch



Photo by Karim MANJRA on Unsplash


The Metaphone of Pain

The Metaphone of Pain


He said it was a megaphone

It was emphasized in the movie

(in the play, first)

Then he found love with someone

Who was dying

And I don’t think he wanted to hear

The noise at all, let alone amplified

For there is a quietness to pain

Small cries that stay mostly in

I don’t mean the whimper

Though that’s fine

I mean the part that wants to cry out


Afraid to meet an indifferent world decrying

There are problems all over,



Get up and get on with it


But this is why

A Grief Observed is better than

The Problem of Pain

It got through

We listen

As we feel

And pay attention

Not to noise

But to a quieter insistence


C L Couch



Shadowlands, a play by William Nicholson


Albert Bridge, CC BY-SA 2.0,


Pity the Party

Pity the Party


Wow, pain is such a disconnect

Like depression

That I also take a pill for

What is there to care for?

What do I care about?

Who cares for me?

I have accoutrements

A blanket ‘round my shoulders

While I’m cold

Toast (the start of a loaf)

Some grapes (the last of them)

I gave up coffee and caffeine

As if it were my own form of Lent

Though I can’t recall

A decision for

The sake of my soul


Pills have side effects

These press down, too

I am surrounded

The best thing that I have

Are movies

But I’d rather be the artisan

Than the spectator

So sit up to write

A little more


I’d rather make

Than borrow off

Another’s making

I mean, there’s allusion

Citation when it’s proper

Or otherwise might render

A source beyond reach

If not belief

Or to leave it all, hoping for

Belief in the beholder


Well, some system

Is protesting

The strain of illness

Or the medication

Most of this I doubt I’ll leave

Though there might be something

I can’t see or hear

That someone else

Much better at beholding will


Do I pray?

I do and hope for more

But I haven’t a perspective

The thermostat is broken

Someone else must regulate

What happens next,

Which is what I think

The praying’s for


C L Couch



Image by ImageParty from Pixabay


Young Athlete in Pain

Young Athlete in Pain


Lord, I don’t know what to do

The pain is bad

Shall I try hot or cold?

But it’s all kinds of muscles

The ones I think with

Play with

Occasionally make love with

Everything hurts

Everything is bad

That’s pretty simply put

And how I think

And how it feels

I don’t know what to do, Lord

Please help me

I don’t know if it’s an angel

Or a miracle

Or simply something I haven’t thought of

I don’t claim to be smart

Not now

When pain takes over

And my thinking’s overloaded


It’s not going to be a good day, is it?

A good year,

Good life?

How hard have I made it all?

Forgive me, if I’m faithless

Forgive me if I’m rude

It hurts is all

It hurts very much

And I get sidetracked or benched

(or bench myself)

From my better calling,

Please speak to me again

I will try to hear

And if my ears don’t work,

I have other senses


You could even tell me in a dream

Though that’s hard for me

I tend to think that dreams aren’t real

Once I’m awake

Even ones that have me wake up



Hear my voice, O Lord,

Even when I’m not speaking

I’m sorry, I should really believe that

You will reach out to me

It’s not magic or a game


It’s your way of being perfect

I must believe

I must love


It’s just that it’s really hard today

It was hard yesterday

I don’t know about tomorrow



Sometimes I don’t know what else to say




C L Couch



By Carlos Delgado, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Marta López being treated off the pitch at the Spain Handball All Star Game 2013, held in San Sebastián de los Reyes, Madrid, Spain.





Once I went out west

Well, twice I guess

The first time I was two

I do have memories

I dreamed about the second time

Last night

Only I went there now

Knowing what I knew

So that I might avoid mistakes

And, you now, I did


I’ve heard it said I wouldn’t change a thing

I would change so many things

Sometimes to thwart agenda

Mostly to get it right

To keep the pain from happening

So much


If that would daunt a butterfly or upset

The schedule of tsunami,

Then it’s good I don’t have the talent

But I would like to fox many things

Or preventively

Offer something better in the first place

For all concerned

Color me uninteresting

I would dull the pain

Treat the wound by having it

Not happen


C L Couch



Pexels / 9161 images


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


Pins in Dolls

Pins in Dolls


I’m tired, and I wish

I could rest well


But pains like pins

Keep me awake


I wish I could resolve

These; I wish the

Witch or brujo


Would pull these

Unearthly prickles


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