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pain

Ow

(x = space)

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Ow

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I rock my back

My back says ow

My mouth forgets to say

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I fell down some stairs

Last night

It’s still a curiosity

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I didn’t have to sacrifice

The plate that I was holding

Ow, I’m learning

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C L Couch

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Photo by Szabo Viktor on Unsplash

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What Number Pain Today

(x = space)

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What Number Pain Today

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I don’t know

Or recall

Who came up with

Quiet desperation

Perhaps a modern poet

I hope you

Don’t have to live that way

Something inside

That found its way

A sidling kind of thing

That won’t let go

It could be memory

Or money

The potential for a  scandal

Or simply a lot of pain

Not the kind that

Inspires a statue

And who needs that?

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Pain is a reaction

A response

Also a signal

Can keep in the inner workings

Working

It should have an end

Not simply a measure

But that’s what

Therapy

Or medication’s for

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Or simply bearing

Old body pains

A place of wounding

In the spirit

We can keep

Except sometimes we can’t

Then the therapy

Or medication’s needed

Prayer

Companionship

Companionship in prayer

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Aquarius bears water

The libation bearers, well,

Libation

As offerings

Atlas

Or the elephant

Bears the world

And there’s the story of Saint Christopher

Who carried Christ, not knowing

It was Christ, through water

And a storm

And the child’s weight increasing

Until the one who carried him must say

He bore the weight

Of the world

And did bear

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Carry weights

And pains

And as pains are signals

Pay attention

Carry,

I mean carry,

Carry on

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C L Couch

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Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

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the phrase “quiet desperation” is by Thoreau in Walden

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When Great Pain

(x = space)

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When Great Pain

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If God exists

And God does exist

And if God loves

And God does love

And if God has power

And God has the most

Then how

Then why

I don’t know,

Why are things so messed up

So screwed up

So damnably awful?

We could ask this and these

On calmer days as well

It’s fair

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All things of substance are good

Really

You move toward evil and the devil

Then you move toward nothingness

And nothing

These will increase, day by day,

Until that’s all

(so much worse than Porky Pig)

There is nothing

Not black

(black is good)

But a void

Out of which God has created

But not us

Nothing we have will last

Except as legacy

Then memory

Then

(let a couple of beats go by)

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We are on the side of flesh

Who value flesh

(I am ignorant about

mortification)

And what’s inside

Flesh is not bad

It is ours and was made for us

By the true owner

Of the universe

Who keeps with perfection

From the smallest moment that we know

And smaller

To the next

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And what of pain?

Why is there pain?

How can there be a God of pain?

Well, there is

Who is the God of love

Who promises alleviation

And for you

Family

And friends and neighbors, too

For a broken

And a splitting-further world

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Pain is a stake

(and stake)

It is on the table of the world

It is not ours

Though we can wield it

The way we can

Wield healing and solutions,

Too

These are realities and means

And we have so much to do with them

For now

We can move with

Pretty much anything we want

Inside

Outside

Toward ourselves

Toward our neighbors

Toward the world

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Persist

Sometimes is all there is

When pain is great

The next moment

And the next

One moment

Two moments

Enough accomplishment

Until everything’s incorporated

And we stand up

And move

Not move on as in forget

Move on as in everything’s a part

Of us now

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And I know

It’s hard

To say we’re not alone

When we are alone

Without the peace of it

But we’re not

A lesson for the speaker, too

We’re not

There is companionship

And company

For life

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C L Couch

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Photo by Conor Sexton on Unsplash

Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, United States

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In an Anodyne Moment

(x = space)

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In an Anodyne Moment

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Before the heat returns

And the noise

Before senses assaulted

Once again,

Taking hits against reason

And the cool of insight

May I say

While I can see

That there are good things

Happening

There are good people

Everywhere

And I am glad to be on Earth

Part, party, and partner

To all this

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C L Couch

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Photo by Eskil Helgesen on Unsplash

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Pollock Shock

(x = space)

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Pollock Shock

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What is honest,

Anymore?

(people might ask

they might)

Is it when we cry in pain

From suffering?

Is suffering so honest?

No great art

Without suffering

Speaking to the vision,

I suppose

Michelangelo before

The chapel ceiling

Pollock

Before the floor

Art that changes everyone

Born from the pain of one

Or more

And what about beholders?

Do I understand,

Bring it close to heart/

To home

Because I hurt before

I see above/

Below,

Hear the music,

Touch the statue,

Walk the garden,

Smell the cooking?

A world of pain, they say

No other way to

Know magnificence

But through agony

Small pain

Great pain

Small art

Great art

I want to fight the premises

Argue them for

Ordinary time

Sigh

Maybe we have to hurt

Before even plain beauty’s

(leaf’s magnificence,

soup in the pot)

Understood

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C L Couch

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Photo by Jené Stephaniuk on Unsplash

Part of the painting “Day Trip” from Jene Gallery.

Austin, TX, USA

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Killing a Bee

(x = space)

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Killing a Bee

(that’s all)

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Last night something happened

That hasn’t happened in a while

I was stung by a bee

It hurt

I blobbed on some ointment

On the spot,

Loosely wrapped it all,

Waited to find out what happened

Next

The last time I was stung didn’t go so well

The site swelled, and soon there was

A shot

(another

kind of sting)

I know, it is November

We weren’t outside

The finding of a bee (alive

the bee alive

I was alive)

Was a surprise

I discovered it while touching it

Picking it up, in fact,

Not knowing what it was

At first

(it was dark)

I doubt it was happy

And let me know

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This morning, I found the bee

Where I had dropped it

When I touched it, well, it moved

And I killed it

Was it dying, anyway?

Did it let out a bee kind of scream?

Have I angered all its cousins, now?

Will they find me?

It’s an old place

There could be a colony, somewhere

I’d rather not have killed the bee

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Now I think about

Going to church

Because it’s Sunday,

Church meeting day

As I type, the stinger still

Bites back,

A bit of pain from poison

And the barb

That I can’t see

Even though

It’s in my index finger

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C L Couch

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Was you ever bit by a dead bee?

I haven’t been

(all the bees so far

have been live)

I could be

Dead bees can hurt you

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To Have and Have Not

(and my response)

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Photo by Monica Valls on Unsplash

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Deal-Making with the Lord

(x = space)

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Deal-Making with the Lord

(sigh, didn’t work for Moses)

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Lord,

The stomach feels

So tight

I’d like relief

Though

Really

At the source

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All my troubles

I can’t escape

Them

Though I could

Escape a few

x

And is

Escape the answer?

Probably not

(worse the

luck)

I imagine there is

Something

By the way of

Resolution

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But some things,

I think,

Can simply

Be made better

Call it grace or

Miracle

Or one side

Of a pledge

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Please, Lord,

Ease

The pain

Give me days

Without

The consequences

I’ll work

On the rest,

I promise

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C L Couch

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Photo by Ella de Kross on Unsplash

New York, NY, USA

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No One Asks for Silence

(x = space)

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No One Asks for Silence

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No one asks for science,

Really

The lack of noise would drive us

Where we’d never want

To go

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But no one wants barrages,

Either

Of war or words or walls

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Not being unflawed,

I cannot claim forever

Virtuosity

So now inside an unjust

Place, I have to

Assay justice for the now

Against the always

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Time and change

And I shall go away

And hope not to return

Because larger signs

Of decay

(naught to do with me)

Already settled in

Before the current woe,

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And I should have owned the signs

Enough to leave

A while ago

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C L Couch

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Photo by insung yoon on Unsplash

Seonyeon-ri, Okseo-myeon, Gunsan-si, Jeollabuk-do, South Korea x

Day 3

(x = space)

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Day 3

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Of an awful week

When everything still hurts

And crying underneath the skin

Wants out

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Being ganged up against

As electrons, anyway

What they’d say for real

We’ll never know

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Time for change

But how a change

When nearly everything

Is frozen

Like Merlin

Like Ophelia

What kind of life might

Come after

Shouldn’t be a mystery

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C L Couch

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ice on the fountain in my yard

Photo by erin mckenna on Unsplash

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