I talk you talk we'll talk



August on Deck

(x = space)



August on Deck

(easy greetings)


It’s Friday

Anticipate a weekend

Late summer

Final trip before the school year

Work at home

Clean at home

Leave the home

For the park

For stores

For church

Find company

Leave company

Hours on one’s own

The quiet might invite


Or out into the world

A different way

A drive, a walk

To nowhere in particular

A new nowhere


Something heard of

Or an inviting opening

A path into

Some inviting part of the world

Keep safe

Why not


After the anthem,

Play ball



C L Couch



Photo by Maksym Tymchyk 🇺🇦 on Unsplash


I look at this

I can smell the stalks, the petals

Memory, I suppose


The Trail

The Trail


Who gets the good?

Who gets the bad?

We do at least in here

We have it for the asking

We ask it of ourselves

We ask providence for help

This much we get


One step and then the other

And we’re on our way

Toward a path we’ve chosen

And which, if

Covertly (this is grace

until revealed, sometimes

a surprise)

Will have chosen us


The good then selecting

The bad will make a claim as well

Spirits will mediate

Depending on tradition and

Our current habits

Stay the path being generally

Good advice

Ready to move,

Even to change course

Should that become


(tricks or illusions)

Good will let us alter ways

When needed

Bad should like to keep us in a rut

Neither trail

Path or gap

Being easy

Though we can ask for help, again

That divinity would show us


More than allegory

(though allegory, too)

We’re talking choices for

The way

And on the way

It shouldn’t be guesswork

Maybe resorting to a text

Thoughts and insights should help

The kind that only hurt

Or serve single ambition might

Indicate the other


Finally, we’ll find elsewhere

That feels like home

Even if home

We never really had

Because it is

Nothing but strangeness and


Should a turn be wrong,

Which will be all right

Because we can turn again


C L Couch


Photo by Alex Bertha on Unsplash


Going into Woods

Going into Woods


I’m not sure

Which way to turn

Or if the path is widening


A track would do

It needn’t be easy-going

Only a way that shows enough

Of this step and the next

Maybe it’s in a desert

Though I’d prefer a forest

With patches of sun and shade

On the ground

Rising to the sky

There could be a breeze to

Touch my face

With all the sounds around

Of everything that nature’s

Creatures call

To one another


But if a desert, so

And if a track I can barely see,

So be it

I haven’t mentioned company

Though I know of nothing bearing

That would say this journey

Must be taken alone

But the right companions

Well-humored, uncomplaining save

For the things we all complain

About with just enough good talk

To keep us going

With—this would be grace—long,

Deep listening when we stop

For night


Who knows where we’re going,

Some might have a quest

Others, questions

What I know is that we would be moving

I would be on the way

With them:

Nature, nature’s creatures,


Acquaintances, siblings, parents,

Friends, all those

We know

And have yet to know


C L Couch



Photo by Alex Iby on Unsplash


Broken Pathing

Broken Pathing


‘Round here, I guess it’s sinkholes

In other parts, it might be from

An I.E.D.

Or maybe lava turned to magma when

Nature groans upheaval


If I were walking, and an unformed line

Broke open before me,

Whether in the moment or who knows

How many hours before,

I’d wonder not only what to do

But also how it happened in the first place

Forming foreboding words,

Don’t cross here, not at this place

Not here

Walk around, if you can

Walk around

If I’m still here by nighttime

I might not tell one darkness

From the other


For all we say of woods and bread crumbs

(now ash),

Treasure might be on the other side


A new way home


C L Couch



Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash

Yellowstone National Park, WY, USA

The Big Trip | Moody Morning at Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park — Explore more at


Lent 24

Lent 24


In our time together,

We might travel far

In one way or another

We might hear sounds

See new sights

Enjoy new tastes

Feel the air and mist

That ribbon other shores

Smell the clarity of salt


It might be walking

Or a plane

Some other vehicle that gets us there

A conveyance of our bodies, yes

Our senses

Though must do

The harder work

It’s how we’re made


We give ourselves the data

Via input from our lives

(first machines)

What shall we learn, one by one

What shall we learn together?


So much to learn

So little time

But that’s no way to operate

We must value what we have

Each mote, each moment

Singly or together,

We can learn

While traveling far

In one way or another


C L Couch



Photo by Nicola Nuttall on Unsplash


The Wild (companion to “Way”)

The Wild

(companion to “Way”)


Maybe we can find another way

That no one’s taken

It’s a big world, after all

And we are small upon it

A road not ever taken

Not even a road

But what we make

Not an Appian macadam through an empire

Or cord wood laid down by artisan French

To consecrate

The king’s highway


Rude trail, if any

For others to press with

Greater permanence

Should they pass this way

On the track we have christened

Before nature grows it over


C L Couch



overgrown path

Overgrown Pathway Looking east across Banky Meadows.

david newton





if we don’t care when we get there

detours can be interesting

we might not know exactly where we’re going


and so find ourselves in something


and it’s not a jungle


we’re still on roads or, if walking, on paths

we’ll still see houses, trees marching

to greet us

maybe around the bend, we’d like to find

a castle in a wild place

a dragon perched atop, looking to tilt

fang against spar not for life but for

local reputation,

bragging rights at the public house


the thing about the road less traveled

is that others have traveled it

we can go it alone

singing Sinatra like a mantra


but everything’s been trod, everything’s a trail

explored many times by pilgrims

owning a variety of causes

we go to see what has befallen

to know what has been


in new combinations


and in company

I believe

Is best


C L Couch



path in Taiwan

Taiping Mountain Path in Taiwan

Image credit: Justin Jones


The Lesson of Saint Francis

The Lesson of Saint Francis


We are all animals in

Beauty, here:


And we need guide each

Other to

A pilgrim path

In walking with the saints

Who would eschew

The capital s


Service is ennobled

(As are all better things)

When we love

To give away

What we have


To share with

All other creatures of

The Earth—


The sky, what’s

Under the water,

And what dances upon

The surface


In the measures and the


Of creation

Pilgrim Path

Pilgrim Path

Someday I’d love to walk
The path to Compostela, Spain
The pilgrimage of Saint
James and to his honor

Legacy, the pilgrim trail

I’d like to walk with company
I hear folk band together
On the way

The pilgrim path need not
Be done by one to count

God counts the pilgrim
In the heart, where the
Real path of challenges is trod

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