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two poems for July

(x = space)

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two poems for July

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Watch Your Dogs

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Dogs don’t like fireworks

Many veterans don’t

All kinds of people

Be with them

Sit with them

Support K-9 programs

Support people

Not everyone likes fireworks

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Photo by Yuki Dog on Unsplash

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Hello, July

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Hello, July

It’s hot and humid here

Not much more to say

But, well

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There’s a lot of green

And other colors, too

Not like fall

But everything that lives

Does fly and otherwise

Visit us a season

As if

Forever’s come to call on

Bees and butterflies

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The fireflies

Still have a season

Though, like strawberries,

They flourish in June

Around here

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Storms appear and fall

Blow things around

Hot and wet fronts bumping

Around

Generally, we say

We need the water

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Flavor of Hibiscus

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Flavor of Hibiscus

Photo by Michael Dziedzic on Unsplash

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C L Couch

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Slow Season

(x = spaces)

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Slow Season

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1

Lord,

It is Lent

Moving slowly as it should

Forty days or so

In a couple weeks, Palm Sunday

Triumph and then the Triduum

Days of friendship

And of torture

For our Lord

For you

Ignominy

Then death

Then in the earth

Like a seed that has no merit

As no growth is expected,

Behind a stone

In fact

Lent closes over

That way

While we wait

Not knowing

We should wait for anything

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2

Half the world is at war

My God,

What do we do to each other?

What grace is kept

Withheld

Like a body in a tomb

We’d try not to open

For fear of the revenant

We’d find inside?

Forgive us, anyway

Save us, anyway

By something so, so precious

That in the world we cannot escape

That finds us

Even though we say

Get away,

I want no part of you

Before the rooster crows

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3

And what is grace

But something sliced

Through everything

That it is as good

As if

Dispensed only through itself

No keepers on Earth

Not the church

(don’t think it)

Or the world

(won’t think it)

God’s surprise

Surprised by peace

And then delight

Don’t think it comes in

Any other way

It is wild

If there is timing,

It only knows its own

It comes to save

Better than a plan

Or pre-requirements met

Don’t ask except

To ask of it

That is all right

It can act as if it hears

The one releases

It can hear

And for our malaprops

And misinformed

Hears us, anyway

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coda

My people cry

I must respond

They ask badly

If at all

I want to hear them, anyway

I will respond

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Something like it

Says the Lord

In songs

And other prophecies

And the amazing grace

Of love

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C L Couch

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Photo by Christina van der Merwe on Unsplash

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A Comedy Tonight

(x = space)

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A Comedy Tonight

(the raven tells)

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Demons

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I imagine they are

Real,

Waiting for an open

Door:

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We can dismiss

The fictive accounts

As speculation

But there are

Real reasons

To avoid them through

Prayer and

Spiritual companionship

And there are other rites

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I guess it can be gross

And feel dark,

Trucking with demons

Always

On assignment

Looking through the fissures

To take over,

Listening

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Yes, I think they’re real

Not in a

Gothic sense

They are not luxuriant

In empty, mansioned halls

They have us

When we let them

In

I don’t think by accident

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Maybe by believing

They are means

For desire

Or revenge of

Something like

A genie’s wish

But in the lighted, wakened,

Wounded world

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Hel

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Is there a place

Of hell?

Most likely

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Is it flames

And unquenched heat,

Blasts of judgment

Against dissolving

Souls?

I do not know

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Maybe it’s all

Purgatory,

A final chance

For rescue

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Separation from God

Is a popular

Definition, and

Why not?

That would be final

Final fate

Worst of all,

To discover something after

That is good

And lasting

And not to be a part of it

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Maybe Jesus

Walks across the fissure

To harrow, hollow hell—to

Remove all residents

Should they wish

To go

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Since a gentle God

Even then

Must leave eternity

A choice

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Paradiso

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Nothing like

Angels on clouds

Holding harps

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Nothing static

The most action

We have ever known

With energy

And work

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Only with good bodies

For it all

No weakness

Though the gentle

Supervise

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Passion

Drama

Interest

Investment of

Our muscles

And organs, say,

Our hearts and brains

Restored

To Eden’s intention

And agenda

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We’ll have things to do

In action

And in freedom

Nothing less

Only more

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Impulse

And instinct

Perfected

Everything we want

Is heaven

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C L Couch

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Photo by Kevin Mueller on Unsplash

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two poems, again I’m not sure why

(x = space)

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Sci-Fi Goats

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Goats eat anything

I am reminded

As do pigs

I don’t think goats eat tin cans

As cartoons and other stories

Tell

But maybe

Maybe in the multiverse

Anything is possible

A metal-eating goat

On a world of lead

Might be

Just the thing

While justice of materials

Is worked out on other worlds

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Not that we’re excused here

We have what we have

To use

To keep

Or we lose ourselves

Without a possibility

Of portals—

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Maybe goats

They might be traversing

And we never know

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Poeming

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It’s not hard

But it should be honest

In challenging to write

About anything

(say, sci-fi goats, above)

What is the real story?

In not in fact,

Than in judicious metaphor

And maybe both—yes,

Both would be better

So choose the topic

Or let the topic choose

Get to work with

Heart and head,

All the muscles,

All the organs,

All the aspects

(I mean senses),

All the parts

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Breathe through it all

Let the apparatus work

Once something is set down,

Go over it

And over it again

(not too many times)

Then release it like

Letting go of healed birds

Into the wild sky

Then let the work

Make sense of the world

For a while

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C L Couch

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Hello, Friends

Photo by Ricardo Gomez Angel at Unsplash

https://unsplash.com/@rgaleria

Glattalpsee, Muotathal, Suiza

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two poems, I don’t know why

(x = space)

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Lost World

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Dumb means mute

Kids are small goats

Am I becoming

That old person?

A semicolon’s

Better than a comma splice

President of the United States

Is always capitalized

Unlike another mention

Of a president

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Defensive driving

Is a good thing

People should know

The lyrics of the first verse

Of the national anthem

And the lyrics to

One Christmas carol

(take your pick)

All is not lost in lost traditions,

I suppose;

I made that last one up

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No re-creating the world

In my image,

Thank the Lord

(thank you)

It took me a while

To learn “whom” from “who”

So I’m going to use it

But I don’t mind

If you don’t,

Which is mostly true

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The Lost World is a story first by Arthur Conan Doyle, then by Michael Crichton who used the title as a tribute and allusion, as I am using the title here.

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Supplicant

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Well, it’s early and I’m up

What shall you have for me,

Dear Lord?

What might I do for you?

Nothing, I think, that’s

Worthwhile

All right, that’s worthy

What do I have to contribute to a

God?

No gold, no blood-letting

(sorry)

Nothing awful

That might have been awesome

Only me and the wretched qualities

I have—

That grace has saved

For a wretch like me—

Can offer

Most of the time, I don’t know

What these are

Help me, Lord,

To understand

What I have that could ever

Please, if not

Satisfy

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“Amazing Grace,” a song by John Newton

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Photo by AJITH S on Unsplash

Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu, India

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C L Couch

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2 poems—pray for me, pray for you

(x = space)

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2 poems—pray for me, pray for you

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Life in 3/4 Time

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I’m sorry, Lord

I spent half my life repressed

The other half aggressive

Now is a time of

Negotiated peace

I’ve tried to give up everything

From each time

Even time

So that now there’s little left

With which to make a new life

Made of acceptable things

For an acceptable time

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Pray for Friends

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Lord,

Watch over all my friends

Send your angels to protect

Them from all kinds

Of things

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There is sickness

There are sick pets

There are jobs

And then no jobs

And sometimes jobs

Not worth the having

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And sometimes things get

Broken, and there is pain

Of all kinds

Sometimes relationships

Are broken and I cannot

Speak with expertise

But eschew all the bitterness

As well

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They are people, mostly

Some are animals

And I pray that where something

Has been split,

You will fill in with healing

And a promise

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Though tomorrow only waits

While today is what

We have

So I must pray for now

For them

For you

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C L Couch

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Photo by Tejash Verma on Unsplash

Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India

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2 songs

(x = space)

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2 songs

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Song of Innocence

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If innocence

Means free from guilt

Well, that’s really

Not enough

Innocence must be

Something on its own,

Not the absence

Of anything

Something desirable

A sense of peace

Of grace that we can

Walk with through

The day

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Substance

Not a reflection or

Wishful thinking

Something that knows

The world, the score

And chooses innocence

Knowing,

Even skeptical or cynical

Strong innocence

Elastic

Durable

That knows the score

Not absence of guilt

The born-with quality

Is fine

But the knowing quality

Is better

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Song of Experience

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There’s so little

That I’ve done

Enough to hurt some people

To have been used

By people, too

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Here I am

So tired,

Breathing through

A microphone

A torch song

Emanating

Is that all there is?

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But it isn’t

I think there’s more

More sufficiency

More grace

More life

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And if it seems I’m whining

Or whistling through

My teeth

The saddest tune

Well, I’ve been

Around

Some

With so much more

I’ve never known

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And yet I think

In splinters,

Having this and wanting that

Wishing I’d done that

Wishing I hadn’t

It’s a maddening calculation

At the board

On this side of the gate

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I hope

The tally’s adequate

Or maybe we could

Toss the numbers

Into the moving water

Dividing worlds

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C L Couch

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Hope Valley, Peak District, UK

Photo by Magda V on Unsplash

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3 poems about room

(x = space)

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3 poems about room

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Waiting Room

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Lately, I’ve been angry in my dreams

I’m not sure what that means

I’ve argued with my mother

I’ve argued with former coworkers

Then I’ve left each encounter

To find a peaceful place, all my own

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Wanting Room

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I’ve not argued with God

In my dreams

I’ve not argued with God

When awake

I don’t argue with God

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Though I imagine

There was a time

When I must have argued,

When

Hurts were all

Too awful in the bearing

Of them,

And I didn’t want

To bear them

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Wanting relief, instead

Or at least a reason—

No, a reason

Wouldn’t be enough

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I wanted relief

From God

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Room

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I want room from the landlord*

Who makes me live

With paper-peeling walls

And ceiling and says he can do

Nothing

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I want room from doctors who

Don’t respond

To their own tests,

To tell me how to deal with

Possibly a broken bone

And certainly with broken flesh

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I want room

From people who don’t recognize

Me anyway

Because they don’t recognize

Anyone, anyway

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Each is in a world of one

While the rest of us are landscape

Statues in performance,

Performing when invoked

With snapping fingers or something

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I’ll take room

From that

From those,

Thank you

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C L Couch

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Photo by Holy Maria Lala on Unsplash

Palmerston North, New Zealand

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*(room, landlord = pun, sorry)

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Greenwood

(x = space)

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Greenwood

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Pleasant name, pleasant place,

I’m sure

But a hundred years ago

The neighborhood was burning,

Smoldering, ruining

Owners gone or rounded up, arrested,

And confined

And it would take a hundred years

To talk about at all,

At all well

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A campaign of hours,

One side had more guns

And a pretense of law enforcement

That on other days

Might have worked fine

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But now

So many deputized

Self-deputized

More simply self-righteous

Took aim, fired

Then burned buildings,

One of the first of them a church

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Were they prideful,

The Greenwood people?

Did they enjoy their luxury?

A colony of prosperity

In what turned out to be

Enemy-occupied land,

Though they had helped

To fight the war

Against the worst

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Say what you will,

There is relief in owning something

And despair when it is taken—maybe

You know the feeling

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So many who lost more

And life as more

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And had evidence

Of their lives

Buried without markings,

Without marking the

Rage and guilt

That killed them

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But it’s in such a pleasant

Place

And the neighborhood so

Pleasantly named,

Imbued with rest

That someday will return

To those who know it best for

Want,

For dreaming

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C L Couch

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Photo by Hayden Scott on Unsplash

Tulsa, OK

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City Of Tulsa To Resume Search For Possible Mass Graves At Oaklawn Cemetery (news9.com)

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