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A Comedy Tonight

(x = space)

x

x

A Comedy Tonight

(the raven tells)

x

x

Demons

x

I imagine they are

Real,

Waiting for an open

Door:

x

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

x

I guess it can be gross

And feel dark,

Trucking with demons

Always

On assignment

Looking through the fissures

To take over,

Listening

x

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

x

Maybe by believing

They are means

For desire

Or revenge of

Something like

A genie’s wish

But in the lighted, wakened,

Wounded world

x

x

Hel

x

Is there a place

Of hell?

Most likely

x

Is it flames

And unquenched heat,

Blasts of judgment

Against dissolving

Souls?

I do not know

x

Maybe it’s all

Purgatory,

A final chance

For rescue

x

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

x

Maybe Jesus

Walks across the fissure

To harrow, hollow hell—to

Remove all residents

Should they wish

To go

x

Since a gentle God

Even then

Must leave eternity

A choice

x

x

Paradiso

x

Nothing like

Angels on clouds

Holding harps

x

Nothing static

The most action

We have ever known

With energy

And work

x

Only with good bodies

For it all

No weakness

Though the gentle

Supervise

x

Passion

Drama

Interest

Investment of

Our muscles

And organs, say,

Our hearts and brains

Restored

To Eden’s intention

And agenda

x

We’ll have things to do

In action

And in freedom

Nothing less

Only more

x

Impulse

And instinct

Perfected

Everything we want

Is heaven

x

x

C L Couch

x

x

Photo by Kevin Mueller on Unsplash

x

two poems, again I’m not sure why

(x = space)

x

x

Sci-Fi Goats

x

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

x

Not that we’re excused here

We have what we have

To use

To keep

Or we lose ourselves

Without a possibility

Of portals—

x

Maybe goats

They might be traversing

And we never know

x

x

x

Poeming

x

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

x

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

x

x

x

C L Couch

x

x

Hello, Friends

Photo by Ricardo Gomez Angel at Unsplash

https://unsplash.com/@rgaleria

Glattalpsee, Muotathal, Suiza

x

two poems, I don’t know why

(x = space)

x

x

Lost World

x

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

x

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

x

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

x

x

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.

x

x

x

Supplicant

x

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

x

x

“Amazing Grace,” a song by John Newton

x

Photo by AJITH S on Unsplash

Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu, India

x

x

x

C L Couch

x

2 poems—pray for me, pray for you

(x = space)

x

x

2 poems—pray for me, pray for you

x

Life in 3/4 Time

x

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

x

x

Pray for Friends

x

Lord,

Watch over all my friends

Send your angels to protect

Them from all kinds

Of things

x

There is sickness

There are sick pets

There are jobs

And then no jobs

And sometimes jobs

Not worth the having

x

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

x

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

x

Though tomorrow only waits

While today is what

We have

So I must pray for now

For them

For you

x

x

C L Couch

x

x

Photo by Tejash Verma on Unsplash

Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India

x

2 songs

(x = space)

x

x

2 songs

x

x

Song of Innocence

x

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

x

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

x

x

Song of Experience

x

There’s so little

That I’ve done

Enough to hurt some people

To have been used

By people, too

x

Here I am

So tired,

Breathing through

A microphone

A torch song

Emanating

Is that all there is?

x

But it isn’t

I think there’s more

More sufficiency

More grace

More life

x

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

x

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

x

I hope

The tally’s adequate

Or maybe we could

Toss the numbers

Into the moving water

Dividing worlds

x

x

C L Couch

x

x

Hope Valley, Peak District, UK

Photo by Magda V on Unsplash

x

3 poems about room

(x = space)

x

x

3 poems about room

x

x

Waiting Room

x

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

x

x

Wanting Room

x

I’ve not argued with God

In my dreams

I’ve not argued with God

When awake

I don’t argue with God

x

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

x

Wanting relief, instead

Or at least a reason—

No, a reason

Wouldn’t be enough

x

I wanted relief

From God

x

x

Room

x

I want room from the landlord*

Who makes me live

With paper-peeling walls

And ceiling and says he can do

Nothing

x

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

x

I want room

From people who don’t recognize

Me anyway

Because they don’t recognize

Anyone, anyway

x

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

x

I’ll take room

From that

From those,

Thank you

x

x

C L Couch

x

x

Photo by Holy Maria Lala on Unsplash

Palmerston North, New Zealand

x

*(room, landlord = pun, sorry)

x

Greenwood

(x = space)

x

x

Greenwood

x

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

x

A campaign of hours,

One side had more guns

And a pretense of law enforcement

That on other days

Might have worked fine

x

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

x

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

x

Say what you will,

There is relief in owning something

And despair when it is taken—maybe

You know the feeling

x

So many who lost more

And life as more

x

And had evidence

Of their lives

Buried without markings,

Without marking the

Rage and guilt

That killed them

x

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

x

C L Couch

x

x

Photo by Hayden Scott on Unsplash

Tulsa, OK

x

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

x

Victory at Sea

(x = space)

x

x

Victory at Sea

x

The sadness

That so much is done,

So much never started

But then I’d want

Eternity here and now

Everything

All possibilities

From which to choose

And choose again

To get it right

x

Would that Earth

Could turn peacefully

So that choices might

Be made from

Wisdom and from joy

x

But too many

Steal podiums to say

Beat the other side,

Don’t hesitate

To shoot

x

The second problem is

That hate will shoot back,

And when our

Magazines are empty

There is only peace

In death, that is,

Lives taken

x

Sibling murder

We pretend the other

Is not human

But a target for our rage,

For demon-stoked

Disapproval

x

This is so the world is mine,

Rendered in my own image

With death the medium

x

Would that

Famous people

Would shut up

And listen to the Earth

For a while

Then listen to us,

Which is nearly all of us

x

Pain, thirst

All kinds of ideas

And agendas

Find them

Find the stories

Hear them

x

Let change happen

Speak to it

Let peace prevail

And every other goodness

x

Favorite recipes

Homemade holidays

Comfortable shoes

Barefoot where the Earth

Is welcoming

x

We welcome each other

Sparing the lives that only

Insanity demands

And criminality

x

There is little more to say

Stop destroying

Leave self-righteousness to God

From whom we can learn about

Justice

And safe water

And living as if everything

Is home

For everyone

x

C L Couch

x

The title is taken from a TV series about bravery in war.  Music by Richard Rodgers.

To be at sea also means to be adrift.  Wanting to head for home.

(Not that the ship in the image is adrift, as in having no control. I don’t know.  The ship looks lonely, though.)

x

Photo by Javier Balseiro on Unsplash

x

Catechesis, Parts 1 and 2

(x = space)

x

x

Catechesis, Part 1

x

questions

x

I got up in time,

Sort of

How did you do?

Is it a good day?

Are things going well?

x

I missed my turn at prayer

The group went on

And I hope the quiet praying

Counted

I don’t know the protocols

On Earth, in heaven

So well

x

I fact,

When I feel my tether pulled,

So to speak,

On Earth or heaven,

I ask, existentially

What do you want of me?

And Who are you?

Asking anything of me

x

Not that I take it amiss

I have time

Enough lack of direction

That I may respond happily,

Given

Something good to do

x

x

Catechesis, Part 2

x

answers

x

You are God,

I think,

Maker of all things

That must mean good and bad

Downright evil

Or so frustrating that

Some of us

Might want

To scream and do

So you are the God

Of good things and bad things

And evil things

Supposing the delightful things as well

Spring and picnics in good weather,

Cool water, wine,

And sex

Beside still waters

(metaphorically at least)

You are with us

In all things,

Somehow excused of voyeurism,

Which might be why

The seraphim have so many eyes apiece

So that one eye or another

Might be closed

With no loss to function, overall

x

Anyway,

You want of us to love

To love you

To accept love from you,

Which isn’t a done deal

You know, during

Those awful times

When so much has been lost

To the dark

Forever night

Without night’s comforts

‘Til a white sun rises over day,

All our empty landscapes

x

You are there

Maybe we’ll excuse this

One way or the other

x

x

C L Couch

x

x

x

Photo by Avery D’Alessandro on Unsplash

Brugge, Belgium

x

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