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prayer

Tent Revival

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Tent Revival

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God of my thoughts,

You guide me

As I’m open

You fill the vessel

Pour it right

Not that there aren’t miracles

There are

You guide me

When I refuse to guide myself

It is the other side of faith

The pledge we made

A while ago

You can guide the pain that’s there,

Which is good when I am

Overwhelmed

Help me, Lord

I’m tired

I don’t know what I am doing

What a good time

For an angel to intrude

There is pain

You can use it

With the rest of me

All yours

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C L Couch

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Photo by Should Wang on Unsplash

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A Prayer for Running Fast

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A Prayer for Running Fast

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God,

Keep us this day

A helicopter crash in Ukraine

Kills civilians

But then it is a war at home

Battlefields lost their discretion

Long ago

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There are fires

In my area

With human loss

And then materials

House fires

Are fearful to contemplate

To see

To hear the testimony

On the news

Of loss

And victims

Who are hurt

Who die

Who die later on

Because house fires have consequences

Changing life

After what happens now

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There are changes

Some by force

We can blame nature

Or each other

The neighborhood beneath the bridge

Is ending

By the hands of institutions

Other hands will help

With the newly homeless

So that there will be

Breathing out

That problem resolved,

We’ll say for now

Then think about other things

Quickening

Our palates

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So what do we care about?

What happens to ourselves

That’s natural

Our reaching toward

The plight

Or the good news

Of others

That is an instinct

From an impulse

God-given trait

Or capacity

We train

And practice

Like a discipline

Like any discipline

Run fast?

Care for others

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Be a coach

Be a pal

You are sovereign

God of gods and

Lord of the self-styled lords

You are our king

Our queen

Allegiance

And tribute

Are ours to give

To pledge from our own knowing

And our gifting

And yet you’ll turn around

To teach us

And provide

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It is a mystery

A frustrating mystery

Of labor

Sweat

And drops of blood

Each day

In all our stations

And yet we ask

In all our stations

Be with us

Start and close the day with us

Talk with us

Provide

Not as a tontine

Not as prophecy

But like love notes

Or neighbors come to coffee

And to be with us

When we stumble

Or when

Dear things

Dear lives

Must crash

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C L Couch

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Photo by Bruno Nascimento on Unsplash

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Ukraine’s interior minister among at least 14 killed in helicopter crash

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/ukraines-interior-minister-among-at-least-14-killed-in-helicopter-crash/ar-AA16t1eO

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devotional rant

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devotional rant

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i hear the cat upstairs

my brother dies from cancer

floods kill people

in the South

the Russian war goes on

and there are fires elsewhere

made by us

weapons

and-or

mania

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there must be reasons for these

and there are

that might be the easy part

will

and stakes for will

this is not for training

this is real

i should say

i don’t know

how all this might apply

to what’s next

what’s coming

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for now

the harder part

is having what we have

and turning victory

from unshapen shapes

of loss

the lathe of heaven

she writes,

refining all that’s here

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and yet outside the story

(the story teaches)

we have

what we have

and must make do

and should do better

we should win

not over each other

but over demons

on the earth,

ones that are

ones we make

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we know better

our skill is better

we can help each other

so much better

some do

the rest ought

to do

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we have the instruments

play on

war on

peace on

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c l couch

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note

The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula K. Le Guin

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Photo by Austrian National Library on Unsplash

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Earthquake in Indonesia

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Earthquake in Indonesia

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Pray for the souls

Of victims

Dead and living

And the

In-between

We don’t understand the hundreds

Because we are not there

We’ve seen pictures

These are not enough

What would we see for real?

What would we smell?

What would we taste?

What would we be allowed

To touch

And whom?

And all the misery

We’d hear

From the keening of the living

And the demons overhead

And underground

That scream a victory

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Nature is corrupted

We’re claiming the win

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C L Couch

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Boy, 6, pulled alive from wreckage of Indonesia earthquake

Story by Masrur Jamaluddin • 1h ago

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/boy-6-pulled-alive-from-wreckage-of-indonesia-earthquake/ar-AA14sWsL

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Photo by Chris Zhang on Unsplash

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The Latest

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The Latest

(family things)

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My brother’s in the hospital

I’m not sure what that means

He fell

I know that much

He spent the night outside,

Which I think must mean

There’s trauma

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A body worked too hard

A body with cancer worked too hard

A neighbor saw him in the morning

And called 911

He’s hundreds of miles away

And he’s in the hospital

In downtown Pittsburgh

My sister says the hospital is good

Urban, smart, efficient

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Everyone knows their jobs

And what to do for him

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Now we know

We’re standing by

Something will happen

And we’ll all come in

It doesn’t have to take an ending

He simply needs to be in one place

Or another

For a time

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What contemporary medicine allows

And Medicare affords

A rehab center

For new fractures

While his cancer’s tended

And he

And everyone

Must deal with that

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We’ve been out there

When and where shall we go now?

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I’ve rattled all this off

Because

I don’t know how to be ready

For what’s next

I wish I had resources

Of all kinds

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Family things

Obviously

Certainly (to push on

the conceit) I don’t mind

If you know

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If you pray,

Maybe you’ll pray

I believe the power in that

God bless him

And help us all

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C L Couch

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Photo by Marcelo Leal on Unsplash

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An Angel Visits Francis

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An Angel Visits Francis

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I speak to God today

God is quiet

Not uninvolved

With nothing noisy

To contribute

Beyond the rain outside

The singing tires

The occasional movement

Inside

From a neighbor

Or from me

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I wonder when an angel

Visits Francis

How it goes

No, don’t get up

Relax the hand with the ring

No doubt you lift the office

With an instinct

Anymore

I’m here to rest with you

For a moment

To be still

You know the issues

And the crises in the world

One of us will tell you

When there are

Awful surprises

You are doing well

We are

I am

Sorry when you’re sick

The age and job

Do take it out of you

You could retire

Like your peer

Sometimes I think

He has the better part

But I don’t think you’ll give up

‘Til you have the sense

You’re done

Remember I am here

We are here

We fly around you

Dance with happiness

Or grief

You know we are not

The round things of the Renaissance

But are might beings

Wide in span

And awful

As in full of awe

To know us

And carry power

You know whose

And are ready

Should you wish us to defend

Evil forefend

Should you wish to rest with us around

And when you’re ready

To be escorted

Even carried

Home

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We are will

And we love you

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Back to me

And God is ready for your voice

When you wish to speak

Or keep it in your mind

The better things

Are in your heart

We’re told,

Which means your spirit

The spirit of the Lord

Is with you, too,

Waking or sleeping

Like the song

Agents of God

Angels and nature

Sing around you

Sometimes difficult

Impossible, it seems,

To hear

But singing nonetheless

The music of the spheres

The song that’s in your sphere

Of hope

And love

To resonate with good things

To navigate the bad

There is help

In that

In both

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C L Couch

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Photo by gil on Unsplash

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Kieran Levi

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Kieran Levi

(petition)

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He has been wonderfully named

Kieran for his Irish father

Levi for his Jewish mother

But he has gotten sick

With a respiratory disease we are told

Is severe and contagious

Over the weekend, his temperature dropped

From 102 to 99,

Which is something

My brother, his grandfather

Sent us a message with a photograph of

An infant surrounded by machines

If you have a moment and don’t mind,

Please pray for Kieran Levi

Birth might be traumatic

And three months is just a start

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C L Couch

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Photo by Yoksel 🌿 Zok on Unsplash

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A Child’s Precocious Prayer

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A Child’s Precocious Prayer

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Help me

To be good;

Help me to be good

Again,

When I am bad.

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Keep my family safe,

And show up

More

When we are not.

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Help your poor world

To be rich,

Because you give us everything,

And we should share.

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C L Couch

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The Moon and a Tree

Photo by Andy Henderson on Unsplash

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Contemplatives Are Due on Maple Street

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Contemplatives Are Due on Maple Street

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God speaks to me each day, though

I must admit

II don’t know what that means

I mean

Sometimes I hear the words

Sometimes it’s a nudge

I suppose a shove would be too much

I’d lose the love in that

And think it

Something else with chagrin

(and from the gravel)

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I’d like to be an everyday sort of mystic

The kind a hobbit might accept

Have food,

A glass of wine,

Smoke a pipe

Then listen for the words that the

Spirit dictates

And hope I’m not sent to Mordor

On assignment

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A contemplative with wide windows

Sunlight, nighttime

Time for clouds

All through which to contemplate

World enough and time

As the saying goes

From Andrew Marvell’s poem

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This would do for a style

It would keep me in the suburbs

Or small towns,

In cities or on farms or

Or in other places near

Or far away

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C L Couch

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Photo by Ali Inay on Unsplash

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