I talk you talk we'll talk




(x = space)






I often talk to you

In thought

Do you hear me?

I hope so,

Because I rarely

Think about it



Do you need

The uttered word?

I’d think

You wouldn’t,

Though maybe

My part

Is to speak


I think I let you in

A while ago,

You see

And while you’re


You might as well

Have the run

Of the place

Including the talking parts

That happen

On the inside


Life in the Spirit,

I believe,

With an angel’s assist

I hope it works

This way

I’ll pray out loud

As well


C L Couch



Photo by Emil Widlund on Unsplash


Anchorite Devotion

(x = space)



Anchorite Devotion


I cherish

Quiet in a cup

To drink

When I need some

Peace on a plate

When a bite is needed

Some silence in the air

But not so much

We cannot hear

The songs

Of earth and sky

The thrumming from beneath

To feel

The sighing from so high

We dare not

On an ordinary day

To try


A homespun layer

Maybe two layers

For the day

And through the night

A few words of friendship

And a few more

Then intimate,

Unspoken words

With God


There is a book

Of hours and another

Sometimes wisdom’s

In the page

In the part between

The letters

As well the illustrations

The space in which

We first learn

That blank space is the quiet

We may go there

Then to learn

About the mystery

The text

And images support

But can’t fill yet

As if to know the words

To speak with angels

And with animals

And with the air


All things the creator makes

To set in humming motion


C L Couch



Statue of Julian of Norwich by David Holgate, west front, Norwich Cathedral.

By Poliphilo – Own work, CC0,


Quiet Start

(x = space)



Quiet Start


I am quiet

And for a change

The building’s quiet

I have ordered food

Staples, that kind of thing

It should be arriving

In two hours

Or less


It’s a breathing moment

When the sun is considering

Fully rising

Though it’s tussling

With some clouds

I like this time

I wish my coffeemaker

Wasn’t broken


But I’ll take this

For a Friday morning

Pray for all the tragedies

By nature and by us

Do some plain old

Wishing, too,

As if I had an unironic genie

Who would simply give me

What I wish

Even world peace

Or something like that


C L Couch



Dandelions are everywhere in Finland in Spring!

Photo by Saad Chaudhry on Unsplash

Levi, Kittilä, Finland


A Quiet Place

(x = space)



A Quiet Place

(a sequel)


A song

A horror movie

A hyped-up culture

Maybe doesn’t want one

But I do


Something calm

With windows large enough

To witness nature

As it passes

With sun or wind

Or snow or rain,

Things better watched

And heard

From inside

With ceilings high enough

So I could imagine a cathedral

Rather than

A cave

(it’s all right—I am imaginative)

A place to live with my own noise

That is modified respectfully

With regard to

Neighbors whom

I might get to know


C L Couch



New Forest Lane

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

New Forest National Park, United Kingdom



The Hours

The Hours


It is a quiet day so far

The only noise I hear is mine

Short steps here and there

The creaking microwave

(yes, it creaks when working

sometimes me, too)

Soft murmurs from the television

The illusion that we’re



It shouldn’t have to be

The start of a campaign

A march for quiet times for

For writing or whatever

I’m grown: I should have it

When I need it

Raise some noise

When I want to


Otherwise, the timing of a cenobite

Who wishes only to be left alone

In prayer

A world of prayer

In which the supplicant, petitioner

Enjoys a pure way filled with silent atoms

Paving the way

For all the calls, complaints,

Requests to God


Sometimes too much, I think

The hermit should get out more

If at all

There is a world

The one prayed for

We should know it better

Before closing off

To help it


A fortress of solitude?

Is that why the heroes need one?

Shut oneself off

To better understand

The causes that we fight for

Extract ingredients from the bowl

Before they’re mixed again

Before we fly back to Metropolis

To take it all on



C L Couch



Photo by Keenan Constance on Unsplash

Johannesburg, South Africa


A Cool, Dark, Quiet Place

A Cool, Dark, Quiet Place


For optimal sleep, this is the

Room we need, certain

Voices say, though I think the sense

In it (in that) might be apparent

To reach out to the left or right

Then bring it in

Like muscles with a game ball


Lights out maybe with a care toward

Preplanning disorientation

From lack of light

We’ll need something soft, too, for

Our belly or our hip or our butt

Plus something for our head

Resting to the side or back or somehow with

The face pressed down


The coolness comes from moving air

Though climate control has become a

Denser thing, inside


As for quiet, we are on a noisy planet

Where some think noise is just for them

And could it harm the rest of us?

Let’s not think about that

In our cars,

On top of our neighbors

(I’m not bitter)


Cool, dark, quiet

And we sleep

I tend to think we figure

Other things might go that way—

Sex and, yes, well, rock ‘n roll

The play when that’s the thing

Our time in movie houses

Maybe for some exercise of other

Sorts, a walk at night, escorted,

Maybe in the rain


So I think we should vote for this

Approve efforts to make it happen

Good night to you

God keep you

God buy you



C L Couch



Photo by Ryan Searle on Unsplash

Heal’s, London, United Kingdom


A Quieted Place

A Quieted Place


A quiet place

A song

A horror story

Someplace where we want to be


A park

The parking lot at the stadium

Night with lights outside

Inside with a candle

Or with nothing

But our senses

As they are


I carry the noise

You might

And so must have another

Point and counterpoint

To make a wash of sound

And give me (us) echoes of the sea

Or some such ambiance

For peace


C L Couch



Photo by Amanda Flavell on Unsplash





I wake up and no one’s


The noises of the house remain

My sister’s probably in her office

On a conference call

My brother-in-law in the master

Bedroom getting ready

What a brief time it takes

To get used to company

It all feels strangely empty

The house without its people

I have entered from another place

Where loneliness is normal

But I have changed

In such a short time

I’ve picked up sibling silence

And placed it in my pocket


C L Couch



Photo by JAYAKODY ANTHANAS on Unsplash


Tomorrow Look for Litany

Tomorrow Look for Litany


Quiet nature

And it’s not

It’s noisy—screeching, scratching,

Tearing, flapping, crying out

In pain or loss or delight


It’s an uneven, all-textured

Unbalanced affair

Not all spheres are smooth in space,

Not every nest has beauty


There are scars and broken limbs

That bespeak mortality

But could we have it any other way


There is math in the nautilus

And harmony when mourning doves

Begin the day in need

Conversing with each other:


Come, join me

In this tree, set with me


C L Couch


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