I talk you talk we'll talk



on the altar

(x = space)



on the altar



what shall we give

but everything

and what is everything?

if i offer myself upon an altar

then will you send an angel

to stay my hand?

if i offer up my part in relationships

will you have an angel

tell me

not so much

before i am alone?

if it’s my wardrobe or accounts

or the corporation or the army

(like saint francis)

or plans


earthly luxury

or earthly victory

will you send a hallelujah chorus

to tell me, no, not that much?

or will you tell me to keep


my body to begin with

as a living sacrifice,

my mind turning only as you turn it,

the sadness of

living against the world

for the renewing of my mind


my body as a sacrifice

in worship

without sacrificing animals

or the worldly counterparts

but sacrificing me

the only thing to set apart,

holy for you


could you ask that much

or do you ask that much all the time

while i do not hear?

then i should listen with the

hearing that you gave me


c l couch


romans 12:1-2



photo by ricardo gomez angel on unsplash


Memorial Day in the USA

(x = space)



Memorial Day in the USA



It is a holiday in the USA

I suppose the sales are good

And there will be

Shiny fireworks

Reminding us the day means,

Well, something


There are days like this

Around the world,

As there should be:

Remembrances of those

Who fought and

Died in war


The wisdom of strategy

And final choices

Is not on the program;

Like the Light Brigade,

There are those

Who served

Because they served


Remember them,

Because their loss

Is the foundation

For unfought

Wars over silent


That were and are

And will be,



C L Couch



Golden Stars

Photo by Dan Dennis on Unsplash

World War II Memorial, Independence Avenue Southwest, Washington, DC, USA


Don’t Mind Me

Don’t Mind Me


Oh, Christopher


So you’re nothing

Nothing’s good

The mystics would be envious

I don’t mean annihilation

That would be bad

But death to self is something else,

I think

Because you do not go away

As if there were nothing left of you

You are woke into a different place

With people you might know

Some kind of belonging

We might call it a heavenly host

But you are retained as you

You are even loved

Now and you know before

As it may have happened, then


The death to self is prayer

So cleansed and clean

As to have nothing left but righteous intercession

Something to be gained

Such a death to self so that

There is only prayer for others

Disinterest in agenda

But the willingness to bleed some more

If like a transfusion

It might bring some living to another

This is sacrifice

Not immolation but

A gift of love

From which nothing will be returned


A love I do not understand, for now

Or the peace that passes it


C L Couch



Photo by OC Gonzalez on Unsplash

Santa Barbara, United States

A shot I captured during dinner with my Grandpa and my niece.


Valentine’s (prose-poem)

Valentine’s is Tuesday.  A day whose origin is in sacrifice and martyrdom.  In the pesky chapter of Ephesians, it’s how the role of husbands in marriage is described.  Like the role of Jesus to the church, his bride and for whom he gave his life.  The saint exchanged messages of love from his prison cell with his followers outside.  (Who knows but someone might have been in jail with him.)  Red is not for romance but for the color of the final cause.  Enjoy the greeting cards—I will—and chocolate.  And flowers for an augur of spring in the north.  But there are higher things to think of, among them how we love this day.  And to the next.

C L Couch

The Word, the Life for Love

The Word, the Life for Love
(14 February 2016)

Valentine gave his life for love
Christ gave it back

Messages of faith sent with
New ones returned
Sacrifice and service
Hearing and listening

Even when afraid

What may I do you for to say
I love you on Valentine’s

In a way that you might
Hear because I’ve borne
The word to give
To you now

Even in new ways

A gift that has no investment
No interest to accrue
Beyond selfless satisfaction
That you might love me
In return

These Are the Voyages (28 January 1986)

These Are the Voyages
(28 January 1986)

Thirty years ago and less or
More, there was Apollo 1,
Challenger, and Columbia

Source and cause of death
In rising through the skies;
Reluctant, stubborn loss in

Exploration—first mission
To the Moon, first teacher
Into pace, and a flight we’d

Grown too used to thinking
Ordinary—limited and limitless,
We were reminded; now in

Vision foresworn and sworn
Again, these guard our flights
On toward all our heavens,

Treasuring what in dreams
Will be manifest—we in faith,
Voyagers relentless, we

Travel closer to our God of
Discovery, all of us tied now
In tribute sentinel sacrifice

(Note. Remember the first USA
Space shuttle? It was Enterprise)

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