I talk you talk we'll talk



believe when things are bad

(x = space)



believe when things are bad


it’s a naïve message,

I suppose

I thought about it during

Bible study,

which was

about assurance


an assurance

that things will go bad

even as

a season entered,


but God is there

and we should be as well

(we should

show up)


believing is a practice

a practice of

a presence,

Brother Lawrence

might say

in church,

the pastor showed

a picture of

Where’s Waldo?

and I thought

we were

supposed to wonder

where God is

in that;


but I understand that

God is there,

all over


and the question is,

Where are we?


good agnostication

sharp skepticism

I hope

that we have more


along with

our petitions in the


of the season


c l couch



Psalm 121, a psalm of assurance


Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God


Rainy Water

Photo by sanjiv nayak on Unsplash x



(x = space)





There was an equinox

The sky returned to balance

While our Earth began to slide

The other way

Into spring here

And winter to the south


We call them snowbirds,

The folk who go to Florida

In January

I’m not sure about the opposite

Those who might want

To travel farther south for winter,

Maybe call them penguins

Puffer people



We wish for a good season

Much to plant

On planet Earth

To hope for green:

Seeds to break

Blades to rise

Life to harvest

Healthy crops of health


C L Couch



Photo by KT on Unsplash

Satay by the Bay, Singapore

Observed this Yellow Bittern for a good 20 minutes.  It was trying to find the most comfortable position for its morning food hunt.  Photo was taken from the lotus pond at Gardens by the Bay, Singapore.


Slowdown Season

(x = space)



Slowdown Season


Lent could mean


If we would allow for that

In the midst of conversations

About sacrifice


Having given up

On chocolate, we need

Something to talk about

How about why?


Sacrifice for its own sake

Being good,

Don’t get me wrong

Though we can

Say more

About the season

About church

About reading

About us


Lent means getting ready

Or it might

Lest we forget

Why we gave up the chocolate

Or the coffee

Or, I don’t know,

What do people give up


(maybe screen time)


It seems we give up

Something somewhat bad

Somewhat good

Maybe it’s the excess

We surrender,

Which a good ancient Greek

Will say

Is always good

A lifestyle to adopt


Well, we’re not here

To parse

We’re here, in fact, because

We’re unified

We want one thing

Even if delivery

Is holiday disarray


We want a happy Easter

With rabbits

And eggs

(rabbits who lay eggs)

And back to chocolate

Like a former friend

Now reconciled


There is more

But it’s not mine to say

You must, must not

It is yours to say

To own a resurrection

Shown in nature

Told as story

A question and an answer

Of belief

It’s yours to say


C L Couch



Photo by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen on Unsplash

Walk the Line


Counting on God

(x = space)



Counting on God


We are in Lent

That like “lente” should mean

Go slowly

(Holy Week might be

“adagio,” I think)


Lent is a Christian thing

And goes along with

Our preoccupation

For things forty:

Forty years our parents

In the wilderness,

Forty days’ temptation

Between Jesus and the devil,

Angels standing (flying)


Forty days for seasons

There are more


Four gospel writers

Three angels meet with Sarah

(meet with Abraham)

She laughs with them

Isaac, Rebekah

With two sons

The sons are parted

As father was separated

From brother,

Two traditions started

Eve and Adam

Had two sons as well

One of whom

Need be remembered

On account of murdering,

First murder


I’m making up the factor

And where is ten?

Ten tribes to the north,

Two to south


Numbers must be important

There’s a whole book for them

In our traditions

But I stop

Just this side of numerology

Yet remembering, just now

That Arabs gave us numerals;

Before then,

Letters had numeric value

Cf. X, V, I, L, C, and M in Roman



Letters as numbers

I think that hurts my brain

What is the number in the name of God,

In the quotient

Or should one multiply?


We say three in,

But sometimes I must wonder

How many God might be

How many parts and particles

Go into one


C L Couch



Photo by Makarios Tang on Unsplash


See and Taste

See and Taste

(Psalm 34:8)


When there was communion,

Four times a year,

Small cups

Were distributed,

Clear and plastic

Warm to touch


I would take my cup,

Tilt its smallness just a little in my favor

To see four lights reflected

Four yellow dots floating

In and as

Four corners

A square inside a circle


One dot for God

One for Jesus, for the Holy Spirit,

And for me

And when I’d turn the plastic cup

Those little lights would merge

To make an errant twirl,

An artwork of gold


A swirl on top

A small pool of grape juice

At room temperature,

As if to say


Even to the child,

We’re all in this together

You’ve eaten, now drink

And with us

Seal the season

Outside, inside


C L Couch



Photo by Erica Viana on Unsplash

São Paulo, SP, Brasil


Invitation’s Curling—Come in, Already

Invitation’s Curling—Come in, Already


If Christmas is the first day, then

This is the sixth

But then that makes the fifth

The twelfth

So maybe Christmas is its own

And then the following

Twelve days are tributes,

Are a season ‘til the sixth,

The magi

The baptism by his cousin John

The revelation by a dove

Of who he is,

Which is a lot of growing up in

Twelve or thirteen days

He was in a manger

Only six days ago

And soon, depending on the full moon

And the spring,

He will be grown and on a forty-day

Journey to Jerusalem

Such things will happen in that time

The biggest coming later

A cataclysm of the each and sky

Pierced by hammered beam

And crushing empire

The abhorrence of nature, even human

The death of everything

That had been hopeful

The death of him

The death of us

Any prospects in an honest joy of living

Then the count of days, only after

And by going back,

Really begins


But before so much of that

There is this

Half-season of Christmas

Sing the carols

Claim the gifts

Play and work

Burn the homely fires

Testify to this

The witness in each moment


The time no one will wait for,

That is wait for well

It has arrived

However romantic,

The darkness of anticipation’s passed

We are here now

This is the best where and when

We have


C L Couch



Photo by Sora Sagano on Unsplash


What Do You Say, Dear?

What Do You Say, Dear?


Sometimes in weariness we wander

While we stay inside, trying to take in

The world about


How much sense we can make with

What immediate surrounds us

We don’t know,



We can open a book of the paper

Or electric kind, and we should


Where do answer lie?

Like asking of the hills to bring our help

Or something in a psalm


We don’t need a tube (that

Kind of lumen, as I understand it)

We can read

We can listen, better

(though we listen to the reading words, I’m sure)


More directly,

We can have an understanding

With all atoms we encounter

We can be grateful


A moment of small noise in which

We utter some


And with an attitude re-enter everything


C L Couch



What Do You Say, Dear? is a delightful and wise book by Sesyle Joslin, illustrated by Maurice Sendak.


Photo by Humphrey Muleba on Unsplash

Chester, United Kingdom


Pumpkin Spice Girls

Pumpkin Spice Girls


Fall, fall

Then fall some more

It’s all right, it is the season

I guess all the seasons can be verbs,

Especially the quarter that is half a year

From now


Spring and fall

Fall then spring

This sounds all right

Pretty hopeful, really


Maybe there’s a joke in that,

See you in the spring

After you fall


Seasons that are seasoning

We spice our lives with them


C L Couch



Photo by George Gvasalia on Unsplash

Lake Lisi, Tbilisi, Georgia


Too Technical for Numbers

Too Technical for Numbers


The people of the nanosecond

That might be the Japanese and us

The Russians and the Chinese

German timing

Somewhere there might be

Understanding of a season

When were you born?

There was great rain

It was a miracle


The Druids were aware of something

Witches, too

They mark the seasons, still

Despite our tendency to burn

Churches change with colors

But maybe not their stripes

I don’t mean to condemn

The vestige of Christ on Earth

But maybe take away

The matches


And return the decision made

Long ago at Whitby

Let the Celts ally with nature

In the faith

So that creation’s flow of time

A day that is an age

Shall inherit blessings now

Of peace and mourning

Birth and, so to say

All of life


C L Couch



Photo by Aron Visuals on Unsplash

“Eventually everything hits the bottom, and all you have to do is wait until someone comes along, and turns it back again.”


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