I talk you talk we'll talk



amen, amen, amen, amen, amen

(x = space)



amen, amen, amen, amen, amen

(you can sing it)


there were good hymns

in church

and a couple that were sleepy

the sermon was terrific

for being true and in style easy

as if we could believe


and live it through the new week that

all this was meant to serve



c l couch



photo by channel 82 on unsplash


Who Slew 3G?

(x = space)



Who Slew 3G?


Phone’s dead

As in a horror movie

When the characters

Feel progressively

Closed in

And the killer starts

To take them,

One by one


It’s a sad day

It’s a widespread problem

For the company

And the old people’s plans

Like my plan

Time to pay one way

Or the other for

The lack of service

All the promises

Smiling gray faces



Bakelite phones

With wires


Made of paper

Talking with each other

On the street

Sending the urgent telegram

These might be making


Should we need to share

In an analog world



A horror movie


C L Couch



Photo by Ilinca Roman 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


Tell the Beadle

(x = space)



Tell the Beadle


I had church today with friends

Five hundred miles from here,

And I am thankful


I’m not sure what it means or

How it counts, and I guess mostly

I don’t care


There was prayer and conversation,

And God was mentioned many

Times and Jesus


I think if there were an attendance

Book, our names could be

Fairly entered


As it is, computers have recorded

In theirs pathways our participation so

Cybernetic stars


C L Couch



Sayq, Ad Dakhiliyah ‍Governorate, Oman


Sister Moon

Sister Moon

(song by Francis, metaphor by Zeffirelli)


I cannot fathom Clare

Understand her depths

I do not have to

I’ll readily admit

She is beyond me


Companion to Francis except

Well, except it was boy and girl

(convicted young)

And in communities

Established one gender from the other,

I’m not sure how much

They could be together

Though I imagine them working

Side by side with nascent followers

And I want to think of them

Playing games as well

Between bouts

Of growing things

(vegetables and campaigns)

Washing the poor

Wishing the church into a better place

For service and to any


Could she have gone with him to meet the

Sultan as

A missionary team

In hardship, danger

Doctrinal snares

And opportunities as well

For the sultan (as was the pope)

Was powerful and smart

Well, too much is binary

I should not define one by the other

She was her own

She has it

Who chose to become God’s and his,

The moon in canticle

So sing to the sun


Brother, we are here

We dress the sky above the earth

In dreams

In daylight, we work hard

Harder than our flesh can bear

Than flesh can bear all orders of our calling


At night and for all times

All things

We pray


Be with me, brother, as at Mizpah

When we are apart

Consider the stars at night

I the clouds by day

We are in each other

Inside God’s creation

And the same calling,

The announcement of redemption

While working to save mortal lives

Upon the ground


C L Couch



Detail depicting Saint Clare from a fresco (c. 1320) by Simone Martini in the Lower basilica of San Francesco, Assisi

Simone Martini – The Yorck Project (2002) 10.000 Meisterwerke der Malerei (DVD-ROM), distributed by DIRECTMEDIA Publishing GmbH. ISBN: 3936122202., Public Domain,


Feet, Do Your Thing

Feet, Do Your Thing


We have enough to do

It’s good—work a job, earn money

Make a home

Have a way to get around

Have life

I don’t mean to say that it’s enough

For now or for a few

Or for a multitude

There should be more

We know that

Take a breath

Inhale, then remember to exhale

Let something out that’s maybe been kept

Inside too long


Now, something more

Service is good

What we can do, we should

I’ll take an open door, a meal hosted

By a friend

Growth through a colleague

Or a stranger encountered

These are by someone else

By my own hand if not design,

I can listen

By hearing with all senses

I can send a message

To encourage

Like first valentines

For love of those held down

A martyr in a cell


I feel just a little rested

I’m still poor in most things

But I can do

When there’s gas in the car,

Give a ride

Level up the change at the store

As a donation to a cause

No one takes issue with

(or maybe takes, so what)

Take a walk and smile a little to the world

Is that hoke?

I should take my chances


C L Couch



Photo by Jake Hills on Unsplash



the title, I keep thinking–I know (now) there is a song with it in the title; but I think I heard it in a cartoon or an old movie





I speak

Then you speak

It’s good

It’s good for the church

For the service

It’s even better for us

A way to talk that has rhythm and remembrance

Ages-long and fresh each time

You speak

Then I speak

We listen—we don’t forget that part

The service ended,

We go in peace


C L Couch


Ask Any Soldier

Ask Any Soldier


“When your friend

Gets killed, part of you

Gets killed”


A testimony and

Remembrance for

USA Memorial Day


Which I can only

Guess is right since

I have friends gone

In other ways, and

They and those parts

Of me yet feel lost


To lose through war

When targets seem

A random strategy:


Colors, shapes, tribes

On a map or guessed

At over a hill


Loss of life or partial

Life must feel


The height of

Unselected cruelty

On a pillar of



If a citizen salute

Might count, then

Listen to one


Expressing in

Tribute to

Patriot sacrifice

And personal

Complexity in



Thanks is not enough,

So memory is offered


And legacy of

Better nations


C L Couch


(quotation from the AHC channel)


(a polio center bombed in
Pakistan, because of

I lived in the cities where
Salk and Sabin worked
Which does not matter
As much as the reality of

Diphtheria, polio, small
Pox, and malaria;
From Spanish Flu in
The last (twentieth)

These diseases are now
Resolved and most are gone
With vaccines and other
Helps except for those
Ravages that were not
Cured except through time,
For we hadn’t means to

We still look at this
Challenge, though it
Seems we’re getting

I don’t know how those
Against vaccination really
Feel, maybe because I’ve
Only experienced the

I’ve had mild symptoms
Of that for which I’ve
Been given shots—that’s
In the nature of vaccines—but
I’ve not suffered fully from
Diseases or conditions
Against which I’m

Now, due to a condition (not
Vaccine-related), I’m toward
The top of the list of those
Who should receive flu

Any reservations
Notwithstanding, I get the

Those who refuse risk
Infecting others, though
I respect the hesitation
If I cannot ally the

Yet those who turn down
And those who protest this
Medical opportunity are
Not bombing doctors’ offices
Or clinics where these

Though, I must say, that in
This free land, some
Take issues to extremes
To destroy clinics of
Another medical kind thus
Surrender being human in
Becoming the extreme and little

But on a day in Pakistan
I’ve read further in the news

Bombing a polio clinic
Addressing a disease that
Can be veritably

If this terroristic vision
(An irony of shots)
Could be realized, then there
Would be outbreaks of laming
And of crippling infection
Without recourse except
The best (the worst) of

When we can cure, we
Are at our best;
What can be said for
Those who hunt down
All those who can and
Now must more bravely

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