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Signs of Protest

(x = space)



Signs of Protest

(civilly offered)


I do not understand

The people who have died

From shooting,

From hunger

Or lack of safe water,



You know what I mean,

I don’t understand

The situation

That allows for these


Too many guns,

Not enough

Food and water,

Too much disease


The solution seems mathematic

Fewer guns,

More food and water,

Less disease


I don’t care about the politics

We’ve made death too easy

And where politics might be concerned,

We’ve rendered people into blots:


We take off our glasses

And look at the blots from a distance


We have the right

To kill

Except we don’t have it


Made-up spies, perhaps

Soldiers who follow orders,

Though there’s too much a burden

For them,

The soldiers and the orders


Stay strong

Broker peace

Don’t outlaw emotions

But outlaw hate


Maybe slowly we’re getting there

I don’t know

Maybe you do

I hope so

Because I have to count on you

And you and you

Not as blots

But with the most urgent

Kind of clarity


C L Couch



International Women’s Day in Barcelona, Spain (2009). The motto, written in Catalan, says: “Total crisis in the patriarchal system”.

By Mutari – Own work, Public Domain,


finding an image to represent protest was harder than I thought it would be; I chose this photograph because I agree that the patriarchal system is in crisis: in fact, IS a crisis


Ending of the Week

Ending of the Week

(through the sickness)


It’s a special day

A day in Ramadan

Sabbath time will start for Jews

Christians may anticipate

A sabbath, too

For those who don’t believe,

It’s Friday

And it’s now


There is no better time

For breathing and for other


Speaking of breathing,

The Buddhists can teach

The rest

Something about that

And they do


As far as I know, we are between

Times for special Hindu


But fauna call for

Remembrance all the time

We all should respect nature

So well


And this is what I know

Not so much, really

So many stories to see,

To hear

I won’t receive them all

But I want to


For those without a weekend,

It is different

I can feel for you,

If you don’t mind

I used to have my weekends

In the week

But for the front-liners

Standing, acting against disease

With everything that


I don’t know what to say except

You rank me

And thank you


C L Couch



Photo by Gift Habeshaw on Unsplash

Addis Abeba, Ethiopia


Tentatively Yours

Tentatively Yours


If we are to heal,

There has to be a hope

That someday it will be complete

That all the things that festered

Will have finally unwound

From the brain, the heart

Any infected organs

That persistence of pain will

Be replaced

With something like assurance in

Confidence of being well

That the counting that has met

Each day

Now useless

Will give way

To errands, nothing much

A nothing kind of day

Wouldn’t that be nice

Wouldn’t that be lovely

To have a day that’s dulled by

Anything but pain

Not to be morose

For what I have

I’ll still wrap around mortality

Until the glorious surprise

Of the next thing


C L Couch



Photo by Michael Anfang on Unsplash


Pity the Party

Pity the Party


Wow, pain is such a disconnect

Like depression

That I also take a pill for

What is there to care for?

What do I care about?

Who cares for me?

I have accoutrements

A blanket ‘round my shoulders

While I’m cold

Toast (the start of a loaf)

Some grapes (the last of them)

I gave up coffee and caffeine

As if it were my own form of Lent

Though I can’t recall

A decision for

The sake of my soul


Pills have side effects

These press down, too

I am surrounded

The best thing that I have

Are movies

But I’d rather be the artisan

Than the spectator

So sit up to write

A little more


I’d rather make

Than borrow off

Another’s making

I mean, there’s allusion

Citation when it’s proper

Or otherwise might render

A source beyond reach

If not belief

Or to leave it all, hoping for

Belief in the beholder


Well, some system

Is protesting

The strain of illness

Or the medication

Most of this I doubt I’ll leave

Though there might be something

I can’t see or hear

That someone else

Much better at beholding will


Do I pray?

I do and hope for more

But I haven’t a perspective

The thermostat is broken

Someone else must regulate

What happens next,

Which is what I think

The praying’s for


C L Couch



Image by ImageParty from Pixabay


Waiting the Hour

Waiting the Hour


I used to swim a lot

Back and forth across the pool

Down to the bottom, where

There was clarity up-close

I learned the different strokes

And what was then


I’m unsure how that’s changed,

What’s preferred about

Administering the kiss of life

And such

Eventually, I would tire

But there was such a store

To keep me going then

To bring me back next day

Heat in the air, cold water

The extremes were not the issues

I’m only sick

I will recover,

Which means I’m overdoing


When I’m better I’ll, you know,

Test the waters


C L Couch



Photo by Zbysiu Rodak on Unsplash

Calle de San Andrés, Golf del Sur, Spain






Getting sick

Trying not to

No, what is it

Trying to get well


Two infections

And did they damage my heart?

Became the overarching question

So a string of tests

Withholding diagnosis in the mean time

Withholding treatment, too

The pain was high

Still is

Less lousy, I can say


C L Couch


Image by 이정임 lee from Pixabay


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