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spirit

What Number Pain Today

(x = space)

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What Number Pain Today

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I don’t know

Or recall

Who came up with

Quiet desperation

Perhaps a modern poet

I hope you

Don’t have to live that way

Something inside

That found its way

A sidling kind of thing

That won’t let go

It could be memory

Or money

The potential for a  scandal

Or simply a lot of pain

Not the kind that

Inspires a statue

And who needs that?

x

Pain is a reaction

A response

Also a signal

Can keep in the inner workings

Working

It should have an end

Not simply a measure

But that’s what

Therapy

Or medication’s for

x

Or simply bearing

Old body pains

A place of wounding

In the spirit

We can keep

Except sometimes we can’t

Then the therapy

Or medication’s needed

Prayer

Companionship

Companionship in prayer

x

Aquarius bears water

The libation bearers, well,

Libation

As offerings

Atlas

Or the elephant

Bears the world

And there’s the story of Saint Christopher

Who carried Christ, not knowing

It was Christ, through water

And a storm

And the child’s weight increasing

Until the one who carried him must say

He bore the weight

Of the world

And did bear

x

Carry weights

And pains

And as pains are signals

Pay attention

Carry,

I mean carry,

Carry on

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C L Couch

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Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

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the phrase “quiet desperation” is by Thoreau in Walden

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The Second Day

(x = space)

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The Second Day

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The day

After resurrection

Jesus appears to many

There is work to do

After the great miracle,

It seems

Affirming what Mary

Has said

Showing marks of wounds

To Thomas

Teaching, still

Cooking fish beside a fire

Talking about metaphors

Of sheep

Hoping Peter understands

Then after many days

Of words and signs

A leavetaking

Leaving instructions

Until he should come back

Having left a promise, too,

Of help

Like his

In fact, him still

This person will indwell

Like blood, like bone,

Like organs

Like thoughts and feelings

That’s pretty close

Inside

A guide

Someone to speak to worth

 A presence, bearing

Through the times

Of pleasure and of pain

The ease of life

The things we never think

To get through

x

It’s a busy time

After Easter Day

There will be letters

Words

Greetings, admonishments

Compassion

Affirming of directions

These all will last

In the book through Revelation

Until, in fact,

Parousia

And the obvious way to do it

Spirit inside, outside

All partners now

Treading the new fields

Of new Earth

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C L Couch

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Interested Bunny waiting for food.

photo by Stefan Fluck on Unsplash

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Flesh, Spirit, and Everything that Matters

(x = space)

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Flesh, Spirit, and Everything that Matters

(for Easter)

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Good Friday becomes Easter

x

Good becomes better

Good becomes goodest

Abandonment is over

The teacher has returned

And the homeowner

And we each have a place in that home

It is so large

And always adding

x

The wounds are healed

There are reminders;

Mainly (surely),

He is alive

x

There was no question that he died

We wept, we keened

We buried

There was a stone

There was a guard

There was no doubt in this

The emperors

And would-be emperors

Clinked their glasses

And sat back,

Sighed

That’s done

The conspiracy is over

Plot succeeded

And we can blame other people

x

God and people are

Reconciled

Through life and death

And life again

The absurdity of the final miracle

Over death inexorable

Unavoidable

x

And NOT forever

What?

x

This is what we know

And now through resurrection

We must believe that

Death is not all

It is not inexorable

It is avoidable

We may die

We might sleep

If so,

We will awake again

How does this happen?

x

It is God

Who has a part in us

Who made us

Who is spirit

And flesh

And everything that makes up

A creator

And a lover

And a savior

Immanuel from Hebrew

God with us

x

We walk a bridge

That wasn’t there

God is on the other side:

In fact,

We can find out

God is on both sides

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C L Couch

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Photo by Joshua Sortino on Unsplash

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Create in Me

(x = space)

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Create in Me

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The Spirit of God

Might not

Be inside the tree

But the Spirit

Might dance with the tree

And many trees

From time to time

I don’t know

How things are invested

x

The Spirit of God

Might be in the tree

When exigency

Requires

x

God is a rock

As a metaphor

But not the real thing

Having made the real thing

x

There is that

Burning bush

That burned and didn’t burn

God used

And rearranged

The matter of

The bush in that encounter

x

So maybe with the atoms

Of existence

The Lord loves to live beside

God or God’s agents

Asking for

Rearrangements

From time to time

To suit a miracle

A message for

Sixth-day creations

Who can have God inside

Intertwining

Spirits

When desired

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C L Couch

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Photo by Conscious Design on Unsplash

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Momentum

(x = space)

x

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Momentum

(for friends)

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You know,

I write several things

A day

And then choose

One of them

Some days I only write

One thing

And I use that

I tell myself that if there’s

Nothing, then I won’t

Have anything

To share

And that has to be

All right

Occasionally, that happens

Not so often

If I have access to my

Small machines

Among them the device

Inside

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I say this because

This is where I am today

Not quite Pooh Corner

I admit

I cannot do everything

I want and like the apostle

Sometimes I do

The thing I hate

Though I think it’s more

That I don’t do

The thing I want

Even love

To do

x

I could ask

Where is the energy

Of youth, that

Sweet bird,

Though I think we know

That energy is finite

Like the push-pull

Universe

And that we always tire

So we

Run the race we can

Then rest

x

I know

You’re at the

Starting line

With me each day

I want to be with you

We go

And if we’re smart

We’ll rest

When there’s been enough

Join me today

Won’t you

In the race

That for us

Is cosmic laced,

Spiced, intertwined

With spirit

(or have spirit

laced with cosmic

thinking the spirit understands

either way)

The cosmic race

The spirit race

The human race

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C L Couch

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Isaac Newton Telescope on La Palma in the evening light

Photo by Frantisek Duris on Unsplash

Roque de los Muchachos, Spain

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Romans 7:14-15

(Hebrews 12:1 et al)

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Missio

(x = space)

x

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Missio

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Oh, Lord,

Too many things

Are going wrong

And yet I’m here

You are here

Things could be worse

It always can be said

And it’s true

How precious are my things

Over someone else’s?

Well, they’re not:

Not to say that

I don’t count

Maybe it’s to speak

To the preciousness

Of things,

Which are not

But life, well yes, life

Matters

It’s what we have

And all we have when

We go to the other side

x

So what matters?

Maybe nothing much

Except the spirit

Except that on this side

Of things,

There should be

So much less

Suffering

Especially the kind we can

Inflict on each other

Imagining

If we didn’t start so many

Wildfires

You know that most of them

Are human-made

You know

Amen

x

C L Couch

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Photo by Alex Lvrs on Unsplash

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Doctrine by Tempest

(x = space)

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Doctrine by Tempest

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And should I turn

To the Spirit,

How shall she say

Or guide?

To love in all things,

Though that

Can be a mystery

Like faith

And should I ask for grace

Or is that bestowed

In quantities

Already

Measured out by God,

Dispensed by angels?

I don’t know,

I think grace might be wild,

Ready to fall itself

Into the crisis

Spreading all the elements

And changing time

For

Working things,

Which means perhaps

That prayer

Is unchained, too,

And to do so

Into the storm

In terror

And unformed bequest

Well, it counts

x

C L Couch

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Hurricane Map

Photo by NASA on Unsplash

Yemen

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Sunday Best

(x = space)

x

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Sunday Best

(for Juneteenth)

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I celebrate from a distance,

Thinking of church

As an invitation

I received

Several years ago

In a Black church in Louisville,

Kentucky

x

I was there for meetings

And on

Sunday morning

We went to a church

Some of us

Had known about

x

Arms rose into the air

For hours, and the choir

Never seemed

To stop

x

And, I’m sorry,

I don’t remember the

Preaching

But remember the music

And the dancing in the air

Of arms and words

Carried up

By song

x

And if the Spirit could be

Smoke, we

We wouldn’t breathe

But as it’s air

We breathed in life

And exhaled

New visions

x

And we were welcomed,

Such was love

In the airy cloud

That prismed every color

With invitation

Courtesy

And movement

For outsiders

x

We were there for hours

Without knowing

This was Sunday best

At its best

I’ll be a part of it again

Someday

x

For there

There was freedom in the

Spirit

As there should be a day for it

Then every day

Every day a work

And play

For freedom

Numinous

And real

x

C L Couch

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Spirituality

Photo by Thiago Barletta on Unsplash

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Without Further Ado

(x = space)

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Without Further Ado

x

I’d like to say something

About God

Not because God needs me to

God is a spirit

God is love

These are not original things

To say

God is a lion,

The lion of Judah

Also nothing new

Though rather wondrous

God is mine

And also God is waiting

Though I think

We tend to think

That it’s the other way around

x

That we wait for God

And once God arrives,

We wait on God

Sometimes the waiting

Either kind

Is cheery

Sometimes it’s not

We wait for God to relieve us

Either of comfort or

Responsibility

We wait for answers

To a local hell

That breaks our spirits

As the ground

Might break

Near a volcano

Or as a sinkhole

(we have sinkholes where

I live)

x

Then to have God appear

To speak

Or touch on our hearts

But we will not serve

(that kind of waiting)

Because things have been too awful,

Thank you very much

How about

You serve me for a while,

x

Which will happen

God will serve

God serves,

In fact,

To have made everything

To arrange for energy

In nature

To bring light and dark

Rain and sun

Snow in winter

Water steaming off leaves

In summer

(or all the time in tropics)

Maybe there is nothing more

God will want to do

x

And yet I think

God is not only creator

But newly-creating

And creative

Explain the platypus

Or bird-of-paradise

Or human will

With the lack of it

Everywhere else

In nature

x

God is many things,

Which might mean

Always new

Nearby a platypus

In grace

x

C L Couch

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John 4:24, 1 John 4:3, Revelation 5:5

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Istanbul sky from September 2005.

Photo by Hulki Okan Tabak on Unsplash

Istanbul Sky, Istanbul, Turkey

Published on June 6, 2019

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