I talk you talk we'll talk



Breastplate of Not-Saint Christopher

(x = space)



Breastplate of Not-Saint Christopher


God of love,

Hear us

God of glory,

Call us

God of peace,

Correct us

God of provision,

Guide us


God of heaven,

Bear us

God of story,

Teach us

God of origins,

Remind us

God of chemistry,

Shield us


God of mercy,

Heal us

God of joy,

Thrill us

God of anger,

Love us

God of light,

Care for us

God of darkness,

Guide us


C L Couch



Equestrian statue of Joan of Arc by Paul Dubois, Saint-Augustin Square, Paris.


The Hour

(x = space)



The Hour


When I met with

My spiritual director,

He’d light a light

Between us

For our consideration

A flame that moved

That might have made a noise

Though we couldn’t hear it


It was our time to talk

But we’d be quiet


That was good

That was good tension

That was coaching

From the universe:

To be quiet for a time,

To give better time to listen

When it was time

To talk


C L Couch



Photo by Brian Gomes on Unsplash


Mystery Unsolved

Mystery Unsolved


I don’t know what

I can come up with


I’ve been looking for

A day off

And haven’t quite

Managed it

But we’ll see

I’m watching a mystery

Now, a good one

From a series that I


British, not that the

British do the best,

Though they’re awfully



Typically, the

Mystery is a murder,

Which is sad

Typically, the person killed

Is introduced

Villainous enough that

We don’t mind,

Though we might then be

Disposed toward

Sympathy for

The killer, which is

Something writers

I imagine

Keep in mind

While working all things


I don’t know

I’ve written a couple

Of mysteries of

The two-minute kind


Mystery certainly is

A spiritual word

The foundation of

Our faith in a


Since faith is something

Clear in its conviction

But not so much

In content

It is the evidence

Of things unseen,

Which would go terribly

In court

Yet must be followed

For belief

And in that regard

Faith is gossamer

Not concrete


C L Couch



Photo by Jr Korpa on Unsplash


Every Time I Feel

Every Time I Feel


Every time I write

I might mean to do the spiritual

Thing, idea, icon


(I know it’s okay if I don’t)

Not to moralize

Though I suppose there is that, too

Not question training, either


But to say the numinous is here

Real as a knife

Diaphanous as insect wings

Forever as gravity

(there are fields in space)

Earth itself a lesson for


And the need for choice

To have it


I think God is present

In the grocery store

Between the dog’s shoulders where

I rub

Riding on the new back bumper

Installed after the accident


God is inside the mosquito

Next to the disease

Maybe to apologize

As if to say, you chose this way

Back in the garden

Though maybe you hate me for it

Maybe you want to know I want everyone

To be well

Maybe you don’t


There is the book, the letters on a page

The mountaintop, the solid roots


God is not these things

But is with them all

And with us in the shallow or the deep

In something no one knows

And the everything under the sun

That no one’s ever overlooked


C L Couch



Photo by Chen YiChun on Unsplash


And Now It’s Time

And Now It’s Time

(chronos in kairos)


And now it’s time

For something spiritual


I’ve written about pills and cats

Not written together

I go to the first page each day

Thinking about soulful things

Soulful intentions, anyway

It’s not that I think the

Spirit’s far

Because she’s not

Or that I think I have to overcome

Mortal prevarication

Liking mortality, but I don’t think

It’s that

I’ll take each day I have, thank you

Something supernal’s coming

I have next to

No idea what

I wonder if the spiritual

Is under the skin

And hovering above

Deep enough for blood

In the air for breathing, too

Now I think about it, how distinctive must

The portions be?


Not to say against

Those who must have

Food separated on the plate


Though I like pushing peas against the

Mashed potatoes


I think also to say for me, perhaps for

You that

Spirit and soul, flesh and energy

The kind of energy

By Blake rightly claimed

Eternal delight

All things must be meshed together

Somehow living in this state

Today and I think

In the resolution of eternity


C L Couch



Photo by Frank Zhang on Unsplash

Here we learned how to make traditional Chinese dumplings from scratch. Our group of 16 people each had a task to do and it was an assembling line for dumpling production.  A beautiful procedure . . .


A Dose of Paradox

A Dose of Paradox


They sit next to each other on the shelf

Salt and pepper

In the fridge, mustard and ketchup

Beer and wine

The opposites that don’t attract

But must live near each other

And often used together


Complementary colors on the wheel

Yellow and purple

Orange and blue

The colors of Christmas

And the Italian flag (add white)


Paradox is ecumenical

I guess I should say yin and yang

But it’s not a coin, you know

Two coins thrown into an ocean, more like

Love and death

Sex and abstinence

Not opposites, not really

Not two sides

Not life and death

But death and resurrection

They must be by each other

On the shelf

They must be used

Both and unevenly

There isn’t a good pattern that we see

Through our dark glasses


It’s ecumenical

It’s church

Folk who get together for no other reason

And often reason breaks it down

The Muslim and the Jew

The Christian and the Hindu

The Buddhist and the Taoist

Confucian and Shinto

All those who have a way

And have it rather exclusively


Thankfully, the broad shelf is there

The place for all things to dwell

In readiness

No one wins unless

All win

Respect is the spice

That will keep us at the table

Using everything we know

And not so much


Mister Marlow said restraint

And he was right

The horror was in letting go

Not knowing there are many directions in

Which to fall


Well, there it is

It’s Friday

For those who have one, the end of

The work week

It is finished

Let’s hope for restoration now

Before the work begins again

And those who work on weekends will

Have another day

See, the cycles do not hold

For all

And without doubt

Not in the same way


C L Couch





And Does It Take a Sabbath Day

And Does It Take a Sabbath Day


And does it take a sabbath day

To have a larger thought

To encounter feeling that goes

‘Round the world


Maybe it does

Though the Lord knows

I can make my own

And, like entitlement, could call it

Anything I want

Though usually it’s Friday

Maybe Thursday


I used to retreat and rearranged the week

I’d go out on Thursday afternoon

Stay through the night

Often not sleeping, maybe by intent

My own dark night of the soul

Then I’d have Friday to go downstairs

To meet with the director

We’d talk of Francis and Gerald May

And would I train as he did

So far, I haven’t done so


All that has ended, as I guess it had to

Not because of miffed occasions

I’m not sure we ever had a one of those

But because mortality calls unevenly

And those of us are left

To fill in steps like pulling in

Loose lines on board we weren’t expecting

Never are


I must do now for me

Chaos, order

Void, abundance

I don’t arrange these very well

But they are big

Like large thoughts on a sabbath day

Friday or whenever


I must find my own way home

Find more company than this

Than these

Sensations, wishes, little more

Not to fill in emptiness

But something hale to

Place over the pain

Like a well-timed blanket

On a cold, cold winter day


When I couldn’t go out, anyway

To find the house above the creek

On made-up sabbath days


C L Couch


A Season with God

A Season with God


I don’t know what happens next

Neither do you

Most of you

I know the lore

I have faith

I think we’re made for now

To think mostly of now

Which is maybe why

Heaven is so distant

And raked over with misunderstanding

Like planting the wrong seeds

Allowing the weeds to grow

Until the harvest

When, you know, wheat and chaff


Is there more to say

What can answer doubt

Satisfy speculation

Excoriate cynical perspective

The thing is that

All these things are good

Curiosity deserves an elevation

If security is surrendered on the inside

Outer life might wreck from time to time

Inside life rebuilt time and again

The surgery of synthesis


Yesterday, today, tomorrow

Like or as the words by G or S, this kind

Of time

Creeps apace

And should we not be shattered

By bombs or disbelief

The day before takes root

Today become a seed

Tomorrow promises a crop


Don’t leave it here

I’d like to meet you later on

And, you know, be met

When time is all time

All days all at once


C L Couch



Season Wallpapers 2 – 1920 X 1200 |


This is the World

This is the World

The world’s too big, you know;
Even when we stand, too often
Upon others, to shake fists of
Presupposing power, we won’t

Earn a living dot to be perceived

From far away—even, say, from
Worlds known and yet unknown

Is height-to-planet ratio somehow
Universal? On smaller planes or
Habitably larger, are we there

Proportioned in some way so
That our diminishment remains?

And must that make sense to
Have not one of us be tall enough
To overwhelm the rest—and is

This maddening thought or comfort?

Tell the ruler of Babel or the director
Of Auschwitz: they built insanely
High and wide, never valuing

The true size of Earth beyond
Provision of a circular base on
Which to keep the demons’ scale
Tray that they desired to keep
Unbalanced toward their part,

Never mind that justice rode upon
The other side, preparing to upend;

At the last, we are one by one, no
Monument to detect from space

Which has to be enough—we can
Build each other up, thus making
Better, reaching obelisks to scrape

A spiritual sky upon the Earth


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