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3 poems for summer solstice

(x = space)



3 poems for summer solstice



Merry July



It’s summer now

Summer weather smacks us


Temps aiming for 90

I guess in Australia

New Zealand

New Guinea

Little America

Winter is begun

Throw logs on the fire

Sing winter carols

Withholding Christmas and

The other holidays

‘Til the start of summer

In December

Christmas in July

A custom mostly mercantile

In the north

Could be the real thing

With trees and

Were it high enough

Some snow

Ornaments and lights


Merry Christmas in

Alice Springs


Tierre del Fuego

On the Falklands

At the southern pole

Santa’s summer home

Like winter





God, what shall I

Say to you?

I worship you

In contemporary ways

I’m sorry for sins

You have seen in me

And known for centuries

I thank you for your presence

Having made all good things

And the ways to deal

With the bad

I ask of you

To welcome home

Those who die

And heal those who live

Cure cancer

End war

Well, I can ask





It’s like science fiction

Slipping out of time

Our of normalcy

Eating meals on time

Cleaning on a schedule

Ingrained expectations

Instinctive, conditioned



To fall outside of these

To live with fewer clothes

To hope for decent meals

In penury,

To dream of trips

But only travel like Thoreau

Walking to and from

The town


Everything else happens

On the inside

How sad this is

At least how strange

But there’s a purpose

Those who fall outside

Will look back

And when not wistful

Will prophecy

In art



C L Couch



Saint John’s (Midsummer) Fire at Dragør Beach (Denmark)

XSimon, CC BY 3.0,


Psalms 32 and 33

Psalm 32

a song before repentance


I should be truer to you

And stay that way

Learning more about you

Fulfilling my awareness

Of how your love

The world



Psalm 33

a song of anxious supplication


Forgive me when I fail

Strengthen me


Take my hollow parts

To fill them with truth

And better cause



Not so much for reward

As for peace

If peace comes with it

Finally, please

I’ll have

On the Cusp of a Nor’Easter (prose poem)

On the Cusp of a Nor’Easter
(prose poem)

So my friend calls from Indiana. I tell her of my sister’s new job. I am relieved and happy, because my friend’s been struggling with sufferings that would drive me mad. She sounds well and has a chance to tell me some about her family on her way to church to help lead (in technical matters) a Bible study there. It is cold here. It is colder there (single-digit degrees for many days). When she must ring off, she does. I am at the coffeemaker and place the backside of the phone on a spiral burner on the stovetop (everything turned off). While the coffee’s cooking, I clean out some plastic bottles into which I put tap water to drink throughout the day. Not thinking at first, I place the cleaned-out bottles just outside the burner circle set upon the stove. When I’ve done this four times, I have four empty bottles cornering a phone set on a burner plate of labyrinthine form. I’m sure there is a deity for winter (generally, Persephone, though I’m thinking there’s one for winter only), and have I not built a small, strange contemporary altar to her. A narrow receiver (wireless) offered up inside four plastic monoliths keeping in their stillness their own kind of sentinel watching. Is this supplication? I want my friend to be well. I want her husband to enjoy retirement and her daughter have success at school. I want the cold to move on, over there, though for a Midwest winter season, I guess what is endured is rather normal. (Still too cold.) My temps in southern Pennsylvania still have two digits. But we are called to be ourselves storm-ready against a coming, miles-wide soon-arriving gale. It smacks the South and later rounds out to sea—on the way releasing slivering ice and snow and the season’s other dangers onto our regional metropoles: D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York. And in my small town? I pray for navigable roads. In my small place, I pray for electricity’s constancy—that it might faithfully provide sufficient heat in rapport with the thermostat. And now I guess I wait. We wait. I clear the stove and leave on the burner now a single cup, ready for coffee. The empty ceramic vessel a suburban symbol of encouragement and also, I think, of supplication.

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