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This Autumn Morning

(x = space)



This Autumn Morning


Gray with

A patch

Of red

Inside black


Red leaves


Maybe until

A winter wind

Comes to

Take them

Through the

Air until the

Breath’s expired

Then gravity

Must have

Its way and

Like the roots

We can see

And-or touch

Must lie upon the


And inside

For a while


C L Couch



Joshua Tree National Park

Photo by Matt Artz on Unsplash



(x = space)





I talk with God

God talks back

Sometimes through

The trees,

As happened last night

When I went out

Encountering a roar

From a single tree

Near the garage,

A tree that always



With the wind,

Maybe someone

From someone

Wanting to take notice

Of the night


C L Couch



Photo by Florian Hesse on Unsplash

Vegårshei, Norway


Signing Late Winter

(x = space)



Signing Late Winter


The sky is blue

As an observer,

A romantic,

Or a child might say

At last

And with a sigh:

It’s been white

Or gray for a while


A lithe tree branch

Dances against the window

I can’t hear it for

The distance,

Though I’m sure there’s



Asking to come in

Or better yet

Inviting me

For company

To go out


C L Couch



Photo by dorota dylka on Unsplash



Imposition of Immortality

(x = space)



Imposition of Immortality


The tree outside looked as if it were leaning toward the window.  I mean big parts, think branches and the bow.  Black against a gray sky, it all looked dramatic.  Worse, a little scary.  Trees have fallen down before.  In the back, a large one, bringing many wires with it.  In the backyard of the house I grew up in in Pittsburgh, a tall and wide willow.  Fell in the night, covering the backyard to be seen in the daylight.  The first big thing to fall in my nascent awareness.  Will the new tree fall?  I don’t know.  Who does?  The squirrels and dogs walked by?  Qué será, será, the Spanish say (and Doris Day).  It is what it is, we say these days.  All we are is dust in the wind.  I guess that goes for imposing trees as well.


C L Couch



Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood

By William Wordsworth


Photo by Diane Helentjaris on Unsplash

Purcellville, Virginia

Old carved tombstone of a weeping willow tree in a cemetery in the countryside near Purcellville, Virginia in Loudoun County. The cemetery was integrated with the graves of African American and white Americans as was the nearby church.


The Golden Tree

The Golden Tree


There’s a golden tree outside

I’m not sure why

It isn’t autumn (late April),

No time for anything to turn

Maybe sunlight is passing

Through half-leaves left

From winter,

A batch that somehow clutched

Though the colder seasons


I don’t know, and in

A good way I don’t care

It is a patch of gold I see

First thing on looking through

The slats of mini-blinds

(don’t care for mini-blinds),

A gift of gold for no reason other than

I happen to look outside

First thing,

Catching rays through

Angles of the buildings,

Lighting up what otherwise has

Been a sullen street


C L Couch



Photo by Simon Harmer on Unsplash


Tree of Life

Tree of Life


The soul must be amazing

Some say it’s like a bird

And why not


I don’t mean a matter for debate

I mean the spirit that’s inside us

That leaves us when

We can bear no more


Where it catches next, I do not know

Branches in a tree

What has it for keeping


I think it is somewhere

I guess it might be doctrine

And so for argument

To say it owns eternal


C L Couch



Photo by Kushagra Kevat on Unsplash


Prescribe Contemplation

Prescribe Contemplation


Forgive me

For a fat mind

And soul leaden

With lethargy

Crowding out the angels

Pressing leaves of better notions

From a wisdom tree

I’d do so much better

Reading these even if I can’t

Hear heaven’s language

While living low to


Unearned wings

Plus siren’s wax all

Impeding taller clarity


C L Couch



Photo by veeterzy on Unsplash






I dreamed a dream last night

In which my jacket or some such

Kept getting caught in thorns

I’d get free and then right away, it seemed,

Get caught up again

I don’t know how many times this happened

I was helped at least once by someone

Else, and someone said

To be kind

That thorns are like that

Then the dream went

Where dreams go



I was looking through the porch screens

This morning to whatever was outside

Everything was still—I don’t think

It ever was so still

And then under a tree, while still on

The tree, I saw some branches moving

Everything above was quiet

But some branches below, as if to be mischievous

Were circling ‘round

I saw one branch was twirling

Maybe there were squirrels on the branches

Though I didn’t see them

The dancing carried on for a while

And didn’t actually stop


It was that the entire tree, many stories

High, was moving, too

I guess the wind picked up

And maybe on those branches there were squirrels

Chipmunks, grinnies maybe

(as I’ve heard someone call them)

I’m not sure an explanation lessens


And really all I was saw were leaves dancing as

If to a flute

With one branch twirling





I was driving into town and saw

A billboard I’d not seen before

Announcing something medical, maybe

An urgency for testing


I could see the word BLOOD in all-caps

And also see that that it had been torn off

At the bottom, many times

As if something were clawing

Or something offering a review

And rejection of the word


As if in protest

As if in need


Blood for blood

I’ve heard of it

I’m not stupid

I don’t know what it means


C L Couch



Akazienstachel (eventuell Robinia pseudoacacia?), Standort Nähe Waldfriedhof in Leverkusen-Schlebusch, Landschaftsschutzgebiet „Unteres Dhünntal“.

TipFox – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,


grinny – Urban Dictionary

The Pennsylvania, Ohio, or West Virginia term for a chipmunk.


Man Bites Dog

Man Bites Dog

(that’s news)


Somewhere it’s been said

That news isn’t dog-bites-man but

When it’s

Man bites dog


This morning police came

With a heavy knock on my door

It was loud, I was asleep

So everything happened fast and fuzzy

A muscled officer, the kind

I want when on my side,

Told me urgently and kindly

That a tree was about to fall on my car

I guess we had a storm last night,

Which I did not hear

(sometimes I take a pill)


I pulled on jeans and left

Pausing I guess because we had to

For some official information

To pass from me to him

Outside it’s mid-morning, gray and

Dim with rainfall, lights off of

Firefighting vehicles not really changing things

So much

There was my car

My hobbit car

Tall but narrow, close to the ground

I had taken my keys (where

was my license?) and knew enough

To start the car and move it forward


Now there’s buzz-sawing for the tree

Though I hear nothing for the moment

(I’m nothing like a gawker and have been

inside), so maybe

It’s done

And with the tree

Our being in the local news for Sunday morning


C L Couch



Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay


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