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vigil

Evening Hours

(x = space)

x

x

Evening Hours

x

Tonight, somewhere

Vespers will be sung

x

Then maybe at midnight,

Those keeping vigil

In a circle

In a loft

Will utter prayers at midnight

For the sake of the new day

x

That this midnight

Will mean Monday

Though it could be

Any day,

Any set of twenty-four

Dedicated hours

x

All our sundials

All our watches

All our singing

As God wills

x

C L Couch

x

x

Photo by Casey Horner on Unsplash

x

Ancient Chores

(x = space)

x

x

Ancient Chores

x

I imagine

Standing vigil

Is no fun

To be a soldier

On the wall

Even with peers

And a fire

In a brazier

Now and then

x

Maybe we

Call out the hours,

Which could keep

Us alert

In counting time

And I guess

The fires should be

Shielded away

From away

So that we might

Look out upon the field

To suss what

Might be stirring

x

But then

Comes the dawn

We are there

For the arrival,

Change in shift

Maybe change in orders

x

And is this

Holy, set apart

For godly purposes?

Does God arrive

In the dawn,

Apollo in a chariot

As our neighbor

Greeks might say?

x

Well, I should

Head back to

The space in which

I live

When I’m at home

x

This duty’s

Not so bad

Even as I wonder

Where is God

If in the sun

Or the chill wind

That blows

As if

Another wind

Had never

Crossed the yard

Before

x

C L Couch

x

x

Photo by Alex Plesovskich on Unsplash

Marrakesh, Morocco

x

Mystaken

Mystaken

 

A mystery

At night

Vespers

Lights off, no need

A single glow for reading

Another for the exit

 

I tell you a mystery

I’m not sure about the victim

Jesus

All of us from Eden

 

The perpetrator

The design behind

Agencies of evil

More than that, I cannot, may not say

 

The weapons

Hate

Anger turned into ambition

(it could have come from something else)

Wood

Nails

Hammer

Items for building

Turned to wreck

To rot

A life

From any usefulness

From beauty

 

The motive

Ask of us

 

Things to think about

Or feel through as

Later at night

Might turn to vigiling

 

Pray for us

The innocents

Those outside the drama

Now framed in viscerality

And doubt

 

The victims

Who should go to heaven

Deserving all reward

And will have none of it

But celebration

 

That’s for morning

Tonight we have a calm confusion

To keep

Cupped in each palm

(that might have held something else),

Paradox an artifact

Having a sharp edge

Maybe thorns

 

With care, then

All of us in darkling time

Taking up, taken or brought

To mystery

 

C L Couch

 

 

church at night.png

 

(moon) Image by Muhamad Ikhsan from Pixabay

(church image by) Lijonama80 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=61976949

 

Lent 39

Lent 39

(penultimancy)

 

you must take time

to breathe

finish the song that’s been

going through your head

figure out what you were looking for

when you came into the room

(then find it)

 

pay attention to

what matters

which is not a scolding

but a happy watchword

paying attention’s fun

because you can (too) take the time

to gather in what’s pleasant

along the way

 

the thing is that the rest of the world

won’t stop with us, won’t take the time

except maybe to take it

and not give it back

 

choose something like a star

and Frost is right

we can select

from our own, something fantastic

that we’ll never keep

someone else could pick it, too

(we don’t have to tell

or make a fuss)

after all, what’s our own

but what is also shared

heart and soul

in an entire cosmos

 

the season ends tomorrow

with an entry into

everything that’s next

in practice and remembrance

we’ll have our parts

attendance won’t be checked

in any way that matters

(delight in grace)

but presence, well, let’s have it

as self-mandatory

 

vigil

and arrival

passion follows

 

C L Couch

 

 

Image by Mohit Mourya from Pixabay

 

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