I talk you talk we'll talk



Split Light

(x = space)



Split Light



What if I had gone

The way that you had chosen

The way that you had shown me

From the start?

I can’t chalk up misdirection

To youthful energy

Or ignorance at any age

Or indiscretion

As a peccadillo

I was wrong

That’s it

Except the thing is, Lord,

I was told by other people

People with agendas

Before I understood my own

I think when we were quiet

We got along just fine

And I was learning something

Of your way

But there were intrusions

With everything awry

I lost my way

With you

With everything

I didn’t know what or whom

To count on

Or to latch onto

I tried to lead myself alone

Well, you know how that goes

So I am here

All the distractions are the same

I’m not that much different, either

Sometimes I can hear you calling

Call to me, now

With pardon

Even with revelation

Speak through my broken hearing

Tell me

I will try to listen

Break through the sullenness,

The perspective problem of the child

Yet with a child’s bearing

I may hear

Then follow through

In an awkward, side-stepped way

Made out of mistrust

This time

Lamed somewhat by the world,

Which I’ll take

As my fault

For having gone in, first

With willfulness

Break will, too,

Without breaking me

Reknit into something straight

With my permission

And my consultation

Let new will prevail

With a team of mates

Upon the ship

Sailing not to glory

But to glory’s home


C L Couch



Photo by Bruno Thethe on Unsplash



(x = space)





So, Lord,

What shall we have


We shall have burnt toast,

It seems,

My fault

The coffee is all right

Except now the

Button doesn’t work

That turns if on and off,

The last

Of many things, I think,

That say it’s

Time for another

Will you lead me to another

Coffeemaker, Lord?

Or have an angel do that,


So small

And there are many things

So much larger

(the ocean is so large,

and my boat is so small)

But things push

The economy, I suppose,

And angels

Are your agents


There are clouds

There might be rain,

Perhaps a storm

This is your day

Because you made it

This is my day

Because my choices

Matter in it

Because of will

And degrees of determination,

This day belongs

To all of us

I wonder how we’ll own it

I wonder what we’ll do


C L Couch



Stormy Stornoway

Photo by Lachlan Gowen on Unsplash

Stornoway, United Kingdom


Fixing Morning

Fixing Morning



I don’t know what

To say or do

Thank goodness for the

Autonomic processes

I sit here, tempting frozenness

Fruit of depression

And anxiety, I know

Though like gout,

It could be an exigent bout

With indecision


But decision-making requires


And I have none

Feeling beaten around by

The world, because I have been

What is left?


Then I look outside:

It is a pale scene

Morning light-blue, yellow light

Upon some branches

Other branches in the shade

Though the leaves are waving green

As if to signal spring, perhaps

Officially some weeks away


While, I’m sorry for ingratitude,

I tend to savor

Seasons as they come, anymore

(dreading the extremes—

why did you make these?)

So a sign of spring is fine

Even a comfort (thank you) but

Not a pressing need

I tend to love even when they’re difficult

All times I have


So if this pastiche outside

That only I behold has been

(and maybe not)

Arranged at all for me,

It might be an invitation

You know (I know you know),

To sit up,

Eat the toast,

Finish the coffee,

And move on


It looks to be a lovely day outside

And if I leave the noise inside

I’m sure I will hear birdsong

So much better


C L Couch



Photo by Austrian National Library on Unsplash





If there is a God

And sorry if there’s not

(there is—

there, you have the ending

of the story)

Then I wish God to do

A better job of it

For all the dreadful things

That happen

Not to me

(though, yes, there’s that)

But to all the people

Who are burned in fire

Felled into the earth

Killed because smooth steel

And lead pellets seemed

Good inventions at the time

And since

(we can beat them all down

anytime, pleading a case for


God, can you not stop

All the measures that hide empire

Except where vanity


Must break through

The offices and the meeting rooms

Sending, allowing

Hurt into the battlefields?

Naturally and practically, you can

Though there is that stone so

Heavy that you cannot lift

You made it out of will

And set it spinning

42, the Earth

It is a kind of comedy

The classic kind, pray please

In which through funny means

(grim humor in grim times)

The community is healed

Better than restored,


And we have a forest for a world

Near the city of perfection

Feasts, cominglings, promises

Of weddings

‘Round fires tamed by angels

The marriage of harrowed hell

And heaven

New heaven partners with

New world, finally the right kind:


And which

To mitigate with love


C L Couch



Photo by Richard Cordones on Unsplash

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Looking Forward




(keep trying)


I’m sorry for the fire

Sorrier for all the hungry people

Were the lady to advise us

Though worship is important

Starving is not conducive


There is no medieval lumber

Tall enough to do the job

Of the first beams

That is fine, we can go with something

Like aluminum

That will not rust or

Easily catch fire (again)

But organic need cries out

Toward another kind

Of construction

Empty people

Feed us


What shall we say,

There are too many now

And now there will be many more?

Maybe we need to reach up

Further than vaulting

Ingenious plans

Already on the table

We have the means for everything

Tall churches, too

Because we won’t have Paris

Not all of us


What shall we have?

I think you know by now

Ages of temperament

And we are less impaired

Have garnered so much more

The answer in the


When we ask


You know it starts with will

You know everything worthwhile

Begins and ends with shall

Then will


C L Couch



Photo by TAN Erica on Unsplash





Love and fear

Two sides

Some would have it

Of the same

And if the toss should land it on

The edge,

Maybe it’s indecision

Or we get to choose the motivation

For our actions


What is the substance

Of the coin? I think it might be


Something not for tossing

But for extracting from a pocket

When it’s time

Not for throwing

But for touching texture

Choosing what to live

Each time

Until instinct

Make imagination

And will



C L Couch



Image by Markus Lindner from Pixabay


The End Is Near

The End Is Near


The Earth has four billion years already

Only one billion remains

Our star will expand one day

(well, over an eon)

And finally we will lose the light


Some say it’s tomorrow

Or later on today

(after tea, I hope)

Some engender crime and madness

Pray for it, vote for it in others

If we make it bad enough

The Lord will come to sort it out

After all, aren’t we right

To invoke a



God might have other plans

We know God does

God gave us the notion in the first place

Of the notion

That a plan sometimes is good

But don’t program the

Spirit of the



Savior’s not for turning

Not for the to-do list of some kind

Of faithful


We should do well

We should do good

Is that so hard?

Evil done for good is, well,

You know

And that’s crazy thinking

More so to enact


Thomas Becket knew

Joan d’Arc, too

Listening for God

To follow through

Is mad enough

For virtue

The end is near for valorous

Much better


C L Couch



The Passion of Joan of Arc, 1928



Lent 6

Lent 6


The season is like mourning

A dying of a kind that takes

Weeks to be fully realized

The only kind of death that might be safe

Because following

Still keeps us here


The consequences are mollified by

Our remaining mortal

If something else should happen,

Well, that’s something else


It’s dying on the inside, isn’t it

The gradual release of things

That might do better elsewhere

Attached to other life preservers, say


Dying to ego

And to vanity

Fleeing what we think we need

To embrace and then let go

A gift, a conversation

Uneasy service that

Needs doing, anyway


We have days now

Negotiating will,

Arriving at a knowing place

Of spirit

From which to act

When it’s time


C L Couch



Official Navy Page from [the] United States of America[, ]Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Ryan J. Mayes/U.S. Navy

Public Domain,

Attaching distress marker lights to flotation devices used in the event of a [person] overboard[.]


Prayers Pressed into Service

Prayers Pressed into Service


Oh, Lord

Not an invocation

Oh as a sigh

I love you,

You know that

Your people not always so much

But I try

And the world you made

We have sliced into it

Turned the pieces into fiefdoms

Pressed it in vices of all kinds

To render bits of gold

And abrogated power

From the rightful

And the fearful

Greed taken in handfuls

Lifted into stolen light

Slides onto the floor

To be returned to Earth one day

Though the guilty do not see that


When will we be whole?

One touch of your hand

But it’s not time for that

These are still our moments

To be righteous

To be fair

To be calm

And calmly take it back

Our will, our loves

Our control

Our world


C L Couch



By Gregory David Harington (user Gregorydavid) – Own work,


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