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Sorry, Uncle

(x = space)

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Sorry, Uncle

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I haven’t

Liked

A thing

All day

Not the rest

That was

Too brief

Not the clothes

That are too worn

Well, in need

Of cleaning

Not the food or drink

That was too sweet

And filled me up

So that

What’s inside and

The rest of me

Are getting along awkwardly

At best

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Not the words I’ve set down

Drawn lines

Through

Made spaces

Tried to write again

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What to do on such a day?

Maybe nothing

I can take a break

Some might want me to

For one reason

Out of

Many reasons

I can pray

Prayer is an attitude

Telling me

I don’t have to write

To give, to send

Outside of me

Today

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It’s late

I breathe

The breathing’s warm

My body’s warm

It’s June

How much more

Revelation

Do I need?

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Oh,

I’m not angry

Parentally to say

I’m only

Disappointed

Twist the blade

Why don’t I?

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Well, I’ll pause

And look

Here there are

Words

And sorry for conceits

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I understand the beasts

In La Brea

Never got out

On their own

I’ll be with you

Tomorrow

Unsucked

From tar

Unstucked

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The bones of writing down

Enfleshed again

And on the move

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C L Couch

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Smilodon at the Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits

(image) by Dallas Krentzel – Smilodon at the Page Museum at the La Brea Tar PitsUploaded by FunkMonk, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18649097

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3 poems for summer solstice

(x = space)

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3 poems for summer solstice

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Merry July

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Solstice

It’s summer now

Summer weather smacks us

Here

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

Certainly

Merry Christmas in

Alice Springs

Wellington

Tierre del Fuego

On the Falklands

At the southern pole

Santa’s summer home

Like winter

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Intentions

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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

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Siblinghood

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It’s like science fiction

Slipping out of time

Our of normalcy

Eating meals on time

Cleaning on a schedule

Ingrained expectations

Instinctive, conditioned

Responses

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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

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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

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C L Couch

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

XSimon, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=53634435

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Crisscross

(x = space)

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Crisscross

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I creak around

The morning

Bending my knees

To write

As if I’m meeting

Someone who sits

On the other

Side of fire

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A wilderness of

Understanding,

A meeting with a muse or

God whose presence

Is apparent

Is ennobled

In the fire

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C L Couch

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Photo by Timothy Meinberg on Unsplash

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Place Setting

(x = space)

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Place Setting

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Monday, Monday

Now the song is in my head

I see a cityscape

Microsoft has placed on the computer

There are no people to be seen

But they must be there

Taken at sunrise

While many are asleep

(the photo, not the people

though one never knows)

The television drones

The coffee murmurs,

And it’s mainly done

And I sit cross-legged

In obeisance

And thanksgiving

For the time I have to write

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C L Couch

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Photo by Grant Durr on Unsplash

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There’s a Story at the End

(x = space)

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There’s a Story at the End

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I don’t know what to say.

I need the birds to

dance across the

page

with their feet dipped in ink.

It’s a medieval riddle’s

answer,

though it would be cruel

to force birds’ feet

into wells.

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I guess we take their feathers,

turn them into quills;

maybe we could wait

to find quills

inside forests:

gifts from the sources of stories

and the desert

and the sky

and moving waters

taking the shape

of earth below.

That’s what I want to tell,

a story!

Something for everyone.  And

is there such a thing?

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Once there was a child

in a forest

Who came upon a grown-up

clearly starving.

The child gave the grown-up

the only piece of

bread

in the child’s bag.

The adult rose up and thanked

the child.

Then they noticed that

the child’s bag

had a hole through which

crumbs had fallen—and through

forest-magic

had not been eaten

by birds or other creatures!

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They knew certainly where the

crumbs

would take them,

so they went home

where everyone was

known,

because everyone was

home.

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C L Couch

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Photo by Jan Kopřiva on Unsplash

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Writing Us

(x = space)

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Writing Us

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I suppose

We have to talk about ourselves

Each utterance an unwilling

Biography

I want to hear your story

And in the electron universe I do,

And I am thankful

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I hope that you are well

I hope that God protects you

Via angels

Or the arrival of a cathartic,

Gentler day

Then when inner wind’s inhaled

Back to the fray

That is the rest of today

Into tomorrow

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So I might hear,

Inshallah,

And you tell me

Tell us all

So we might breathe

For sharing

And consider this community

With certain anonymities

Withstanding

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Talk to me

I can talk back

Unless listening

In the quiet space between us

Is better

For the call

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C L Couch

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Photo by Ricardo Gomez Angel on Unsplash

Drops

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Look Out

(x = space)

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Look Out

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Do I write

For affirmation?

I don’t think so

That wouldn’t work out

There would never

Be enough,

Wrong category

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I think I write

To say I’m here

(I think that’s

self-affirming)

More so, is to call

Anyone out there?

And there you are

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C L Couch

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Photo by Pascal Debrunner on Unsplash

The Rise of Orion

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Clusters

(x = space)

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Clusters

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I sigh and sip

the morning is progressing

I have an artificial breeze

a measure for tinnitus

while outside, the tarn effect

persists

another day in more or less

a string of days

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I’m clustering my thoughts

until one group of them take over

travels on its own and further

a thesis for a theme

process and product

you know

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and hopefully approve

because I’ll be doing this tomorrow

until the cows come home

or other herded things

within which are groups of one

like thoughts

there you are in your thinking

hi

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C L Couch

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Photo by Adolfo Félix on Unsplash

Love Letters

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Ray Bradbury’s Writing Table

(x = space)

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Ray Bradbury’s Writing Table

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I hope it’s true

He showed it to us,

Talked us through it

Right before each

Episode;

So many toys and

Other things, reminders

Of this world

And other worlds;

There was a metal

Spaceship, the old kind

You wind up; and

There were toy dinosaurs

And many other things,

Curios and totems

Any of which

Might become

Dandelion Wine,

A Martian chronicle

Or Something Wicked

This Way Comes

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I hope it’s true

And not a set piece,

Though I suppose it doesn’t

Matter; the writing

Table, writing place

Has been lodged in

My brain, coming

Up as memory

Every now and then,

Evocation of

Evocation, and of course

I have my own symbols

Now around me, and

I trust that

You have yours

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C L Couch

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The Ray Bradbury Theatre was a show first broadcast in the 1980s.

Ray Bradbury was a writer who created many monumental works, among them Fahrenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles, Dandelion Wine, and Something Wicked This Way Comes.

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Photo by Charl Folscher on Unsplash

Part of a series of concept photos I took during lockdown using drawing mannequins.

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