Ric Couchman

Poets On The Journey

A Book Of Poems by Ric Couchman

AMAZON (Kindle App)


A poem should not mean, but be!

It should be palpable. It should be mute, dumb, silent, as wordless as the flight of birds, and as motionless in time as the moon climbs.

A poet sacrifices all of self – emptied into ported barrels of nothingness – to allow poetry its own breath.

This is the sacred reality of Ric Couchman’s first book of poems, Musings From Outside the Universal.

Each poem writhes in its womb, beating at the rhythm of the human condition. Each poem gives birth in a beckoned soul, where it becomes what it is, empowering that beckoned soul to billow, to laugh, to weep, to take flight through the ventricles of a soul’s hidden truth – sparking a light here, poking at dormancy there.

From the opening beat of A View From The Cradle, the beckoned reader, tethered to life, is whisked into the turbulence of a dogged reality, destined for a ride throughout which the myth-themes of life, the dimensions of love, family and faith, and the hatch-marks of individual and collective responsibility are shaken and reshaped.

This book is alive.

What this poet achieved is as Archibald MacLeish prescribed and as Ric Couchman in agreement intends, that a poem should not mean, but be. These will stir the bowel and reset hearts.

AMAZON (Kindle App)


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Blog Posts:

St. Valentine’s Eve

by Ric Couchman on Monday, February 13, 2012

“Out went my heart’s new fire and left it cold.”

Childe Roland… (Robert Browning)


Strange indeed that thing called Love –

That feeling so oft Celebrated

As a thing most Beautiful,

But that which I call a “Sickness” –

An Infection that sends us

Into poetic delirium,

Making us say or do silly things,

Intoxicating us, transporting us

Beyond the realm of reason

Into the realm of passion.

This Sickness we embrace

And hold dear, clinging to it

As unto Life itself,

Sometimes to our exceeding joy

And sometimes to our dissolution.


“Who [is this] that can so touch [his] soul”,

Intoxicating him with her presence,

Enshrouding him in a bubble of bliss

Causing lucidity to depart from him?

That late summer afternoon

As along the bike path they rode,

Her face lit in a perpetual smile,

He watched her –

Caught up in her joy,

Infected by her abandon,

Her freedom, her liveliness.

In her presence, time hovered

And passed – a contradiction…

(holding hands under the table…)


Turning off the path, they sat on a bench,

Looking across the glassy water

At the New York City skyline

Rising phoenix-like out of the fiery lights.

In the distance, torch raised,

Lady Liberty celebrated their joy,

While the soft night enveloped them.

Not far off, music wafted from a schooner,

Giving rhythm to the moment.

He sat next to her –

Listening and not listening,

Attentive and inattentive,

Her beauty, her musical voice,

Her smile, her presence,

His inner thoughts,

Each a distraction.

His arm around her shoulders

Became a mere thought,

For he restrained myself…

(holding hands under the table…)


Soothed by the cool Upper Bay breeze,

He is borne away by imagination’s flight;

He is lost in reverie,

Fantasy and reality in happy fusion:

There she reclines – on the red chair,

Two colorful cushions supporting head and body,

She is slightly stretched out.

Eyes closed, lips slightly parted,

Her wave-like black hear flowing around her neck.

A picture of peace is she,

Angelic, radiant, a siren goddess.

He thought of Odysseus tied to the ship’s prow,

Hearing that fatal song,

But there is no danger here.

Her siren song gives life.

Viewfinder and face unite

And the moment is captured.

He thinks of walking over to her…

He sees himself standing behind the chair

Gently stroking her hair,

Touching her face,

Kissing her softly on the forehead…

Captured moment, lost opportunity,

That which was…

That which could have been…

(holding hands under the table…)


Back to the present he is recalled,

The desire to ride interrupted by hunger.

A midnight search for Chinese food,

But settling for a diner instead – 1:30 A.M.

Smiles, laughter, tender moments,

Holding hands under the table…

Soft hands, beautiful hands…

She speaks wistfully

Of him who gave her life.

Are those tears he sees?

In that brief moment he sees her essence;

She takes him to that special shrine,

Memory’s precious treasure is displayed.

Ah! Cherished moment

Forever locked away in his heart.

And did it happen?

Was love born in that moment of sharing?

(holding hands under the table…)


He returns to his abode,

In his possession – a beautiful memory,

The memory of a wonderful night,

But a memory fast becoming fragmented,

Broken up by darkness,

Spotty, ephemeral, fleeting, choppy,

Unconnected, and without conjunctions,

Becoming increasingly incomplete,

Unpunctuated, losing its narrative,

Already caught in the tug o’ war

Between the real and the unreal

And with each passing moment

Relegated to mere poetry.

He struggled the final segment to recollect,

Already a faint whisper,

A mere breath of disconnected images:

A gift of earrings to end the night,

A t-shirt translating the commandments

Of her beloved home-state,

A goodnight kiss – on the cheek,

The difference between that which he desired

And that which actually occurred,

And the image of her standing there

At the gate –


And hauntingly beautiful…

(holding hands under the table…)


And “was it yesterday,

[Yesterday] that she went away?”,

Leaving behind a heart

Numbed, empty, and broken?

And can he live again,

And will joy and mirth

Keep him company still?

Ah! And will there be time,

Will there be time

To begin again?

Will there be time

To laugh,

To live,

To love?

Will there be time

To love again?


Ric Couchman

February 2012

Ric Couchman

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