Clade Song 10 Banner
Clade Song 10 left

Clade Song 10

Nature Study

Carmine teardrops splash in chai cups. Quite
unpretty. When bipolar scarlet tanagers learn
the truth, they fly upside down in protest,
their cheeks flushed deeper than their wings.

Mestizos crush papaya beneath war-torn feet.
Mix sour cream in. Then have the gall to busk
at sunset for copper. Just like that. Caught in a
blender. Scattered everywhere like calendula.

A bumblebee lost its yellow. Colony ousted.
Flew to yellowjackets. No room at dandelion
inn. In Batesian mimicry, roamed aimlessly.
Pretended the world was a pollen basket.

The grasshopper leaped over the picket fence.
Viridian pastures promised. Verdant to the
lingo. Oil slick in rain puddle. Never an exalted
peridot or jade. Crushed like the bug he was.

Blue mountain swallowtails think they’re birds.
Entomologist having fun at their expense. Clipped
wings can’t zip through the azure. Bluer than muddy
waters. Spend their entire lives being misunderstood.

Perennial violas in full bloom. Scent so luscious it
attracts other violas. Violet sea snails. Gifted. Fragile,
anorexic, lavender shells. Allows its scent to be easily
airborne. Attracts other snails. Clever.



Clade Song 10 right

Robin Ray is the author of Wetland and Other Stories (All Things That Matter Press, 2013), Obey the Darkness: Horror Stories, the novel Commoner the Vagabond, the poetry collection Welcome to Flowerville: Poetry from San Juan Commons, and one book of non-fiction, You Can’t Sleep Here: A Clown’s Guide to Surviving Homelessness. His works have appeared at Crossways, Tipton, Across the Margin, Rabid Oak, Delphinium, Bangalore, Squawk Back, Outsider, Jerry Jazz Musician, Underwood Press, Neologism, Spark, Big Pond Rumours, Aphelion, Vita Brevis, and elsewhere.