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Clade Song 7

Dogs in Church

Having rowed for hours with a single oar, we are
too sore to complain. This could be useful.
To get free of its skin the snake inflates its body.
You and I, loose in our traits, pass as one of our own.
That’s how it’s done, each a colorful starter set,
echolalia and other forms of disordered speech
collecting under the pews like dust bunnies. Sure,
we’re skeptical. Time can’t be the only measure.
We want to see how it turns out, so we take turns,
disregard the diction. No beefs, no stymies.
No spiders dangling from the roofs of our mouths.


Clade Song 7 right sidebar hawk frog dog

John Johnson’s poems have appeared in many print and online journals, most recently in frankmatter, The Inflectionist Review, Sky Island Journal and The Turnip Truck(s). Currently he is co-translating the poetry of Ulalume González de León. Yu can reach him at