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Clade Song 5


Life Coach


Let’s all run over fast
Together as a unit
To inspect
This interesting flower
That changes colors
When you look at it.

Look, over there!
A mountain.
What’s it doing? Being?
Quick, take a picture
Before it decides
To eat us! Now it’s jutting
Right up through the clouds.

Look, it’s just like itself!


Clouds are like mountains,
Only scarier.
If something decides to eat us,
How to explain that
To the neighbors? Take a picture!
That mountain moves so fast!

Look, that bird is doing something!
It’s being duff-colored.
Look closer. It has something
In its beak that’s still alive.
They both are.
Why not.


I’m jittery, what did you eat
For breakfast—nervousness?
Nature, you’re funny.
Your circles are edible.
You make sense!
Krakatoa, you certainly did!

If we pry open the bird’s beak
And release the prey, I’ll make
The pieces fit.


Bird, look at yourself.                                                 
You’re in my poem!
What made you do that?
Did I hear someone say breakfast?

We’re history. Now feel it.


Drawing 101, we’re all
Conjoined cylinders, circles.
I certainly hope I don’t come back
As squirming. Krakatoa!, gesundheit.
That’s so funny!

Ouch, needle, you really smart!
Wait, you’re nature too!
That’s so funny!

Quiet down over there! There’s a ballgame on.

We should all run over together,
Like some destroyed circle.
That would be something.

Well, look at you.
Aren’t you some type of flower.
Mountain, if you ask me,
You really should be running.

Clade Song 5 Right

John Loughlin’s poems have appeared in ACM, Anti-, Black Warrior Review, Colorado Review, Drunken Boat, Forklift, Ohio, Phoebe, Ploughshares, and many other journals. Since 2000, he has worked in in technology sales in Chicago’s Loop for a Fortune 500 company. Prior to that, he received an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Future work will be appearing in Map Literary.




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