Two Poems by Alx Johns

The Whippoorwill

The dark's solitary sound
resounds unlike words but
so like language

even other birds
ignore him
by himself on a limb, so

maybe he's just calling out to anyone
who will listen.

Like the conscience
a thorn in the flesh of the night

If you are stilled enough,
you can make out the song:

“Diarrhea.”
“Diarrhea.”
“Diarrhea.”

A mantra to remember your flimsiness inside.

But good luck
finding him in those black pines
to make him shut up.

He can show up
and sing all night.

No way to fight it.

Nature will empty you out.


Adages

“You know what they say,”
he said,
“There are two kinds of people in the world...”
No, there are not.  There are billions.

Bad adage.
And it's time to get rid of a few.

Because

Loose ships
just sink.

Tight lips sting eventually.

Blood is thicker than water,
but everyone's blood is relatively
as thick as everyone else's.

Don't look any horse in the mouth.
Horses are dangerous.
Don't beat a dead one or a live one.

A cat has one life, idiot.
I saw a kitten crushed by a car.

You get more flies with honey, but what fool wants flies around.
Put out some flowers for the bees.

Stop to smell them.  Does that mean every single one?
That would make you poor and mentally ill.  Which ones should
one stop and smell?  How many per day?

You can be too careful:
Let the right woman go.
Stay in a stupid job.
Hide in your body.

All's fair in love and war
if one's willing to make war
on love and love in war.

We've heard this all before,
and here's one
I'd like to add.

Feel free to use it:
You've got to climb the mountain to meet the monk.

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