There was a nature documentary about a seal, and everyone cheered for it to escape from the polar bear.
There was another nature documentary about a polar bear, and everyone cheered for it to find something to eat before it starves.

The sound of chewing fills the air.
The universe is eating itself while we spill down a river of whitewater habit
on a raft made of deleted Instagram photos.

“This is a pine tree,” says the man on the screen.
“Escape before it’s too late.”
He is holding a seed in the story.

Does he know that the trees are giant Venus flytraps now?
And that we all sleepwalk to gather round the clocktower every night
and wake up swaying and chanting in strange tongues?
Does he know that whenever we close our eyes
we see black pterodactyls and a bald head with gray eyes?

Or is he one of the Others?
Who hear baby birds chirping between their cells,
who take apart cars and suspend their parts from the ceiling on string,
whose feet curl like a monkey’s for perching on bridges and buildings,
whose eyes burn with the markings of the DMT gods,
who vomit up ancient cultural mind viruses,
who lean always into the winds of the unprecedented?
Is that why he speaks that way?

I don’t know.
Can’t be sure of anything anymore.

There is a figure moving toward you in the mist,
dark then light then dark then light
as it passes each rickety street lamp.
It is staring straight at you
and striding forward with intense purpose.

You grip your French horn.
You will use it as a weapon if you need to.

A whale song strains to be heard through tarry waters.
Eighteen-wheelers crash past a discarded doll by the side of the road.
The grandmother queens from our ancient past all look up in unison.
The chewing stops for a moment.

You look down at your open palm as the footsteps fade behind you.
You hold the last seed of the last tree on earth.

You hear a faint, squeaky chirping
emanating from deep within.

The sun is rising.




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Latest comments

  • What a load of sixth-form garbage.

  • Brava!

  • Catlin Johnston poetry: James Joyce meets Rachel Carson.

  • Re: Chewing.

    Caitlin – whatever you’re on, I want some, lol!

  • interesting this movie came out right when the neoliberals started their wicked work….1981….or as raygun’s people liked to call it…..mourning in America….;)………

  • “She called on Congress to condemn what she called the Trump Administration’s protection of al-Qaeda in Idlib and slammed Washington’s policies in Syria as “a betrayal of the American people” — especially the victims and families that perished on 9/11.”

    • I agree that this was a significant event, but here’s a question. How many voters in the 50 United in Warfare States of America are going to vote for Gabbard when the US economy (and millions of jobs) depends upon perpetual enemies and perpetual war?
      Remember that Ron Paul ran on an anti-war, anti-imperialist platform and was rejected by US voters. Frankly, if she or anyone else were to run on essentially the same platform, they would be rejected by those who fear losing their military-security-industrial complex jobs, or their spin-offs.
      Unless a candidate steps forward and offers a plan that details how the US economy is going to be weaned off a perpetual war footing/spending and perpetual economic/population growth, voters will “unintentionally” voter for candidates who, once elected, continue the US’s march to human extinction.
      What the human race needs to develop ASAP is an economic system that does NOT depend upon perpetual war and perpetual economic/population growth. The first step in achieving that economic system is to first acknowledge/realize that the present system does indeed require perpetual war and perpetual economic/population growth and that they will indeed lead to human extinction. If humanity is not intelligent to collectively make that declaration, humanity is doomed and we can all stop our inevitably futile typing right now.

  • “17 Years After 911, US Backing and Funding Al Qaeda in Syria”

  • Beautiful poem. Thanks for reminding me of Dinner With Andrei – so prophetic. Please keep breathing and writing your truth, our truth.

  • Of all your poems, I like this one the best. I take your message to be that we are rushing toward extinction, but thee is still a spark of hope alive and well.

  • That’s a keeper! Thanks Caitlin, you are amazing!

  • Bravo … Bravo! My dear Caitlin, you are a rare gem.

  • You have an amazing heart and soul. So refreshing in these times.
    Thank you.

  • Extraordinary. I will share and will also revisit this.

  • bravo

  • Beautiful poem–well done Caitlin!

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