Sunday, 13 August 2017

A dark necklace

A dark necklace…

Telling Toads, 2:

poems and stories for the Year of the Toad

The poems are still slipping in. Slowly, carefully, toad-hopping rather than frog-leaping, possibly even salamander-crawling, but I am hoping to share a new set of words every month and here are the offerings from July

A Haiku special is brewing and a set of photos to give you something to think about is coming in the next few days

I put out a request on facebook for some extra photos to accompany poems and stories and am now wading through an amphibian tidal wave of images. It does, however, give me some rich images to choose from…

If you'd like to find out more about this project, visit the blog post here: Telling Toads

Thanks you, Jane Millum
1. Friend Frog
Tessa Strickland

Friend Frog, your eyes are water jewels.
   Looking at you, I see orbs
of liquid mineral looking back.

You are as inscrutable as a Buddha,
    and I wonder, what is it that you see
gazing out of your frog world

at this bulky, shadowed being-thing
    which has arms and legs, like you,
a heart, like you, but a breathing  apparatus

that can no longer live amphibiously,
    a body that can no longer leap
between river and hill.

Friend Frog, you who can
    hear the earth talk, who can sense
the shifting tremors of the underworld

with your small, exquisite body,
    you who can see and hear and interpret
the elements in ways that are lost to me,

Forgive me, Friend Frog,
   for the way I trample through your domain
in heavy boots.

one of Rob's Axolotls
2. Axolotl
Rob Bounds
In the 1980’s I had one of these amphibians – one of a number of waifs and strays pets adopted alongside gerbils, hamsters and an ill-tempered rabbit.  Said creature came into my possession after its previous owner thought it would make an interesting additional to his fish tank, resulting in his aquarium ending up goldfishless!

30 or so years later I now have another one of these fascinating “walking fish” – alongside a collection of other waif and stray pets…..

When people see this Mexican marvel they frequently say….

“What is that…?”
Some say he’s ugly, some say he is cute.
With his feathery gills he looks like a newt.
He’s not a frog and he’s not a toad,
you won’t see him in a pond or crossing the road.

He’s incredibly rare and can’t be found in the wild.
He never grows up – he’s a perpetual child.
He’s the Water Dog god the Aztecs called Xolotl
Meet my amphibian friend the Axolotl.

3. Haikode to the beginnings of Toad
By WeeVee left as a comment on an earlier post

Elegant toadspawn
Festooned from weed like bunting
Aristocrat toads

Frogs lay globulous
Blobs discombobulous
Toads think 'how common'

3 Pond thoughts
Gordon MacLellan
Some experiments here with a  fib poem (follows a Fibonacci sequence in its lines) and two cinquains (a set sequence of syllables). I then got caught in a personal discussion about whether "wriggling" is two syllables or three

And again,
And tadpoles squirming
Into a wriggling explosion
Fill a pond with life and hope and dreams of transformation.

A string of pearls,
Dark necklace for green weeds,
A gift of wriggling cheerfulness,
With hops.

Legs on a lump
Of knobbled mud, turning slow,
Blinking golden eyes, gulps a fly,
And stops.

With many thanks to our poets and photographers

What's going on? background to this project: Telling Toads 

First poems and pictures are publsihed here:  The First Elegant Hops

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