Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Springful of toads

A springful of toads

Still pool mirrors sunlight,
Catches clouds, conceals passions,
Toads in mud and hearts.

In June Last year, Creeping Toad started a new project called Toadwords. It has hibernated with its namesakes over the last few months so as we all wake up into spring (I do hope, however, you’re not all sitting in ponds, spawning), I thought I would give it a shake and see if we can’t find a few more poems. There have already been soem wodnerful pieces of writing. If you "search" this blog for "Telling Toads" that should call up thee alrier entries - or that link might have worked as well

So, a challenge: we have just passed National Haiku Day (UK, yesterday). So why not get out there and enjoy some sunshine and write an amphibian Haiku? If you can’t see any of our damp friends, look at the places they love: your overgrown garden, your compost heap, or the places of peril and dread, places that are dessicating deserts for a delicate skin….

Conventionally, Haiku have 3 lines of counted syllables: 5, 7, 5. (traditional Japanese) or 10 - 14 syllables overall (English). But I was advised (by a Zen Buddhist monk) not to be trapped by structure and think of 3 lines that contain 2 observations, a pause and a reflection….take what you will and have a go!

Email them through, please!

 Or just feel amphibian and be inspired!

Walking a long road
Toad Whisperer.
Frayed boots on a hard road,
Fingerless gloves and a long coat,
Black hat shades darker eyes.
A measured step, 
An ageless amphibian patience,
And a bag of toadbones in his pocket,
The Toadman will tell
The secrets you hid,
The treasure you lost,
The love you hunger for.
He’ll tell, he’ll always tell,
Your tale to the toads.
But bribe him well,
Pay him with coin,
With food,
With favours,
Never to let the frogs know.

The original project outline is here, but below is part of it…

In this, the Froglife Year of the Toad, here at Creeping Toad, I am inviting people to add their own creative ideas to a collection of Toad (and frog and tree frog,) stories and poems.  Initially, we will aim to encourage people to share these beyond the blog where they will appear, to read them aloud, to tell stories, declaim poems by ponds and generally celebrate Toads and their cousins.

Amphibians are in danger. Of all the vertebrate groups, amphibians seem to be in the most perilous of situations as populations across the world dwindle before pollution and habitat loss and the ravages of infections they have no defence against. Froglife is a UK based charity that sets out to promote amphibian conservation through active habitat management and wider education. While, Froglife is UK-based, the issues facing amphibians are global and I hope that by sharing our stories and poems we might add a little more momentum to a wider awareness of the wonders of the amphibian worlds. The decision to launch a Year of the Toad campaign grew out of the research presented in a Froglife paper: while the wonderful (and not always sad) book In Search of Lost Frogs by Robin Moore is a great way of connecting to the issues confronting individual species across the Earth. Robin’s book is reviewed on this blog, here

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