Yes – yesterday I saw a frog and she served as my inspiration for today’s entry in the notebook. It is a sprawling entry, playing about with various frog facts and musings on various frogs that have shown up in my life.
In the end, I reached towards a poem.
I still have a strange fear of poetry – my own, that is.
I took a class once with the wonderful poet, Louise Halfe. She called the class “Writing Through Fear.” It was a gooder and I met some great poets in that class. Since then, I’ve played with poetry now and again.
In my blunderings, I yearn for…. the conciseness of a good poem or a great song. The way of saying things that poets have – the STICK WITH YOU way.
Because part of what I want to do in the coming year is…share more of my work with folks, I offer up this raggedy gem.
I’m having a heck of a time getting the thing to SPACE properly in here, but after 1/2 hour of playing with the danged formatting…. I shall leave it be as it is. (take THAT perfectionist critic!)
Listening to Frogs
On the road today, I saw a large brown frog.
I crouched down to watch her move over the gravel
—quartz bits and granite pebbles—
through curling leaves and past a fallen spruce twig.
She was slow and heavy on her way to winter’s rest.
I wondered if she would burrow into the earth like the toad I used to visit in the Frozen Pond exhibit at the Natural History Museum in Regina.
Or if some rocks, a log or even a pile of leaf-litter might be enough for her to make her winter home.
Or was she trying to make her way down to the river
where she could dive to the bottom
where the water never fully turns to ice.
How much would she need—for shelter.
I’ve learned that some frogs survive the cold by upping the glucose in their organs.
The small amount of water in their bodies freezes but the glucose acts as a cryoprotectant and keeps large ice crystals from forming.
Imagine that. Being able to protect our vital bits from the cold times—with sweetness.
When I was twelve, I spent a summer with my auntie on the farm.
I remember—a freedom.
The first week, or maybe it was just the first few days,
I ran outside after drying the breakfast dishes and spent the morning wandering in the fields
and crouching on the edge of a small
just up the road.
There were frogs there and it seemed that I sat with them for hours. Listening.
That was before I realized (or remembered) that I should stay inside and help auntie with the chores.
That I was there to keep her company and to help her with the kids.
She had four by then, and all of them under five.
My uncle worked away, that year, on the rigs in Alberta.
It was their last summer on the farm.
Though I didn’t know that, then.
I snuck back to the pond a few times
in the afternoon, when auntie and the kids all fell asleep in the living room with the tv on.
But it wasn’t the same.
And now… it’s time to load up the laundry and head into town.
Have a great day~p