About this time of year I move our fish from their inside tank winter camp to their summer home, our outdoor pond. Frogs soon arrive just like hobos from years ago, riding the rails to easier living. They move in with bold ker-plunks and settle for the season. I never really noticed the frogs that much, they swan and sang and so what. They were frogs. I feed the fish when I leave in the morning and again at night when I return. The frogs were okay,
they just hung out, jumped in with a splash when I got too close.
Last year was different. For what ever reason the frogs looked like the Ramones! There were their little (green) faces! Joey, Johnny, Dee Dee, and Marky The resemblance was startling. I tried to explain to people that in my little pond, there were four frogs that looked like big time New York punk legends! People were mostly polite when I told them (well, a few rolled their eyes or even snickered) but nobody was interested enough to go take even a quick peek. All spring and summer long I marveled at them. I knew which one was which, even addressed them by name (they were such distinct individuals). Come fall the Ramones Frogs packed their little froggie guitar cases and moved on. Over the winter I though of them more than a few times. I wondered what they were up to ( could they be on tour in Japan?). I was casually curious if they or some variety decedents, musical or not, might return come spring.
Today I was up early, put out the trash, bring in the paper and I heard very odd croaks! “Great”, I thought “Maybe the frogs are back from CBGB or where-ever.” Cautious and quiet was my approach (really wanted to surprise the boys) and there, right there in my pond where these long and leggy spotted leopard frogs! They took one look at me, and in a beautifully choreographed move somersaulted into the pond, leaving three perfect rippling circles that blossomed into tiny art-deco “Man in the moon” winking faces! – total Cirque du Soleil!! Oh, what a summer this will be!!!
Night skies seen on razors edge, a dubious godly gift.
Perfect vision astronomic distances so clear.
Sightless in close mangrove swamps,
Other focus monsoon blur.
Semaphore crabs never shunted. Information passed each day.
marauding marabou mouths -beware-click-clack-beware.
wicked waders watching -beware-click-clack-beware.
sudden beak-death near upon us -silent-cautions-click-clack-stillness now.
rest now -click-clack- rest now-unaware.
Cadet Waxwing at her station, far point long departed.
Looping orbit long ecliptic from so very far away.
panic is our news! oh-danger is for certain-click-clack-danger now we see!
falling falling they are falling! no-no
too fastly downward very wrongly!
plummet homeward much too fast
speeding orbiter now seems damaged! did you see it? looklook double quick!
object impact? hostile actions? click-clack-mayday-mayday-in the sky.
crew soon all be burning -click-clack -frail and falling from so high
sound all warning quickly! click-clack-click-clack-fast-fast alarms now please!.
Fading double image flickers off, then on, and off again
Sky brakes they are screaming!
Hull shudders long and groans
Atmospheric glancing bounce!
did you see her? Did you see her as she passed?
intent upon the helm, so quiet in the vast.
pulsed in time-time, then back out out out……..
green-screen green-screen they have saved her!
crew removed from peril click-clack-shut alarms now please,
orbit re-established click-clack-check for damage (what had happened?)..
ceramic hull cooling cool now click-clack-masks discarded breathing slow start.
Starboard porthole she is dreaming, face pressed to the glass.
She looks with longing for her crab friends far below.
Ocean is so blue today (she sing-song sings)
So blue. so blue today, sings Little Waxie.
do you feel it? click-clack
she dreams now in the sky.
I would like to thank Jonathan Lethem for the inspiration for this piece. I am completely in awe of his writing. This prose poem comes from his novels “Chronic City” and “Girl in Landscape” which are very fine indeed. Also I would like to apologize for how poorly this is formatted. Everything the crabs say is indented and in italics. Some how his is beyond the scope of WordPress.
Out the door too fast, only just caught BBC World Service by the edge.
Presenter Catherine Campbell-Collins (her accent so crisp and clipped it hurt),
briskly dispatched the days first headlines.
“Twister leaves twelve dead in Oklahoma, more to follow.”
My somewhat inattentive and dyslexic self thought she said “Twitter.”
On the train I sadly shook my head and though, “Too bad for sure, a terrible thing.
But only a matter of time really, before that social networking shit was gonna catch up with people.”