The Sea of Calling Frogs

wood frog by tim street

Suddenly, everything’s growing
Turn around and the honey-berries have leaves
Flowers dangling on the Cornelian cherries
Walk down the path
Where just yesterday the choke cherries bud-broke
Are today full in tiny leaf

Frost-seeded clover up with two leaves over the new lanes
Makes it difficult to walk,
To tread on those newly emerged
So we step gingerly in pilgrimage to the woods

Where the wild chives pushed up
All together and you could smell it on the air
And spring beauty joined harbinger in the woods
And anemones are hiding somewhere,
Toothworts in bud

Orchard prunings are done
But up around the house, the grapes and the ribes
Will they forgive me to come to them so late?

Potatoes sit slightly in dirt,
Covered thick in rotten hay and wondering dumbly
While asparagus stretches in underground yoga
Prior to penetration and grand erection

Can you tell I’m sick of eating potatoes?
Kids are all over the sorrel
And I’m left with dandelions greens to snack on

More branch spreading, more ground prep
More tree planting, more grafting
Set up the electric fence
Build the bee hives, paint the bee hives

The flowers are coming, the trees are waiting
The scion wood in the fridge (double wrapped)
The equipment patient
The bees with their U.S. visa from Italy

And we’ll turn our head tomorrow
And the greens will be brighter and longer and darker
And the dogwood’s leaves will be the size of mice ears
And the country people will ply their secret paths
After their own phallic delights:
Grays and yellows and dog peckers

Soon enough bloodroot
Soon enough bladdernut
Soon enough wild hyacinth
And I’ll see you in the woods
In doe’s eyes reflections
Munching on the tips of greenbrier
Bending down for a bit of wood sorrel

Soon enough tick and mosquito
Soon enough riding lawnmower
I’ll see you in a white t-shirt
With a polite tip of the straw hat
And motor down my winding rows admiring stems and branches
Form, flower and bud
Trying to keep my mind off of things to do
And stay with the cloud float insurrection

But I get ahead of myself
And come back
To the southern leopard frogs calling
Like ducks
And the deer dancing on the next hillside
Like they would be drunk on trillium

I come back to the crayfish strewn along the creek
Halved battlefield warriors
No tails to tuck
But great useless weapons to dangle limp

Soon enough shagbark hickory bud break
And I come back to the silver maple’s
Red flower rain

So we are like the tide
Or more the edge of the ocean
And ride forward beyond ourselves up the sand
Only to retreat into depths
And there is never a true stop
But the mind will wander
And where it sees bud it will see flower
And where it sees flower it will see fruit
And so the question is whether to taste the fruit
Or slide back into the sea
The sea of calling frogs


Cover photo by Tim Street
Below photos crédito mi esposa









7 thoughts on “The Sea of Calling Frogs”

    1. Thanks. Yeah, haven’t even nailed the frames together yet. They’re delivered in later in April and I gotta get my trees in the ground first. You keep bees?

      1. Not yet. We plan to eventually. But this year, no animals and no gardens. Trust me, you’re light-years ahead of me on homesteading type things.

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