Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. My Poem About a Toad

 

In the early 1980s, a colleague and I published a poetry journal. That encouraged me to take up the writing of poetry — for a year or so, anyway. Yesterday, I was browsing my bookcase and came across a few of these poems. So I said to myself, “Self, I bet Ricochet people dig poetry, so I’ll lay this one on ‘em.”

The Spadefoot Toad

Curled comatose under the sediment
of a dried-up desert pond,
a spadefoot toad waits for the rain.

Waits buried in its moist burrow,
sealed by mucous and sand,
while above a burning sky blisters
the living and burns the land

And if it rains
and fills the pond with water,
moisture seeps down
through the cracked earth,
drips into the toad’s lair,
and glistens to life leathern skin.

And then bulbous eyes open after stony sleep.

But if the drought lasts too long,
the sun bakes ever deeper
into the layered earth
until it sucks the burrow dry,
and the spadefoot toad
never again wakes,
never again feels
water that quickens limbs —
but stiffens slowly,
dries to a crumbling husk,
and dusts the desert winds.

Published in General
This post was promoted to the Main Feed by a Ricochet Editor at the recommendation of Ricochet members. Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s growing community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

There are 15 comments.

  1. KentForrester Coolidge
    KentForrester Post author

    It was Marie the wife’s fault. She said it was my toad poem was “OK.”

    Marie, it wasn’t OK. In fact, the response to it thus far has been so underwhelming that it’s going to ruin my streak of 15 straight promotions to the Main Feed.

    Thanks a lot, Marie.

    [A week or so later: “Never mind!” Please read those two words in the voice of Roseanne Roseannadanna]

    • #1
    • August 4, 2019, at 2:26 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  2. The Reticulator Member

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    It was Marie’s fault. She said it was my toad poem was “OK.”

    Marie, it wasn’t OK. In fact, it’s going to ruin my streak of 15 straight promotions to the Main Feed.

    Thanks a lot, Marie.

    She’s right. It’s OK. I even read it all the way to the end, and I can hardly ever make myself read a poem that far. The last time may have been in the early 90s. I might even have read more if the toad had lasted longer. 

    • #2
    • August 4, 2019, at 9:37 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  3. KentForrester Coolidge
    KentForrester Post author

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    It was Marie’s fault. She said it was my toad poem was “OK.”

    Marie, it wasn’t OK. In fact, it’s going to ruin my streak of 15 straight promotions to the Main Feed.

    Thanks a lot, Marie.

    She’s right. It’s OK. I even read it all the way to the end, and I can hardly ever make myself read a poem that far. The last time may have been in the early 90s. I might even have read more if the toad had lasted longer.

    Reticulator, congratulations on making it to the end. Heck of an achievement. You’re among the few who did. Heck, the poem is 25 lines long, chock full of words.

    • #3
    • August 5, 2019, at 6:03 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  4. She Thatcher
    She

    I think it’s a very good poem, for lots of reasons I won’t bore you with here. The only problem is that it’s not about Bob the Dog.

    A poem about Bob the Dog would make the main feed so fast your head would spin.

    • #4
    • August 5, 2019, at 9:08 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  5. The Reticulator Member

    She (View Comment):

    I think it’s a very good poem, for lots of reasons I won’t bore you with here. The only problem is that it’s not about Bob the Dog.

    A poem about Bob the Dog would make the main feed so fast your head would spin.

    What do you have against toads? Don’t you listen to them sing in harmony in the springtime? (I’m not sure about those in the desert, though. I’m talking about those in the Great Lakes region.) 

    • #5
    • August 5, 2019, at 9:44 AM PST
    • 1 like
  6. KentForrester Coolidge
    KentForrester Post author

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    She (View Comment):

    I think it’s a very good poem, for lots of reasons I won’t bore you with here. The only problem is that it’s not about Bob the Dog.

    A poem about Bob the Dog would make the main feed so fast your head would spin.

    What do you have against toads? Don’t you listen to them sing in harmony in the springtime? (I’m not sure about those in the desert, though. I’m talking about those in the Great Lakes region.)

    Retic, here’s what I have against them: they serve, at times, as the witches’ familiars, and they give you warts.

    And that’s the truth.

    • #6
    • August 5, 2019, at 10:12 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  7. Gossamer Cat Coolidge

    I just did my part to keep your streak alive. It is a very good poem, but so melancholy.

    • #7
    • August 16, 2019, at 11:00 AM PST
    • 1 like
  8. Front Seat Cat Member

    I actually saved it to go back to later – sheessh! I thought I better read it right away, like now. I loved it – very creative. I live in Florida so I could picture all of it from first hand experience – including the baked toad……

    My cat prefers fresh to baked…..

    Keep posting poems – want to see more, and don’t be so sensitive if it’s less than 34 Likes – you’re starting to sound like Trump at his rallies.

    • #8
    • August 16, 2019, at 12:24 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  9. KentForrester Coolidge
    KentForrester Post author

    Front Seat Cat (View Comment):

    I actually saved it to go back to later – sheessh! I thought I better read it right away, like now. I loved it – very creative. I live in Florida so I could picture all of it from first hand experience – including the baked toad……

    My cat prefers fresh to baked…..

    Keep posting poems – want to see more, and don’t be so sensitive if it’s less than 34 Likes – you’re starting to sound like Trump at his rallies.

    Ha ha. I think. 

    • #9
    • August 16, 2019, at 12:50 PM PST
    • 1 like
  10. GLDIII Temporarily Essential Thatcher

    Kent, I read it to the end….. warts and all.

    This is from a guy who is pretty indifferent to poetry too.

    • #10
    • August 16, 2019, at 6:20 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  11. KentForrester Coolidge
    KentForrester Post author

    Never mind.

    • #11
    • August 16, 2019, at 6:29 PM PST
    • 1 like
  12. Marjorie Reynolds Lincoln

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    Never mind.

    I like this poem Kent. The only reason I didn’t like it was because I don’t log in except when I’m on my laptop. There aren’t enough poems about amphibians really.

     

    • #12
    • August 18, 2019, at 1:58 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  13. KentForrester Coolidge
    KentForrester Post author

    Marjorie Reynolds (View Comment):

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    Never mind.

    I like this poem Kent. The only reason I didn’t like it was because I don’t log in except when I’m on my laptop. There aren’t enough poems about amphibians really.

    Thanks, Marjorie. Not enough poems about fleas, either. Wait a minute. The shortest poem in the English language is about fleas.

    Fleas.

    Adam. Had ‘em.

    • #13
    • August 18, 2019, at 2:26 PM PST
    • 1 like
  14. The Reticulator Member

    Marjorie Reynolds (View Comment):

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    Never mind.

    I like this poem Kent. The only reason I didn’t like it was because I don’t log in except when I’m on my laptop. There aren’t enough poems about amphibians really.

     

    There aren’t enough poems about aquatic invertebrates, either, but I’m glad to get the amphibs. 

    • #14
    • August 18, 2019, at 4:39 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  15. The Reticulator Member

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    Marjorie Reynolds (View Comment):

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    Never mind.

    I like this poem Kent. The only reason I didn’t like it was because I don’t log in except when I’m on my laptop. There aren’t enough poems about amphibians really.

    Thanks, Marjorie. Not enough poems about fleas, either. Wait a minute. The shortest poem in the English language is about fleas.

    Fleas.

    Adam. Had ‘em.

    OK, but how about a poem about waterfleas? (They’re not really fleas, though. They’re crustaceans rather than insects. Which reminds me, I should check to see if I can now fit into the aquatic invertebrate t-shirt that I was given back in the 90s. I would sometimes wear it when doing kiddie programs on the topic. It fit me then, and I’ll bet it fits me again.)

    • #15
    • August 18, 2019, at 4:44 PM PST
    • Like