The Power of ToadsPosted by Pattiann RogersThe oak toad and the red-spotted toad love their love In a spring rain, calling and calling, breeding Through a stormy evening clasped atop their mates. Who wouldn't sing — anticipating the belly pressed hard Against a female's spine in the steady rain Below writhing skies, the safe moist jelly effluence Of a final exaltation?
There might be some toads who actually believe That the loin-shaking thunder of the banks, the evening Filled with damp, the warm softening mud and rising Riverlets are the facts of their own persistent Performance. Maybe they think that when they sing They sing more than songs, creating rain and mist By their voices, initiating the union of water and dusk, Females materializing on the banks shaped perfectly By their calls.
And some toads may be convinced they have forced The heavens to twist and moan by the continual expansion Of their lung sacs pushing against the dusk. And some might believe the splitting light, The soaring grey they see above them are nothing But a vision of the longing in their groins, A fertile spring heaven caught in its entirety At the pit of the gut.
And they might be right. Who knows whether these broken heavens Could exist tonight separate from trills and toad ringings? Maybe the particles of this rain descending on the pond Are nothing but the visual manifestation of whistles And cascading love clicks in the shore grasses. Raindrops-finding-earth and coitus could very well Be known here as one.
We could investigate the causal relationship Between rainstorm and love-by-pondside if we wished. We could lie down in the grasses by the water's edge And watch to see exactly how the heavens were moved, Thinking hard of thunder, imagining all the courses That slow, clean waters might take across our bodies, Believing completely in the rolling and pressing power Of heavens and thighs. And in the end we might be glad, Even if all we discovered for certain was the slick, sweet Promise of good love beneath dark skies inside warm rains.
Back to Earth Poetry/Prose
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