The Bell Jar: Jo Bell's blog

"She lives the poetry she cannot write" – Wilde

Frogs and inspirations

This morning I posted on Facebook a request for favourite first lines from poetry. Annie McGann, a force for good in poetry world, obligingly supplied the one I stole to start this odd little piece. I think it comes (sideways) out of recent conversations with Sam Youd, the head gardener at Tatton Park – a great expert on Japanese gardens.

Alison Brackenbury is a poet who often writes about small creatures like frogs, in a spirit of kindly contemplation: have a look at her blog and poems here.

Japanese Frog

A stranger has come
to the edge of my mouth-wet pond.
A man, dry as a bird.
I meet him at the bounds
of my silver parish
and examine him.
He looks at me so closely
I am hardly there.
We reach an understanding
and he smokes
while I consider my affairs.

We converse like this
for minutes at a time;
he with his pipe,
I with my private concerns.
He cannot know
what I return to now:
my minnow-slippery wife,
my appetite for silence.

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This entry was posted on February 22, 2011 by in Writing exercises.
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