For Halloween our Discovering Dewponds Project Manager has chosen a couple of her favourite poems from the book ‘The Book of The Toad’ by Robert M. Degraaff:
Dusk comes suddenly on the narrow road
that follows the hill eastward and down. The woman’s
fears are the live pieces of dark that appear
where there was nothing.
In a tree that had been bare, she sees a dozen
great-tailed grackles slanting like eyebrows.
From a deserted hut comes a black feather of smoke
and a low voice.
Between the rocks, the dark is filling with toads:
their breath is the slow rising of the sky
behind her. She fears rain and she fears the toad-dust
thirsty for rain.
But then the evening sidles up to her,
holding out precious stones in a handkerchief.
She draws away from the opals and tigers’ eyes,
sure that she will pay
too much, but he touches her sleeve and she turns.
Below her in the rich light she sees a row
of trees like bubbles of blood welling up
from a cut
and beyond them the sky hunched like a toad
over the town, its skin mottled purple,
black, and vermillion. If this is the dark,
there is no escaping it.
She asks the name of the sky-toad, huge
and lovely. A tongue flickers from his mouth
and now the sun itself is a stone, burning
in his forehead.
A visit to the Gingerbread House
“Why, sit down!” (So I let myself settle
In a fudge chair.) “I’ll put on the kettle,”
Purred the witch. “Here, just try
Some delicious toad pie
And a cup of hot Hansel and Gretel!”
X. J. KENNEDY