Poem: The Owl & The Frogs

Ninety-five degrees; sultry.

A 1790’s cottage in upstate New York.

If you climb those steep-pitched stairs,

No sleep.

 

A 1790’s cottage in upstate New York,

You collect comforter, cushion, pillow;

No sleep,

Unless you go outside.

 

With comforter, cushion and pillow,

You light citronella candles,

Outside,

You position your head in insect-repelling light.

 

You light citronella candles,

You close your eyes,

Positioning your head in insect-repelling light,

While cicadas and crickets generate background hum.

 

You close your eyes,

A whine descends,

While cicadas and crickets hum,

Mosquito smells you out.

 

A whine descends,

Everything heaves as you rise up,

Mosquito smells you out,

You spray.

 

Everything heaves as you rise up,

Sleep eludes you,

You spray,

Mosquito disappears.

 

Sleep eludes you,

Light flashes,

Mosquito disappears,

Fireflies dance in its stead.

 

Light flashes,

Bullfrogs party late,

Fireflies dance,

Owl floats by.

 

 

Bullfrogs party late,

In parallel fourths,

Owl floats by,

Hooo—ooo.

 

Parallel fourths,

Interrupted by gulps,

Hooo—ooo,

Followed by a cadenza.

 

Interrupted by gulps,

The moon rises,

Followed by a cadenza,

A hazy half-lemon in damp clouds.

 

The moon rises,

The sky becomes bright,

A hazy half-lemon in damp clouds,

Giving way to the sun-rise.

 

The sky becomes bright,

Birds twitter and chirrup,

As the sun rises,

The chorus crescendos.

 

Birds twitter and chirrup,

As you climb those steep-pitched stairs,

The chorus crescendos.

It is ninety-five degrees, sultry.

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