Breaking Stillness

Still there’s a slice of ice
encasing the marsh as glass;
stiff, sharp becomes a screen
protecting you from prey.
Visions of rich, dense duck weed
and brown, earthy tuffs of
marsh grass huddle
waiting for cloudless sky.
But morning chill tells
another story of early spring.

Buried deep you rest. With scent
of spring playing games of
hide and seek; you find no
aroma of wild rose only unscented
seeds from brown, barefaced
bundled of reeds and cat-tails
spinning, dancing atop silvery
layer of ice; your roof-top sky light.
Your throaty call echoes beneath;
stiff in the icy entrapment.

Yet, this is your woodland nest
here life and death linger in stiff pools
of decaying waters rich with microscopic
bacteria; so minuscule even your bulgy
protruding eyes unable to find them.
Your passion overriding all, your
mission drives you forward as your
need to seek a mate becomes all;
this is why you were created and it
consumes your very existence.

A warning, when the ice melts
cranes and geese are waiting
to have you as a tasty meal.
Sing quickly, call out rhythmic
chips, chatter and chants;
for somewhere she waits past
all still danger to dance awhile as
it has been written in the book
of “Spring Peepers Logs of Love”;
for now the image in ice is only you!

“These all wait for You, That You may give them their food in due season. What You give them they gather in; You open Your hand, they are filled with good. You hide Your face, they are troubled; You take away their breath, they die and return to their dust. You send forth Your Spirit, they are created; And You renew the face of the earth.”

Psalm 104: 27-30
Photo credit to images online

northern cricket frog is a species of small hylid frog native to the United States and northeastern Mexico. Despite being members of the tree frog family, they are not arboreal. It has two recognized subspecies.


Northern cricket frogs sometimes occur in cattail ( Typha sp.) thickets as well as in other terrestrial and/or aquatic shoreline vegetational assemblages .

Other treefrogs in the northern cricket frog’s range are the spring peeper, the western chorus frog and the gray treefrog. The spring peeper has a dark X-shaped blotch on the back. The western chorus frog has three dark continuous or broken lines down the back. The gray treefrog has a light spot with a dark border under each eye and bright orange or yellow inner thighs. The cricket frog appears to have “warts” like a toad but lacks the large parotoid glands that toads have behind each eye. The clicking call of the northern cricket frog may be difficult to distinguish from that of some marsh birds.
For decades I’ve looked forward to late March and spring again here in Wisconsin. First, the red winged black birds arrive with cranes and geese. Then the air is filled with a chorus of spring peepers. Their voice is a melody of a thousand vocal musicians filling the halls of my woodland. Come late April there is no pond side sitting. Their song so intense, one needs to close all windows. Yet, those early sounds bring joy to my heart. P. Wolf; poet & author
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  1. susanstoo says:

    Your end notes comprise another poem or beauty. I particularly love the red-wings in an otherwise bleak landscape–and I love “your roof-top sky light”–your one plunge into personification (in a way).


  2. memadtwo says:

    All is connected, and how wonderfully you’ve shown it. (K)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. sdtp33 says:

    Thank you for the frog’s eye view, takes us down among the reeds! JIM

    Liked by 1 person

  4. They do have a lot of enemies, don’t they? Here’s hoping spring brings food enough for everyone.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ingrid says:

    I love how you’ve given us an insight into the cricket frog’s life: the challenges and dangers it faces. I wonder what it would write of us, if it could?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. wolfsrosebud says:

      Ingrid that is an interesting thought. I wonder if we could separate ourselves enough to be the voice of the frog?

      Liked by 2 people

  6. earthweal says:

    I love the way this poem turns deeply into our shared biosphere with a voice and thought who is the frog’s, our frog-sense, with a gaze level with roots and ice and pondwater. A dazzling soak for me, How far was it to free your own voice to go there? Intimate and lush and central. – Brendan


    1. wolfsrosebud says:

      Thank you. I can see you had a good understanding of where I was going to with this poem. A bit lengthy for me, but sometimes it takes more words😉


  7. kim881 says:

    I love the way the ‘slice of ice encasing the marsh as glass’ slowly melts throughout your poem, Patti, and the thought that it protects frogs, surrounded by duck weed and marsh grass. I also love the ‘scent of spring playing games of hide and seek’, enticing the frogs to seek a mate. Part of the cycle of life and the food chain, the poor old frogs must stay on their guard.


    1. wolfsrosebud says:

      Kim, you are always so encouraging.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Suzanne says:

    Lets all work together to renew the face of earth – let people of all faiths join in the making. 🙂


  9. Sherry Marr says:

    Red wing blackbirds and peepers – how absolutely glorious. A poem full of glorious images. I so enjoyed it.


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