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xxxv. Signs and Wonders - Frogs


Old English frogga, from Proto Germanic fruska-z, Old Norse froskr, Middle Dutch vorsc, German Frosch.

Frog Cakes

after Balfours’ shop, Rundle Mall

Submerged in the sweet shallow

crowded pond of shop-front display.

Cold in green-iced skin;

their slightly parted cake lips

croak on a string of silent years.

And they are an icon for each-

connecting fairy tales with Christmas

mother with Myers.

And finally lunch at Balfours

where they became for us, the small

luxury she could afford - cramming

our mouths with their confection; and

always looking better

than they tasted!

Jeff Guess


In this mortal frame of mine which is made of a hundred bones and nine orifices there is something, and this something is called a wind-swept spirit for lack of a better name, for it is much like a thin drapery that is torn and swept away at the slightest stir of the wind. This something in me took to writing poetry years ago, merely to amuse itself at first, but finally making it its lifelong business. It must be admitted, however, that there were times when it sank into such dejection that it was almost ready to drop its pursuit, or again times when it was so puffed up with pride that it exulted in vain victories over the others. Indeed, ever since it began to write poetry, it has never found peace with itself, always wavering between doubts of one kind and another. At one time it wanted to gain security by entering the service of a court, and at another it wished to measure the depth of its ignorance by trying to be a scholar, but it was prevented from either because of its unquenchable love of poetry. The fact is, it knows no other art than the art of writing poetry, and therefore, it hangs on to it more or less blindly.

The Records of a Travel-Worn Satchel by Matsuo Basho (Japanese poet) 1644-94

Reading: Exodus 8: 6

And Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt; and the frogs came up, and covered the land of Egypt. KJV


The old pond; a frog jumps in — the sound of the water.


©Jeff Guess 2017

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