By Steve Mueske:
TO ALL THE FROGS
who sleep in the mud,
who cling to the trees and sing me
to sleep each night: I confess
a love for your instrument.
Your throats fill like instant bellows
with enough air for those
profundo lows: quick clench
of muscle that needs
the whole body, the Baby,-
I’m-Your-Man muscle, the muscle
that coils all the way down
to your toes. Then gone:
a belching horn blast of a note
that blows across the pond.
I love to listen to your ethereal choir –
your basses and altos, tenors
and sopranos – through my window
after making love, when you sing
of all the world’s loneliness,
and I lie sweaty on the sheets,
nerves jangling like a hotwired Yes.
“I love that sound,” my wife says,
her voice dreamy and slow;
I listen to the flavor of the dark,
its mosses, its mud and still water –
the insects, the leaves breathing –
as my body cools, and I feel
the drowsy tendrils of sleep
bring me down easy, so easy.
“To All the Frogs” was originally published in Thrush Poetry Journal and appears here with permission from the poet.
Steve Mueske is an electronic musician and the author of a chapbook and two full collections of poetry, most recently Slower Than Stars. His poems have been published in The Massachusetts Review, Crazyhorse, Crab Orchard Review, Third Coast, Court Green, Hotel Amerika, CURA, Water-Stone Review, Best New Poets, and elsewhere, with work forthcoming in The Georgetown Review. His music is available on Bandcamp. He can be reached on Facebook or Twitter @SteveMueske.
Editor’s Note: Today’s poem pays homage to the wonder of the frog and the glory of its song. The appreciation is inspired: “I confess / a love for your instrument,” while the poem is humid, steamy, evoking earth and water, sweat and music. “I love to listen to your ethereal choir…through my window / after making love… I listen to the flavor of the dark, / its mosses, its mud and still water – / the insects, the leaves breathing.”