Tuesday Poem-Conversations with Toad

I’m happy down here

in my warm dark pit

with the spiders and the woodlice.


I’ve met a toad.

We converse much.

I about the columns

of the Parthenon

and dining out in planes

above the clouds.

He about the quality of mud

and ways to catch a fly.


At night

he lies upon my breast

and both of us gaze upwards

at the pinpoint of gold

which must be Venus

but he says ‘No

it is the torch of God.’

How so? I ask.


He flicks his tongue

gulps. Replies

It is written in The Book of Toad.’

(c) Helen McKinlay


I wrote this poem a few years back. For me it’s about one of life’s pauses which bought with it a peaceful acceptance and new ways of seeing.  And of course, catching flies!  See below 🙂

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http://tuesdaypoem.blogspot.co.nz/

8 thoughts on “Tuesday Poem-Conversations with Toad

    • Ah no Helen. Toad of Toad Hall, who cannot be fond of him? But he’s so self centred and arrogant. He would be too busy putting on his napkin to bother catching his own flies!
      No, my toad is simply a toad well met, a philosophic and practical fellow.

  1. I am currently trying to write about extinction of Australia’s native fauna, and the introduction of ferals, notably the cane toad, so it was a real surprise to stumble over this, Helen. This is a less assertive toad, methinks. Less toxic, anyway.

    • Yes definitely not a cane toad. I recall vividly my first experience of them. Aargh! Poor things…we put them there. I have just been reading
      about them on Wikipaedia. seems there is some hope of controlling them.The meat ant being one source…

  2. I believe I’ve met this erudite toad – ah, no that was Jeremy Fisher (and he was a frog) – still mighty fine fellows the amphibians and useful if you’re not all that fond of flies (or spiders or woodlice)
    Nice poem. 🙂

    • thanks Alicia. I had no recall of Jeremy but here he is on youtube (see above link) and he is rather charming. My toad is more of a down to earth sort…happy in his own space. 🙂

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