Who Ate all the Frogs?
The Golden Toad of Monteverde
once bejewelled the cloud forest floor —
a rare dayglo fleshy nugget that
enriched the land of the Aztecs
is no more.
In the Vosges
The Vittel Brotherhood of Frog Thigh Tasters
nibble greasily on grenouille,
licking fingers as they pick
at the Thighs of the Dawn Nymphs.
'Our tribute to the noble frog', the frog-fanciers
say with relish while spitting out the bones.
In the Malay Archipelago and Indochine
the harvesting goes on unabaited,
sating the voracious appetites of Rayne,
Frog Capital of the World,
while scientists search in vain.
Meanwhile a golden frog in Panama
waves its gilded foreleg.
Crafted like a talisman,
it is unable to guard the Underworld.
Damp and enamelled,
no hope reflected in the globe of its eye,
it stares up as if to say:
'You've lost your sense of wonder'.
A tiny semaphore signals a last goodbye
before it turns to gold.
Tarquin Landseer was awarded second prize in the 2012 Keats-Shelley Poetry Prize for his poem 'Who Ate All the Frogs?'.