Memories of Frogs

Written By: Daniel Hudon

The silence before Basho’s frog jumps in.

like a groaning bleat from an unhappy goat or sheep
a series of humming bass notes: jug o’ rum, jug o’ rum
like running a finger over the small teeth of a comb

The sound after Shiki closes the gate.

explosive, like the bark of a dog from a distance
like a rattle or metal clicker in quick succession
a vibrant noise like an electric buzzer lasting several seconds, a nasal “baaaaa”

a picture of stillness, only the throat bulging, letting go

like a carpenter hitting nails: pu-tunk, pu-tunk, pu-tunk
a deep snore, or like an outboard motor in the distance
a short, low-pitched grunt repeated at brief intervals – “er”

the moment after they dive below the surface of the pond

a hoarse clacking sound, like the quack of a duck with little carrying power
a series of simple guttural chucks, like mechanical barking
a high-pitched bird chirp from up in the trees: co-qui, co-qui

the tickling sensation of crawling through one’s cupped hands

like the command to stop a horse or mule
loud “whooping” calls to compete for space, trilling barks to attract mates
like a shrill trill, an elastic band, a policeman’s whistle, a nasal “w-a-a-h” lasting one to two seconds

a pervasive droning in the cloud forest at sundown, wavering in intensity, as if in alarm

Daniel Hudon

Daniel Hudon, originally from Canada, teaches astronomy and math as an adjunct lecturer in Boston.

He is the author of The Bluffer’s Guide to the Cosmos (Oval Books), a chapbook of prose and poetry, Evidence for Rainfall (Pen and Anvil) and the forthcoming book of stories about the biodiversity crisis, Brief Eulogies for Lost Species (Pen and Anvil). He lives in Boston, MA.

Twitter @daniel_hudon |