Sunday, November 9, 2008

Flat Frog

This has nothing to do with anything, then again, perhaps it has something to do with everything.
Near where I live there is a road that goes along the edge of a stretch of woods, a road very little travelled as there is only one house at the end. But every year in the Spring for unknown and unknowable reasons, frogs come out in great quantities, and as it is a place I tend to walk to clear the head, I have found on more than one occasion a very flat frog that had been run over by one of the few cars that goes that way. One hot Summer afternoon not long ago, I realized that one of these frog cadavers had become something like mummified, tough and leathery, no further decomposition was occurring. So as I am an incorrigible collector of things, I picked it up and brought it home. It wasn't until many months later, after the statutory dead frog gestation period, that the idea of placing it on the scanner crossed my mind, to see what kind of silhouette it would produce. I couldn't decide on the color, so you get a variety here... I don't know about you, but I have the impression that it is dancing, in a ballet tutu, standing on one toe, arms and other leg raised in a graceful frog fandango ...
Roadkill, by the way, has been an enduring theme in my photographic work, I've been known to stop along the side of roads on two continents to take pictures of particularly picturesque examples of roadkill... one of the saddest phenomenons in man's recent history. Obsessed with speed and bulging with pride, like Mr Toad in "The Wind In the Willows", we go barreling down roads at high speeds, and heaven help the lesser creatures who might have such obnoxious nerve as to cross our paths...
A few years back I wrote this piece about such an animal...
Rabbit Dead
Sun up
The clear and cold light
Of morning
Harsh prodding
Unassailable reasons to squint
To screw the eyes down to slits
Glittering reptilian reaction
The ultimate motivating miracle
Self preservation
Fear of annihilation.
In the distance
As I drove down the road
A spot grew and took on form
Shadow and shape
In the center of the road
At the critical range
Color emerged from the grey
Immediately the silky brown
Of back fur proclaimed
Still as stone
Frozen on its side
Where it tumbled
Limp and broken
Following the last stricken leap
The crunch of bone
And final rag doll slide
Ending there alone
Near the callous yellow stripe
While some hulking steel behemoth
Bloodthirsty marauder
Ignorant fled
From the rabbit
As it bled.
As I drove by
Cruel curiosity
Turned my head
The message blazed in crimson
Brilliant red already going black
Pumped out by heart
That would not quit the task
Rabbit dead. Rabbit dead.

No comments: