Against the panorama of cloud-free sky,
resident geese honk on their afternoon
commute, a singular scavenger angel
wheeling on the updraft, scanning for a meal.
In the distance I think I hear insects chattering
like so many voices trying to speak at once,
drawing me toward the spontaneous pond—
leftover rainwater in a gully pooling around
craggy oaks and fountains of sticks pointing
skyward with the promise of foliage to come.
I move closer, letting what turns out to be
the cacophony of amorous frogs wash over me,
smiling at the unceasing amphibian symphony,
one deep-voiced bassoon adding a pleasing
counterpoint. Abruptly it stops; the movement
has ended. I look up as a red-tailed hawk swings
a hard curve to land on a lofty oak arm.
Somehow the frogs know. Quiet: Danger is near.
A solo crow calls as it wings by, apparently
unruffled. Momentarily rooted, I study the hawk
studying me, the pond, the potential catch.
With one great flap it ascends and sweeps away.
An unseen maestro gives the signal to begin the next
movement, pianissimo at first, ribbits rising,
various sections adding their accompaniment,
building and blending, as I offer a silent standing
ovation for their timeless harmonic brilliance.
(To listen to the frogsong, click here.)