Toad dreams

Original Text: 
© Marge Piercy. Stone, Paper, Knife: Poems by Marge Piercy (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1983). PS 3566 I4S76 1983
That afternoon the dream of the toads rang through the elms by Little River and affected the thoughts of men, though they were not conscious that they heard it.--Henry Thoreau
2credit what we consider lesser
3life with emotions big as ours,
4but we are easily distracted,
5abstracted. People sit nibbling
6before television's flicker watching
7ghosts chase balls and each other
8while the skunk is out risking grisly
9death to cross the highway to mate;
10while the fox scales the wire fence
11where it knows the shotgun lurks
12to taste the sweet blood of a hen.
13Birds are greedy little bombs
14bursting to give voice to appetite.
15I had a cat who died of love.
16Dogs trail their masters across con-
17tinents. We are far too busy
18to be starkly simple in passion.
19We will never dream the intense
20wet spring lust of the toads.
Copyright 1983 Stone, Paper, Knife: Poems by Marge Piercy Alfred A. Knopf


1] Epigraph quoted from Thoreau's journal for Oct. 26, 1853 (Parti-Colored Blocks, p. 5). Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
Publication Notes: 
Mid-South Writer 2 (1981): 4.
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 2000.
Special Copyright: 

<b>This poem cannot be published anywhere without the written consent of Marge Piercy, Leapfrog Press or Knopf permissions department.</b>