#ReptilesAndAmphibiansWeekend poems and artwork challenge. Have you written about reptiles and amphibians, published/unpublished I welcome both? Have you done any artwork on these animals? Please DM me, or message me via my WordPress site “The Wombwell Rainbow”, and I will feature your contribution. First drafts are welcome. Look at the animals in the hashtags. What inspires you to describe them in art or words? Set yourself the challenge.

By OneMoreThing

When it rained, you blamed me,
and when your cattle died or
the well gave up bad water –
it was all my doing. So much so,
that now you do not speak my name,
fearing its mustard breath
will flame a pouched poison and
released, will fire and hiss if uttered.

But I have never been that mysterious.

Still, I speak in little clicks, undaunted,
mutter the meaning of each star
upon my back, upon the worm of my body.
And I swim in the murk of aquatic dreams,
sinewy, watered beneath the smell
of pinewood warmed in the sun. Here,
you ask me to put out the blaze I started

and yet, I only know the cool of wet and stone.

I think of the soft, round of my eggs,
sticky as creamy mistletoe berries and,
what if I could change my skin,
regenerate the broken parts
so that when, scales falling away,
I can reveal the white dove of my virtue,
and how then, maybe then,

you might again see the truth of me.

-Rachel Deering

The House Lizard Heralds

The house lizard huffs a message
night decrypts. I can see the town light
blink through the susurration in the wind.

Mother taught me – ‘Lizard, lizard, tell
with the bend of your tail
which choice I should avail.’

I whisper, “I cannot read you.”
A whispering here makes a thunder somewhere.
It must be a theorem in another’s name.

The house lizard disappears when I stare
again at the wall in need of a fresh coat of paint.
Its tail captures a quivering on the floor below.

There goes my choice. I stare at the wall some more.
Then into the window next to it. The town blinks.
Night works on bringing up an answer for a dream.

-Kushal Poddar

Frog 1Frog 3

Two Frog photos by Rachael Ikins

Frog Song

The tree frog trills
and no one else
is here listening,
ergo, no one else
hears it, ergo, it’s calling
to me alone, a moment
of private communion,
ergo, nothing more
or less than simple
presence alone together.

-Gregory Luce

-sbm

The Frog below is an artwork by Rachael Ikins. She says of it “This frog was done with inks in the pointillist method on a watercolor background. His name is “Pride”. He is available for adoption.”

A Frog Named Pride by Rachael IkinsA Fog Named Fritzi by Rachael Ikins

-Rachael Ikins  She says of this artwork: “This tree frog in watercolor pencil was on a magazine cover. The title is “Fritzi”. He also won a People’s Choice award. He is also an illustration in my fantasy novel, “Totems” currently available from me and LogCabinBooks.com

Another Frog

-Rachael Ikins says of her artwork ““Through a Glass Darkly” treefrog on one side, hand inside.”

A Fable for Our Times

There once was a warlock who lived in a city teeming with life and pollutions of air and water,
at famine’s edge.

He spied a frog in a ditch one day, scooped it into his bag.
Back home, a hovelish sort of place,
he placed the frog in a pot of water.
Though chemicals stewed, enough clean water endured to succor the frog. When the frog sang, Warlock felt sure it sang his name.

One night when the frog’s attention faded to sleep, the warlock lifted the pot to the stove and lit a fire beneath it. After awhile
Frog said, “Sir, this water is awfully warm.”
“No it isn’t,” replied Warlock into his ratty beard speckled with crumbs of countless meals. “Its the coldest water on the planet.”
The frog thought about jumping out.
Water lipped the pot’s edge. One thrust of powerful hind legs and he’d be free.

Warlock sounded so reassuring.
Frog soaked in the pot of water. He wanted to believe.

Little bubbles ticked against the sides of the pot. Frog’s skin grew tight and painful. Still, he listened to Warlock and floated
until the water
boiled.

Warlock snickered as he watched the fire beneath the pot fade to embers.
“Stupid frog! All frogs are stupid!!” he muttered as he tossed the pot into a nearby dumpster.

He grabbed his ax and his bag and left the city on winding highways until he found a patch of forest. Trees hissed at the sight of his blade. It gleamed, a wicked moon.

Warlock’s boots stomped stirring leaf mast from summers past. Trees retracted their branches stuck, rooted where they stood, chemical protections against insects, useless. His hand on bark made small things crawl away.

“Its alright,” he murmured to trembly trunks. “Fear not.” He held out his ax with both hands. Dirt- crusted fingernails stroked the oak handle. “For by this handle, my tool is your relation. We are all family.
The best family in the world.” Some wanted to believe.

Some trees fell for it,
that blade slashed
down and
down and

Branches chopped. Small nests destroyed, wood stuffed into his bag. Then, he sat on a stump to light a cigarette, toked twice and threw the smoldering stub into the brush. Yanked his smudged red hat low over his brow. “Trees are stupid!” He howled. “Stupid!”

Smoke billowed, trailed his vehicle
as he drove off
in search
of more
frogs.
-Rachael Ikins

gecko by Stuart Buck

-Stuart Buck (Published in his first collection. “Casually Discussing The Infinite”

Revival By Marc Woodward

-Marc Woodward from his collection “Hide Songs”

Prehistoric Poem By Neal ZetterLoch Ness Monster By Neal Zetter

-Neal Zetter

I Don’t Like Ssssssnakes

The way they feel, the way they bite

The way they curl up very tight

The way they slither ‘cross the ground

The way they slide without a sound

I don’t… Like… Ssssssnakes

The way their tongues are shaped like forks

The way they never smile or talk

The way they have no hair at all

The way they cannot kick a ball

I don’t… Like… Ssssssnakes

The way they’re still until they strike

The way they’re rubbish riding bikes

The way there’s poison in their fangs

The way they hang about in gangs

I don’t… Like… Ssssssnakes

The way they shed their scaly skins

The way they look so long and thin

The way they hide inside your bed

The way they might prefer you dead

I don’t… Like… Ssssssnakes

Cobra, rattlesnake or adder

Grass snake, python or black mamba

Boa constrictor or sidewinder

Anaconda or pit viper…

I don’t… Like… Sssssssssssssnakesssssssssssss!

-Neal Zetter

The Snake Hotel by Brian Moses

-Brian Moses

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