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shortlisted, Templar poetry pamphlet competition;

 published in Solitaire 2007 anthology, Templar Press


A Frog He Would


‘All I want is an omelette,’ my father used to say

while my mother was cooking a gourmet meal.

Psyllophryne didactyla, the world’s smallest frog

hides in debris on the forest floor in Brazil.

‘Nothing you do surprises me,’ my father said,

which is why I have never resisted a challenge.


I have crouched in cold rushing water

to catch the mating dance of a Hylodes asper

while his future mate hops onto my leg

as if it were a rock.  I saw them jump

into the water together, legs entwined,

to reach their particular heaven.


According to Aristophanes, frogs chorused like this:

Brekekekex koax koax.

Their mating songs specify what kind of animal

they are, what kind of mate they are seeking —

just like the personal ads.  Females prefer big strong males

and choose a bass rather than a tenor.


The male midwife toad attracts the females

so he can wear their strings of eggs like beads

in a rosary, around his thighs and heels.

Before my sister and I were born

our parents would punt on the Thames,

its soupy water running between my mother’s fingers.



Valerie Josephs


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 poetry favourites:
Coffee House Poetry
Poetry in the Crypt
Aldeburgh Poetry Festival
The Poem
Strix Varia

and in the shop ...
pocket pamphlet -
"Green Minx",
Lizard's Leg Press;

featured poet in anthology -
"Gobby Deegan's Riposte",
The Group with Donut Press


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