I huff puffed up the newly treeless hill
Unthinking of the change from verdant lush
To parched hardscrabble. Bailiff ants remove
Last remnants of the old guard’s ferny home.
My terrace has a clear-felled view of coast
And distant alloy glints as planes approach
The brand new airport. I go in to shower
My glareworn eyes look forward to cool gloom.
Thank God! No passer heard the cry I made
To find those dispossessed of damp and shade.
Frogs. Everywhere. They stare up from the floor
And quiver on the soap-slimed window sill.
Atop the pulpit of a bulkhead light
One, clerically plump, awaits his cue
To sermonise or leap upon my back.
I am no milksop and do not object
To wildlife in the home up to a point
But unmanned by this froggy superflux
And loathe to broadcast funk by asking help
I spawn a scheme to let me bathe alone.
Push in a lit a mosquito coil and they
Will sniff those toxic fumes and hop away.
I whiled away about a quarter hour
Then peered inside and saw a ghastly sight
For like their clichéd cousins saucepan-bound
The frogs had stayed until too ill to move.
Diseaséd yellow skin once vibrant green
Reflected far too well my soul’s true shade.
I grabbed the showerhead, hosed my victims down
Till they croaked gratitude quite undeserved.
Some squalls blew in and island-wide work paused
Soon to resume, to clear, inexorably.
A new world heralded by chainsaws’ buzz
Truncating life for frogs and all of us.