Briefly, of golden toads and other things

25 04 2009

You sulphurous and thought-executing fires,
Vaunt-couriers to oak-cleaving thunderbolts,
Singe my white head!


or rather my other-colored head–for I am not going white just yet.

I can see two black and white cats walking through tall grass one just ahead and to the side of the other. They are not inherently evil–and are less verminous than are we, disgusting pollution spilling world exploiting primates that we are.

Ah…but not mykids…they are different.

Dost thou not know what thou saidst to me
Yesterday by the cool waters of the fountain?

This was and is the voice of the Frog Prince. Little toad, little frog. Disney’s long-overdue foray into the creation of an African-American Princess arises out of this fairy-tale. Undoubtedly it will be as sanitized as the rest. Her father will be jolly and she will not show the cruelty she shows in the tale.


Dost thou not know what thou saidst to me
Yesterday by the cool waters of the fountain?

No, actually I don’t, little toad. But I do know that you are gone gone gone away today. Little golden thing, little bo peep, creature of the earth.

In all accounts of you, little creature, they say the word was.


This is was the Golden toad of Costa Rica. Now extinct.

Like a painting we will be erased, no one can remain.

I’ve already written, already grieved, about the Golden toad (the G.W. Bush era essay is here: goldentoad). But for whatever reason I have been thinking about it again lately. It vanished just before I visited Costa Rica and I never met it. It is that feeling that I stepped into a space just vacated that haunts me.

Everywhere we move we are entering spaces just vacated–we are touching the dust of things gone before–consuming them even as we miss them and grieve for them.

nights exist, nightshade exists
the dark side, the cloak of namelessness exists

The toads and the cats–on other ends of some sort of spectrum–but I love them both. I cannot help but incorporate contradictions. I cannot but help it.

Oppressed nature sleeps.
This rest might yet have balmed thy broken senses,
Which, if convenience will not allow,
Stand in hard cure.
Come, help to bear thy master;
Thou must not stay behind.

quotes are by Shakespeare, Brother’s Grimm, Anne Carson, Inger Christensen, Shakespeare




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