The Frogsongs

Poems by David Rolfe

These poems  were written over a period of years many years ago. They a placed here for your enjoyment.  If you copy them to other places I would appreciate your keeping the attribution.


Listen to me, ancient goddess,
mother of my mother's mother.
Help me walk into the winter.
Help me see the sun drenched autumn.
Help me smell the leaves now falling.
Take me into winter's darkness.
Take me deep into its foldings.

Teach me how to hear the howl
of the wind across the snow.
Teach me how to see the starlight
shinning in the frozen ice.
Teach me all the songs of yearning.
Teach me how to dance with stones.
Teach me how to live in darkness.
And teach me how to die alone.

All these things
you must teach me
so that I will remember
all the songs of coming winter
in the glow of autumns light.


Black the bark is against the white sky
Branching out and branching
Until the branches web darkly.

The tree stands as it has stood
Down all the winter days
White and black and wet.

Singing with the winter wind
Moving, Dancing, in the light
Let me smell your bark
Crumble damply in my fingers.
The wind blows the song between the branches and
Among ourselves.


A summer breeze lifts
Gently, soft curtains hung
Moving almost noiselessly
The lights and shadows lying on the floor.

The breeze brings scents of summer
And summer memories unlocked
Come in with it
To steal a tear from me.
I'm captured unawares.

It does not matter much
What long ago this is
But it is sweet.

So come again 
And move these curtains
In the summer light
And move again my musings
From their accustomed haunts
To dwell on long ago.


Open up your eyes at dawn
Hear rumors of rivers
and birds
and wind
their songs, all of them.

Taste this good banquet
fruit and fish and meat
fresh and savory, full of life.

Feel a lover's touch
In the warm rains of summer
In the storms of winter
In the breezes of spring
In all that draws so
across your skin

Dance and sing and laugh and live
And live!
And live!

This joy
It is the music and the motion
It is the laughter
It is the sky
the lake
It is all and all
swirling in a divine estasty
of sense and god.

The echoes of this joy
pass down and down and
through and back out
past my lips and eyes
It is the best. 
There are no boundaries
I am bursting
and opening


It is a heavy clanking
That I hear.
A dread heavy chain.
Links striking soulless rhythm
Clanking. Clanking. Clanking.

Is this some ghost
Come to bother me?
To fill me up with fear?
Nay, it is much worse.
It is no ghost
Whose chain I hear.
The chain belongs to me.

What bargains have I made
That turn to links of steel?
To bind me up
And weigh me down
That pinch my flesh
And clank and clank and clank.

Beauty mocks my chains
And freedom leers.
It torments me
I can not fly
I seek the darkness
And small places.
Not breathing
Clank. Clank. Clank.

Beach Cloth

Skin salty cool in summer sun
at the end of day
Luxuriates a cotton weave
hung curtained on
tight skinned thighs and calfs
in colors reddened
by ten thousand sun jewels
of sea waves weaving
other fabrics in the airy light.

The skin of arm and shoulders
slides beneath this cotton touch
of dark red now made darker
in the last sea drop
soaked up from heart's finest pore.

All that glorious boundary
between self and world
sings to feel the fabric's touch
At the end of summer's day

I have come before

Have I come before
to see the light this way?
So late and low
streaming in
across the hay fields
lighting up the dusty haze.

To feel all the heat
come out of everything
to stream to stars unseen
behind the blue green sky.

To smell the summer scents
baked out of fields
flowers and
trees and
water and

To hear the day end song
of meadow larks.

It soaks in
so deep
the resonance finds me
for myself.

For I have come before
to such times and places
My blood remembers it.
I do not think of it
But I do attend to it.