Poems from Joseph Farley

The Toad In The Pool

that glares out through green
water, fetid as dreams
from youth grown stagnant
with the passing of time,
beckons with lips
longing for a kiss.

The body moves
if not the mind.
Or did the mind
leap first,
parting the surface
for limbs to follow?

There is a world
waiting below,
perhaps as in
fairy tales
there are giants
and gnomes
to see, small castles
and shepherds herding
sheep? Perhaps
the water is murky
with the blood
of Grendel? So much
to believe alive
in the dark,
cold water that waits,
a permanent baptism,
all sins washed clean
without any suds.

To go go diving for stars
in this night,
to greet the boatman
with stone sin my pocket,
to cast a body
like a coin
into the well…
Listen (don’t listen)
to the toad calling.

Joseph Farley edited Axe Factory for 24 years. His books include Suckers, For The Birds and Longing For The Mother Tongue.