Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Happy Birthday, Johno! Peeper sounds abound in April

It's the birthday of my brother John, so here's a shout out to him: Happy Birthday, Johno!

I've always thought of April 7th as lucky, marked by his birth in Albert Lea, Minnesota, early in the morning on a spring day, back when I was 7 years old.

April is National Frog Month, and so I went in search of some images for John, whose daughters are fond of frogs and toads. The Smithsonian website has a good collection of amphibians.

A number of facebook friends posted this collective poem. One comment read: "Somewhere I have a haiku about daffodils as the sound of peepers made visible."

I'm lifting their words for a first blog publication, crediting the authors below. A little gift for my bro, musician with a keen ear for natural sounds and peeper songs. Thank you, facebook friends... And hey, poets: weigh in and tell us just how you wrote this poem!

The peeper frogs of April nights
sound like Spring.
They sound
the way the tiny
fat buds on the tree branches look,
and the way the first whiff of thawing grass
smells and like a friendly
alarm clock for your sense of possibility
after the long huddle of winter. I love peepers.

I would wear one as a brooch
if I could.

They sound like
Nothing else.

Music to my ears!
I always wave wildly to them
but I can never tell if they wave
back. So tiny.

Like the stars whistling for the comets
to come home. Like tulip tree fingers
ttrumming harp strings of rain.

Brooch indeed!
Hat brims of peeper songs
spilling over in the dark.

by Julia Dadds, Chuck Rogers, Carolyn VanderWiele, Nell Weatherwax, Melodie Hudson, Lisa Wheeler-Lovell, Diane Kondrat


Joyce said...

Now John will have to compose a work that features a peeper chorus! Happy Birthday, JohnO!

john k said...

Ellen, thank you. It is good to know that the phibs are honored in April. A big part of my brain is amphibian. And a shout out to all my peeps!

Julia said...

The peeper poets simply responded to my FB post celebrating the songs ending with "they sound like...?" Everyone chimed in (like peepers!) with their own unique sense of peepers. I simply poem-i-fied the responses and melded in my own....They are exactly in the order they 'arrived." The whole process gladdened my heart!

elena said...

Thanks, Julia: a wonderful peeper chorus!

elena said...

Reading the poem again...I can hear Malcolm Dalglish and the Ooolitics doing something amazing with their voices with this. Brooch indeed!