Aphelion Issue 290, Volume 27
December 2023 / January 2024
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Universal Toads

by J. Davidson Hero


The stellar-toad
lives in the heart of a star
and within it lies the radiative spark of divinity
it feeds on the ephemeral luminous starfly
the spiritual analogy of the Lampyridae
the flies are attracted by its helium breath
or the passion of its heated convection
at any time four at cardinal points
can be seen as the toad floats
in introspection

its spotty limbs
its globule eyes
its salientian tongue frictionless
all the angles of its solar geometry
belie its perfect ugliness
perfect of sight
in a vacuum of light
to be is its only objective
it perfectly eats
but also excretes
all that it deems is defective
the pure bassoon of its poem
intones the cosmic Om


The slag-toad
lives in a pit of cold cinders:
it is a mockery
a caricature
a shadow
a reduction
long ago it was sloughed off
like loose skin and fell into the world
it remembers little
and none of it accurately
its cankered tongue sticks to everything
and it tries crusted rocks, rotted sticks, stinking roots,
settling finally on many segmented worms and grubs
white for lack of light
only its reedy bass riff resounds the stars

© 2008 J. Davidson Hero

J. Davidson Hero is a bibliophile, a hacker, an award-winning indie film maker, a husband, and a father.

Find more by J. Davidson Hero in the Author Index.

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