Spring happens, despite.
Unable to change whole world,
ponder one flower.
Beyond the thump of war drums,
doves of peace sing their hearts out.
Oodles of water
chucked from grey into gulleys,
it rains frogs and toads.
The homeless warty man croaks,
if only it would rain coins.
- (Top) The Common Frog (Rana temporaria)
- (Bottom) The Common Toad (Bufo bufo)
Identifying Frogs and Toads
- Both types of amphibians belong to the order Anura.
- Generally, frogs have long legs and smooth skin covered in mucus, while toads have short thick legs and rough thick skin, often covered in warts. However, there are a few frogs with warts, and toads with smooth, moist, slimy-looking skin.
- The hind legs of frogs are more powerful than those of toads. Frogs take long high jumps, while toads run or take short hops.
- Frogs have narrower bodies than toads.
- Frogs have higher, rounder, more bulging eyes than toads.
- Frogs lay their eggs in clusters and toads lay their eggs in long strands.
- Frogs need to live near water to survive but toads do not.
- Frogs have loads of predators but toads have few predators due to their bitter taste and smell.
- Frog and toad tadpoles are equally vulnerable to predators.
- Neither frogs nor toads will give you warts, despite the old wives’ tale to the contrary.
Facts about Homelessness (according to the UK charity Shelter)
- 300,000 (1 in 20) people in the UK are officially recorded as homeless or in inadequate accommodation.
- 281,000 people are in temporary accommodation.
- 21,000 people are in single homeless hostels and social services accommodation.
- 4,500 people are sleeping rough.
Sun cuts low through trees,
Squirrels burrow under roots,
People chase daylight.
Winter solstice then Christmas
Hibernation ~ if only ~
~National Grid alert~
Christmas stomping on the world:
an unwanted gift
their electricity bill
our indefinite future
Once crowned with a star,
it glittered in the firelight.
Last year’s Christmas tree
dumped, forgotten and homeless,
its chocolate coins melted.
Besieged on all sides,
chimneys whistle, timbers creak–
Beyond, in cardboard city,
lie papier-mâché homes.