Frog Variations 

A frog was killed,
the children made a circle and raised their
all together,
raised their lovely,
bloody hands,
the moon appeared,
on the hill stands a man.
Under his hat there’s a face.

                   -Sakutaro Hagiwara
                   [trans. Hiroaki Sato]


A frog was killed.
A python turns. It begins a figure
Now is tacit-
when itrecognized its’ shiny,
swelling belly,
the sun was just the branches.
“This marsh is protected for its waterfowl”
and everything has a name

as the cat that carried the road on its slender back.
The children made a circle and raised their
as if their hearts
were not their own,
as if the clocktower would also ring.
Grandmother sings for herself.
She hears her throat,





the fly in the butter,
spoons scraping residue from the rims of
         tea cups.
All together,
like nails - like acid
in the bitter,
wings in revolution-
returning home
where two lights hover on the hill,

there’s a bird waiting,
killing time with its eyes supporting
and then,
raised their lovely
iron red irises
salting the rain
When the train comes to this town,
the next town dies 

the trees will keep growing
holding cars sagging their pipes in
         open air.
Could they whistle?
         Broken congas holding
         bloodied hands?
No, just some wind,
some numb some mute rabbit
without a shadow




where the cricket, where the fish,
where some old figures played baccarat,
         that alley.
All at once,
in the street yellow
and the fluorescent white,
the moon appeared.
The sign that says
keep yourself away…

“That’s a painful mannequin.”
“No one’s going to buy that 
I’m passing
from a blissful silence
of faceless in the glass
overcast days.
On the hill stands a man.
Behind me, under him, is the last one. 

Where’s the blood? 
The hollow in that signpost over written
         by a spiral.
There bends
down the fence for you
with both its arms.
Snake returns to the grass.
He tells you that it’s too late.
Under his hat there’s a face.


Miles Forrester hails from Toronto Ontario. He completed his BFA at York University and is completing a MA at Concordia University. Recently, he has been annexing his home town of Belleville using a deltahedral map of his memories. He has been published in Acta Vicatoriana, and Concordia’s Headlight Anthology.