The Frogs Are Dropping Dead In Australia

Listen to a reading of this poem:

The frogs are dropping dead in Australia, and no one knows why.
They get sick from some strange new frog pandemic and change colors
and shrivel up into little brown frog mummies when they die.

The frogs are dropping dead in Australia.
Animals are dropping dead everywhere.
Ocean animals wash up packed full of plastic,
insect animals fall from the sky,
and we barely notice, because it hurts enough to be human,
because our tender little hearts were punched and kicked as children
by big people whose tender little hearts were punched and kicked as children,
and we’ve got bills to pay and hungry ghosts to feed,
and the supply chains are failing and the drums of war are beating louder and louder,
and we are falling face first into a global future of unimaginable divergence.

And what a shame it will be if this all slips away
without having been truly deeply appreciated
by the species whose brains allow a profound depth of appreciation.
And what a shame it will be if, at the very least,
we do not revel in this creation in what may be its final moments,
if we do not kiss this moment as it flies,
if we do not kiss the frogs and the butterflies and the leviathans as they pass us waving goodbye,
if we do not kiss the kick-in-the-teeth soul-reaming beauty of each fleeting instant,
if we do not fall in love with people and tell them so many times,
if we do not write poems and write songs and write on bathroom stalls and overpasses
expressing the glory and the holiness and the belovedness of this mysterymess,
if we do not feel every sacred strum of heartache,
if we do not live, emphatically live, explosively live
like the explosion our still-expanding universe has been undergoing for 14 billion years.
And what a shame it would be if we did not shout an exuberant yes to all of this,
even the weird parts,
even the awkward parts,
even the ugly parts,
even the scary parts,
while we still can,
before they are gone for good.

So here’s to you, Australian frogs.
Here’s to you, insects and sea monsters.
Here’s to the polar ice caps,
to the rainforests,
to breathable air,
to supply chains,
to YouTube videos and TikTok dances,
to arduous days and orgasmic nights,
to the ones who made our hearts soar and to the ones who broke them,
to the Casanovas and the comrades and the capitalists,
to the ancaps and the shitlibs and the tinfoil hatters,
to the psychopaths we’ve slept with and the ones who rule our world,
to all the dreams never realized and revolutions never fought,
I raise a glass to you, my angels.

The frogs are dropping dead in Australia, and no one knows why.
And I am just here, watching and waiting, like everyone else.
I raise the glass to my lips
and drink fermented juice
made by berries
fed by starlight
from the birth of our universe.

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I write about the end of illusions.