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Per Diem Archive: L. Weir July 2018, Herpetofauna

Per Diem Archive: Linda Weir, July 2018, Herpetofauna

The English Oxford Living Dictionary online defines herpetofauna as the reptiles and amphibians of a particular region, habitat, or geological period. It further explains the origin as from the Greek word herpeton or ‘creeping thing.’ This haiku collection celebrates these creeping things and features poems about reptiles (turtles, lizards, snakes, crocodiles and such) and amphibians (frogs, toads, and salamanders).  While these animals are often overlooked as mere creeping things, haiku poets since the beginning of this art have written about these creatures.  Herpetofauna feature in one of the most famous of all haiku, Basho’s:

The old pond;
A frog jumps in —
The sound of the water.
(translator R.H. Blyth)

In this Per Diem series, I hope readers will enjoy this collection of modern day haiku featuring amphibians and reptiles.  And I hope it will inspire more poets to appreciate and write about these special creeping things that share the world with us.

Author: Polona Oblak
heat shimmers
the flicker
of a lizard's tongue
Author: Sandi Pray
until my shadow log full of turtles
Author: Ruth M. Yarrow
sea turtle
her silence enters
the surf’s roar
Author: Jeff Hoagland
salamander rain
Author: Bob Lucky
a squiggle of skinks up the wall sunrise
Author: Cynthia Rowe
crocodiles circling
the tourist boat
Author: Jay Friedenberg
one small life
the ballistic arc
of a frog’s leap
Author: Quendryth Young
a snake ...
my adrenaline
Author: June Rose Dowis
mood ring
a lizard eases from
green to brown
Author: Scott Mason
spring peeper
all that remains 
of yesterday’s thunder
Author: Lorin Ford
snake country the length of the shortcut
Author: Elizabeth Howard
dead wood
tiny copperheads
coil in the sunshine
Author: Peter Newton
first turtle
something in me
Author: Wally Swist
crossing paths - 
a snake’s stripes flicker
in the forest litter
Author: Michele L. Harvey
early spring 
not enough sun
to move the snake
Author: Lorin Ford
harvest moon
cane toads crowding
the dog’s bowl
Author: Cynthia Rowe
rainforest track
the liana becomes
a tree python
Author: John Wisdom
moonless night ...
only alligator eyes along
the marsh
Author: Jennifer Cope
summer solstice
a garter snake’s tongue
tastes the air
Author: Julie Bloss Kelsey
cloudburst —
the sliding glass door
awash with treefrogs
Author: Fred Andrle
little snake
the roadway claimed 
golden flies attending
Author: Lavana Kray
water on the moon —
frogs spreading 
the news
Author: David J. Kelly
flash flood
the leopard tortoise
turns turtle
Author: Rosie Roumeliotis
summer haze
stirring the grass
a snake’s parting hiss
Author: Simon Hanson
with each call
faint ripples
surround the frog
Author: Lynn Edge
murky pond
an almost frog comes up
for air
Author: Ruth Holzer
end of March
the sleepy wood frog
lets me hold her
Author: Garry Eaton
spring runoff
just enough pond
to catch a frog
Author: Tony Bailie
in sun-dried pond —
speckles mud
Author: Hannah Mahoney
still water
the thrum of a bullfrog
the thrum of a bigger one
Author: Kirsten Cliff Elliot
merging with 
this orange sunset
frog song
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