I am a retired business-to-business PR and publishing professional residing in northern New Jersey with my wife and son and a shrinking menagerie of merry pets. I began writing poetry (not very well) 100 years ago as an undergraduate at Georgetown University, where I earned bachelor's and master's degrees in English Literature. My poems have appeared recently in Contemporary American Voices (I was the Featured Poet in the January 2015 issue), the Wilderness House Literary Review, Blue Monday Review, and Atavic Poetry. In 2013, I celebrated (mostly by smiling a lot) the publication of my first poetry chapbook, What Comes Next, by Finishing Line Press. A lifelong Giants fan (New York and San Francisco), I still can't believe I lived long enough to see them win three World Series in five years. If you'd like to see more of my work, please click on http://www.whlreview.com/no-9.4/poetry/JamesKeane.pdf.
Killing A Frog
Killing a frog
is easier than you think,
especially a baby one that can't hop
and doesn't blink,
picking gently among the wetted rocks
not to swim
to drink, perhaps to play
within the confines of a shallow brook,
with curiosity but nothing like fear
A stone thrown here,
a stone thrown there
and still the baby one doesn't jump,
doesn’t scare, though he does
stare ahead (in growing dread?) until
finally a direct hit shatters his head.
No scaring needed now,
no caring no how, just
staring into emptiness as
the baby one dies,
Another hit, and now his baby brain lies,
a pale green wafer, on the stone terrain.
I was there. I wanted to be.
I was not the only one.
But all I did was watch the killing done, though
I may have thrown a tiny little pebble, just one.
But I know I never hit him, I didn't, I swear
(as if anything killed would care).
If anyone older had happened upon us then,
they wouldn't have approved, but they wouldn't
have made a fuss; or maybe, to sound
serious, just a bit of
For, after all,
we were only
The thing is,
of distance, age and time,
none for long has been my friend, none
has passed over the memory of this crime
to away and gone
to a merciful end. Never
ever for the unwitting stranger
to danger, to courage,
to caring, who couldn’t stop
a simple horror, but won’t
at the baby one
trying no longer to be a frog,
at the unfeeling fingers of
growing children, though
graced with the empty love
of Almighty God, from Whom
all blessings, brooks
and dead frogs flow.
-originally published in the Plum Ruby Review
©2016 James Keane