A Pond in the Spring by R. Hay
A pond in the Spring is a mighty fine place,
As Nature gets moving at her frenzied pace.
The frogs and the toads and the other fine creatures,
Will even work evenings to display their best features
“Sssh! Quiet!” Said the old frog in the pond.
There’s a stranger about. Don’t utter a sound.
Pay close attention if under cover I dive.
Follow my lead and you’ll learn to survive.
All over the pond, the message became clear,
The frogs had signalled. A stranger was near.
Where once there was chirping and noise all around,
Only the foolish now uttered a sound.
The stranger drew close and the pond turned serene.
Even the young ones tried not to be seen.
It was the stranger they knew from past visits each day,
As he gazed over the pond each morning the same way.
He was the owner some said, of the land and the pond,
And he returned each morning to remember a bond.
A bond which he had had a long time ago,
When time was his friend,
And through fields with his father he’d go.
“How long will he stay?” said the young frog very low,
I’m growing impatient. I want to get up and go.
I have things to get done in my own special way
And I’ll accomplish very little if he stays here all day.
The old frog didn’t reply, yet his message was clear
Such patience was needed when the stranger was near.
So, all over the pond, the scene was the same.
As old frogs taught young frogs the rules of the game.
“Sssh! Quiet!” There’s a stranger about. Don’t utter a sound.
About the images: These photos were taken in and around the marshlands located behind the NORTEL NETWORKS research facility in Nepean, Ontario. Nortel is in the news again these days as the behemouths of the technology world pick over the remains of what was once the heart of Ottawa’s high tech industry. As I wandered the trails, that I had often wandered before, I wondered to myself, what changes would there be in the future make-up of the companies occupying the buildings. Whose name would eventually replace Nortel’s at the top of the sign board? What lay ahead for the trails and the public access to the trails? Deep thoughts for certain. Meanwhile, all around me, the frogs that had fallen silent a few moments earlier were beginning to chirp again.
About the poem: I wrote this bit of rhyming while studying Organizational Behaviour as part of my MBA studies at the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Management in the late 1980’s (now the “Asper School of Business”). At the time, a new Dean had been appointed and he was from the “outside” and not from “academia”. This had led to classroom discussion (especially in Org. B. classes), as well as water fountain discussion, and there was a general level of apprehension among faculty members. It was the first day that the new Dean was on site. I was sitting near the top of the stairs when the new Dean came up the stairs. All morning, faculty members, who would normally be seen in the hallways from time to time, were holed up in their offices. Now, as the new Dean reached the top of the stairs, even the students, who were studying and discussing papers, etc., were amazingly quiet. Silence had moved like a ripple across the space. You could have heard a pin drop. Not long after, my poem – A Pond in the Spring! – had been penned. It reflected not only my experience in nature, but also my organizational behaviour observations within the walls of higher learning during that period of change. – Ron