Thursday, August 15, 2019

Cicada

A cicada is a simple thing.
Given the power of speech, it would say,
"I am respectable;
I have worked years for this."

The tree upon whose branch the cicada clings
has stood on the same ground for decades,
but is not unchanging.
"As with me," the cicada would opine.
"I am a miracle of industry,
creativity
and purpose."

On the August breeze, birds float like daydreams,
their songs summer scarves folded on a table by a vase of cut flowers.

A cicada has shed its empty brown skin.
It would tell us, "I have left myself behind on a journey to myself.
Admire me,
collect the lessons I give,
strong, solid and marvelous."

On the August breeze, birds float like daydreams,
their songs summer scarves in myriad tones of impossible variety.

Then, the cicada,
droning its unmusical single note,
proud,
stupid,
insistent that its noise and buzz is all there is
because that is all it hears or can imagine.
______

for Wednesday Muse "Cicadas!"




12 comments:

Sherry Blue Sky said...

I love "I have left myself behind on a journey to myself". Which is, itself, part of the journey. Wonderfully done. The cicada has never felt so important. He is preening at being finally acknowledged. Smiles. I love his song, at nightfall.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

The August refrain is rather spectacular!

Cloudia said...

Mmmm! You will remind me of their miracle and character

Cloudia said...

Well remind

tonispencer said...

The birds...oh my such incredible lines in this. You write about cicadas as if you are one or at least, BFFs with one. the sound of a cicada is to me the sound of summer nights, of fading summer days. You have captured all of that so well.

C. Sandlin said...

The drone of respectability...poor cicada, cracking into the same skin. :)

purplepeninportland.com said...


On the August breeze, birds float like daydreams,
their songs summer scarves folded on a table by a vase of cut flowers.”

What beautiful description!

Eddie Bluelights said...

You have captured the miracle of them beautifully and punctated micely by Mary Hopkin . .:)

Margaret said...

..summer scarves - gorgeous. And "its noise and buzz all there is" ha... and the fact that the one who is tone-deaf never realizes how badly they sing - and always seems to be the loudest!

Sioux Roslawski said...

The "float like daydreams" and the "summer scarves" line are among my favorites.

What a perfect poem as summer (hopefully) starts its exit...

hedgewitch said...

Way too many cicadas out there--as I recall they are related to locusts, and so, even one can be a plague, yes? I love the contrast you draw of true singing and freedom in the floating and effortless birds (as always, your birds are full of power, mystery and other-wordliness, as well as being simple creatures of feather and bone.) This is a pocket masterpiece, Shay, far greater music than its subject could ever produce a la the last stanza. Fine writing.

Carrie Van Horn said...

This is amazing Shay! I feel as if I have seen a view through the cicada's eye in some ways. The summer scarves metaphor is brilliant!