On cicada wings

Cicada wing. Kristine Paulus. CC BY

A hymn, of sorts, on hearing one of my favorite sounds for the last time this year—it echoes from idyllic childhood summers and the country roads of my ancestral homeplace. A strangely sacred sound, it always lifts my spirits and aches in my soul at the same time.

High in the oaks

against the bluest of skies

the rattling swells

as its season dies.

An oxymoron

this buzzing call

from amid the leaves

soon to fall.

This song of my childhood

lingering still

in the last of the light

before the chill.

Full force, the cicada sings

—doesn’t it know?—

summer’s gone on the wings

of a song long ago.


12 thoughts on “On cicada wings

  1. We hear the cicadas loud and strong here, too. It is a jarring sound for me; your poem has given me a different perspective, tying it to the seasonal changes. I’ll listen to their song with a bit more thought the next time .

    Liked by 1 person

    • It IS a jarring sound! The emotional pull for me comes from lovely associations of childhood, summer, the countryside, grandparents, love, and belonging. This loud, discordant sound is the male mating call… it’s about life and generations. One by one the calls stop and there’s an inherent sadness in it for me, the waning of life with the summer, intermingled with memories of my golden days of childhood. There’s both comfort and loss in it for me. I love the sound.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. A beautiful poem. We have such loud cicada song that it’s hard not to notice, but somehow in the busyness of back to school and all, I’ve failed to notice the absence of it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Fran, your cicada song poem lulls me back into the memory of summer days as fall has turned a corner. I would love to showcase this in my Embraceable Summer Gallery that I am working on now. The poem’s descriptive language and rhythm work so well into transitioning us into a state of seasonal bliss.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’d like to keep the cicada’s song around for a WHILE longer so that summer stays around. I love the the rattling swells. Those aren’t words I would normally put together, but isn’t that what poets do? Beautiful, Fran!

    Liked by 1 person

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