What the Cicadas Are Saying

There’s a method in the music, the buzz
Filling the trees, a sizzle, a scream
The clicking and the ringing of cicadas.

Where some leave off, others pick up
The cantos of love, a hum like a dream
That is all of summer and seventeen years:

“Here, here, I’m the one, I’m the best,
Here, here, I’m the one, forget the rest!”
It’s an old serenade, it does not let up,

It defends, drives off birds that come
To make an easy meal of them, it assails
Fox, wasp, raccoon, boy with butterfly net–

In the end, all the songs whirl into oblivion.
Their bodies wash into rain-gutter and trail
Dried up, cried-out shells of what they were.

Other singers rise in a coffee shop in town
Worn thin by years of blinding night labor
Soul-broken, lost, jubilant, newly in love

Sick of love, but madly in love with sound
Looking to bend an ear, the poets file in.
Autumn and an open mic are about to begin.

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Note: Depending on the species, cicadas live underground for 17 or 21 years. They emerge for one summer to mate. Males sing, females do not.
They listen & select the loudest singers.
This poem is a slight re-vision of the first in Jazz Cocktails & Soapbox Songs.

Have a Tao Day.

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