Cicadas

Summer seems within reach, so I can’t resist a selection from the summer archives.

Cicadas

Their last earthbound form clings
hollow gargoyle relic of claw and eye
split with surgical precision to release
the winged adult.

If I held one of these amber
husks to my ear, would a dusty
song of waning summer pulse
like the tide in a scrolled shell?

15 thoughts on “Cicadas

  1. Vicki February 25, 2012 / 7:42 PM

    I have never seen one, how big are they?

    • Rae Spencer February 25, 2012 / 8:01 PM

      The ones I’ve seen have been an inch or two in the body, with longer wings. I didn’t have much luck finding them until a few summers ago, and I’m still not great at spotting them. And I’ve never found one in the process of shedding its skin, which has become almost an obsession for me. Maybe this summer!

  2. withoutaudacity February 25, 2012 / 10:28 PM

    When living in Ann Arbor, we witnessed the 17-year cicadas in 2005. This particular group won’t be seen as adults again until 2022.

    • Rae Spencer February 25, 2012 / 11:04 PM

      I’m pretty sure that all of the ones I’ve seen are annual cicadas. We have them in the yard every year, but never a true swarm. Just three or four at a time. I’m kind of jealous, when I hear about the periodic emergences. It must be an amazing sight!

  3. Spiral Dreamer (Francis) February 25, 2012 / 10:34 PM

    Beautiful pictures of the cicadas, I still have to see one when I have the camera handy. 🙂

    • Rae Spencer February 25, 2012 / 11:11 PM

      Thank you! (I honestly believe these photos are mostly a product of luck…)

  4. Betty Hayes Albright February 26, 2012 / 5:01 PM

    Great photos! (I’ve never seen or heard a cicada before). And the poem is excellent!

    • Rae Spencer February 26, 2012 / 5:34 PM

      Never heard one! Now I’m adding “cicada video, including sound” to my summer wish list…

      In the meantime, this YouTube video is pretty awesome:

  5. Jeanette Gallagher February 27, 2012 / 1:22 PM

    You are “pretty awesome!” The poem fantastic and the pictures so beautiful! I highly doubt luck has anything to do with either…

    • Rae Spencer February 27, 2012 / 1:30 PM

      Thank you! 🙂

  6. Jeanette Gallagher February 27, 2012 / 1:23 PM

    Forgot to mention the great video! Enjoyed so much. Thanks!

  7. bardessdmdenton February 27, 2012 / 3:32 PM

    Heard in late summer but rarely seen!

    Wonderful photographs and the poem is uniquely descriptive…I especially love the last stanza!

  8. eric shackle February 29, 2012 / 10:50 PM

    I love your poem.

    Perhaps you would like to read a story I’ve just written about cicadas in my blog:
    Nimblenoms.blogspot.com

    Best wishes, Eric Shackle (retired Sydney journalist).

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