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Thursday, 15 August 2019

A MYRIAD OF CICADAS


The Wednesday Muse

Hosted by Toni at Kanzensakura


Thank you Toni for this most interesting of prompts.
Until yesterday I did not know what a Cicadas is and I duly researched them on the net. There are 3000 different species, their life cycles are by no means the same. One particular species struck me, having a life cycle of 17 years, there is another of 13 years, but some are annual, and others biannual. I hope the accompanying video is playable all round the world because it is fascinating.



But first to the writing.


A MYRIAD OF CICADAS


They come in legions at their appointed hour,
Multitudes, multitudes like grains of sand upon the shore.
They emerge from the darkness of the earth by night, in unison, 
As if commanded by the grand master of their universe.
Legions, thousands, multitudes, numbering like the stars in the heavens,
All marching into the light of day,
All with the same endeavour after their enforced imprisonment.
Seventeen years, deep beneath the ground as nymphs of the night.
Solitary, root sucking, waiting as if forever for their call. 
They hear it and respond as one for their goal, a festival of life,
A vast orgy of the skies, they move ever forward for that reward.
They are greeted by hungry, cruel mouths, awaiting their feast of plenty, the like their eyes have always been denied.
And still they come, replaced by more and ever more fat grubby nymphs, for that great encounter.
They climb into the trees, high, and ever higher and pause to find a friendly leaf.
They rest and cling to that leaf and by daybreak cast off that hideous outer shell, still clinging,
To emerge as beautiful winged creatures of delight, 
The female waits for loud calls to mate, and she has her pick from males of plenty.
Again, but now as wnged creatures, they are but fodder to cruel and hungry mouths, 
Yet these mouths are silenced as all are gorged and full in plenty.
Still more replace them as they find a partner, if for just for one brief treasured moment in time.
Their love affair is but fleeting and their job is done.
Eggs are laid and when hatched migrate to safety into the ground,
And their parents wilt, wither and die, such was their lifelong task.
The hungry predators will never feast again like this,
For this mass emergence will be denied to the forest for yet another seventeen years.







* * * * * * * * * * 

Not a poem as such because I wanted to convey a lot of information.

Gosh 17 years of solitude, then when a chance of some fun comes along, you die before you get an encore.
Makes you wonder if it is all worth it . . lol



To reach The Wednesday Muse press HERE.

22 comments:

  1. For me, cicadas and the occasional passing prop plane were the very sounds of summer. To this day, they make me think so vividly of summer afternoons when I was a child. It's hard for me to imagine not knowing about them, but if they aren't where you are, then of course you wouldn't! Eddie, I really loved the video--thanks for adding that!

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    1. Thank you, Shay, and I can understand how this triggers childhood memories. Just confirmed we do not have any in England or UK. There was a recorded cicadas song 15 years ago but since then nothing. I doubt whether this was the 17 year cycle variety. But we are still looking. Glad the video works over there and you enjoyed it.

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  2. Hi Eddie - well it gives the effect you wanted the post to ... they are amazing critters - and how, why exactly I guess we'll never know ... well done - I sure hope lots of people read it, and then tell their grandchildren et al about it ... brilliant - cheers Hilary

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    1. Hi Hilary and many thanks. Shame we do not have them here. Not sure whether I like the nymphs much but love the adults.

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  3. I can't imagine not knowing about cicadas! They are to me, the sound of a hot summer night, the time of summer bleeding into the beginning of autumn. I liked the vid you provided! I too often wonder if the 1 time in seventeen years is worth it but it must be. I liked all the facts you gave in your poem.

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    1. Shame we dont have them, Toni. Fascinating creatures and I would love to hear them in full song. Perhaps it was worth it and maybe they died with a smile on their face . . lol

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  4. We don't get the mass waves, only the sound and the occasional empty carapace but this poem really brought the feeling of the swarm. :)

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    1. Thanks Chrissa, perhaps you have the annual or biannual variety. :)

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  5. Good thing they're not as tall as us manly humans lol

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    1. Sure is, but they were not in the mood for eating, other things were on their minds :)

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  6. "numbering like the stars in the heavens" a horror film if I ever heard of one! I'm off to shiver and shudder (and yes be amazed) as I watch the video. :)

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    1. Yes, quite amazing, in a way like a science fiction movie . . Thanks, Margaret . . . :)

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  7. It sounds both magnificent and truly sad at the same time. This was well done and I learned so much. Thanks for sharing your wealth of new knowledge with us Eddie!

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    1. Hi Carrie, Loved doing the research. Fortunately I found the video.
      Quite amazing really, isn't it? The lengths those poor cicadas have to go to. 17 years in prison for a couple of days out in the open.

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  8. We have lots of cicadas around here. They like to leave their skin in spots that I come in near contact with. This in turn makes me freak out. I feel they do this on purpose.

    Now, worse than a cicada is a cicada killer. I had one in my house once. It was the scariest moment of my life. All I remember is my daughter and I trembling in the closet. My at the time four year old said to me, wide eyed, "Mommy, I thought monsters weren't real?" All I could say was "I was wrong". :)

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    1. Gosh, Jax. The mind boggles at a cicada killer. Sounds like an Alfred Hitchcock movie. I must look it up.

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  9. I am going to admit, I am not a fan of cicadas. They give me the willies. Even just stumbling upon their molten skin is enough to make me turn around and head in the opposite direction. And the noise they make in the summer? I have to shut all of my windows just to sleep at night. Nope, not a fan. If you want them, I'd be more than happy to send any I find your way.

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    1. No, don't want them. Rather have our own butterflies and dragonflies. Just an interest in their life cycle, albeit a very creepy one. Nice to see you here, Theresa.

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  10. We lived in Illinois during a time when the cicadas came out. The noise through town was a constant hum, and our lawn and trees were covered with them. My daughter who was 13 was absolutely freaked out by them. One time she was brought home from a babysitting job, went to the back door and stood on the porch crying because the screen door was completely covered with them and she didn't want to touch the handle. The man who brought her home got out of the car and let her in. Then ten years later she was living in Tennessee when that crop of cicadas came out. She had to endure it all over again! Fortunately this time she was somewhat more mature and handled it better.

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    1. Gosh, Karen, that must have been awful for her, twice. Glad we don't have the here.

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