Monday, August 5, 2013
The Cicada Killer and The Cicada (photo by Bill Buchanan, silver sculpture by Ruth Diamond-Guerin, drawing by Julia Guerin)
We saw the hill of sand by the sidewalk,
The first time in the 30 years we've owned
This house. In twenty minutes the killer
Landed twice, clutching a cicada, dragged the bulk
Underground. Her wings made a rasping sound.
I drowned her with a gallon of white vinegar.
I feel some guilt at the sand wasp's demise,
But love of purity allows no compromise.
The cicada's song is the sound of all yearning.
His hollow abdomen and drumhead tymbals
Expand and contract, reverberating like symbols
Whose meaning demands a lifetime of learning.
Listen. The song, breathless, aching, intensifies,
Irradiates, irradiates the air -- and then it dies.
With this, the 130th sonnet in the "Brushwork" sequence,
I'd like to recognize my best friend and editor, Michael Antman,
who has read, closely, and critiqued every single sonnet. I
appreciate his time, honesty, clear insights, and excellent advice,
which I've invariably taken.