One of the features of Progressive Redneck Preacher is “Song of the South”. In it I share poems or songs borne out of southern culture and lifestyle. Sometimes they are other’s poems or songs, but often they are my own original poems or songs.
As I write, it is the beginning of cicada season here in Chapel Hill, NC. The cry of the cicada inspired me to write the poem below. I hope it inspires you. If you are not a child of the south, you may not be familiar with the cicada. Here is an article by National Geographic online on the cicada: http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/bugs/cicada/
And I’m not just whistling Dixie here.
Your progressive redneck preacher,
The Cry of the Cicada
Sure footed, eyes ahead, I move forward
shoes plodding onward across asphalt streets
my agenda for the day like shades
dimming my vision
blocking out un-necessary distractions
on the horizon of my mind
until I hear it.
Ebbing low, then high,
a quick rattling
like the pennies in a bottle
my wife used to train her service dog
to not be shaken by the bangs and pops of fireworks
Unceasing, it grows
its metallic voice a whine and squeel of pops
a sound like rain on a hot tin roof
steady pitter patter
turned explosion of sound
has me in its grip
so I am the sand slipping between your toes
ever moving, sliding as if if into endless oblivion of sea
yet solidly still underneath
Like a sudden burst of fire
it sets the tree beside me to shaking
rising til it reaches crescendo
then fading to silence
for a moment
then trees around me each burst out in rattling answer
with which you call me, no longer a whisper
hidden beneath the noise of my day
but a roar of carapace and wing
so, like Moses on the mountain,
I burn but am not consumed
“Take off your shoes,” the music whispers
“this is holy ground”.
And I do, knowing it always is.