The Evensong

Music is the noise I love most;
dance the action paired with it.
Through the ear – melodies and rhymes –
pulse thru channels to the heart.
Quickening in beat. Widening the chambers.
Stirring limbs to roll, tap, bounce and sway.

An ebbing tide slowly gives way,
revealing a temporal drift in
all created gifts. A transitory need
quickly filled… its flagging
strength lets go; and simply dies away.

September’s ubiquitous cicada
make this hour their own.
Grating out a shrill unvaried
Love song – appealing –
to, just, one, female.
Their tune – rising and falling –

The hour slogs on toward dusk.
As a limping breeze trips over the
notes of their rasping voices –
darkness puts an end to the recital.

Families retreat indoors with a hush,
and all around the neighbouring village,
a covering of quiet blankets all
eager for its nourishment.

The time of Vespers alights; roosting in solitude.

Like a teaspoon of sugar,
deeply recessed silence courses
through the veins, becoming grains
of coal that catch fire
and glow – to the beat of a
yearned for harmony…

A porch light flickers at the dark –
a single night cricket chirps in reply.

Guide for reading:
It is time set aside for evening prayer during the month of September. Summer has not yet ended and the heat causes the poet’s hyper-sensitivity to movement and sound. There is a seeking and a letting go that takes place as the poet negotiates with her interior and exterior environment.

In stanzas 3 and 4 the high-pitched noise of hundreds of cicada lend a strident tone to the atmosphere. Then finally like a roosting bird, stillness and quiet arrive and it is most welcome.

In stanza 7 the mixed imagery of sugar’s sweetness paired with burning coals suggests a longing for the sacred; there may even have been a sacred joining but the grace of the Evensong slips away; leaving only the chirping of a single cricket and a flickering porch light in the darkness.

Tibicien linnei (aka annual cicada) original photo by Bruce Marlin

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