They are so loud this time of year, these cicadas (or semi/蝉). This morning their sounds filled the woods behind my house.   So, I lingered a bit and listened.  I couldn’t see them, but I could definitely hear them. This time of year I like to look for their shells, but haven’t found any as yet.

“Wiki” says the male insects have timbals, loud noisemakers that make a clicking sound.

According to Merrily Baird, the cicada is a symbol of prosperity and fecundity in China. In Japan, they signal summer. Their shells have come to reflect the fragility and shortness of life in Buddhism.

For me, they are one of the many enjoyable aspects of summer.  I look forward to their sounds in the summer heat. Last night, I could even hear them droning as the priest presided over the televised burial service in Arlington Cemetery.

やがて 死ぬ / Yagate shinu / Soon to die
けしきは 見えず / Keshiki wa miezu / But not knowing it
蝉の声。/ Semi no koe. / The cicadas sing (or the sound or voice of the cicada).
芭蕉 (Bashō)


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