August 5th, 2002

monkey pirate

(no subject)

[8/5/2002 7:10:04 PM | David Krieger]

Summer Anthem

Locusts are chirring in the trees outside. The sussuration of the locust is a late summer anthem - it's the song that says, "It's August! It's your birthday!"

When I was a kid at my grandparent's house summers were so full of empty. There was nothing to do, and a big woods full of pine trees to do it in. I would wander with friends, or more often, by myself. Especially in late summer, I'd come across the husks of locusts that they left behind when they molted, still stuck to the sides of trees. At first they were horrifying and scary - but later I thought they were fascinating. The skin would be tan and slightly translucent, and hunched over as if bearing a great weight on the shoulders. They were whole and still connected, but gossamer thin and very delicate. Trying to remove them from the trees to show them to my grandparents (or put them in my sisters' hair..) inevitably caused them to crumble to pieces and fall apart.

There are twelve year cycles of locusts. Once very twelfth year, they will emerge from a hibernation by the thousands, and the chirring will become a wild racket rather than a distant summer-song. The trees seem to be full of them, and there's noise everywhere as the excited parliament of locusts bickers back and forth.

This year isn't one of those twelve year cycles though - and so rather than a forum full of declaiming locusts, we just have lonely orators who have dragged out a soapbox scattered here and there throughout the trees.