Silent at my door


Usually unseen
Today you present yourself
Silent at my door
Latticed wings—jade almond eyes—
Enchant—but where’s your sad song?


To read the companion poem to this tanka, click here.

Depth Charge:  A disembodied voice, someone you’ve only heard on the radio, talked to on the phone, or heard through thin apartment walls, suddenly takes corporeal form; it is always surprising.

Monday, as I extended my key toward the front door lock, I noticed a cicada clinging to the wall beside the doorbell. I carefully looked him over and then photographed him with my cellphone.  I went inside with my groceries and left him alone, but his presence was too strongly felt.

I thought, if he is going to die I might as well take him in and keep him, so I went downstairs and prodded him a bit. Then I gently plucked him off the wall. There was definitely some resistance.

Taking him upstairs I placed him on the beautiful orange notebook I had received as a Deathday gift and began to photograph him at various angles. I started to feel like a bit of a pervert, someone who had snatched a victim off the street and was now forcing the unlucky object of my interest to pose and perform.


The cicada seemed to rally and it buzzed its wings a few times, perhaps it was not as close to death as I had thought, so I placed him on the brick wall out back. He gladly fastened onto it.

I checked back every once and awhile. He stayed for about a half-an-hour, but at some point he flew away.

To see all writings about cicadas on this blog, click here.

To see all the tanka on this blog, click here.

A new chapbook, as close as the clouds by Andrew Grimes Griffin, is available for free reading online and/or download.

To read Songs about Sex, Death & Cicadas by Andrew Grimes Griffin, just click on the link. To download a pdf, right click on the link and select “Save link as…”


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