BY JAN HAAG

POETRY + ESSAYS + MUSIC + TRAVEL + FICTION + TEXTILE ART

INTRODUCTION + HAAG'S BIO





CICADA


The cicadas emerge upward, hideous, crawling,
underground
creatures, like sickness on a tree, moving
with their claws, pinching, clinging
to the bark. Ascending fence posts,
or any soft-barked, upright thing,
they wait as hump backed
shadows, silent so silent,
still, so still. Not
a sound,
not
the slightest sound as the brown shell-back
splits open, lets a new head, a second consciousness,
enlightenment emerge. Greyish, pale, the pupa quivers.
An infinity passes as, like a fiddlehead fern, a green delicacy
rises, a question mark from the slit in the mustard-brown, scaled
armor. Self will? Gravity reversed? Necessity? Gossamer, the color
of unripe apples, gathered stumps emerge, ferried on inevitability, the legs,
doubled, crossed in prayer on its corrugated chest. Still no sound. Only rising,
the question rising. Now the wings extended, stretch out, open down, slowly,
stately, trembling like the night-blooming cerius. The cicada stands hovering
upon it's first body's corpse, freed now from a house that seems too small,
too dense, ugly, restricted to have contained such wings, the awesome
potential for flight. It rests and rests, not a flutter, only the unfolding;
no movement, except a shimmer of retreat from my stroking. The wings
darken, a pattern of tan, brown, black, like the pottery of the Anasazi,
clarifies on its back. From green its stumps turn transparent, black
veins appear. The wings begin to stiffen -- they become filaments,
like the dragon fly's, with color only at the shoulder. How soon
will it fly? All night on my straw hat, it rests unmoving. Silent.
At dawn motionless. Through the morning unmoving. Then
I find it on the floor. Only at noon I think, "It needs a leaf,
to stand on, to nibble, to gather strength for its flight."
By its wings I place it outside my screen where
it clings. I bless it, blessed by witnessing
a transformation I can only long for.
No second body is vouchsafed me.
When I've done my practice
the cicada is gone. A hum
like electric impulses
buzzes through
the universe,
wrapping
Gaia
with
a

mesh of awareness







For Helen Hawley for a cicada body from Australia. For David Hannauer for a cicada, body and soul, from the Gila

Copyright © 2000 Jan Haag
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Jan Haag may be reached via e-mail: jhaag@u.washington.edu




OTHER POEMS ABOUT THE PEOPLE AND LANDSCAPE OF AMERICA

Arizona Desert

George Coluzzi

I Am Innuit

McDonald Observatory





BY JAN HAAG


POETRY + MUSIC + ESSAYS + TRAVEL + FICTION + TEXTILE ART

INTRODUCTION + HAAG'S BIO



21st CENTURY ART, C.E. - B.C., A Context