Things I Hear When Cicada-Tympana Thrum

July 28th, 2010 | Meera

A small, straight twig, held steady between the spokes of a rotating bicycle wheel as it speeds up, slows down, speeds up, slows down, falls still, and then is set to spinning again.

The last gasps of an aerosol can, shaken and sprayed by a determined hand, liquid and air shunted out together through a tiny hole in ragged, pulsating bursts until nothing more remains to be ejected.

A wind-up car that you turn with a key, released at its tautest on a table and allowed to travel as far as it will go, the key in its back clicking down in lengthening ticks its brief, meandering adventure.

The world’s most precise drummer gently sweeping a metal brush back and forth, back and forth, back and forth across his snare, in a lull between the blare of the saxophone and the whalesong of the bass. His hand moves so fast you can hardly believe it, a blur to look at; but he slows. He stops. Gives over his gentle solo.

A bullet-shaped UFO, lights wavering, hovering in the dead silence of the night—approaching its landing spot, cutting its engine, and gliding to rest before my disbelieving eyes.

Superstrings, vibrating with the precise harmonics required to create the fundamental material constituents of our universe and all that it contains.

Sand slipping through an hourglass, each grain squeaking against the sides of that narrow channel before falling, with the clink of a coin, into the bottom chamber.

A stream of water dripped onto a hot stove. Sizzling. Silence. Water into air.


5 Responses to “Things I Hear When Cicada-Tympana Thrum”

  1. Beautiful. Perfect. I’d give anything to be able to write like that. But the opportunity to read your work is the next best thing. Thank you.

  2. D.M. Solis says:

    Dear One,

    So glad I found this, and you. Peace and continued good writing for you. Sincerely,


  3. shoreacres says:

    Beautiful. Our heat and humidity have given the cicadas boundless encouragement, and they are in full throat.

    Cicada stalking is a worthy pursuit, as you obviously know.

    • Meera says:

      Thank you, fellow cicada-listeners. Hello especially to Diane and Linda. And Linda, my logs tell me you linked to this piece in a comment on a post on the Wunderground blog—I don’t think I have ever been mentioned in the context of meteorological discussion before. I like it.

  4. veena says: