Monday, July 13, 2009

The True Song of Southern Appalachia is the sound of Katydids in concert. They're back.

KATYDIDS

by Nancy Simpson

Nothing will shut them up.
Night cry on the mountain
and I am almost sorry
for what I did not do.

I read.
I clip my nails
At 2 a.m. an insect comes
to walk on the windowglass,
a model turning in circles.
Wrapped in green, small,
it resembles corn, stomach pocked
with miniature kernels
and hair on the head white as silks.

What is this thing?
Queen of Oaktops,
one who would not conform.
Half the night I listen.
She cannot sing or will not.




poem first published in Kalliope,
Included in NIGHT STUDENT, State Street Press



Hello Readers, Have you heard the katydids? On this mountain, we can hardly sit on the deck and carry on a conversation because they are so loud. Katydid Comments Welcome.

7 comments:

Brenda Kay Ledford said...

Nancy,
This is a great poem about katydids and it's so true. I'm hearing the insects, too. That's a sign fall is just around the corner. Great poem! Thanks for sharing it.

Nancy Simpson said...

Thanks Brenda, I remember years ago when I was a fifteen I went to see a scary movie that had a monster and when he walked through the woods, the loud insects stopped singing. No way did I know I would someday live with those insects and that I would know them and love them and wait each year in July to hear them making their music.

It is amazing how they tune up at sundown, literally tune up like an orchastra, one sound coming from one part of the forest and then an echo of it from the other ridge. When they get going, you cannot have a conversation on the deck. When they end their concert sometime in the wee hours of the morning, it is as if the director shut them down all on the same note.

karenh said...

Even a former Northerner like me enjoys Katydids. (Sometimes that's a nickname for my daughter Katja too). Love the poem.

Tipper said...

Nancy-loved the poem. And I love the katydids too. You know I have one for a daughter :)

Anonymous said...

Hey Nancy,
I like the photo and the poem about katydids. It does feel like fall is coming quicker than usual.
Glad you let us see the photo and poem. Glenda Barrett

Nancy Simpson said...

Hi Glenda Barrett, Thanks for the comments. I know the image in the poem is strange, an insect that resembles an ear of corn, too strange to even begin to visualize it. But it did look like a miniature ear of corn with shucks and silks on its head. I don't know how that poem ever got published.

By the way, have you heard them over near your house?

Glenda C. Beall said...

As I sit here tonight I am going back to my favorite blogs to see what I've been missing. I hear the katydids carrying on right now. Reminds me of when I was little and we would sit on the porch at night. The night sounds of insects and frogs from the nearby swamp seemed to be a symphony led by a director as you say, Nancy.
yes, fall is on the way.