Cicada Serenade, by Alan Toltzis

Cicada Serenade
by Alan Toltzis

A halo of summer-weary sycamore leaves
curl and wither under the scrutiny of noon.

The sun burns white as moonlight.
Earth’s abuzz with fresh decline

heralded by cicadas
chanting ancient emergent death rattles.

Strewn around them, hollow,
iridescent cinders, of some born earlier,

their nymphs underground,
awaiting resurrection.

Process Note: This was a big year for cicadas and I started noticing their beautiful iridescent bodies as they died. That, more than their music was where this poem started for me.

Alan Toltzis, is the author of The Last Commandment. Recent work has appeared in print and online publications including Hummingbird, Right Hand Pointing, Once Sentence Poems, IthacaLit, and r.k.v.r.y. Quarterly. Find him online at

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