No crickets here

I’ve always been attracted to the sound of crickets. As a child, I was enchanted by their presence in American films, when characters sat on the porch in the evening to a soundtrack of crickets chirping; and then, when I visited Italy several times during summer, I was amazed by the constant background noise, even in the daytime.

In a garden full of birdsong and the music of willows in the breeze, one thing that is missing is the sound of crickets. We don’t have them. It’s not that there are none in the UK; we have many different species of Orthoptera: grasshoppers, groundhoppers, bush crickets and true crickets, some of which are found in Norfolk. They just don’t inhabit our garden. I think it’s too moist and cool for them to thrive. Perhaps, as climate change affects plants and wildlife, we may hear them yet.

nostalgic soundtrack
hovers on lingering heat
insect serenade

Kim M. Russell, 20th August 2018

Image result for Japanese paintings or artwork with crickets
Suzuki Harunobu (1724-1770), Looking for Crickets at Night, image found on Pinterest

My response to dVerse Poets Pub Haibun Monday:  The Sounds of Koorogi 

This Monday, Victoria has returned to the bar as guest host. She says that among the things she savours about late summer are the sounds in nature, and when it first begins to get really warm, one of her favourites is that of the cricket.

She tells us that the Japanese Kigo for Cricket is Koorogi. In Japan, it is considered a Kigo of early autumn, but the Japanese seasons differ from what most of us are used to, and there, late summer ends around August 7th.

For this week’s Haibun prompt, Victoria would like us to consider Koorogi:  the moods that its sound evokes for us, its need to procreate or, perhaps, its symbolism in certain cultures.

Our Haibun should contain 1-3 terse paragraphs of non-fiction prose, followed by a haiku that references the season.


30 thoughts on “No crickets here

  1. There is a sense of melancholy in the lack of crickets, but, at the same time the song of crickets is itself a bit melancholic. It makes me think of loneliness and, at the same time, hope. Last night out in the yard with the dogs, I was hypnotized by it–there are so many in this dry desert climate. My loss is that we don’t have fireflies. Thanks for being here, Kim.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, we even used to get grasshoppers and crickets in South London, in places like Wimbledon Common and Clapham Common, and they say that we get them up here – but not us 😦


  2. Cricket choirs sound throughout the night in my village. They sing the rhythm, while the katydids provide the staccato! A wistful nostalgia rings through your haibun, Kim. I mourn the loss of your childhood cricket songs with you.

    Liked by 1 person

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