Crickets ticking

It’s haibun Monday at dverse poets’ pub. The theme this week is summer.

Photo©Hans-Jörg Hellwig


Summer, longed for all through the cold months of winter, looked for when the first shoots of spring green appear, bursts upon us, armoured in fire and cruel as searchlights. We have watched for the sun, measured the shadows on the grass, counted the days to that glorious bid for freedom—the holiday. But while we have the car checked over, buy new clothes, find someone to feed the cat, the earth is turning. Geese have flown neatly north, the cranes in their disorderly packs, kites begun their scavenging flights, the swallows swept up the first mosquitos. Flowers bloom and die, seed pods burst in the growing heat. The earth dries. Earth turns. Sun rises higher in its fiery arc to reach an apogee of flame, and before we know it, the flame is dying, the fierce heat fighting a losing battle against the night shadows.

Summer, that elusive dream, as soon touched it begins to fade. The earth turns. Summer love grows restless as the nights cool and thoughts turn to the city swarms of light and night light and a brilliance generated by pleasure bought and sold to warm the winter winds. In the reeds, bathed by river ripples and the breeze from the sea, I watch the fledglings grow and the fruits of autumn bud berry bright. Summer moults and changes. But all is good; all has its place. The earth turns.


In the grass, a jay,

meadow cricket gathering,

eats what the sun brings.

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

51 thoughts on “Crickets ticking”

    1. Admitting my ignorance that I don’t know either of those references…I’ll check them out. It’s age does that to you, I think, fixes on the ephemeral nature of everything.

  1. I think Bjorn is right and maybe you reveal the lie, no sooner is it here and it is on the ebbtide…and it could never capitulate- what joys we carved in our memories from that other summer…when we were young and carefree.

    1. I know what you mean. We always go away for midsummer and watch the last of the light. If it isn’t too hot and dry, we have a bonfire. It’s downhill all the way after that…

  2. What joyous depiction of summer. As I’ve read our entries , it occurs to me those of us who love poetry perhaps enjoy nature more because we keep searching for words to describe what we see! You have a gift, my friend.

  3. Endless summer the CA surfers refer to SW weather. I lived there for a decade, & missed the seasons; couldn’t wait to get back home to WA state, give up being an actor. That was 40 years ago now. You haibun is glorious. You had me at /armored in fire & cruel as searchlights/–excellent word-smithing throughout–my fave poem so far today.

      1. I’d rarely seen them before, but there are loads of them here. The golden orioles are the real eye-openers for me. I never thought I’d see one, and we have whole trees full of them.

      2. They must like the environment. There’s lots of woodland and meadowland, and the farms are small scale and use pesticides very sparingly apparently. The oriole has such a beautiful voice.

      3. They make a huge noise for such tiny birds, don’t they? We used to see them in the garden but it seems to me that there are fewer of all the songbirds in town now. It’s years since I’ve seen a wren. I’ll have to be living in the countryside for a while to know whether we have any out there since they are pretty discreet.

      4. I’ve seen more wrens the past few years than ever before…but maybe I am just used to their song and movement now and notice them more. Living in a fairly rural area at the moment, I am lucky with the birds.

      5. Aren’t they territorial birds? Mind you, so are robins and blackbirds and you still see them fighting it out. Wrens maybe fight more discreetly 🙂

    1. Thank you! We’ve just finished with a heat wave when it’s been too hot to go out after ten/eleven am until late. It was brutal. Yet people adore the power of the sun.

  4. You made nature dance with the heat and cooling night shadows Jane

    I love your conclusion with:

    But all is good; all has its place. The earth turns.

    And your haiku is a gem of completeness and gratitude.

  5. “But all is good; all has its place. ” This is a wonderful collection of wisdom from the brief summer delight. Passage of time so beautifully captivated.

  6. I love the description of summer ‘armoured in fire and cruel as searchlights’, Jane, and the repetition of the turning of the earth, a reminder that life goes on, marked by different birds. And you’re right, summer is an ‘elusive dream, as soon touched it begins to fade’ .

  7. I love how you repeated “the earth turns”. It gives such a sense of constant change, of mujo. I stopped doing the week long holidays years ago. So much work to get ready for them and then….it’s over. Now my husband and I frequently do weekend or day trips. My mother-in-law has had pieces of skin cancer cut off her because of broiling herself in the sun for so many years and she still does it. People are strange. I njoyed your summer.

      1. I always loved going down to the a part of the NC coast where we had a small beach house. The white sandy beaches and the high waves of the Atlantic. I learned to surf when I was 12. Many times my parents would drive myself, the two aunts, and my grandmother down and come back to Durham, back in two weeks for their week holiday and then back ad forth to the beach. It was lovely. Now I’ve gotten old and cranky and weekends are long enough for me.

      2. I feel bad about never having been able to give our kids a holiday, but it was never possible. They lost the last of their grandparents when the youngest was just two years old, so she never knew any of them. It wasn’t an upbringing like the one I had at all.

      3. I can understand. We all lived in a huge old house built by my great-great grandfather – all generations of us- teens, kids, college age, young married, middle aged, and old as dirt. We went to vacations in shifts. Frequently my father, grandfather, and great-grandfather would go down to the ocean to fish – surf, sound, and deep sea. We females loved it when they went. And then we would go off. My mother and grandmother always fished and crabbed. it was truly an ideal and happy time

      4. It sounds idyllic! The way families should work. If my grandparents had been able to have a home of their own, in their own country, it would have been like that 🙂

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