All day, red nosed cicadas have been raucous,
in search of a mate, playing cicada love songs.
As twilight descends, they put away their bagpipes,
silently tuning their instruments in the dark.
With dawn, a breeze rustles the trees, and
summer’s calamitous courtship begins again.
Tithonus is proclaiming his immortality,
After seventeen years he shouts, sings it,
Shaking his timbals with mighty thunder,
Leaves of the trees quake and rustle,
The world vibrates with tettix joy,
All creation turns to hear the magical song,
He proclaims his many names across every hill,
Yellow Monday, Cherry Nose, Red eye, Whiskey Drinker,
Double drummer, black prince, La Cigarra,
Higurashi no Naku doro ni, summer’s jar fly,
A symbol of reincarnation he is the benign molter,
And yet the trickster, the ninja decoy utsusemi,
He represents insouciance singing into the night,
He is the ubiquitous herald of the Southern summer,
Ancient, praised in fable, the everlasting, cherished cicada.