Thursday, October 27, 2011



The cricket
trapped six months ago
in the bathroom sink
where I forgot him
wakes me in the desert night
with his dried song.
The keg of his body is empty,
antennae broken.
His fiddlebow legs
have fallen off one
by one long ago. I should
take him out
and throw him
away, but at night alone
I like to hear him sing
even if he only
sings of his murder.

Some six centuries pass
recrossing the desert night
before we break down, the
trap of your forked tongue
over mine parting to find
dawn blustering at  the
locks on the abandoned car,
broken antenna, where in
the empty back seat, springs 
still rattle in a  phantom’s opera.
I know it’s time to peel away
your white plaited bones,
let your dried lips fall
one by one
from mine so I
can hear you sing
again of my murder.

October 2011

emmett wheatfall hosts a prompt this week, asking for a poem of conflation. Not sure if I've produced one, but had fun trying. 

(Also, this continues the All Hallows theme nicely, I feel; apparently the cricket wasn't through with me yet.)


  1. what a picture...i looked at the pic and was wondering what you would write..and then the murder song of the cricket in the bathroom eyes went wide...and wider when i came to stanza two...awesome dark write and just the perfect poem to go with my deep black never cease to amaze me with your images hedge.. and i will check out the bathroom sink now...just to be sure..

  2. Thanks so much Claudia--yours was really amazing, and what made me decide to tackle this. I usually take a break from this prompt, since I do another one on Thursdays, but it was just too tempting not to try.

  3. Absolutely a marvelous piece. Beautifully written. And yes, you have produced one--conflation. This is high quality and masterful poetry writing. Thank you for honoring me with this write. I'm humbled by your talent.

  4. "wakes me in the desert night
    with his dried song.
    The keg of his body is empty,"

    This image is so strong!

    and it's counterpart...

    "locks on the abandoned car,
    broken antenna, where in
    the empty back seat, springs"

    So well thought out!

  5. Quite flagrant and quite direct. A murder and slow death it is from a small episode!


  6. Amazing. And I could so relate. I picked up a stack of something the other day, and in the bottom one, I found a child of the earth. His death made me feel so sad.

  7. Ah our hellbane cricket, taking the temperature of love, I think, even in death. (It's said you can tell what the temperature is outside by adding 40 to the number of chirps produced by a snowy tree cricket in 14 seconds.) These dessicated insect relics show up all around the house, the life, evidence, perhaps, of summers lost, or worse, forgotten. So the Stanza One cricket rubs his ghost wings at night and sings of murder, conflating Stanaza Two's abandoned car in the desert with its own ghost-music still creaking from the back seat. But I wonder: murder, or abandonment? Or do the two conflate? ... The pairing of these two hulks is perfect for the trope. - Brendan

  8. good googly moogly....the back seat music of the springs...nice audible element to a rather grisly tale hedge...deliciously creepy...i rather like it...smiles.

  9. two stories interweaving with a songs of murder...chilling yet wonderful write ~

    excellent poetry form ~

  10. do love this... one of my favorites... loved how you built a relationship with the critter

  11. Nicely done, I love the cadence of it and the shivers from the murders just really snap! :-) A GREAT read!

  12. Thanks all. Much fun with this one.

    @emmet: That means a great deal to me, coming from you, especially having read your own offering.

    @B: Yes, death and abandonment, and their little cold song in the night. The cricket refuses to abandon me, however, as I abandoned him. He'll be back to sing again on Samhain.

  13. Wow.
    beautiful, and seasonal as a bonus.

  14. beautiful, seasonal, fantastic, and absolutely chill inspiring. To speak so poetically of murder, of ghost crickets, don't know how you do it lady, but your magic weaves are always awe inspiring. No exception here (and again, the perfect photo...never a hair out of place at this joint!)

  15. Beautiful thoughts expressed,liked the way you write!

  16. interesting how you transition the death of the cricket to the death of a person...and they seem equal in this poem, which i like.

  17. I have no idea what conflation means, as far as poetry, but I like the poem. The idea you've built it on, the singing of one's murder, is inspired and packs a punch. To equate one's self with that ubiquitous cricket, is telling indeed, if disturbing.

  18. Wow! Beautiful write, expressed so well!

    Anna :o]

  19. Impressive, Hedgewitch! I love the differences and similarities between the two stanzas. Can I say I am awed?

  20. You have definitely sent chills down my spine. You are brilliant!

  21. Brilliant! I love these dark imaginings.

  22. Dark, arcane and filled with an incredible perception of humanity - in other words you at your best.

  23. Oh, the keg of his body is empty . . . and fiddlebow legs (!) . . . these and all your words and lines are rich and elegant. And the twist of the knife in your reversal of who is murdered is so well rendered. . . .dawn blustering at the locks ! really, this is terrific language-sight.

  24. Many thanks all. I was amazed at the quality of work produced for this prompt--a challenging but satisfying one, I think.

  25. Yes, this is stunning! And I do agree about the quality of work from all for this prompt.


"We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, out of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry." ~William Butler Yeats

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