Singing Myself to Death – An Insect Story – Haibun

I love the story of the Cicada. That elusive insect you never actually see but hear it at night making its glorious sound in the trees.

The female Cicada lays her eggs in a crevice she makes in tree limbs. Once hatched, they look like an ant or termite and feed on tree fluids. When ready they drop to the ground and burrow down to live on tree roots for up to 17 years before reappearing as adults. Their life above ground is relatively short. They come out to mate and the they literally sing themselves to death.

The only Cicadas I have ever seen are dead ones on the ground. It makes me so sad when I hear them as I know they will not be here much longer.

The Cicada - a Haiku

Seventeen long years
underground then I appear
and sing to my death

Christine Bolton - Poetry for Healing ©

Kim, from writing in North Norfolk is hosting
at D'Verse Poets tonight and she has prompted
us with insects

Image by parlansky from Pixabay 

There is more information online at and here is a YouTube of them singing:

  14 comments for “Singing Myself to Death – An Insect Story – Haibun

  1. Margaret Elizabeth Bednar
    October 7, 2019 at 11:00 pm

    sing themselves to death… I pondered that and it really isn’t a bad way to go…

    • Christine Bolton
      October 7, 2019 at 11:39 pm

      🙂 Thank you! I agree

  2. October 2, 2019 at 3:03 pm

    That is an amazing life-cycle… and yes I really hope that they enjoy their underground life.

    • Christine Bolton
      October 2, 2019 at 3:37 pm

      Thanks Björn 🙂

  3. Rob Kistner
    October 1, 2019 at 2:30 pm

    This was a wonderful tribute Christine, to a most unusual creature. We don’t get the massive 17-year periodic Cicada emergences out here in the Pacific Northwest. We have scattered cicadas in the summer, but I remember the Cicada carcasses by the score, still clinging to tree trunks after the huge emergences died off.

    • Christine Bolton
      October 1, 2019 at 2:55 pm

      Thank you Rob. If you ever get a chance here was a funny clip from Anderson Cooper on CNN when he interviewed the guy from Cicada Mania on his show. You can Google it. I almost included it but thought it took away from the sweet story of the Cicada and its life cycle.

  4. October 1, 2019 at 4:23 am

    An interesting and unique life cycle.

    • October 1, 2019 at 7:28 am

      I love cicadas. Actually, I always thought they screwed themselves to death! They are interesting creatures and I love their unique song in late summer. BTW haiku are not named and it is not necessary to break the haiku separate from the haibun and give it a title

      • Christine Bolton
        October 1, 2019 at 8:02 am

        I think they are so happy after their sex act they sing until they die! Thanks for the tip on the haibun. I don’t usually name the haiku, but I had pasted it in from another file and forgot to remove the heading. Oops! 🤭✌️

      • October 1, 2019 at 4:49 pm

        LOL. No smoking after the sex? I loved your take on the cicadas, one of my favorite insects. In Japan, the children will pluck one from a tree and put it in a tiny cage too keep as a pet for a week or so. To me they are my childhood sound of summer.

      • Christine Bolton
        October 1, 2019 at 5:03 pm

        That’s right. No time for a smoke! 🤣
        Yes, me too….I love the sound and of course their story. Nature talking to us.

      • October 1, 2019 at 5:20 pm


  5. October 1, 2019 at 2:46 am

    I enjoyed your informative haibun, Christine. I didn’t know much about cicadas, but I’m pleased they start off in my favourite plants, trees. The most amazing thing to me is their long pupa period, similar to humans, and that they sing themselves to death, so sad.

    • Christine Bolton
      October 1, 2019 at 8:33 am

      Thanks Kim. Well they come out to mate and then die. But they are singing!!! 🙂💕

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: