The sound is gone. There's nothing left but the insomniac throbbing of crickets. Crickets in the garden, the courtyard, the back courtyard. Close, domestic, identifiable. And those out in the country. Between all of them they raise, little by little, a wall that will keep out the thing that lies waiting for the tiniest crack of silence to steal through. The thing that is feared by all those who are sleepless, those who walk through the night, those who are lonely, children. That thing. The voice of the dead.
This was where war happened, in someone's backyard. Sometimes it was yours. Often, it was someone's a world away. But it did happen. In this moment. In the next breath. Every day. Every day, someone lived in the midst of destruction and chaos. Every day, someone's flower boxes filled with gunpowder's haze, a child's laughter turned to tears. There had been a day when someone watered those flowers in the evening's peaceful quiet and the children caught fireflies in mason jars. And that day will come again, when the crickets and the bullets no longer have to compete for the night's stage. But for now, all anyone could do was fight on the crickets' behalf.
It's more eerie to be alone in a city that's lit up and functioning than one that's a tomb. If everything were silent, one could almost pretend to be in nature. A forest. A meadow. Crickets and birdsong. But the corpse of civilization is as restless as the creatures that now roam the graveyards.
Humans withdraw to their homes, and surrender the night to the creatures that own it: the crickets, the owls, the snakes. A world that hasn't changed for hundreds of thousands of years wakes up, and carries on as if the daylight and the humans and the changes to the landscape have all been an illusion.
M. L. Stedman
There's a lot of food restriction in the Bible, but it does say you're allowed to eat crickets, grasshoppers, and locusts. I decided to take advantage of that and eat a cricket. It was chocolate-covered, and I'm not sure that's the way they were served in Moses' time. But this was a rule that seemed crazy on the outside, then actually turned out to be pragmatic and compassionate.
A. J. Jacobs
How real can your music be if you wake up in the morning hearing birds and crickets? I never hear birds when I wake up. Just a lot of construction work, the smell of Chinese takeout, children screaming, and everybody knocking a different track from 'Ready to Die' as they pass down the street.
The Notorious B.I.G.
If 'dead' matter has reared up this curious landscape of fiddling crickets, song sparrows, and wondering men, it must be plain even to the most devoted materialists that the matter of which he speaks contains amazing, if not dreadful, powers, and may not impossibly be, as Thomas Hardy has suggested, 'but one mask of many worn by the Great Face behind.
I like to sit in front of the computer, going through files of music, and recording the final vocals, guitars and what- nots. But the windows are always open and you can hear the crickets, birds, chickens, and even the sound of rain hitting the studio. The farm is a great place to hang out in, learn from and create music.
I have lived pain, and my life can tell: I only deepen the wound of the world when I neglect to give thanks the heavy perfume of wild roses in early July and the song of crickets on summer humid nights and the rivers that run and the stars that rise and the rain that falls and all the good things that a good God gives.
But my brain winds and wends. Back and forth. Up and down. It feels like the county fair has inhabited my mind- complete with sketchy rides, carnies, and sugar-amped kids crying over lost balloons. So loud and disorienting. I want it to pack up and move on to the next town. I want my mind to be an open grassy field again with crickets and dandelions.
When you are giving a certain portion of your life to people and you're selling it sexually, you're selling it sensually, and you're selling it romantically - for you to then take that portion that you give only to fans away and to give it to one person, it kind of... if they don't approve, it might be crickets for me.
Having a sister or a friend is like sitting at night in a lighted house. Those outside can watch you if they want, but you need not see them. You simply say, "Here are the perimeters of our attention. If you prowl around under the windows till the crickets go silent, we will pull the shades. If you wish us to suffer your envious curiosity, you must permit us not to notice it." Anyone with one solid human bond is that smug, and it is the smugness as much as the comfort and safety that lonely people covet and admire.
Once I spoke the language of the flowers, Once I understood each word the caterpillar said, Once I smiled in secret at the gossip of the starlings, And shared a conversation with the housefly in my bed. Once I heard and answered all the questions of the crickets, And joined the crying of each falling dying flake of snow, Once I spoke the language of the flowers. . . . How did it go? How did it go?
Hour of Stars (1920) The round silence of night, one note on the stave of the infinite. Ripe with lost poems, I step naked into the street. The blackness riddled by the singing of crickets: sound, that dead will-o'-the-wisp, that musical light perceived by the spirit. A thousand butterfly skeletons sleep within my walls. A wild crowd of young breezes over the river.
Federico Garcia Lorca
Right at that moment it was as if we were the only two people left in the world. And I don't mean that to sound corny; it just honestly did. The only sounds were the droning crickets and chip-chips of the bats, the farawy wind against the sand, and the occasional distant yowl of a dingo. There were no car horns.No trains. No jack-hammers. No lawnmowers No planes. No sirens. No alarms. No anything human. If you'd told me that you'd saved me from a nuclear holocaust, I might have believed you.
What gives a wriggle And makes you giggle When you eat'em? Whose weensy little feet Make my heart really beat? Why, it's those little creepy crawlies That make me feel so jolly. For the darling centipede My favorite buggy feed I always want some more. That's the insect I adore More than beetles, more than crickets, Which at times gives me the hiccups. I crave only to feed On a juicy centipede And I shall be happy forevermore." -Soren
Given that media has become fast-paced, readers now want books that show the action and don't just tell you what is happening. Modern readers don't want three pages of descriptions of a farmhouse. They want to hear the door's creak quiet the chirping of crickets out in the cornfield, they want to feel the cool air drift through the house, then they want to see the shadow of a man, gun drawn, standing over the bed of his disloyal lover.
That is the earth, he thought. Not a globe thousands of kilometers around, but a forest with a shining lake, a house hidden at the crest of a hill, high in the trees, a grassy slope leading upwards from the water, fish leaping and birds strafing to take the bugs that lived at the border between water and sky. Earth was the constant noise of crickets, and winds, and birds
Orson Scott Card
Even as a child, she had preferred night to day, had enjoyed sitting out in the yard after sunset, under the star-speckled sky listening to frogs and crickets. Darkness soothed. It softened the sharp edges of the world, toned down the too-harsh colors. With the coming of twilight, the sky seemed to recede; the universe expanded. The night was bigger than the day, and in its realm, life seemed to have more possibilities.
Many animals even now spring out of the soil, Coalescing from the rains and the heat of the sun. Small wonder, then, if more and bigger creatures, Full-formed, arose from the new young earth and sky. The breed, for instance, of the dappled birds Shucked off their eggshells in the springtime, as Crickets in summer will slip their slight cocoons All by themselves, and search for food and life. Earth gave you, then, the first of mortal kinds, For all the fields were soaked with warmth and moisture.
I know there is poor and hideous suffering, and I've seen the hungry and the guns that go to war. I have lived pain, and my life can tell: I only deepen the wound of the world when I neglect to give thanks for early light dappled through leaves and the heavy perfume of wild roses in early July and the song of crickets on humid nights and the rivers that run and the stars that rise and the rain that falls and all the good things that a good God gives.
It was one of those things they keep in a jar in the tent of a sideshow on the outskirts of a little, drowsy town. One of those pale things drifting in alcohol plasma, forever dreaming and circling, with its peeled, dead eyes staring out at you and never seeing you. It went with the noiselessness of late night, and only the crickets chirping, the frogs sobbing off in the moist swampland. One of those things in a big jar that makes your stomach jump as it does when you see a preserved arm in a laboratory vat.
ENTER THIS DESERTED HOUSE But please walk softly as you do. Frogs dwell here and crickets too. Ain't no ceiling, only blue Jays dwell here and sunbeams too. Floors are flowers - take a few. Ferns grow here and daisies too. Whoosh, swoosh - too-whit, too-woo, Bats dwell here and hoot owls too. Ha-ha-ha, hee-hee, hoo-hoooo, Gnomes dwell here and goblins too. And my child, I thought you knew I dwell here... and so do you.
The world class restaurant is my sweet home... and the world class chef is my mom... now I'm staying in the restaurant and having some of my favorite foods with the champagne of my tube-well and the whole area is overwhelmed by the chirping of crickets. It's a by default candle light dinner due to adorable load shedding. It feels like I'm in heaven and a heaven-sent mom has been assigned for my caring!!
Khandakar Noushadur Rahman
The Little Mute Boy The little boy was looking for his voice. (The king of the crickets had it.) In a drop of water the little boy was looking for his voice. I do not want it for speaking with; I will make a ring of it so that he may wear my silence on his little finger In a drop of water the little boy was looking for his voice. (The captive voice, far away, put on a cricket's clothes.) Translated by William S. Merwin
Federico Garcia Lorca
Even if you have the wit to look by yourself in a bush away from the other children, there are not many bell crickets in the world. Probably you will find a girl like a grasshopper whom you think is a bell cricket.And finally, to your clouded, wounded heart, even a true bell cricket will seem like a grasshopper. Should that day come, when it seems to you that the world is only full of grasshoppers, I will think it a pity that you have no way to remember tonight's play of light, when your name was written in green by your beautiful lantern on a girl's breast.
Sometimes, Soraya Sleeping next to me, I lay in bed and listened to the screen door swinging open and shut with the breeze, to the crickets chirping in the yard. And I could almost feel the emptiness in Soraya's womb, like it was a living, breathing thing. It had seeped into our marriage, that emptiness, into our laughs, and our love-making. And late at night, in the darkness of our room, I'd feel it rising from Soraya and setting between us. Sleeping between us. Like a newborn child.
And this was what we felt: vertigo, an icicle through our strong hearts, our long-lost childhoods. Sunshine in a field and crickets and the sweet tealeaf stink of a new ball mitt and a rock glinting with mica and a chaw of bubblegum wrapping its sweet tendrils down our throats and the warm breeze up our shorts and the low vibrato of lake loons and the sun and the sun and the warm sun and this is what we felt; the sun.
When the Sun sets, shadows, that shew'd at Noon But small, appear most long and terrible; So, when we think Fate hovers o'er our Heads, Our apprehensions shoot beyond all bounds, Owls, Ravens, Crickets seem the watch of death, Nature's worst Vermine scare her God-like Sons. Ecchoes the very leavings of a Voice, Grow babling Ghosts, and call us to our Graves: Each Mole-hill thought swells to a huge Olympus, While we fantastick Dreamers heave and puff, And sweat with an Imagination's weight...
The universe dilated within him, above him. Something like joy stirred in Lancaster's being, a sublime ecstasy born of terror. His heart felt as if it might burst, might leap from his chest. His cheeks were wet. Drops of blood glittered on his bare arms, the backs of his hands, his thighs, his feet. Black as the blackest pearls come undone from a string, the droplets lifted from him, drifted from him like a slow motion comet tail, and floated toward the road, the fields. For the first time in an age he heard nothing but the night sounds of crickets, his own breath. His skull was quiet.
I thought of many an autumn I had known: Seemly autumns approaching deliberately, with amplitude. I thought of wild asters, Michaelmas daisies, mushrooms, leaves idling down the air, two or three at a time, warblers twittering and glittering in every bush ('Confusing fall warblers, ' Peterson calls them, and how right he is): the lingering yellow jackets feeding on broken apples; crickets; amber-dappled light; great geese barking down from the north; the seesaw noise that blue jays seem to make more often in the fall. Hoarfrost in the morning, cold stars at night. But slow; the whole thing coming slowly. The way it should be.
Ask me about my childhood, and I will tell you to walk to the edge of the woods with a choir of crickets chirping from every direction, a hot, humid breeze brushing through your hair, your feet, bare and callused. Stand there, unmoving, and watch the dance of ten thousand fireflies blinking on and off in the darkness. Inhale the scent of cured tobacco, freshly plowed southern soil, burning leaves, and honeysuckle. Swallow the taste of blackberries, picked straight from the bushes, and lick your teeth, the after-taste still sweet in your mouth. Now, stretch out on the ground and relax all your muscles. Watch nature's festival of flickering lights.
Brenda Sutton Rose
In a moment, when I throw myself down among the absinthe plants to bring their scent into my body, I shall know, appearances to the contrary, that I am fulfilling a truth which is the sun's and which will also be my death's. In a sense, it is indeed my life that I am staking here, a life that tastes of warm stone, that is full of the signs of the sea and the rising song of the crickets. The breeze is cool and the sky blue. I love this life with abandon and wish to speak of it boldly: it makes me proud of my human condition. Yet people have often told me: there's nothing to be proud of. Yes, there is: this sun, this sea, my heart leaping with youth, the salt taste of my body and this vast landscape in which tenderness and glory merge in blue and yellow. It is to conquer this that I need my strength and my resources. Everything here leaves me intact, I surrender nothing of myself, and don no mask: learning patiently and arduously how to live is enough for me, well worth all their arts of living.
We fell in love with that little peep-show projection on the inside of an iris, pictures that amount to nothing more than the thirsty moon over a spot of bloody ground. Those weren't the nothings we restless sleepwalkers knew, no place no home no song. So we heard her and we followed until she went where we couldn't follow. She went down beyond the mountains and disappeared between the crease of sky and land, like a great eyelid folding shut. No one knows what happened out in the Black Hills, but I imagine she lies buried in a rusty coffin under the stars. And on nights when the desert crickets sing her tune, they say one day she will rise again. On that day, there is no telling the kind of vengeance she'll demand of us. Fair is fair. They say when she fell from Heaven she wore a crown of jagged stars that slit the skies throat. They say she loved them all, in the secret corners of their shallow sleep. Strangers, at the last. They say a lot of things. They're all lies. Everything is already written.
At dusk in the Corcovado National Park in Costa Rica, Melissa Overton barely heard the constant sound of crickets chirping all around them. Prowling through the dense, tropical rainforest as a jaguar, she listened for the human voices that would clue her in that her prey was nearby. Waves crashed onto the sandy beaches in the distance as she made her way quietly, like a phantom predator, through the tangle of vines and broad, leafy foliage, searching for any sign of the poachers. Humans wouldn't have a clue as to what she and her kind were when they saw her - apparently nothing other than an ordinary jaguar. And she and her fellow jaguar shifters planned to keep it that way. Her partner on this mission, JAG agent Huntley Anderson, was nearby, just as wary and observant. The JAG Special Forces Branch, also known as the Golden Claws, was only open to jaguar shifters and served to protect both their shifter kind and their jaguar cousins...
She rubbed the skin off your headstone of a sternum and painted a sad picture of herself in your eyes. We fell in love with that little peep-show projection on the inside of an iris, pictures that amount to nothing more than the thirsty moon over a spot of bloody ground. Those weren't the nothings we restless sleepwalkers knew, no place no home no song. So we heard her and we followed until she went where we couldn't follow. She went down beyond the mountains and disappeared between the crease of sky and land, like a great eyelid folding shut. No one knows what happened out in the Black Hills, but I imagine she lies buried in a rusty coffin under the stars. And on nights when the desert crickets sing her tune, they say one day she will rise again. On that day, there is no telling the kind of vengeance she'll demand of us. Fair is fair. They say when she fell from Heaven she wore a crown of jagged stars that slit the skies throat. They say she loved them all, in the secret corners of their shallow sleep. Strangers, at the last. They say a lot of things. They're all lies. Everything is already written.
At first I couldn't see anything. I fumbled along the cobblestone street. I lit a cigarette. Suddenly the moon appeared from behind a black cloud, lighting a white wall that was crumbled in places. I stopped, blinded by such whiteness. Wind whistled slightly. I breathed the air of the tamarinds. The night hummed, full of leaves and insects. Crickets bivouacked in the tall grass. I raised my head: up there the stars too had set up camp. I thought that the universe was a vast system of signs, a conversation between giant beings. My actions, the cricket's saw, the star's blink, were nothing but pauses and syllables, scattered phrases from that dialogue. What word could it be, of which I was only a syllable? Who speaks the word? To whom is it spoken? I threw my cigarette down on the sidewalk. Falling, it drew a shining curve, shooting out brief sparks like a tiny comet. I walked a long time, slowly. I felt free, secure between the lips that were at that moment speaking me with such happiness. The night was a garden of eyes.
The peace of Manderley. The quietude and the grace. Whoever lived within its walls, whatever trouble there was and strife, however much uneasiness and pain, no matter what tears were shed, what sorrows borne, the peace of Manderley could not be broken or the loveliness destroyed. The flowers that died would bloom again another year, the same birds build their nests, the same trees blossom. That old quiet moss smell would linger in the air, and the bees would come, and crickets, the herons build their nests in the deep dark woods. The butterflies would dance their merry jug across the lawns, and spiders spin foggy webs, and small startled rabbits who had no business to come trespassing poke their faces through the crowded shrubs. There would be lilac, and honeysuckle still, and the white magnolia buds unfolding slow and tight beneath the dining-room window. No one would ever hurt Manderley. It would lie always in its hollow like an enchanted thing, guarded by the woods, safe, secure, while the sea broke and ran and came again in the little shingle bays below.
Daphne du Maurier
Waldo inhaled deeply, staring at the ceiling. It was at times like this that he was at his worst. His mind, while indecisive, was also capable of producing the most detailed, fantastic daydreams imaginable, and with the mysterious disappearance of his grandfather as fodder, his speculations grew even more intense and far-fetched than usual. On the other hand, the logical part of his brain, underdeveloped as it was, went almost entirely untapped in such a situation. Waldo was literally frozen into inaction by his chemical makeup, and this was apparent in the number of cigarettes he lit, the number of sighs he expelled, and the number of times his helpless fingers alternated between nervously tapping the coffee table and running through his unkempt hair. All that night, Waldo remained awake, deep in unproductive thought, routinely walking back and forth from the living room to the front porch, where he would take a seat in the old-fashioned swing and smoke heavily. The blissful suburban setting, especially on spring nights like this, when the crickets chirped so lustily, and the porch swing creaked so reassuringly in the warm breeze, was perfect for conjuring up bold new fantasies.
A kind of northing is what I wish to accomplish, a single-minded trek towards that place where any shutter left open to the zenith at night will record the wheeling of all the sky's stars as a pattern of perfect, concentric circles. I seek a reduction, a shedding, a sloughing off. At the seashore you often see a shell, or fragment of a shell, that sharp sands and surf have thinned to a wisp. There is no way you can tell what kind of shell it had been, what creature it had housed; it could have been a whelk or a scallop, a cowrie, limpet, or conch. The animal is long since dissolved, and its blood spread and thinned in the general sea. All you hold in your hand is a cool shred of shell, an inch long, pared so thin that it passes a faint pink light. It is an essence, a smooth condensation of the air, a curve. I long for the North where unimpeded winds would hone me to such a pure slip of bone. But I'll not go northing this year. I'll stalk that floating pole and frigid air by waiting here. I wait on bridges; I wait, struck, on forest paths and meadow's fringes, hilltops and banksides, day in and day out, and I receive a southing as a gift. The North washes down the mountains like a waterfall, like a tidal wave, and pours across the valley; it comes to me. It sweetens the persimmons and numbs the last of the crickets and hornets; it fans the flames of the forest maples, bows the meadow's seeded grasses and pokes it chilling fingers under the leaf litter, thrusting the springtails and the earthworms deeper into the earth. The sun heaves to the south by day, and at night wild Orion emerges looming like the Specter over Dead Man Mountain. Something is already here, and more is coming.