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Grasshoppers

Saps rising Grounds warming Grasshoppers are hatching out Autumn-laid eggs splitting Young stepping into spring Grasshoppers hopping high Grasshoppers jumping Vaulting from leaf to leaf stem to stem plant to plant leapers Grassbounders springers Grasssoarers Leapfrogging longjumping grasshoppers. soarers Leapfrogging longjumping grasshoppers.
Source: Paul Fleischman, Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices, Harper & Row, 1988.

Grasshoppers are hatching out

Grasshoppers hopping Grasshoppers jumping far

leaf to leaf stem to stem Grassleapers bounders Grassspringers

Mayflies
Your moment Mayfly month Your hour Mayfly year Your trifling day Our life Were mayflies just emerging rising from the river, born this day in May birthday and dying day, this particle of time the single sip of living all that were allowed. Were mayflies by the millions fevered frenzied rushed no redwoods centuries to squander as we please. Were mayflies swarming, swerving, rising high then falling, courting on the wing, Were mayflies swarming, swerving, Were mayflies by the millions Were mayflies just emerging

then mating in midair. Were mayflies laying eggs our final, frantic act. Suns low lights weak in haste we launch them down the stream. Were mayflies lying dying floating by the millions on the very stream from which we sprung so very long ago this morning back when we were young. back when we were young. Were mayflies lying dying Were mayflies laying eggs

Source: Paul Fleischman, Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices, Harper & Row, 1988.

Fireflies
Light Night is our parchment Were fireflies fireflies flitting flashing fireflies glimmering glowing Insect calligraphers practicing penmanship copying sentences Six-legged scribblers of vanishing messages, fleeting graffiti Fine artists in flight adding dabs of light bright brush strokes Signing the June nights as if they were paintings flickering fireflies fireflies. Signing the June nights as if they were paintings Were fireflies flickering fireflies.
Source: Paul Fleischman, Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices, Harper & Row, 1988.

Light is the ink we use Night

flickering

fireflies gleaming Insect calligraphers

Six-legged scribblers

Fine artists in flight

The Moths Serenade


Porch light, hear my plight! I drink your light like nectar by day Gaze in your eyes all night Porch light! I am your seeking circling sighing lovesick knight You are my souls desire my prize Porch light! My shining star! My compass needles North! Keep back, they say I cant! Dont touch, they say Dont touch, they say Keep back, they say You are my souls desire my prize my eyes delight Porch light! seeking circling sighing all night Porch light! Bright paradise! I am like nectar Dream of you by day Porch light, hear my plight!

I must! Porch light! Lets clasp Lets kiss Lets marry for a trice! Porch light! Lets meet Lets merge Lets live for love! For light! For light! Porch light! Lets kiss Lets clasp Lets marry for a trice! Porch light! Lets merge Lets meet

Source: Paul Fleischman, Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices, Harper & Row, 1988.

The Digger Wasp


I will never see my children, they will never gaze on me. Ill have died when theyre emerging next July. So it must be. So it must be. Yet, when they behold the home Im digging now for their protection, safe and snug far underground, theyll recognize my deep affection. theyll recognize my deep affection. When they hatch, and find a caterpillar, stung and paralyzed, left by me for them to eat theyll know as well that I was wise. theyll know as well that I was wise. When they learn Id dragged it there in spite of every interference, weeds and rocks and thieving beetles,
Source: Paul Fleischman, Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices, Harper & Row, 1988.

theyll discern my perseverance.

theyll discern my perseverance. While, cocooned, they pass the winter

safe from snow and ice and chill, theyll perceive and thank me for my formidable digging skill. my formidable digging skill. By the time theyre ready, next July, to climb up from their cells and break the burrows seal and fly away my young will know me well. my young will know me well. When they care for their own children, never to be looked upon, theyll feel my love in replica and know that they, in turn, were cherished by the mother digger wasp whose face and form they never saw. whose face and form they never saw. in replica

Cicadas
Afternoon, mid-August Two cicadas singing Five cicadas humming Twelve cicadas buzzing the mighty choirs assembling Shrill cicadas droning Cicadas droning in the elms Two cicadas singing Air kiln-hot, lead-heavy Five cicadas humming Twelve cicadas buzzing Up and down the street the mighty choirs assembling Thunderheads northwestward

Three years
spent underground

Three years
among the roots

in darkness

in darkness and climbing up the tree trunks

Now theyre breaking ground

splitting skins and singing rejoicing fervent praise their hymn and singing Jubilant cicadas pouring out their fervent praise for heat and light their hymn

sung to the sun Cicadas whining cicadas whirring whirring cicadas pulsing pulsing chanting from the treetops sending forth their booming boisterous joyful noise! sending forth their booming joyful noise! chanting from the treetops Cicadas whining

Source: Paul Fleischman, Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices, Harper & Row, 1988.

Honeybees
Being a bee is a pain. Im a queen Im a worker Ill gladly explain. Ill gladly explain. Upon rising, Im fed by my royal attendants, Im up at dawn, guarding the hives narrow entrance Im bathed then I take out the hives morning trash then Im groomed. then I put in an hour making wax, without two minutes time to sit still and relax. The rest of my day is quite simply set forth: The I might collect nectar from the field three miles north I lay eggs, or perhaps Im on larva detail by the hundred. feeding the grubs in their cells, Being a bee is a joy.

wishing that I were still helpless and pale. Im loved and Im lauded, Im outranked by none. Then I pack combs with pollen not my idea of fun. When Ive done enough laying Then, weary, I strive I retire to patch up any cracks in the hive. for the rest of the day. Then I build some new cells, slaving away at enlarging this Hell, dreading the sight of another sunrise, wondering why we dont all unionize. Truly, a bees is the worst of all lives. Truly, a bees is the best of all lives.

Source: Paul Fleischman, Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices, Harper & Row, 1988.

Whirligig Whirligig Beetles


Were whirligig beetles were swimming in circles, black backs by the hundred. Were whirligig beetles were swimming in circles, black backs by the hundred. Were spinning and swerving Were spinning and swerving as if we were on a mad merry-go-round. We never get dizzy from whirling and weaving and wheeling and swirling. We never get dizzy from whirling and weaving and wheeling and swirling. The same goes for turning, The same goes for turning, revolving and curving, gyrating and twirling. The crows fly directly, but we prefer spirals, arcs, ovals, and loops. The crows fly directly, but we prefer spirals, arcs, ovals and loops. Were fond of the phrase As the whirligig swims As the whirligig swims meaning traveling by the most circular circular roundabout backtracking roundabout backtracking indirect revolving and curving, gyrating and twirling. as if we were on a mad merry-go-round.

indirect serpentine tortuous twisty, best possible route.

serpentine tortuous twisty and turny, best possible route.

Source: Paul Fleischman, Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices, Harper & Row, 1988.

House Crickets
We dont live in meadows crick-et or in groves Were house crickets living beneath this gas stove crick-et Others may worry crick-et about fall Were scarcely aware of the seasons at all crick-et Spring, to house crickets, crick-et means no more than the time when fresh greens once again grace the floor crick-et Summers the season crick-et for pie crumbs: peach, pear, boysenberry, quince, apricot, plum crick-et Pumpkin seeds tell us crick-et falls arrived crick-et
Source: Paul Fleischman, Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices, Harper & Row, 1988.

crick-et

crick-et crick-et

crick-et crick-et

crick-et crick-et

crick-et

while hot chocolate spills hint that its winter outside. No matter the month we stay well fed and warm, unconcerned about cold fronts and wind chill and storms. For while others are ruled by the sun in the heavens, whose varying height brings the seasons procession, we live in a world of fixed Fahrenheit crick-et our unchanging reliable steadfast and stable bright blue pilot light. bright blue pilot light. crick-et thanks to our sun: we live in a world For while others are ruled No matter the month