The Dirigible Balloon
Poetry for Children

The Lone Katydid

I vividly remember,
on the evening when September
had slid into October,
the air as cold and sober
as The Dipper’s glittering light,
from somewhere high amid
an oak, a katydid
spoke from a dying leaf:
“Autumn is a thief!
With a single wintry gust
it turned my kin to dust.
Why do I rattle on
when all of them are gone,
when I’ll soon be toothsome prey
for some bat, or when the bite
of another cold snap brings
icy shackles to my wings?”
The insect’s doleful tones
seemed to quiver all my bones.
What could you tell a bug
to soothe it? With a shrug,
I continued on my way
down that trail as dim and shady
as a blackbird’s dusky hue,
and wondered if that katy did
or didn’t have a clue
that he had been listened to.

About the Writer

Martin J Elster

Martin J. Elster lives in Hartford, Connecticut. He was, for many years, a percussionist with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra. In addition to playing and composing music, Martin finds contentment in long walks in the woods or the city and in writing poetry, which often alludes to creatures and plants he encounters on his walks. Martin’s poems have appeared in numerous literary journals and anthologies in the U.S. and abroad. A full-length collection, Celestial Euphony, was published by Plum White Press in 2019.