Nicholas Messenger


Cicada year

This is the year of the cicada.
Children born this year will ride
through the sun; will sparkle;
and insistent earthly music
resonate inside them.
They will be glassy listeners.
Those around them, without choosing
or interpreting the signals,
hear it too: a glistening;
and suppose it to be they.
Ourselves, of whatever original year,
of swallow, mole or thunderstorm,
will sleep much more, and in the day
glimpse strange bright details
dreamt about;  and seek the warm
and drowse, to grasp for them again.



Nicholas Messenger had his first poems published in New Zealand as a schoolboy. He won the Glover Poetry Award in the 1970’s. In recent years he has had work published in a good number of online magazines. He has written plays for children, fairy tales, short stories and five novels which await a publisher. He was born in 1945, completed a degree at Auckland University, traveled extensively, and lived at various times in France, England and Japan. He has worked at many jobs, including seaman, security guard, demolition worker and laboratory technician, and for a long time made his living as a teacher, of science, art, and languages, in High Schools in New Zealand, and of English in Japan. Lately he has been running a home-stay business in Hokitika, but is currently living in Nelson. He has been married twice and has two grown-up children.

Messenger notes that while ‘Cicada year’ was written many years ago, “this summer has been a ‘Cicada year’ again, in the purely biological sense; in Nelson, anyway”.