Impossible Grandeur

June Firefly

It’s time to make love, douse the glim; The fireflies twinkle and dim; The stars lean together Like birds of a feather, And the loin lies down with the limb.

Conrad Aiken

The Old Age of Nostalgia

by Mark Strand

Those hours given over to basking in
the glow of an imagined future, of being
carried away in streams of promise
by a love or a passion so strong that one
felt altered forever and convinced that
the smallest particle of the surrounding
world was charged with a purpose of
impossible grandeur; ah yes, and one
would look up into the trees and be
thrilled by the wind-loosened river of
pale and gold foliage cascading down and
by the high melodious singing of countless
birds; those moments, so many and
so long ago, still come back, but briefly,
like fireflies in the perfumed heat of a
summer night.

The spectacle of the June firefly light show in our yard is at its stunning zenith.  2022 is a spectacular crop after a dry year last year, the full wetlands that surround our house and tall grasses have brought forth a breath taking wonder.   I have always been amazed by the magic of fireflies.  They are the fireworks of the insect world.   They attract their mates by the power of their greenish glow and signal to the world that life is amazing.   

When my kids were young I would take them fire fly hunting with a repurposed sweep net and a canning jar.  My rule is that they could keep them on their night stand for one night, with some delicious grass to eat, but in the morning they had to let them go, that magic too powerful to keep in a jar to die.  

When was the last time you chased a fire fly down or sat and watched them shimmer in the dark night, suffering a few bites of mosquitoes for the pleasure of their company?

So You Say

by Mark Strand

It is all in the mind, you say, and has
nothing to do with happiness. The coming of cold,
the coming of heat, the mind has all the time in the world.
You take my arm and say something will happen,
something unusual for which we were always prepared,
like the sun arriving after a day in Asia,
like the moon departing after a night with us.

Published by

A Sonnet Obsession

I am a life-long Minnesotan who resides in Minneapolis. I hope you enjoy my curated selection of sonnets, short poems and nerdy ruminations. I am pleased to offer Fourteenlines as an ad and cookie free poetry resource, to allow the poetry to be presented on its own without distractions. Fourteenlines is a testament to the power of the written word, for anyone wanting a little more poetry in their life.

One thought on “Impossible Grandeur”

  1. Thank you for quoting Mark Strand, Almost Invisible: Poems.

    one would look up into the trees and be thrilled by the wind-loosened river of pale, gold foliage cascading down and by the high, melodious singing of countless birds

    I shall resonate pictorially as follows:

    Yours sincerely,


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s