And We Want More

May Swenson (1913 – 1989)

The best poetry has its roots in the subconscious to a great degree. Youth, naivety, reliance on instinct more than learning and method, a sense of freedom and play, even trust in randomness, is necessary to the making of a poem.

May Swenson

July 4th 

by May Swenson
Gradual bud and bloom and seedfall speeded up
are these mute explosions in slow motion.
From vertical shoots above the sea, the fire
flowers open, shedding their petals. Black waves,
turned more than moonwhite, pink ice, lightning blue, 
echo our gasps of admiration as they crash 
and hush. Another bush ablaze snicks straight up. 
A gap like heartstop between the last vanished
particle and the thuggish boom. And the thuggish 
boom repeats in stutters from sandhill hollows 
in the shore. We want more. A twirling sun, 
or dismembered chrysanthemum bulleted up, leisurely
bursts, in an instant timestreak is suckswooped
back to its core. And we want more: red giant,
white dwarf, black hole dense, invisible, all in one.


by Henry Allen

July 4th fireworks jar American nights,
shells chugging upwards to snap/crackle/pop
amid the wistful smoke. Bright sounds! Loud lights!
Next day, July starts. Will it ever stop?
So very big, so lonely, like high plains
beneath a canopy of glare, a herd
beneath a tree, first thoughts of hurricanes
and Pickett’s “Charge!”—the Lost Cause in one word.
July is lilies in a dry, hard shade,
a disembodied triumph under superskies,
a month of lidlessness and lemonade,
of radiant boulevards and empty eyes.
July: Augustan mixed with Junoesque,
a half-baked poet sleeping at his desk.

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.

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