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.


Forget Me Nots

Silently, one by one, in the infinite meadows of heaven, Blossomed the lovely stars, the forget-me-nots of the angels.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

by Amanda Auchter

Is this a type of desire? A question
of faith that your lover

will not leave if you serve him enough
bread, tea, your body.  Devotion is false,

St Zita believed, that only in servitude
one could find God. Servitude

as penance. As love. So you become
servile, offer up poems, a bed

to spend the night, a glass of dark
wine. So you open the door, drive him

to the airport, let him kiss you
goodbye. But you are a cup

he expects to break. You serve him
from this cup. You carry the cup

to his mouth. You want him to taste
your willingness, your shame.



Scorpion Grass

by Amanda Auchter

Forget-me-nots used to be known as ‘scorpion grass’, with the current
name only appearing in the early 19th century.

Forget-me-not, delicate throat
in your palm. How easy it is to

crush me underfoot, under your
body’s weight in this field. You throw

down blankets here, twist grasses
into rings you give to your wife. I bend

and bend, my head too heavy with
a month of rain. I am small,

a mouse’s ear. You forget how
you pulled off each of my petals

before her, twirled my roots around
your long fingers. Me, so blue

and coiled, a wind shiver, a sting
you named, a broken stem.