Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Wishing Upon Fireworks

—Photo by D.R. Wagner, Elk Grove

—B.Z. Niditch, Brookline, MA

July Fourth
when fire flies
burn out
along an azure sky
from blossoms
of endless spectrums
raised to shadow box
over the ocean
in sensational passing
as the fire works
in a hallucinatory crimson
of flames with pieces
and sequences of light.


—Tom Goff, Carmichael

Did you just wish upon a star? Not
a falling star, but a false one, brightest
in the firmament because helicopter?
Now then, what happens when you wish
upon fireworks? I do, constantly: you

rocket Ellen Burstyn bombs red-air,
mid-glare in each of my wishes.
When entire skies ignite heedless
of the expense in a waste of flame, our spirits
& genders just Gumby in the superheat. Me
Grace Kelly, you Cary Grant. Or, since we’ve
both ingested San Francisco/Monterey,

those flaring nightjars make Pacific breakers
wetting my Kim Novak hard upon
entry into your James Stewart kiss.
Oh Lady Liberty, raise my fiery torch
and warm globally our previously warm globule.
I would say, we are half Hollywood,

but this is our movie, ours. One good stiff
look from you, my Greta Gerwig, my
sky-leaping lady of mystery and risk:
I am forty oxen bogtrotting to slaughter.
You brandish the compressed-air nozzle,
then with your most unassuming flourish
press it to my brow, it shoots and retracts
its knowing point; in my brain I want that one
last briefly banshee Piccolo Pete

when the pliers applied midsection
like tweezers make it pop big but no,
you let her rip and my mind’s a mere punk,
you sweet sweet sweet sociopath,
impetuous friend-o.

Evil July 4th
—Photo by D.R. Wagner

Why are our public libraries closed July 3, the day before Independence Day?
I wonder why July 4th should be recognized as an official government holiday anyway—
when some rich white, slave-holding men in 1776 declared their "independence" from Britain
But the wise out there ought to know it took until the 1960's or even into the 1970's,
for so many Americans to earn and exercise the same "freedoms" declared back then
and the fight still goes on for the common American
And by the way, America is still dependent, not independent, from the rest of the world
including the third-world sweat shop workers that make stuff for it
yet America's leaders still make war with other nations, even for reasons as simple as not being Americans
Besides, exploding fireworks not only frighten pets and children,
stands where they are sold are a corporate plot intended to blow up peoples' money budget
and extort the poor in the name of entertainment so they'll end up at their local charity "food bank"
—Michelle Kunert, Sacramento


—Caschwa, Sacramento

(Article I, Section 9, Clause 8: No title of nobility shall be granted by the United States: and no person holding any office of profit or trust under them, shall, without the consent of the Congress, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state.)

The former Lady Liberty, now liberated of her noble title by the Constitution,
Stands staunchly with a flaming torch in her corner of the ring
Staring defiantly across to her upstart challenger, the Fire Marshall

You are not the father of this country!
You are not the father of my children!
You’re not man enough to be on top!!

The Fire Marshall took a long Jack Benny pause, and then mildly responded:
We are a nation of laws, Ms. Liberty, that everyone must follow
Put out those fireworks or I’ll have Smokey Bear swipe your bacon

I knew I was too hot for you to take me on alone.
It’s the 4th of July, the nation has some serious celebrating to do
Go get Smokey and his friends and join us for some BBQ.  You’ll love it!

Do you think that’s OK, Ms. Liberty?  I’ll have to ask the Mrs., plus
There are rules to follow, we’ll need permissions for all those public  
Gatherings, parades, open fires, serving homemade food, kids up late, etc.

Mr. Fire Marshall, you’re sounding like the king we just revolted against.
It’s a holiday, the libraries are closed, so get your nose out of that rule book
I am giving you permission to be free.  Hey, you got Smokey’s number handy?


—Taylor Graham, Placerville

Two hundred thirty-six years since that hopeful
day. And now, every pro and con descends
to the same interminable argument. Like dancing
on broken wineglasses barefoot. All evening
pundits grope for answers that sneak off
in the dark. Let's spare the power grid; turn off
the TV. Listen to mosquitoes buzz instead.
There's not a breath of breeze in the grapevine.
And after all the fireworks, tomorrow's just
another Thursday.


—Taylor Graham

Not just another barbecue—
it's Independence, Liberty.
She dreams of horses on parade
unbridled, red-white-blue and free.

Just six years old, a grade-school girl—
St. Joan astride was still a Maid.
Unbridled red-white-blue and free—
she dreams of horses on parade.

She's Paul Revere, she mounts the wind
to speed the news on land and sea.
She dreams of horses on parade
unbridled red-white-blue and free.

She's read no history books in school;
how could she know oppression's blade
unbridled? Red-white-blue and free,
she dreams of horses on parade.

Her liberty's a flying mane
and hooves that pound a jubilee.
She dreams of horses on parade—
unbridled, red-white-blue, and free.

Today's LittleNip:

—Joyce Odam, Sacramento

Behind raised
Torch in her hand—
Celebration fireworks
Of desired peace—
Desired peace



 —Photo by D.R. Wagner