Fourth of July

Now it seems
after the Fourth of July
the summer scoots by so much faster,
making us almost wish the Fourth away.
But as a young boy,
July 4th was long and eagerly awaited,
and then summers lasted an eternity.
Always then,
up before the hazy sunrise.
Boundless energy
exploding in all directions.
Rapid-fire machine gun firecrackers
breaking the morning’s silence.
Sweltering heat at noon
as we guzzled gallons of cool-aid.
Pick-up baseball games,
badminton matches, and horseshoe contests
throughout the inexhaustible day
that went on and on.
Dips in and out of the pool
and even a run through the sprinkler.
Favorite aunts hugging you
and begging you to tell
about your secret girlfriend.
How did they know?
Maybe because they were
secret girlfriends at one time.
Picnic plates filled with things we still love
but won’t allow ourselves to eat today.
Barbecue smoke wafting across backyards,
whetting our insatiable appetites.
Uncles, tipsy from much beer, telling bawdy jokes
kids shouldn’t hear, but always they did.
Excited laughter
giggling through life’s usual humdrum.
Magical fireflies twinkling yellow
in the alluring darkness,
prompting our chase
long after bedtime.
Skies graced with exploding rainbows
and mesmerizing color extravaganzas.
And best of all: Sweet dreams
and painless happiness everywhere.

Author: Don Iannone, D.Div.

Biography Photographer, poet, teacher, complementary medicine provider, interfaith minister, and former economic developer. Holds a Doctorate in Divinity, Master of Divinity, Master of Mind-Body Medicine, and Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology. Clinical certifications in Reiki, guided meditation, life purpose coaching, and spiritual counseling.  Author of 12 books, including two new books in the contemporary spirituality field. Learn more here. Contact Information Kosmos Consulting and Research website:  Visual Advantage Photography website: Flickr Photo Page here: Contact Don Iannone by email:

15 thoughts on “Fourth of July”

  1. Thanks Andrew. Glad it catapulted you through time.


    Anonymous, thanks for stopping by and leaving your comment.

    Rainer Maria Rilke contributed much to not only poetry, but philosophy and certainly spiritual understanding. His Book of Hours was a highly inspired piece. As the subtitle indicates, it was a series of love poems to God. What a wonderful thought, don’t you agree? Hope you stop back.

    This is one my favorites from hi Book of Hours:

    I am too alone in the world, and yet not alone enough
    to make every hour holy.
    I am too small in the world, and yet not tiny enough
    just to stand before you like a thing,
    dark and shrewd.
    I want my will, and I want to be with my will
    as it moves towards deed;
    and in those quiet, somehow hesitating times,
    when something is approaching,
    I want to be with those who are wise
    or else alone.
    I want always to be a mirror that reflects your whole being,
    and never to be too blind or too old
    to hold your heavy, swaying image.
    I want to unfold.
    Nowhere do I want to remain folded,
    because where I am bent and folded, there I am lie.
    And I want my meaning
    true for you. I want to describe myself
    like a painting that I studied
    closely for a long, long time,
    like a word I finally understood,
    like the pitcher of water I use every day ,
    like the face of my mother,
    like a ship
    that carried me
    through the deadliest storm of all.

    This is a great piece from The Unknown Rilke Collection (Franz Wright, 1990):

    Darkness, my darkness, I stand here with you, and everything passes outside; and all I ask is a voice like an animal’s, one voice, a single cry for all — . Because what good to me are the innumerable words that come and go, when the cry of a bird, uttered again and again, makes a tiny heart so vast and one with the heart of the air, the heart of the grove, and so radiantly audible to Him . . .: who again and again, with every dawn, ascends: most precipitous stone.

  2. Reading The Book of Hours was to be touched by a sadness and beauty one could not reach. Ten, twenty years having passed, I still don’t know what to say to him in a letter, though I wish he would write.

  3. Thanks Michael. Made the change. Appreciate the fine edit. Should read better now.

    Polona, thanks. I like to think of the holiday as Inter-dependence Day, if you know what I mean.

  4. i’ll take as much painless happiness as you can spare 🙂
    have a good day

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