A Message for PEACE on Independence Day

Fireworks Aficionado

by Pat Hanson (July 4, 2004 & July 3, 2019)

We’re fireworks aficionados

My significant equal and I

‘saw the millennium spectacle in 1999

with half a million on Washington, DC’s mall

Marked the 4th of 2000

‘cross the river from Manhattan Island

We revel in pop, crack, pound-your-heart outbursts

scintillating luminosity

Spiraling, star-trek beaming

dripping downward

melting into the oceans’ edge.

this time in San Diego harbor

raining stardust ash on a ga-zillion dollar aircraft carrier

named aptly for a dead president

an actor turned commander in chief

his wife Nancy of ‘just say no’ fame

they chose this metropolis of military seamen and fighting ships

year round sunshine

over fog and Fort Washington further north

to call home-base for this war machine

Why is it we wonder so?

Breathe collective sighs of awe

Simultaneously shout at the shock

Reel from the gunbursts

the cannonshots

knowing inside

we are safe

that this is pretend gun violence?

Is it a reminder

To stay in the moment

fixated on movie-screen space and no-time?

Forgetting during these twenty minute moving miracles

The dead soldiers

Grief wrecked families

Sacrifices made to keep us free?

As I walk through the smoke

Created by celestial skyscreens

I find myself praying

Harder than ever before


No more killing,

We want a world where we all remember

with kindness all peoples

All places …

Because there’s only one of us here.

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