I wrote this poem last summer during a
severe drought that caused officials to
cancel 4th of July fireworks displays
because of dry conditions creating extreme
The Quiet And Dry Fourth Of July
Tis quiet, this night – the valley down below
Brings forth no crackling sounds, no sudden glow.
There is no rocket’s burst to bloom a flare.
Like patient’s room filled with death’s doom – tis bare.
The silence on this night is keenly heard,
So out of place, a muted singing bird.
This night is for a celebration, wild;
Instead the sights and sounds are strangely mild.
The Texas drought produced a fireworks ban.
With trees and grass so tender that they can
Explode in flames from just a tiny spark,
And rage till rain enough to raise the ark.
And so, across the valley from my deck,
The Fourth comes forth from out a strangled neck,
The people pinched by a decree that bars
Their shooting flaming missiles at the stars.
And though the night is somber, like defeat,
I know a distant day that drought can’t cheat;
That time when liberty, with just a pen,
Was shouted to the world, that we begin!
I see the lights of houses down below,
And in those free, unshackled homes they know
This was the day when brave men risked their all,
To be free men, free from the chain and ball.
Like stars whose names spring from the praising tongue,
Who knew, for treason’s sake, they might be hung -
A Madison, a Henry – bold, a Paine,
And more, who gave to shed the tyrant’s reign.
The lights below shine for those stars above
Who twinkle down o’er this fair land they love.
In freedom and in peace, light speaks to light
To testify of joy this silent night.
Stripped of the match, the outward flash, the bang,
We still remember that this day we sprang.
Give thanks, while on our minds we must rely
To celebrate this dry Fourth of July.
© Dennis Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2012.