“The Cosmos and Man” is written in free verse and uses fireworks as a metaphor for life.
To those in the United States, Happy Fourth of July!
It is Independence Day.
All those firecrackers—
Look at them all.
One after another after another.
Each one fascinating to watch,
Each one gone in a flash;
Each one is like a little life.
More are launched.
They are launched
In greater numbers
At ever faster rates.
This is humanity
Approaching its crescendo.
Imagine if we oohed and ahhed,
For every life lived like it was a firework.
Folks are gone nearly as quickly, after all.
But we must tell ourselves
That we burn more brightly,
if not brighter, and are far more
important and everlasting.
At last the air is filled with fireworks,
A bright blaze. Thank the stars
That there is something beautiful
Yet to look upon.
The fireworks are captivating.
I don’t say good or bad, but
As expected, the show ends with a bang.
Some smoke lingers in the atmosphere.
A wind blows.
The stars twinkle high above.
The universe, it turns out,
Never cared that those fireworks
Existed it all.
Is the very definition
Of unrequited love.