In search of story

July 4.22: Coping, but barely


Under raptor storms,

growling clouds of dark unknown,

sunless doubts and dangers

in history’s tempest blown,

they pledged their sacred honor.

Could they have even thought

how much of “sacred honor”

would be bartered, sold, and bought?

Yes, I think they did,

but still they took a stand,

and signed their deep conviction

in sprawling, sundry hand.

Seeing the unseen,

hearing the unheard,

they built a sure storm shelter

with the steel of written word.


Here we celebrate the 4th of July, Independence Day,

perhaps a bit subdued this year.

“Self-evident truths,” it turns out,

are not so self-evident.

More thanks to photographer S.W. Berg

for this gorgeous capture

over Buckroe Beach, Virginia.

10 thoughts on “July 4.22: Coping, but barely

  1. I had to read this twice to make sure I didn’t miss a word. Beautifully written and gets right to the core. Thank you, Maureen, for these thought provoking words on a day when we should be thinking and not just playing.

    • Thanks, Judy. It seems like a different kind of 4th this year, doesn’t it? I agree that there is a lot of thinking to be done. The last few years have been overwhelming, and it’s going to take a lot of thought to wrestle with it all.

  2. I think this year requires us to have faith in the experiment that was this country’s beginning, and also in the fact that people will work through the questions and find the right answers in their hearts. You put it in front of us beautifully, Maureen, and Judy is right, we have to think. I hope you enjoy this day.

  3. Beautiful photograph indeed Maureen.

    Another beautifully written poem. Judy’s right, you get right to the core. People here don’t seem to care what this holiday represents. To them it’s an excuse to go haywire and party hearty! All they seem to be thinking about is whether they have enough beer on ice. Celebrating is great, but not if you don’t even know the sacrifices people made for us to be here today…a free nation!


    • Bill, the photographer, has a great eye, doesn’t he? His beach photos are particularly good.

      I’m glad you liked the poem, Ginger; I thought about a lot of things as I was wrestling with the words. This 4th seems to me a more sober holiday than those of the past, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t see the patriotism in a cold beer. The last few years have made us lonesome for celebrations. But you are right that a lot of sacrifice has given us the privilege to celebrate.

  4. Well said, Dan: we need to work through the questions and look in our hearts for the answers. I hope the experiment will hold. I also hope you too enjoy today. I started “Knuckleheads” yesterday and will continue in it today. That will be part of how I enjoy today!

  5. ‘and signed their deep conviction’–an interesting choice of words, considering what we are now witnessing today. Enjoy that patriotic cold beer, Maureen. I shall toast with a nice red wine.

    • Indeed, what we witness today has made me wonder what “conviction” means. Red wine is patriotic too. Maybe we’ll break out in a rousing chorus of Yankee Doodle and thrill our neighbors.

  6. I hope you enjoyed the day and am sorry I’m in catch-up mode again. ‘Yes, I think they did,/but still they took a stand’ is devastating. I think they did too. War is all moral dilemma, yet to act, we must pretend it’s clear cut.

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