Patriotism = Loyalty to a granfaloon
Matriotism = Loyalty to a planet

Fireworks, the only intelligent use of gunpowder,
The earliest manmade lightshows;
The first performance art.
Mandalas of light,
Straight from the retina to the brain,
Chemistry sent aloft for delight.

I've lived most of twenty-five years in Hawai'i,
Where fireworks jump over the moon
At the new year as well as in mid-summer.
Strings of a quarter-million firecrackers
Draped over the painting ladder in the street
Plenty of sparklers and smoke bombs for the kids
Who dance with wild glee, laughing.
I can't do fireworks or a Christmas tree without kids.

This year I am in a quiet forest with quiet friends.
We celebrate Independence
Gazing upon the wild things that dance in the meadow,
Listening to what we call World Music,
Celebrating the birth of the Universal States of Gaia
With a Declaration of Interdependence.

Alicia Bay Laurel
July 4, 2000

Mist over the Klamath at sunset on July 4