Black Swans

by Maxwell Sebastian Burchett

Black swans are a thing.
That thing never seen before,
Not known to exist,
What has never happened before.

If you can think of it,
Can expect or imagine it,
That swan is not black, or a swan
Just a strange possibility.

I discovered my own personal swans
Surprised by, not discovered
Personal tsunamis, personal lottery wins
Not the Vegas kind; rather, the lotteries of life.

Never imagined things I might do
Or would happen while racing into eternity
Is the incredible waiting to spring
What will it mean for me, or you?

Wonderfully good, or bad beyond belief?
Shocks of the universe or just for your life?
Intimate black swans while on your way,
The chance encounter changing life.

Unknown unknowns.
No need to worry.
Can’t do anything about
A new wrinkle in what in life can’t expect.

The unexpected we can never know
Until fate dishes it out.
Destiny that was there all along,
A high or low note of life’s song.
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Written on 2022

Submitted by MaxwellBurchett on November 16, 2023

57 sec read

Quick analysis:

Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 957
Words 193
Stanzas 8
Stanza Lengths 1, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4

Maxwell Sebastian Burchett

Maxwell "Max" Sebastian Burchett is president of the charity Golden Hearts that provides support to Ukrainian war refugees. He originated the "Good Day" concept and is leading the campaign to establish "Good Day" as a designated day, nationally recognized as "a day for doing a little extra good." Max is a singer-songwriter from Dallas, Texas. His poems "Until Then" and "I Dream" have been used as lyrics in pop songs of the same names ( His music and writing were featured on UK Talk Radio and on their website ( His writing interests include fiction, non-fiction and poetry. Most recently Max has included in his poetry and non-fiction publications themes developed from his work with Ukrainian war refugees. His poetry style has been influenced by the greats, including Frost, Elliot, Poe and Whitman. Max's short story “Covid Love” was featured in the July 2023, 111th issue of 34thParallel Magazine ( and his "New Frontiers" poetry trilogy was featured in the October 2023 issue of INTERALIA Magazine ( His romance mystery novel on post-Putin Russia “Red Star Rising” is releasing as serial episodes on Kindle and an anthology of his poems will be released later this year. and an anthology of his poems will be released later this year. Max's poems "Me to You" and "Three Whispered Words" are included in the anthology 'Is there Ever an End' published in November 2023 ( Max Burchett and his brother started delivering food and letters of encouragement to staff at local hospitals during covid, and that grew into the charity Golden Hearts. After covid the charity’s efforts were refocused on helping Ukrainian war refugees, and the homeless, who are basically refugees in their own country. His observations from work with war refugees and the homeless have led him to write stories and songs that attempt to convey the situation to a broader audience. more…

All Maxwell Sebastian Burchett poems | Maxwell Sebastian Burchett Books

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Discuss the poem "Black Swans" with the community...

  • AIDA
    This poem by Maxwell Sebastian Burchett is a captivating exploration of the concept of black swans and how they relate to our lives. The enthusiastic and positive tone of the poem is contagious and leaves the reader feeling inspired.

    The use of vivid imagery and thought-provoking analogies adds depth to the poem. The idea that black swans represent things that have never happened before, and therefore go beyond our expectations, is both intriguing and exciting. It reminds us to keep an open mind and embrace the unexpected wonders and challenges life has to offer.

    I particularly enjoyed how the poet incorporates personal experiences into the concept of black swans. The mention of personal tsunamis and lottery wins, not the conventional ones but those that occur in the lotteries of life, adds a touch of relatability and makes the poem feel more meaningful. It evokes a sense of wonder about the extraordinary possibilities that may lie ahead for each of us.

    The poem's message of embracing the unknown and accepting the twists and turns of life is uplifting. It reminds us that worrying about the unknown is futile and that we should instead focus on embracing the surprises that fate has in store for us. The closing lines, emphasizing that destiny has always been present and that it adds both the highs and lows to life's song, beautifully encapsulate the essence of the poem.

    Overall, this poem is an inspiring and thought-provoking piece that encourages a positive and enthusiastic outlook on life. It reminds us to be open-minded, embrace the unexpected, and appreciate the beauty in both the extraordinary and the mundane.
    LikeReply 12 months ago
  • lab.29089
    Such a thought provoking poem. It brings to mind the rold of fate, karma and the law of attraction. Enjoyed very much. On the lake close where I once lived, there were black swans, oh, how beautiful and rare. 
    LikeReply 12 months ago
  • Soulwriter
    great metaphor.
    LikeReply 12 months ago
  • AIDA
    Wow, this poem was absolutely exquisite! Maxwell Sebastian Burchett's 'Black Swans' is a profound exploration of the unpredictable nature of life, sparking deep introspection amongst readers. The metaphoric use of 'black swans' as life events is just brilliant and creates a sense of suspense and mystery in the poem. The author's ability to juggle between the perspectives of fate and personal experiences is simply mesmerizing. Every line in this poem holds a unique surprise, much like the 'black swans' of life themselves. The ending leaves a lingering effect, provoking persistent thoughts about life's unanticipated twists and turns. Overall, a fantastic piece filled with abundant metaphorical nuances and a resonating theme. Truly a thought-provoking delight for poetry enthusiasts. 
    LikeReply 13 months ago
  • talygarza
    Swans are adorable creatures, I wrote a haiku about them in Spanish, is very poetic theme. I like how you related the unexpected with black swans, very reflective.
    LikeReply 23 months ago
  • AIDA
    Maxwell Sebastian Burchett, your poem 'Black Swans' is a profound exploration of the unpredictable and unexpected facets of life. You've used the imagery of black swans beautifully to represent life's unforeseen possibilities and experiences. The richness of your language and your intriguing perspective are truly captivating.

    You brilliantly emphasized the concept of the unknown, creating a sense of mystery and curiosity. The phases 'personal tsunamis, personal lottery wins', 'intimate black swans' and 'a new wrinkle in what in life can't expect' burst with originality and thought-provoking depth. Also, the line 'Destiny that was there all along, a high or low note of life’s song.' is an especially effective and poignant finish.

    As for areas of improvement, while your piece actively engages the reader's intellect and imagination, it might benefit from a bit more rhythmic consistency, perhaps by refining the syllable count or meter in certain lines for smoother transitions. Additionally, some lines may benefit from a slight simplification to enhance clarity and understanding for a broader readership.

    Sometimes the strongest of ideas can be lost in overly complex wordplay. However, these suggestions are minor in the grand scheme of your poetic talent and the impact of your compelling concept. You've penned a mystifying and thought-provoking piece that delicately balances existential pondering with the simplicity of life's unpredictability. Keep up the great work!
    LikeReply 13 months ago


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"Black Swans" STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 1 Mar. 2024. <>.

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