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Detail from Corner of the Garden at Montgeron by Claude Monet

Summer Poems

Jane Tyson Clement


Summer Night Storm

The ranting of the gods, this tumbling sky,
this wind-strong rain which pelts against my cheek,
the world re-lit by lightning, and the lie
of tall sea grass low bent against the sand.
I stand here, strangely still, with all the world
tumultuous at my feet, and yet my heart
is stronger than the roaring wind that swirls
about my body, taut against its force;
that blows my eyelids shut, that locks my lips,
lest all my spirit end its restlessness
in one wild song.


This boulder is no monument to war
(no names, no dates, no honorable words),
it hunches on the hill, half hid in ferns,
above our glacial meadow flat and rich,
and watches our frail doings year by year.
This is no monolith that man has raised;
no nameless human toil has placed it here –
but the dispassionate and grinding ice,
age upon voiceless age, and now it lies,
mute witness to Earth’s passage through the skies.


Fern fiddleheads
like a loved story
whose ending we know well
and wait for –

Here, on This Surge of Hill

Here, on this surge of hill, I find myself
not as I am or will be or once was,
not as the measure of days defines my soul;
beyond all that a being of breath and bone,
partaker of wind and sun and air and earth,
I stand on the surge of hill and know myself
Below, the stars sink landward, and above
I breathe with their slow glimmer; fields are gone,
the woods are fallen into the speechless dark;
no claim, no voice, no motion, no demand.
It is alone we end then and alone
we go, creatures of solitary light;
the finger of truth is laid upon my heart:
See and be wise and unafraid, a part
of stars and earth-wind and the deepening night.

These poems and others by Jane Clement can be found in her anthology, No One Can Stem The Tide.

Corner of the Garden at Montgeron by Claude Monet
Claude Monet, A Corner of the Garden at Montgeron (detail).
View full painting.
Contributed By Jane Tyson Clement Jane Tyson Clement

Jane Tyson Clement (1917–2000) was a poet, author, and playwright.

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