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    Detail from Corner of the Garden at Montgeron by Claude Monet

    Summer Poems

    By Jane Tyson Clement

    June 12, 2017

    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.

    Read more poems by Jane Tyson Clement in The Heart’s  Necessities.

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

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

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