Pam Webb

a writer's journey as a reader

June POM: nice whether

June is an interesting month around my parts. In the time it takes to say “what’s it gonna do today?” the weather changes, so we don’t know whether it will be chilly or hot. At the beginning of the month it has been known to be cold enough to have a frosty wake up, so we light a chill-breaker in the morning, only to run the air conditioner by mid-afternoon due to the surge in temperature. It makes for the school’s outdoor graduation an interesting guess. I’m glad I don’t have to make that call of inside or outside.

This radical rolling of temperature swings causes some bodacious storms at times. The sudden swirl of wind, rattling of angry rain, that tempers out into penitent miffs of drips as the sky clears into blue and friendly puffy clouds  once again. Oh I do enjoy those brief summer storms. I hide out under the back porch to witness these summer snits. I guess they reflect the ocassional temper tantrum I might have tossed about in my younger days ( I’m not admitting anything).

Leonara Speyer captures well that brief snit fit found in summer:

Squall by Leonora Speyer

The squall sweeps gray-winged across the obliterated hills,

And the startled lake seems to run before it;

From the wood comes a clamor of leaves,

Tugging at the twigs,

Pouring from the branches,

And suddenly the birds are still.
Thunder crumples the sky,

Lightning tears at it.
And now the rain!

The rain—thudding—implacable—

The wind, reveling in the confusion of great pines!
And a silver sifting of light,

A coolness;

A sense of summer anger passing,

Of summer gentleness creeping nearer—

Penitent, tearful,



I would be remiss if I did not include a poem that reflects the current situation of June: IT IS REALLY, REALLY HOT, and way too early for such heat–at least in our parts. So here is another side of summer that reminds us that while summer is mostly lovely it can be hot as riding into battle.

To Summer by William Blake

O thou who passest thro’ our valleys in
Thy strength, curb thy fierce steeds, allay the heat
That flames from their large nostrils! thou, O Summer,
Oft pitched’st here thy golden tent, and oft
Beneath our oaks hast slept, while we beheld
With joy thy ruddy limbs and flourishing hair.
Beneath our thickest shades we oft have heard
Thy voice, when noon upon his fervid car
Rode o’er the deep of heaven; beside our springs
Sit down, and in our mossy valleys, on

Some bank beside a river clear, throw thy
Silk draperies off, and rush into the stream:
Our valleys love the Summer in his pride.

Our bards are fam’d who strike the silver wire:
Our youth are bolder than the southern swains:
Our maidens fairer in the sprightly dance:
We lack not songs, nor instruments of joy,
Nor echoes sweet, nor waters clear as heaven,
Nor laurel wreaths against the sultry heat.

For an interesting commentary on the poem, check out this link.


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5 thoughts on “June POM: nice whether

  1. “bodacious storms”—Love that term!

    June is an inconsistent month for weather where I live too (NE Ohio). One day it’s really hot; the next it’s 60 degrees and rainy. Never know what you’re going to get.

  2. Warm here, too, mixed with fog.

    Interesting commentary, yes. But the images are striking. Cheers!

  3. I liked Leonora Speyer’s poem and appreciate this new one (for me.) William Blake’s lines with sweet echoes, clear waters, laurel wreaths and instruments which are meant to help “ward off” (against) the sultry heat. The joy in these symbols makes me smile.

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