The air a tension held; the trees were mute,
The bracken stood immobile in a spell.
Birdsong was choked, a hawk in sullen sky
Hovered on pinions grey. To deepest root
All things were waiting, still as a dark well
That at a sudden sign might spew on high
A geyser’s scalding stream. The rip’ning fruit
Hung heavily, each globe a leaden bell
Tongueless. No insect toured the ground, no fly
Threaded the thick silence with a voice minute.
Then like a tiger thrashing through the trees
Leaped up the storm, a deluge tore the ground.
Horned lightning clove the skies with shatt’ring sound,
Nature, relieved, writhed in her ecstasies.
Weekly times 18.3.60
(A memory of Hydon Heath, Surrey. Aug. 1945)