Skip to main content
By Janet Loxley Lewis

Below the gardens and the darkening pines

The living water sinks among the stones,

Sinking yet foaming till the snowy tones

Merge with the fog drawn landward in dim lines.

The cloud dissolves among the flowering vines,

And now the definite mountain-side disowns

The fluid world, the immeasurable zones.

Then white oblivion swallows all designs.


But still the rich confusion of the sea,

Unceasing voice, sombre and solacing,

Rises through veils of silence past the trees;

In restless repetition bound, yet free,

Wave after wave in deluge fresh releasing

An ancient speech, hushed in tremendous ease.


"Carmel Highlands" from The Selected Poems of Janet Lewis edited by R.L. Barth. Published in 2000 by Swallow Press/Ohio University Press, Athens, Ohio (www.ohioswallow.com).

Source: The Selected Poems of Janet Lewis (Ohio University Press, 2000)

  • Nature

Poet Bio

Janet Loxley Lewis
Janet Lewis was born in Chicago, Illinois, and attended the University of Chicago. She founded the literary journal Gyroscope along with her husband, the poet and critic Yvor Winters, and taught at Stanford and the University of California at Berkeley. Known mostly as the author of historical novels, Lewis dedicated both the early and later years of her life to poetry. Her poetry never gained widespread acclaim, but has developed a group of admirers including Kenneth Rexroth, Theodore Roethke, and Dana Gioia. In poems such as “Carmel Highlands,” Lewis creates strong, vivid imagery while writing with rhythmic lyricism.

More Poems about Nature

Browse poems about Nature