Ward Cleaver's wife. Mother of The Beav. The sixth month. Other famous Junes: Nam June Paik; June Jones, head football coach at the University of Hawaii. Month of Juneteenth and the first day of summer (or winter, if you live upside down). Named for the Roman goddess Juno, deity of free e-mail. Pat Boone and John Maynard Keynes were born in this month; George "Superman" Reeves and former Jersey City mayor Frank "I am the law" Hague died. Did I mention it's the sixth month?

June

PAULA is digging and shaping the loam of a salvia,

Scarlet Chinese talker of summer.
Two petals of crabapple blossom blow fallen in Paula's
hair,
And fluff of white from a cottonwood.

Carl Sandburg (1878–1967)


Salvia (Salvia Divinorum) a sage, grows wild here in the Sonoran desert but by June it's all but faded by the intense summer heat. It's a rather plain green low growing plant but gloruis when it blooms with long spiky stalks topped with small trumpet like flowers. In Sandburg’s Illinois, early June is still spring but it's in April and May that I see it on my walks where it is the 'talker of summer' sprouting up as a volunteer plant scattered among the desert poppies. The line Scarlet Chinese is reminiscent of the flower's pagoda like shape and Sandburg's simple transition of descriptions from the brown loam to bright red, a fading pink and lastly white is indeed the pleasant progress I see on my day to day walk as I pass the same plant each day.

from Chicago Poems(1916)

Sources:

Public domain text taken from The Poets’ Corner:
http://www.theotherpages.org/poems/sandb02.html#sand30

June is an exacting timekeeper,
unwavering in her duties,
inscribing arcs of fire
        against the sky,
casting the afternoon shadows
        at the corpse of each day.

She counts out the seconds with unfaltering grace,
unswayed by pleas or bargains.
You cannot haggle with June;
        she passes, uncaring.
Even as we are caught
        in our own torporous eddies
        and rapids of excitement,
June marches on,
deaf to our pleas to quicken or linger.

Too often we cross and recross bygone roads,
        circling old regrets,
        revisiting haunts
        where we still remain.
But no matter how much we entreat,
the past remains the past,
entrenched in stone, unyielding.

And yet other times we strain ourselves
to see what will come to be
        when we seek the future
        we forget the now,
which slips us by like water through fingers,
caught up in shaping the things to come.

For the now is the only thing that ever will be.

The past is past, the future yet unforged;
the now will never be again.

June is brief.
Ask her out, jump out of that plane,
        hike down the shore,
                write that novel,
                        plant those peas,
                                hug him,

                                        live.

June (?), n. [L. Junius: cf. F. Juin. So called either from Junius, the name of a Roman gens, or from Juno, the goddess.]

The sixth month of the year, containing thirty days.

And what is so rare as a day in June?
Then, if ever, come perfect days.
Lowell.

June beetle, June bug (Zoöl.), any one of several species of large brown beetles of the genus Lachnosterna and related genera; -- so called because they begin to fly, in the northern United States, about the first of June. The larvæ of the June beetles live under ground, and feed upon the roots of grasses and other plants. Called also May bug or May beetle. --
June grass (Bot.), a New England name for Kentucky blue grass. See Blue glass, and Illustration in Appendix.

 

© Webster 1913

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