John Summers left instructions that he wanted his remains to be interred in the family plot in Rhymni Cemetery, and today a small group of friends and family gathered to see his wishes honoured.
Amongst many other things, John was probably the most travelled man I’ve ever met, bringing back tales from all over the world. But wherever he went, and in whatever he wrote, he kept a part of his heart for the valleys of South Wales where he grew up, and particularly for Rhymni.
That background formed the basis of his finest novel, The Raging Summer, named in honour of Rhymni’s greatest poet Idris Davies, whose long poem The Angry Summer had depicted the town in the days of the Depression.
So, in memory of John, and in commemoration of the return of his mortal remains to his hometown, here are some lines from The Angry Summer:
And one by one the lights shall go out
in all the valleys, leaving isolated lamps, silver pins,
sticking into the inverted velvet of the midnight air.
And you shall listen then to the silence
that is not silence, to the murmur
of the uneasy centuries among the ancient hills and valleys
as here you stand with the mountain breeze on your brow.