Foggy. Weeks now of darkness and heavy rain and heavy thunder, and inside Garrett Park’s arboretum the world is a deeply dreaming green wall.

A wall, or a well — dark, deep, shaking with thunder and white at times with lightning.

Mourning doves coo inside invisible dogwoods. Thrushes sing misty.

So many foggy poems to choose among. This one, by David Mason, will do.


Fog Horns

The loneliest days,
damp and indistinct,
sea and land a haze.

And purple fog horns
blossomed over tides—
bruises being born

in silence, so slow,
so out there, around,
above and below.

In such hurts of sound
the known world became
neither flat nor round.

The steaming tea pot
was all we fathomed
of is and is not.

The hours were hallways
with doors at the ends
opened into days

fading into night
and the scattering
particles of light.

Nothing was done then.
Nothing was ever
done. Then it was done.


These faint puffs of lines, these little brushstrokes, do the deed, make the mood. The haze so subdues the world that we can isolate, and hear, painfully, the wound of existence itself, bruises being born. When we’re out there, we’re vulnerable. We have to make our dim way through the world.

They’re too much for us, those hurts of sound that come blaring into the shut-in world in which we’ve made ourselves comfortable with a pot of tea.

We’re protected inside these small sunless days, inside the steamy fog of tea-time over and over again, where nothing ever happens. Nothing was ever done, says the poet. Comfortably numb.

But that’s its own hurt, because it will be done some day — Then it was done. — and we won’t have lived our lives.

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One Response to “Fog.”

  1. Bill Gleason Says:

    The fog comes
    on little cat feet.

    It sits looking
    over harbor and city
    on silent haunches
    and then moves on.

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