And, nothing himself, beholds
                                  Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.
                                            – Wallace Stevens (“The Snow Man”)

Always the backdrop
of deep pipe songs
awakening at dawn—

Roadrunners in rockpiles
like coyotes at night
finding one another.

Or the late November chill
of sequestered bulls
pacing the barbed wire,

their primal trumpeting
echoes up and down canyon
searching for the company

of work, sweet work.
The quiet moments
in between are cold

before and after
a good hard rain
when fog rolls in,

up canyon,
spilling over ridges
to wall the world away

in opaque gray
swallowing sound
to leave you lost,

disconnected, alone
with only the thought
of becoming nothing.


7 responses to “LISTENING IN FOG

  1. Tule fog… I know it well.

    Liked by 2 people

    • An old (2011) photo, we’re not quite there yet, but the Tule fog in the Valley for days on end can become depressing.

      Liked by 1 person

      • In 1983-84 I lived in Fresno and that particular year the fog smelled like garlic all day long, every day. Some farmer nearby must have planted garlic that year. It permeated the fog just like the odor of the dairies in Tulare rides along on the fog in a thick, choking layer. Now every time I drive through Shafter or Gilroy and I smell garlic, it reminds me of that year I lived in Fresno…

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Great poem, John. Reminds me of what I feel when sailing among the islands of the Sound when visibility is zero . . .

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Riding in fog is a completely different experience. Both horses and riders are at high alert. It’s a bit like riding at night. But listening is THE sense, that’s for sure. I could feel that feeling in your poem.



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