Canopy of Fog
No breakwater visible.
The lake itself the color of fog.
cocooned in, small now as any inland lake.
Ten gulls overhead, darker shade of fog gray.
We feel our way, directionless
in this nether world of isolation. We grope
along the banks of this River Styx.
The wind picks up, there is thunder.
The rain begins, the fog lifts. We trudge
through the sand, surfacing into
the real world or, according to Plato,
out of the real world into the world of shadows.
In this world of shadows we sit in the sun,
eat dried tomato sandwiches, listen,
to be sure the gulls are not calling our names.
The air is honeyed with wet grass, sunlight
and lake algae
On the water is the brightness of the backdrop,
cool winds, tepid daylight.
Crows scatter as I pass, while the geese
On my perfect day here, it is raining.
A soft rain that turns the lake grey and
relieves the smell of weekend barbecue,
picnics and rotting fruit.
The mountain towering above is a sweet green,
innocent in comparison to other giants.
No one else is here,
except an older coupler—
the weekend lingerers.
With every step, I pull the ground behind me,
peddling the earth backwards,
the lake in the foreground.
as sun slants
beneath the canopy of trees
skim the path—
its nuances already one
with marrow of bones—
into the silent spaces
where grackles have stopped
their guttural squawking
their turn to sing
and the sun
blesses the day
The neighborhood hill is my match.
Pavement gives in to gravel, which
leads way to rooty earth,
Often, my grip is challenged as
eyesight races foothold.
Below, my kingdom rises.
Wood ducks cry out;
mountain laurel fidgets on its stem.
Unknown beasts have carved the path before me.
Ghosts of myself,
in running shoes long put to rest.
Soon I plateau, descend.
I am home before darkness.