Deep in a Maine Fog


I wake up early to a cheery robin’s call

alas to see nothing but mist-laden birches

and drooping, dripping tamarack trees

helping muffle all-night sounds of two old

foghorns, one going faintly wee-hump,

wee-hump, and the other with a blaring

wwoo-wwoo-wwo, gently punctuated with

a mystic toll of a nearby lighthouse bell as

though a lonely Buddhist monk bonged a

temple gong high in Asian bamboo forests.

Hours pass in cedar cabin dampness where I

listen to hypnotic bell and foghorn patterns;

Why be in Maine cooped up from the elements?

I escape to walk a rocky shore wiping off my

densely-misted glasses when waves roll in

from nowhere pounding unseen seaweed reefs

scenting seacoast fog with salt and brine as gray

sun tries to shine but only makes things glare;

just then I must stop and stare at something

off the shore breaking through a bank of fog

with its prow, masts and sails revealing an

old-time schooner creeping slowly, slowly

with waving passengers so glad to see

a piece of mainland after miles of foggy sea,

sailing in to harbor snug with spruce and gulls.

Such poignant times on a foggy Maine day

settle deep in one’s inner mind as evening

comes and fog spreads to obscure all street lights,

and foghorns and bells make their presence known–

wee-hump, wee-hump, wwoo-wwoo-wwoo, bong.
 
By Richard F. Fleck