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