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Posts Tagged ‘fog’

fog flood

An island
Isolated by
A fog flood.

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photo by Jan Schulz

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* The haiku I write are lines of 3-5-3 syllables instead of 5-7-5.

See Haiku article here for explanation, if needed: https://thebardonthehill.wordpress.com/2011/08/08/haiku/
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© Dennis Allen Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2017.

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Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherized upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
or insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question….
Oh, do not ask, “What is it?”
Let us go and make our visit.
In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.

The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes,
The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes,
Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening,
Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains,
Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys.
Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap,
And seeing that it was a soft October night,
Curled once about the house, and fell asleep.

And indeed there will be time
For the yellow smoke that slides along the street,
Rubbing its back upon the window-panes;
There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate;
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea.
In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.

And indeed there will be time
To wonder, “Do I dare?” and, “Do I dare?”
Time to turn back and descend the stair,
With a bald spot in the middle of my hair –
(They will say: “How his hair is growing thin!”)
My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin,
My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin –
(They will say: “But how his arms and legs are thin!”)
Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.

For I have known them all already, known them all:
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;
I know the voices dying with a dying fall
Beneath the music from a farther room.
So how should I presume?

And I have known the eyes already, known them all –
The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase,
And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin,
When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall,
Then how should I begin
To spit out all the butt-ends of my days and ways?
And how should I presume?

And I have known the arms already, known them all –
Arms that are braceleted and white and bare
(But in the lamplight, downed with light brown hair!)
Is it perfume from a dress
That makes me so digress?
Arms that lie along a table, or wrap about a shawl.
And should I then presume?
And how should I begin?

Shall I say, I have gone at dusk through narrow streets
And watched the smoke that rises from the pipes
Of lonely men in shirt-sleeves, leaning out of windows?…
I should have been a pair of ragged claws
Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.

And the afternoon, the evening, sleeps so peacefully!
Smoothed by long fingers,
Asleep…tired…or it malingers,
Stretched on the floor, here beside you and me.
Should I, after tea and cakes and ices,
Have the strength to force the moment to its crisis?
But though I have wept and faster, wept and prayed,
Though I have seen my head (grown slightly bald) brought in upon a platter,
I am no prophet – and here’s no great matter;
I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,
And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker,
And in short, I was afraid.

And would it have been worth it, after all,
After the cups, the marmalade, the tea,
Among the porcelain, among some talk of you and me,
Would it have been worth while,
To have bitten off the matter with a smile,
To have squeezed the universe into a ball
To roll it toward some overwhelming question,
To say: “I am Lazarus, come from the dead,
Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all” –
If one, settling a pillow by her head,
Should say: “That was not what I meant at all;
That is not it, at all.”

And would it have been worth it, after all,
Would it have been worth while,
After the sunsets and the dooryards and the sprinkled streets,
After the novels, after the teacups, after the skirts that trail along the floor –
And this, and so much more? –
It is impossible to say just what I mean!
But as if a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on a screen:
Would it have been worth while
If one, settling a pillow or throwing off a shawl,
And turning toward the window, should say:
“That is not it at all,
That is not what I meant at all.”

No! I am not Prince Hamlet, or was meant to be;
Am an attendant lord, one that will do
To swell a progress, start a scene or two,
Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool,
Deferential, glad to be of use,
Politic, cautious, and meticulous;
Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;
At times, indeed, almost ridiculous –
Almost, at times, the Fool.

I grow old…I grow old…
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.

I do not think that they will sing to me.
I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
When the wind blows the water white and black.
We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.

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The San Francisco hills are, day by day,
A mystery that never goes away.
Some need a revelation so they’ll know
Why they put on the purest iv’ry show.

They daily seem to smoke as if on fire,
And wear their white robes like a virgin choir.
But on their slopes there is no leaping flame
That Smoking Mountains would become their name.

Though Twain deemed San Francisco summer’s cold
No one who knows would be so wrong and bold
To say the hills, upon their heads, wear snow
So they are white and wise like old men grow.

It really is too complex to explain
The factors here in my too short refrain.
So, in the end, my simple answer’s that
On San Francisco hills sits Sandburg’s cat.

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© Dennis Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2015.

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Mark Twain supposedly said, “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.”

Fog by Carl Sandburg:
https://thebardonthehill.wordpress.com/2011/06/10/fog-by-carl-sandburg/

If Sandburg’s Cat Were Mine:
https://thebardonthehill.wordpress.com/2015/01/14/if-sandburgs-cat-were-mine-by-dennis-lange/

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……………The River Smokes

About this safety issue, much is said,
But still the river sometimes smokes in bed.
And on those mornings when we wake to see
The shroud she breathed, alarmed we should not be
for her.
……………For all around are drenched, and burn
she’ll not.
……………Our safety is the sole concern.

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© Dennis Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2015.

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….If Sandburg’s Cat Were Mine

The fog comes silently as if it were
A pensive cat on little paws.
It looks o’er harbor, town without a purr
And then moves on to warm applause.

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Sandburg’s poem can be read here:

https://thebardonthehill.wordpress.com/2011/06/10/fog-by-carl-sandburg/

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© Dennis Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2015.

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Before I woke,
The fog rose from its river bed,
   And stepped across the strand
With muted feet, and careful tread,
   Crossed trees and roofs and land. 

Before I worked,
The wisps, like ghostly armies, fought,
   And won a war like night
Wins nightly ‘cause it softly wrought
   Surrender of one’s sight. 

Before I rose,
The silent soldiers as a mass
   Caused sky and land to meet.
When each for other both could pass,
   Their labor was complete. 

And then, I woke
With beams and warmed – my daily reign,
   My place as king of day –
And worked.  My toil was not in vain.
   I melted fog away.

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photo by Lynne Lancaster at http://www.rgbstock.com/photo/mrnQcoW/Misty+Morning

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© Dennis Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2013.

 

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Early Morning Drive

Morning fog;
Black cows are grazing
Against gray.

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Spring flowers
By the road.  Plastic
In graveyard.

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Huge green field
Two dappled ponies
All to self.

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* The haiku I write are lines of 3-5-3 syllables instead of 5-7-5.
See Haiku article here for explanation, if needed:

https://thebardonthehill.wordpress.com/2011/08/08/haiku/

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© Dennis Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2012.

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