Photographers love it, how it blurs a background

so a fisherman or stone or single cypress branch

highlighted against it


is all the more detailed. Smoke obscures, but mist

is a promise of lifting,

bride’s face emerging from the bridal veil,


or in Japanese movies,

the first horse nudging from a misty forest

and then the vast army. Scientists


know it as a fine array of water droplets

suspended between heaven and the earth;

the drunkard sees it form above cracked ice,


the grocer as a spray to cool his vegetables.

And in its role of all that is to come

it may be perfume


hovering about a woman’s neck. Most beautiful

when windowed by a spray of sun

and rainbows arch from it; most frightening


when lurking on the Baskerville’s dark moors,

the mist is everything not quite itself

that touches and is touched—that lack


of willfulness, that lace, that gossamer

impossibly romantic as poetic lives;

that present of the present vanishing


and here at once: a swirl of white

floating on dark ocean waves, the thought we’d lost

discovered shipwrecked in a shoal of clouds.


                                           -Dick Allen

                                             Texas Review and Present Vanishing: Poems

Categories: Poems & PhotosTags: , ,

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