gordon coombes

Rookie (nova scotia, canada)

As The Fog Rolls In - Poem by gordon coombes

Kerouac comes out of the fog & mist
a ghost smoking a joint
offers me some
finally -

what suffering I think
to scratch out a few lines
stolen from the humming dynamo
which spins the universe -

cars pass along the low road
more pass on the higher road
red & blue lights along the horizon
disappear in the thick Atlantic fog
which swallows all remaining lights
car headlights
the farmer arrives turning on the light
which floods out through the barn doors
releases the horses to wander around their corral
the big red horse moves towards the fence
eyes me wishing to speak to me
or just looking for a treat
or someone to stroke his head

a Chinese flute is playing
such sad high fragile notes
as the fog rolls in
someone is teasing a tabla drum in the distance
as the fog rolls in from the gray Atlantic
someone is strumming a sitar
as the fog rolls in
someone is playing a jig on a fiddle
as the fog rolls in
everything has its own theme music
from the fog rolling in
to the celestial bodies
rolling across the firmament -

an ancient voice in the distance bellows
an old god reawakening
rising out of the sea
of myths & dreams
turns into a prosaic electronic being
the fog rolls in stays for days
our world shrinks
the buzzing stars a delight
as if dying one by one
as the black curtain is drawn shut
the distant hills disappear
lights flicker on towers then fade
cars pass on the road
til the road is cloaked in the mist
horses wander around their corral
keeping me company
as they too dissolve
as the light from my porch is swallowed
sucked into the pitch blackness
as I sit smoking a cigarette at 3am
the smoke swirls & curls
as the darkness enfolds me -

roads criss-crossing entangled
leading us into endless circles
lost in a maze of concrete & tar
black ribbons entwined
only trees & more trees
fields opening up
spreading to the horizon
cows lying down waiting for the rain
red barns & towering silos
houses on distant hills
then suburbia
a thousand cul-de-sacs
suddenly giant apartment complexes
pushing up through the earth
dropped out of the firmament
rise around us on all sides
towers of steel & glass
a city conquering the the country-side -

passing through a thousand quaint fishing villages
each a clone of the last
rocky shores boats tied up
old weather worn docks
in blinding light
or cloaked in mist & fog
trees along the shore road
velvet gray & green moss hanging from branches
a few scattered patches of living green
some trees half-dead line the shores
for a thousand miles
death-throes of a dying alien planet
not the one known in our childhood -

cannoeing across lifeless lakes
waves lapping against the canoe
not quite like the Indian Princess
who wrote of her singing paddle
lost in colonial dreams -


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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Poem Edited: Tuesday, March 29, 2011


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