How the Fog Can Matter - D. R. James

Mid-day, a slightest shivering mist
but still the sun
staring over your shoulder,
those wisps stealing
across peripheral fields
like several clever students late for class.

The professor with the leathery lips
perched in the cottonwood
that commands the nearby hillside
blows his smoke
to remind you of all those
variously true theologies.

A cedar-sided shack
two hundred yards beyond the rusted yew
comes and goes, now sharp, now
fading, floating
among the dunes, on grass
and breeze, perpetually
tipping its shabby hat, polite
and stiffened to stretches of sand,
to the breakers barely emerging
from the fog.

And whether you sit here making
something of this or not ‒
whether you care or not ‒
it appears you’ve cared, and there
it is.

First published in Lost Enough (Finishing Line Press, 2007)

D. R. James lives with his wife, psychotherapist Suzy Doyle, in the woods east of the Lake Michigan town of Saugatuck, Michigan. With six grown children between them and six small grandchildren, they are kept plenty busy, but, when not, they like to cycle along many miles of their country roads and/or veg on the deck watching the birds and deer. James has taught writing, literature, and peace-making and coached struggling students in study skills and college-life management at a small liberal arts college for 35 years. His poems and prose appear in a variety of journals, and his most recent of nine poetry collections are Flip Requiem (Dos Madres Press, 2020), Surreal Expulsion (The Poetry Box, 2019), and If god were gentle (Dos Madres Press, 2017). His micro-chapbook All Her Jazz is free, fun, and printable-for-folding at the Origami Poems Project.