Reading by the author

As light reenters
the forest space:

a slow, steady rousing
to consciousness.

The thin liquid of
night stirs, lifting.

Silence, the stately
forms of trees.

The low ferns
flutter slightly,

wafting skyward,
towards morning,

on a low cloud
transuding from

the damp earth.
Wider and ever

more palpable grows
the gray air: the low shroud

rising to hang upon
itself, suspended

until the evocation
strengthens. A fine

mist on the petals of
a white wild rose.

A soft wisdom
awakening. And then,

with obscurity lifted,
the ground sings.

Poet’s Note

Since the beginning of the pandemic in America, I have been writing with the hope that I can capture peace on the page and leave it there, within four corners from where it could never escape. Though this is ultimately untenable, this is the poem in which I came the closest. I grew up in a rural area and because of that, have always felt deeply connected to and in awe of nature. This poem describes those precious moments when, as the sun rises, the previous night’s condensation has just begun to evaporate from the foliage. Every morning, there’s a span of a few minutes where the rising mist appears to stop itself from continuing its ascent, asif wondering whether to return earthward again—but it rises.