The horse meadow quarters roots as large
as if they’d cantered from the stable.
They lie in salt rush and spiky large-headed sedge.
They recline in bird’s-foot trefoil
the horses crop. Loggers’ drift-stumps,
they rave at the root end,
but on their misery-whipped plane
light springwood bands, dark summerwood rings,
weathered and fuzzed. Up to the woods of small alders,
they gallop in heavy recumbencies.
One swirling wooden mane holds a crow.
When fog in the spirit of blue harbor seal skin
suffuses this pasture, the great roots can’t be told
from beings that change places;
and, superimposed, true horses, in fact, drift
from back in the nebula
to the immediate drizzly foreground,
with the dark burgeoning aspect of old growth logs
tumbled into seeds for birds.
The landscape is felted, hushed, as the line
of horses moves, sinew and tracheid, out to sea.
Crouched on the uprush edge, focusing low to the sand
and tracking coppery, tinny mica tracings—
jet, pewter, bronze, as if tannin gilded a fish-scale
or an oak leaf fell across a vein of pyrite—
I can only see up to the herd’s approaching, jaunty knees.
Their burl-brown, spherule, liquid eyes
have not seen me. They are quieted by fog,
their riders as lofty as little trees.
When I evade, spring up like beach wood
twisted by a wave, I am not surprised
they go straight through my station
on the lacy swash.
Such dense luminosity—I inch back
to the inland of grayed black-blooded
Himalayan berries, silvered rummy pink spirea.
But fog makes it all one field of direction,
our bearings and our contours corresponding,
vaporous human torsos, humid pasterns,
fogged-in cannons and fetlocks, misty lungs,
and true fog-mind neither blurred nor mumbled,
amnesic nor censorious. Its genius is to be
unafraid so near breakers you cannot hear,
that do not roar in a climate so huge, diffuse,