When the afternoon light
touches the broad orange petals
of the tiger lilies, mute tongues
curled, I pray hard
for such joyous sights to continue.
But I pray wrong, selfishly.
I don't know where the words
I struggle to recall
even the names of my old friends.
When I remember, I try
to search them out but I don't
have any illusions about their lives.
It rained last night & all day today
so the lake I can't quite see
over the tree line is pure frothy white.
There is mist everywhere
& I am alone in it.
The white light
burns my eyes, sears a holy purpose
in my human frame.
I'm setting out
on a new journey, ever faithful.
Early on, I walked away
from everything, from things I loved.
But now, when I come to the ocean,
as I know I will, foaming
like some impossible hell,
I won't despair or surrender.
I'll find a tree, growing from a crag
on the shore & I'll cut it down
with the force of my loneliness.
There is the shape of a boat
hidden beneath the bark,
I know it.
So I'll release it,
using my most tender memories
as tools. I'll continue.
will block my way.
About this poem
"'Mist Everywhere' is a meditation on faith-the various mechanisms which help sustain our feeling of it, how we place our very personal understanding of it 'in' the natural and unnatural things of this world. It encourages me to remember to approach every interaction, every moment, with humility-to truly receive what is always being offered."
About Nate Pritts
Nate Pritts is the author of "Right Now More Than Ever" (H_NGM_N, 2013). He lives in the Finger Lakes region of New York.
The Academy of American Poets is a nonprofit, mission-driven organization, whose aim is to make poetry available to a wider audience.
(c) 2014 Nate Pritts. Originally published by the Academy of American Poets, www.poets.org. Distributed by King Features Syndicate