Monday, December 1, 2008

The Fog

A few hours ago, I went for a walk in the fog. Started out on a one-lane track out through the cheat grass into the sagebrush north of RWMC, then decided to go off the beaten path (well, by following a lesser-traveled track to a pole line way out in the distance) just to get some air in my lungs. It was so quiet, and so odd to be at the center of this ping-pong ball of cloud with only a flat circle of black sagebrush and yellow grass to keep me company. The grass was wet and quickly soaked my pant legs and boots, but I didn’t care. I followed the track beneath the pole line, leaving behind the last human footprints and following the tracks of the antelope who stroll through the brush here. Found lots of scat and startled a few rabbits. At least I think they were rabbits, though considering where I work I probably can’t rule out radioactive badgers. I thought I’d be able to catch a trail back to the main road, but the trail no longer existed. So I stuck with the pole line for a while, then had to go cross-country, following another pole line back to the complex. Got soaked. But it was worth it. I was in my own little world of grass and brush and skittering noises in the underbrush and condensation dripping off the humming power lines. I could have stayed out there forever. But as it was, the walk took only a half hour. I like a good fog. And bad poetry:

When the cheat grass lurches and rustles I stop my walking and quickly turn around
hoping to catch a glimpse of the thing that made the noise
not even a movement of vegetation.

I continue walking underneath the humming power lines dripping with condensation
from the fog
and stop again
as a rabbit or ghost or coyote bursts from the brush behind me
nothing again
I scan the sage brush and do not see the white-tail, the black nose
might as well be a radioactive badger

I walk and no longer whirl at the sounds of nothing brushing through the fog
not even the crows are out, calling, calling
flying and chasing each other in the blue sky
nothing but fog
black sage brush
yellow grass
wet grass that brushes dew on boots and pant legs
feet sink into the cracked, powdery dirt cut by antelope tracks

still nothing making the noises in the brush
it's probably dripping water
or a vampire rabbit
watching from a hole
waiting for me
to turn my back.

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