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Haworth Hodgkinson

Haworth Hodgkinson

Poetry 2007–2017

Poetry 2001–2006

Poetry 1996–2000

Poetry 1982–1995

© Haworth Hodgkinson 2006–2017

A Dozen Words for Fog

Haworth Hodgkinson


When you head westwards
to escape an all-day fog
you arrive, sooner or later,
at the edge of the world.

That was how I came
to be out past Huxter Loch
where the land runs out
at Quilva Taing.

The Atlantic,
lying restful, slapped
perfunctory waves
against the ruined rock face.

I prayed for wind
to lift the cloud
but it only billowed and churned
guarding the secret horizon.

Brief partings revealed
the reedy surface of the loch
where marsh surfing curlews cried
like nightingales of the bog.

For a moment a red-grey fire
rippled faintly in the sea,
a daze of a sunset
to mock the sunless day.

But the fire was quickly stifled
by the tangling misty fibres
coiling thickly tight
around my breath.

A black-back yoiked surprise
circling close above the geo
and seals looked up expectantly
for my comment.

If I had known the Shetland tongue
I might have found a dozen words
to describe the glooming murk
but the only word that I could find was fog.

Sea fog. Marsh fog. Hill fog. Bog fog.
Atlantic fog. Darkening fog.
Island fog. Nightening fog.
A dozen kinds of impenetrable fog.


Written 2006

Published in Tractor Bastard, 2012
(Malfranteaux Concepts)

Tractor Bastard

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