Mist Stories

Mist in the mountains is beautiful but you can all too easily get lost in it as any who has tramped in the Tararuas will know. Sometimes I think I spend half my life in a different kind of fog. I’m flying blind, popping out every now and then and being surprised, when I finally see clearly, at where I turn out to be this time.

Morning mist demons are puffing up off the swamp
Colluding with moonfire and tendrils of solar flare – the breath of dragons!
Upwelling from valley trees and river, the helicoidal ghosts are seeing off the last shades of dying night.
Lambent coils coolly levitate into evanescent haze and milky hag-lite spills over layered ridges under a seashell dawn.

I watch as I brush my teeth near an alpine tarn
The earth is a great bird with ruffled feathers.
Eddies of rib and muscle wrinkle into the flow of the hills and dreamy folded wings settle over dewy grasslands
Changing as fast as I change my clothes
The cloud turns sullen, lugubrious –
Mist is a story that can send you topsy turvy and chill
It can spin your compass and flummox your bearings
White out
no landmarks
no poles
East might be west or north, south –

Do I wake or sleep? Which way is up?
Fog is a mystery novel with a choice of endings
Schrodinger has lost that damn cat completely this time round
(though I daresay it’s surviving perfectly well…)
And who knows which spur we should take to get to the hut?
When the weather tears open like an old threadbare blanket,
The windrush, inaka and hebe glitter
in orbs of silver and rainbow –
A tiny mountain spider crouches in the centre of it’s beaded windmill web
Is the hillside awash in tears?
or shining with gems beyond price?
It all depends on how warm your jacket is –

Do you like this new world your mist book has opened onto?
Or not?
Have you finished up where you expected to be?

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– Photos by Peter Jenkins