The Poets

December 20, 2009

A Dark Fog Has Lifted

Years ago- around the late 90s- I found a poem tucked away within the pages of a book of mine, the Dialogues of Plato. It was hand written on yellow notebook paper, and had the name ‘john’ jotted just a little to the upper right hand of it.

Now I owned that book for the longest time, read and reread it more times than I can count. My point- that poem wasn’t in there when I first purchased it used from a coffeehouse in downtown Denver, which leads me to believe that it had been dedicated to me anonymously.

At this point in my life poetry and the study thereof had only been a marginal delight- and this at best! No, deep theological and philosophical studies consumed most of my time, which is what makes the dedication of this poem to me odd?

What’s more- and let me premise this by saying I’ve determined the hand writing to be that of a female- the content doesn’t seem to fit the context of my life as it was then. Had it spoke of love in the sense of romance I might have concluded someone’s secret crush snuck that poem in those pages … but it has nothing of the sort. Sure, there’s the 15th and 16th line, but this is predicated upon the idea of family (line 6) rather than a love-relationship.

Anyhow, I recently reread the poem and, despite a few grammatical glitches, must readily admit that I think it’s a good work. I just wish I knew who wrote it.


A dark fog has lifted from
Confused souls,
We have found ourselves
In a clearing.
Looking around we can 5
Recognise our family
Only arms reach away.
We each have our pain
To hold,
Despair preys so close upon 10
Us all.
But we are no longer blind,
We have the eyes to see
What is held most true.
In seeing it in each other 15
We recognise it in ourselves.
Though we face our histories
We survive together
In truth, love, beauty and understanding 20
We live.


John W. May said...


I posted this poem without edit, without changing punctuation or the spelling chosen by the writer. I did however, choose to number the poem’s lines by integrals of five.

With that said, I must admit I wish I knew the writer’s intended punctuation toward the end of the poem.

Its original form is written as follows:

Though we face our histories
We survive together
In truth, love, beauty and understanding
We live.

As I see it, the writer might have meant one of the following:

Though we face our histories
We survive together. (period)
In truth, love, beauty and understanding, (comma)
We live.


Though we face our histories
We survive together
In truth, love, beauty and understanding. (period)
We live. (period)

I wish I knew which was intended, but I can’t be certain … a further reason I wish I knew the poem’s author.

Nancy said...

A sweet mystery.... I pray it unfolds for you. Thank you for sharing it. Perhaps, like the movie "The Lake House" it bends the boundaries of time and place. Hmmm?

As for the poem, I personally get the sense the author is speaking of humanity rather than personal relationship, as well as seeking spiritual meaning - finding connection, but not quite uncovering the path to GOD. I have a natural gravitation towards the first rhythm of the punctuation dilemma, but as always delight in the thought provoking options you bring to mind. The poem and the post leave me with a feeling of "serene melancholy."

As of April 9th, 2010