These early Autumn mornings often arrive cocooned in mist — beautiful, mysterious, and somewhat haunting. There’s nothing necessarily poetic about mist; meteorologically, it’s just the result of longer nights and the warmer earth interacting with the cooler air, causing water droplets to form close to the ground. But it’s hard to look out over a shrouded field, the hills a ghost of a silhouette in the distance, without feeling a sense of wonder. What’s out there? With a kind of abracadabra flourish, the world as we know it seems to go up in smoke. Though it will burn off by noon, these mists offer a glimpse of what’s to come: the lush greens of summer enveloped by the grays and whites of winter. Here’s a poem on the subject by the English poet Alice Oswald.


Alice Oswald

It amazes me when mist
chloroforms the fields
and wipes out whatever world exists

and walkers wade through coma
and close to but curtained from each other

sometimes there’s a second river
lying asleep along the river
where the sun rises
sunk in thought

and my soul gets caught in it
hung by the heels
in water

it amazes me when mist
weeps as it lifts

                 and a crow
calls down to me in its treetop voice
that there are webs and drips
and actualities up there

and in my fog-self shocked and grey
it startles me to see the sky

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7 Responses to Mist

  1. Susan King says:


    What you’ve written here and the poem are both beautiful! I so look forward to your musings on each new month. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and carefully crafted words.


  2. Jenn says:

    I have always loved fog and mist and this time of year. I really think there is such beauty in grayness and this poem is lovely in its description. The very end “it startled me to see the sky” is perfect. Thanks for sharing your beautiful words and the poem. I hope your autumn is filled with love, warmth and coziness.

  3. How do you find the poems to match your subject, which are so beautifully paired? I feel the same way, and am glad to read such evocative words about the mist, or as I call it, morning fog, before it clears.

    • Liza says:

      Thanks, Patty. A good thing about the internet is how much poetry it shares — from every corner of the world! I believe I found this poem in the Guardian.

  4. Carole Hansen says:

    My favorite poems are the ones that bring real visions as I read. This one is truly one of those. Happy Fall y’all!

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