Fog Across the Water

Redwood National Park -- From West Entrance to Pacific Coast

Crashing Waves ©2013 Bo Mackison

One day many years ago a man walked along and stood in the sound of the ocean on a cold sunless shore and said, “We need a voice to call across the water, to warn ships; I’ll make one. I’ll make a voice like all of time and all of the fog that ever was; I’ll make a voice that is like an empty bed beside you all night long, and like an empty house when you open the door, and like trees in autumn with no leaves. A sound like the birds flying south, crying, and a sound like November wind and the sea on the hard, cold shore. I’ll make a sound that’s so alone that no one can miss it, that whoever hears it will weep in their souls, and hearths will seem warmer, and being inside will seem better to all who hear it in the distant towns. I’ll make me a sound and an apparatus and they’ll call it a Fog Horn and whoever hears it will know the sadness of eternity and the briefness of life.
~ Ray Bradbury, The Fog Horn

This is the Pacific in fog.
It was cold when I walked the shore.
The waves were menacing, thrashing about.

A sign on the beach warned of sneaker waves
and the death toll tallied, victims unaware of the power of surf.
There was nothing to see in the beyond.

Fog settled low. I stood
watching the shore birds fight over specks of dinner.

The ranger at Redwoods shrugged when I said
I liked the feel of the fog, like a shroud.

“It’s always like this. Might be clearer than usual.
Never see sunlight on this beach.
Come back, the fog will be here.”

Tide was rolling in, and the motel was 50 miles south.
I decided there’d be tomorrow for more fog watching.

The next morning the skies were a startling deep blue.


Bo Mackison is photographer, book-maker, collector of stories, naturalist, and owner of Seeded Earth Studio LLC.  In August, I stood on the shore of the Pacific Ocean.

About Bo Mackison

I'm a photographer, book-artist, traveler, naturalist, and creator of the Contemplative Creatives Journey, An Online Workshop and Community and Desert Wisdom Cards and Workshops. Though often not well known, I find the desert a welcoming place - a healing space. Its mysteries and gifts transformed me several years ago. Since that first encounter, I return again and again to fill my well in what most people think of as a desolate region. I'd love to share my desert discoveries and wisdom with you. Please subscribe to receive my five part mini email course The Gifts of the Desert. It's my gift to you.


  1. Intriguing post. Must have been a rather haunting place.

  2. LOVE Bradbury – he was unique, a creator of mood like no other.

    And your poem – I can almost feel the fog, and the disappointment at coming back to find it gone. *sighs*

    • Bo Mackison says:

      I grew up reading, no, devouring Bradbury. Everything he wrote, I read on continual loop. 🙂 I was rather sad to see the fog gone when we returned — we had sun though, and that had big benefits, too!.

  3. I adore foggy beaches and love this post, which speaks deeply to my moody-loving-beach-soul. Ray Bradbury was genius, and I love this quote. Never read this from him before – thanks so much!

  4. Bo Mackison says:

    So, we are a Ray Bradbury fan club! Sweet! ANd yes, there’s something about a moody beach that opens the soul…

  5. Haunting and grey, but distinct.

    I’ve stood on the shore of the Pacific as well, just a shore in the middle of the ocean. 🙂

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