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Mae Hong Son: City of Three Mists, a poem by James Green

Mae Hong Son: City of Three Mists

Consider the sun rising over
mountain peaks piercing mist
floating over a pearl-grey morning,
how light expands, uncontained,
though filtered, how the still air
finds a way to stir petals
of a leelawaddee flower, like
fingers through a lover’s hair.

Along a run of chicken wire
roves a prodigal crop of morning glory
stretching to face the sun
leaking through the mist.
Lightheaded, I hold my breath,
hoping to never exhale
the cerulean sweetness
I hold inside.

Buds of lotus, like tiny stupas,
rise from a pond and disappear
into morning’s low-slung mist.
Deep inside the opaqueness
smoky silhouettes begin to form,
then fade, then rematerialize.
Overhead doors rattle as shops
open for business.

James Green is a retired university professor and administrator. He divides his time between his home in Muncie, Indiana, and Mae Hong Son, Thailand, where he serves as a volunteer with the Jesuit Refugee Service. You may learn about his poetry at his website,