Mushrooms I Have Known




Mushrooms I Have Known

Reticent and tired, withdrawn,
dejected, I return.

Emerging overnight from nothing,
then withering back to zero.

Does light incite you?
The shade?

I walk by and say hello.
You do not speak.



42 thoughts on “Mushrooms I Have Known

  1. “Does light incite you?”

    As the mushroom has declined to speak on the matter, might I provide an answer in its stead?

    It seems human beings, in general, can barely tolerate the notion that photons can emerge from “Nothing” — that is, they literally, spontaneously pop into existence WITHOUT a specific or determinable cause — a phenomenon which excludes the necessity for a “causative” influence by any outside force (such as a god, for instance). For one thing, the fact that “Nothing” (defined, at least scientifically, as the absolute negation of existence of any kind), by its very definition, does not have an “outside,” becomes something of a sticking point, when it comes to contemplating the nature and meaning of the universe and such.

    And yet, here you are, my friend, boldly eschewing anthropocentric, tautological doctrine, in order to imagine a “fungicentric” universe which may just as easily as not thrive on that very principle of indeterminacy incarnate, Light (as in, “Let there be…” — or not, as the case may be!).

    While neither dismissing nor substantiating (your?) melancholia’s profundity (both potential and realized), the mushroom’s refusal to provide a determinable, observable response to a human salutation brilliantly casts the landscape we scout for topographical wonders in a whole, new light…

    In other words,


    Liked by 3 people

    • I seem to be withering back more and more, lately… Yesterday morning I accidentally committed fungicide – while walking, I kicked over a solitary red mushroom. It appeared that it had been chewed upon, and was a shade of red I’d not seen in this area. A lovely surprise! But I wish I hadn’t disturbed it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Your poem brought to mind a favorite re mushrooms, Derek Mahon’s “A Disused Shed in Co. Wexford”: They have been waiting for us in a foetor / Of vegetable sweat since civil war days, /Since the gravel-crunching, interminable departure /Of the expropriated mycologist. /He never came back, and light since then /Is a keyhole rusting gently after rain. Mahon is very Latinate and wordy, where you are more of a minimalist, but the notion of a (possibly) animate mushroom is irresistible.

    Liked by 2 people

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