Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Identified: Mushroom Poem #2

Another mushroom poem foraged and found.  


by Mary Oliver 
b. 1935
a sweet pair of mushrooms.  volunteer park 4.8.11

Rain, and then
the cool pursed
lips of the wind
draw them
out of the ground -
red and yellow skulls
pummeling upward
through leaves,
through grasses,
through sand; astonishing
in their suddenness,
their quietude,
their wetness, they appear
on fall mornings, some
balancing in the earth
on one hoof
packed with poison,
others billowing
chunkily, and delicious -
those who know
walk out to gather, choosing
the benign from flocks
of glitterers, sorcerers,
panther caps,
shark-white death angels
in their town veils
looking innocent as sugar
but full of paralysis:
to eat
is to stagger down
fast as mushrooms themselves
when they are done being perfect
and overnight
slide back under the shining
fields of rain.

I liked the line, "those who know."  As I hope to be able to consider myself one of those someday.

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