Of Mushrooms and Mycellium

Change perspective. Have pen, have paper, can travel – even if it is not far. For today’s poetry practice I broke routine. I wrote in late afternoon instead of morning. I sat in a different position. I wrote outdoors, wrapped up well in fleece jacket and a hand knitted wool snood pulled over my head. The snood smelled a bit musty from nine months in a drawer. Fortunately, it got a good airing. There was a stiff breeze and low cloud. The outer weather may still be mirroring wider cultural climate. But today was a day to get out and change perspective.

I had an early start to get to a mushroom identification walk led by my friend, Tina Pommer, for Seatrails, a Sligo based tour guiding company. I have long been charmed by fungi’s beauty and diversity in form – the sheer goofiness of puffballs, the aquatic simulacrum of coral, leakiness of milk caps, the frowziness of an elderly shaggy inkcap, the deep purple of an amethyst deceiver, blushes, vermilions and scarlets of the showier models. It tickles me that what we tend to categorise as ‘fruits of the forest’ are actually closer to the animal end of the living being spectrum.

And another thing that completely blows me a way is how they propagate. A tanka is the form for today’s poetry practice.


The body buried
Branching, stretching out below
Earth creates new meat

Mother spores migrate inward
Proffering autumn offsping

Copyright 2018 Bee Smith