Tuesday, February 9, 2021

We of the Fungi

image from pinterest.com

 We of the Fungi

“There are thousands of little mosses and fungi that

are seen mostly as unsightly objects, but when seen

with the eyes of a poet, they become radiant of 

beauty.”--Henry David Thoreau.

Welcome to the Kingdom of Fungi.

My name is Malcolm Mushroom.

My best pals are Timothy Toadstool,

                            Yancy Yeast,

                             Robert Rot,

                             Marion Mold, and

                             Mildred Mildew.

We denizens are often 

          misunderstood, and often 

                  survive unnoticed. Our colonies

                       range from microscopic to mammoth.

                   You think you know us, but believe

            me, we have secrets that predate

recorded history. Until recently

Botanists considered us to be

plants, but actually we are of

a separate kingdom from both

plants and animals, and we lean

most toward animal characteristics.

                                        We are complex co-creators.

                               We are the principal decomposers

                      of all organic materials, and ecosystems.

                 We, kind of like you, are heterotrophs--you

              know, incapable of making our own food. We

           are unidevourers, liking to chow down on both

        plants and animals. Our love-life is both sexual 

and asexual. 

We are whelped

from 3.8 million species,

and you have only studied

and labeled 148,000. That leaves

a lot of mystery between us. Some of

our more fecund varieties secrete psychotropic

compounds. The hippies and philosophers really dug

us, like pigs and their truffles. We consider our

selves triple erotic, but we are told we

are eutarotic. 

We can tolerate that some of us

can be a food source for you,

but like any of your other neighbors,

we can be friendly, or

we can kick your ass.

So don’t forget

to acknowledge 

our complexities,

and respect

our properties.

We of the Fungi,

thriving beneath your feet, wish

you the best of health.

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at d'Verse Poet's Pub



robkistner said...

This is wonderful Glenn, and tge concrete shape is spellbinding! Great post brother! Don’t know if you know this. A “Armillaria Ostoyae” mushroom, in the Malheur National Forest, in the Strawberry Mountains of eastern Oregon, was found to be the largest fungal colony in the world, spanning an area of 3.5 square miles (2,200 acres; 9.1 km2).

JadeLi said...

You've created a justly noble yet friendly and inviting speech from the fungi to us humans. The image at the top is gorgeous and I do love that opening quote. It's all in how you look as to how you will apprehend the beauty of it all. Thank you for the lesson in such a palatable form. I love those shapes. Fungi are our friends :)

Truedessa said...

I really enjoyed where you went with this prompt. I had to smile at the part where you gave them names, it brings them to life. Great use of form.

ben Alexander said...

Lovely, Glenn! Well done!


Kim M. Russell said...

Oh Glenn, I imagined this poem as a psychedelic cartoon, a Fantasia for Fungi! I love the way you packed in all the facts in an easily digestible, chatty form, and the alliterative phrase ‘complex co-creators’.

sarah said...

I love the concrete shape of this, Glenn, like a bracket fungus. So much information here, told with a twinkling eye and a conversational tone. Your fungal voice is friendly - but not TOO friendly. They are amazing life forms, and the more I learn about them the more amazed I get. Thank you for this.

Ingrid said...

Excellent - I learned so much from your poem and I really felt as though I was listening to fungi talking to me, without having ingested any mushrooms: fun indeed!

Jane Dougherty said...

So much information and not an omlette or a risotto in sight :)

brudberg said...

I love the thought of such a silent community that lives beneath our feet... some kind of symbiosis we are not even aware of.