Wednesday, September 26, 2012


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. 

Mary Oliver

Image by Jayson Emery.


Rot said...

One of the many poets Bean has introduced me to.

I highly recommend her work.
Especially, American Primitive.

Anonymous said...

Great poem. But mushrooms are nasty.


girl6 said...

..."when they are done being perfect"----why, that's Lovely!!...

& i have Often thought them to be just that--Perfect..

thanks for sharing Rot... :)