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Poetry competition entry 2017: Forest Fungi

August 2, 2017

Forest fungi

I amble

through the forest

inhaling kauri and kawakawa,

brushing fingers with

harakeke,

when my nostrils alert me

to mushrooms –

that concoction

of dank earth

and fungus.

I recall my first bite,

the assault

on my tastebuds –

atomic.

Malodorous

and acrid, like

bleached-almond-meat.

Stooping,

I see

repugnant gills

sweat

under domed caps,

amanita phalloides

lurking in deadly disguise

 

(standing motionless

they pose

as the

common

straw).

 

Spurred on

by the stench

of deceit,

my wellied foot rises.

Smoosh! Mush! Crush!

Eradicate all fungi!

But, nature resists –

dispersed spores

defend

their forest floor.

 

© Amy Phillips

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