(Published in Hencroft Hub – https://www.hencrofthub.com/issue-one-fungus}
I’m back in the copse where we found inkcaps, turkey tails, amethyst deceivers
where you showed me elf cups on a rotting branch, and earthballs
ballooning out between the leaves which kept falling and falling.
Where you knelt, damping your fists, inflating your lungs to capacity
with that dull air. I pointed out berries overhead arching from tree to tree,
ripe red holly, leafless white bryony wound round lichened trunks
but you wouldn’t budge, said there was
no time for looking up.
I’ve returned alone to the track we walked
and have promised myself I won’t kneel even though I know
there are waxcaps and brittlegills, and the litter’s alive with decay
and detritivores. I know it’s beautiful, this constant recycling
but for now I can only cope with the source – a weak sun stretched through oak
and beech, horizontal rays finding paths between these ever-shedding trees
which look solid at a distance, even though they’re made
of endless breaking parts.