If we think dishonestly, or malignantly, our thoughts
will die like evil fungi – dripping corrupt dew
John Ruskin, Proserpina
The smell –
wet anorak, fusty books, disturbed dust
of long unopened doors –
like the basement of your childhood,
beautiful scary darkness.
their tiny heads through dirt,
explorers from another age, and find
a world glassy with rain, a forest
thick with leaf mulch.
A good one,
if you’re starving, could save
your life. A bad one would kill you
after only one bite. Step on its poison head,
it billows black fumes.
Lost in the woods
and hungry, how to tell them apart?
You can trust the feel of flesh on your tongue,
good meat – you know it won’t hurt you,
you’re a bit of a witch yourself.
From Magma No. 36 (Winter 2006)