SageGreenJournal.org voices out of the West, mostly poetry, personal to planetary...
a common mushroom, can grow
larger than a blue whale.
One was found in Minnesota
whose cytoplasm spans
thirty-seven acres underground.
It weighs fifteen-hundred tons
and is as many years old.
No other mushroom
dares to grow in its realm.
Let us toast to invisible spores
extending the Kingdom of Fungi.
And across the savanna
elephants signal each other
in sounds too low for human ears.
They tell about water, poachers,
or to come to the funeral
of one of their fallen.
Oh, the boulder aflame
with migrating Monarch butterflies,
the salmon's return
to the scent of its spawning,
the data dance of bumblebees,
the vastness of armillaria bulbosa.
We could trek to Minnesota
to honor this mushroom monarch,
then on to the boundless domain
of Siberian tundra
claimed by a single slime mold.
Here’s to fungal reigns
unmapped and unexplained.
Praise be to mold
on the food that we hoard,
to the shaved heads of ringworm,
to stinky feet and itchy crotch.
And to the universe of scents,
of which the common dog
is a scholar.
Here's to the solemn procession
and to our ignorance
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Donald Levering was born in Kansas City and grew up there and in Oceanside, New York. He received the Quest for Peace Prize in rhetoric, was featured in the Academy of American Poets Forum, the Ad Astra Poetry Project, and the Duende Reading Series. Recently he received the 2014 Literal Latté Award; and was 1st Runner-Up for the Mark Fischer Prize in 2015. His 6th full-length book, The Water Leveling with Us from Red Mountain Press, placed 2nd in the 2015 National Federation of Press Women Creative Verse Book Competition. His latest book is Coltrane’s God.
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