Friday, October 2, 2020

A favourite poem


The Wild Mushroom

Well the sunset rays are shining
Me and Kai have got our tools
A basket and a trowel
And a book with all the rules

Don’t ever eat Boletus
If the tube-mouths they are red
Stay away from the Amanitas
Or brother you are dead

Sometimes they’re already rotten
Or the stalks are broken off
Where the deer have knocked them over
While turning up the duff

We set out in the forest
To seek the wild mushroom
In shapes diverse and colorful
Shining through the woodland gloom

If you look out under oak trees
Or around an old pine stump
You’ll know a mushroom’s coming
By the way the leaves are humped

They send out multiple fibers
Through the roots and sod
Some make you mighty sick they say
Or bring you close to God

So here’s to the mushroom family
A far-flung friendly clan
For food, for fun, for poison
They are a help to man.

-Gary Snyder


  1. I got put right off picking anything after a guided Fungi Foray when we were given the facts about how many Fungi experts have died!

  2. That made me laugh Sue. But don't pick wild mushrooms is my maxim as well. They are like jewels waiting for inspection and of course protection. Remember when there was a craze for wild mushrooms by all the chefs, especially London?

  3. Love the poem Thelma - have never seen it before.

    1. I have several of his books, he was in Japan at the same time as Paul, following that road of other religions, the 60s crowd so loved doing.

  4. I once deliberately ate Fly Agaric. I had a slight stomach upset at the same time as feeling I had the strength of ten men. Walking down the street was as if my feet were six inches off the ground. The Berserkers used them before battle, but I would not recommend it. I was young.

  5. I think it is a hallucinogenic, but with bad side effects. My cousin took drugs so his 'rescue' every so often from squats in London tempered my prejudice to them.

  6. OK, I'll go and you remember the rules.

    1. I wonder if people go wild mushrooming in America?

  7. Gary Snyder's attitude to mushrooms is clearly more carefree than mine. They remain mysterious, magical and rather scary too.

  8. He is American, lived through the 60s when drugs were all the rage and took part in self-sufficiency as well!


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