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Musing on Mushrooms
by J S Watts
I see you, little mouse,
You and your kind,
Hiding in those dark nooks and crannies,
How meek, how edible,
Happy trip button,
Eager to open doors
We didn't know were there
Until you showed us.
Over looked but overlooked,
You continue to multiply in the dark.
Feeding to grow and growing to feed.
Domesticity cupped where the wild things grow.
Each little bulb a frustrated fist
Pushing through to us,
Impatient for the light.
Do you bring the darkness with you?
Your overcoat is as pale as death
But your petticoat's dark.
You push yourselves forward much
For those who claim meekness.
The humble would not force their way
Through words as often as you seem to.
The page is just another paving slab;
The gaps between are there to be colonised.
A silent empire parading trophy voices,
Demanding replication to match your own.
The brain is fertile soil.
Why bother to inherit when you can take?
The door is open.
The poem was written as an echo to Sylvia Plath’s 1959 poem “Mushrooms”. The title “Musing on Mushrooms” has multiple resonances in its own right. As per the poem that inspired it, my poem muses on the fungi in question. It is also musing on the Plath poem “Mushrooms” and the Plath poem is the muse for my poem.
Like Plath’s far more eloquent work, “Musing on Mushrooms” starts out as an exploration of the humble mushroom and different ways of looking at it, but the psychological potential of hallucinogenic mushrooms and the fact that, by reading Plath’s poem and then writing my own, I am letting the mushrooms spread, not just in the dark of the soil, but in the dark of my and then the reader's imagination, takes it to a different place and echoes Plath’s dark hints of insidious colonisation. Plath has always been an enormous inspiration to me and that’s why I chose this poem.
For further information about the book the poem comes from, my other books or about me, J.S.Watts, my website is at http://www.jswatts.co.uk/
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