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I Write Like Mycelium

A poem

Published on:
August 20, 2020
Read time:
1 min.
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I write like mycelium.
Sadly, I’m a fungus of chaparral,
of an Italian prairie forest.
A failure as a parasite,
an opportunistic saprotroph instead,
I don’t dare scrape up a storm
or shake trunks for falling leaves.
Only sometimes a season
I bear fruiting bodies –
so where’s the inspiration?
For the soil, dripping rain?
Right now I’m not dead,
but listless and unharnessed.

I crave a mushroom block
under a cloche on my kitchen countertop,
consistent nourishment, spray bottle humidity,
so I’ll give and give, unstubborn,
and when my spores are depleted, easily replaced.
Can I discipline and mold myself that way?
Farm before foraging,
algorhythm over luck,
with just as much providence.
Cultivating love won’t make me a fake.

Maybe even my wild filaments can creeping-hug
square miles of Earth’s moist crust,
and fruit wherever they stretch.
Expanding into a massive organism,
useful, satisfied, an unglimpsed extraordinaire.
I can stay here and still move on.

Just write.
Just stick new hungry fingers into the dirt,
and you’ll witch the water eventually.

R. M. Cotonethal
R. M. Cotonethal is an ecclesiastical history enthusiast and a servant for the W.I.S.E. Women’s Network Bible studies in Northern California. You can follower her on Twitter @rmcotonethal.

Cover image by Zhen Hu

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