End Times

This entry is part 46 of 93 in the series Morning Porch Poems: Summer 2011

Chicken Mushroom (Laetiporus Sulfureus, L. Cincinnatus)

“It is a common theme [that the United States, which]
only a few years ago was hailed to stride the world
as a colossus with unparalleled power and unmatched appeal
is in decline, ominously facing the prospect
of its final decay….” ~ Giacomo Chiozza in
the Political Science Quarterly

A damp morning: then rain, a fine
mist that stops and starts like
sprinklers in the produce section
at the grocery store. Otherwise an

ordinary day, then neighbors come by
with bags of chicken mushroom;
it glows salmon and orange,
as in the depths of the hollow

from which it was freshly picked.
It looks like something nuclear,
flaunting ruffled shelves that sprout
from wounds of cherry wood, sweet

chestnut, willow, oak, or pine.
In the event of an apocalypse,
if we survive, perhaps we’ll be
reduced to foraging for sustenance

sprung from what might yet live
in rock and rot. Standard & Poor
has just announced it’s down-
graded America’s credit rating;

but at the clubhouse next door,
a group of swimsuit-clad preteens
is waving Wii wands and lollipops,
mimicking moves that would make

Zeus blush. In malls, the muzak
pours like water on an endless
looping track. The Wii party girls
drop their damp towels on the floor.

In Moscow, an “Independence Day” formation
has been spotted in the air; and a Canadian
cameraman has filmed an ominous bank of clouds,
moving across the fields with the face of a Roman god.

 

In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

Series Navigation← Landscape, with Construction Worker, Ants, and GullPantoum, with Spiderweb and Raindrops →

4 Comments


  1. This is a wonderful blending of trying to life that perforce must exist within a greater landscape. It’s hard to pull this type of philosophizing off in a poem, but you did it here. Plus, I couldn’t agree more with the prediction.

    Reply

  2. oops, lost a couple of words there:

    This is a wonderful blending of trying to blend a portrait of a life that perforce must exist within a greater landscape. It’s hard to pull this type of philosophizing off in a poem, but you did it here. Plus, I couldn’t agree more with the prediction.

    Reply

  3. Luisa, so glad you could get a poem out of that! I took the liberty of adding the tag “chicken mushroom” so people who are interested can see my other two posts on the subject to date: the one a poem, the other an introduction to using the fungus, including a couple of recipes.

    Reply

  4. Risa, Dave — glad I could pull this one off! And I *really* wanted to use that news bit about the Roman-god-face in the clouds!

    Reply

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