End Times

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 →

Poet Luisa A. Igloria (Poetry Foundation web page, author webpage ) is the winner of the 2015 Resurgence Prize (UK), the world’s first major award for ecopoetry, selected by former UK poet laureate Sir Andrew Motion, Alice Oswald, and Jo Shapcott. She is the author of What is Left of Wings, I Ask (2018 Center for the Book Arts Letterpress Chapbook Prize, selected by Natasha Trethewey); Bright as Mirrors Left in the Grass (Kudzu House Press eChapbook selection for Spring 2015), Ode to the Heart Smaller than a Pencil Eraser (Utah State University Press, 2014 May Swenson Prize), Night Willow (Phoenicia Publishing, 2014), The Saints of Streets (University of Santo Tomas Publishing House, 2013), Juan Luna’s Revolver (2009 Ernest Sandeen Prize, University of Notre Dame Press), and nine other books. She is a member of the core faculty of the MFA Creative Writing Program at Old Dominion University which she directed from 2009-2015. In 2018, she was the inaugural Glasgow Distinguished Writer in Residence at Washington and Lee University. When she isn’t writing, reading, or teaching, she cooks with her family, knits, hand-binds books, and listens to tango music.

4 Replies to “End Times”

  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.

  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.

  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.

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