(Fr.: ‘the singing one’; The highest-pitched string of a stringed instrument)
Once again we are walking through wet ferns, foraging
between oak and madrone –
filling our willow baskets with chanterelles.
The chanterelles resemble flames made of flesh,
phototropic like hands in praise.
When we hold our breath and listen, we can hear their music.
Perhaps it’s synesthesia,
an association to their trumpet shapes –
but they sing more like violins above the valley floor.
Because of the chanterelle we commune
with darkness – to see darkness as illuminating
and transformative – as we move like mycelium –
slowly, like muses whispering on pathways through fog.
The chanterelles push above the soil,
through leaf matter and moss – their entire bodies,
along with the numerous other fruiting bodies,
are a nuptial of a numinous web that connects them to the forest,
and becomes songs we can consume.
About the Poet
Michael Spring, of Southwest Oregon, is the author of four previous poetry books and one children’s book. He’s won numerous awards and distinctions for poetry, including the Robert Graves Award, The Turtle Island Poetry Award, and an honorable mention for the Eric Hoffer Book Award. Michael was a recipient of a Luso-American Fellowship from DISQUIET International and served as a writer-in-residence for Fishtrap, Inc. Michael Spring is a martial art instructor, a poetry editor for The Pedestal Magazine, and founding editor of Flowstone Press.
For the first time in nearly five years, Vita Brevis is closed for submission. Read the full story here.
I really enjoy Chanterrelle, by Michael Spring.
Being a forager of mushrooms, I enjoy all of the formations of all mushrooms I find. I have found that Chanterrelles are one of the more interesting types of mushrooms.
Delicious and rich, like chanterelles–the very first mushroom I learned to identify. I love the rich and varied imagery, laced throughout the poem like mycelium.