My Fungi!


Compiled by Nigel Fechner © 2014
A Parody of “Core of my Heart” (aka “My Country”) by Dorothea Mackellar © 1908 [with apologies]

The love of field and coppice,
Of green and shaded lanes.
Of decomposing woodlands
And fruiting after rains,
Strong love of grey-blue cheeses
Brown Swiss and mouldy bread
I know, but cannot eat it,
Lest from my lunch be dead.

I love a fungal bounty,
A land of floating brains,
Of mycorrhizal partners,
Of spores and hyphal strains.
I love her penicillin,
I love her Shiitake,
Her beauty and her terror –
Mycology for me!

A stark white ring-barked forest
Hard brackets do festoon,
Illuminated mountains,
The glowing fungal ‘moon’.
Symbiotic dalliance,
Gum tree roots embroil,
And orchids deck the tree-tops
Whilst microbes feed the soil.

Core of my heart, my fungi!
Entoloma – blue as sky,
Puffballs spewing dust clouds,
All of them must die –
But then the grey clouds gather,
And we’ll be blessed again
The feeding of an army,
A life reborn from rain.

Core of my heart, my fungi!
With caps of Agarics gold,
Entheogens partaken,
Life’s meaning to behold –
Tho’ fungi possess mysteries,
Just why are they so named?
Their secrets all revealed to us
Once taxonomy is tamed!

A ‘truffle’-laden country,
Harsh unforgiving land –
All you who have not loved them,
You will not understand –
Though earth holds many splendours,
Wherever I may die,
Fair chance that I’ll fall victim
To fungi passing by.