Featuring cherita!

September 21, 2018

Poetry Friday--"In the Wood"

Two weeks ago was the conclusion to Spark #38. This round, I didn't take part as an "artist." It was requested that I fill a role as "writer"--not too much of a stretch!

For an inspiration piece, I sent my Spark partner a short poem from my files, and he sent me a photo of a 3-dimensional piece he created titled, "Galileo" as my inspiration (see it here).

Immediately, upon viewing "Galileo," I thought of shelf fungi and that's what I began with. If you aren't familiar with shelf fungi (also called shelf mushrooms or brackets), here are a few photos from my files, all taken in NH or MA.

I had a fourth one that I've used for this post. I combined it with my response to "Galileo," a poem titled "In the Wood," simply because illustrating poems is my favorite thing to do!

Click on the image to enlarge for easier reading. © Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.


In the Wood

Diseased and dying
it leans southward
ruffled with brackets
laced with molds.

What was once vitally
green now has a
vividly colorful life
of another kind.

Hollows hold newly
birthed chipmunks.
Bats beneath loosened
bark roost by day.

Processes of propagation
and elimination
attract multitudes
of creatures to this oak.

continuously consume.
Jack o' lantern
mushrooms illume by night.

Finally, wee fairy folk
move in to provide
make-believe for those
who eschew reality.

I think perhaps the six stanzas are a bit much and I should have confined myself to shelf fungi and fairies. I will probably rewrite it as a haiku or cherita!

Erin at The Water's Edge is playing Round-Up hostess this week. Do stop by!


  1. I like the idea of the movement in the life of a tree - "green now has a/vividly colorful life" & the idea of 'reality' and the variety of wee animals taking part alongside those wee folk is a wonderful thought. I know you said you wanted to shorten, but how about longer & into a picture book?

  2. I'm glad you're going to keep the fairies in, I liked them coming in at the end, gave me a chuckle. I also like your line, "mushrooms illume by night." Maybe Linda's idea about lengthening it into a picture book, or leaving it the length it is, but having it a picture book–vivid and fun poem Diane!

  3. This poem has a hopeful, whimsical tone with all the things a dead tree provides, even home to fairies. Alliteration is pleasing to me (creepy crawlies...) I don't think it's too long at all. It tells a more complete story than a cherita can.

  4. Love the wee fairy folk and mention of other living creatures -- bats, chipmunks, creepy crawlies all part of the "vividly colorful life of another kind." Charming!

  5. I love looking at all the fungi when I'm out walking in a park near my house near a lake! You're pictures are great and the poem captures the wonder of what happens to trees that die and the life that takes over. Nice work, Diane.

  6. I love the delicate imagery of "ruffled with brackets/laced with molds." And your illustration is captivating as always, Diane. Every so often I get a lesson in graphic design from Miranda, but alas, too infrequently to retain! I'll get there eventually, I suppose.

  7. I like that you celebrate life/death with something as familiar - and often overlooked - as fungus. As Michelle mentioned, there's a beautiful dichotomy between ruffles/lace and mold/creepy-crawlies!

  8. This: “ruffled with brackets” . I love shelf fungi. So great to photo. Love your photos and the poem. I would love to see some haiku or a cherita (which it’s time for me to visit).

  9. Delightful! So much character in the ruffled and places for little lives...jack-o-lantern. This IS a life of a different kind. Thank you for the glimpse into it.

  10. I have lots of photos of shelf fungi--even though I didn't know what they were called. I enjoyed your poem that explores the intersection of life and death in the woods. And that last stanza of fairy magic is the perfect ending