Mushrooms, Sensible

mushrooms, sensible,
savor the cold air of fall
peak in November
after flowers have given up hogging attention,
the blush of their petals long browned
in September’s hard breezes
Who wants to compete with summer’s bloom?
Or be buried by winter’s snow?
Not mushrooms, shrewd
They have waited, a humble audience of spores,
captive in the moist soil of the forest theater,
while the warm season’s wildflowers danced on the stage
and the grasses grew tall
By late autumn, those players are reduced to chaff
Not mushrooms, judicious
Now, brilliant hues of capped fungus grow—fireworks
born of the detritus
erupted from the ground
The winds of November shiver mushrooms’ umbrellas
and send their spores cascading
for a moment to glimmer against the Harvest Moon
then settle in beds made by worms
with dead-leaf blankets
protected from winter’s crystal show
as snowflakes bloom and blow


©2020 Tanya Cliff


Written in response to Stephen’s Level Up Challenge at Fullbeard Lit. (I missed Christine Ray’s prompt for Once, because I haven’t seen the movie.) If you don’t already, please consider giving a follow to the talented writers who provided the prompts:

For more writing prompts and a friendly place to share your work and support other creatives, visit:


Note to my WordPress friends:

In late summer of 2018, I was diagnosed with Invasive Lobular Breast Cancer. I underwent a Nipple-Sparing Double Mastectomy followed by two reconstructive surgeries, and months of painful rehab. I am healthy and getting back to my creative endeavors. I have missed you! Please watch my site in the coming weeks as I work back into weekly posts and announce exciting new endeavors.


45 thoughts on “Mushrooms, Sensible

  1. Tanya,

    It is wonderful that you are posting again. You were truly missed.
    I am so sorry for all you’ve been through, and pray the road ahead
    is less bumpy and leads to a smooth ride as you return with your
    creative genius in full bloom. The beautiful mushrooms are a grand
    metaphor. You rock!


    Liked by 3 people

  2. Oh,dear Tanya!!why had you not told about your sufferings?thanksGod.He was with you that time.i have missed you more.most lovely poem”Mushrooms”umbrella…..moon harvest……”most beautiful imagination by using the amazing gem’s metaphor.really a masterpiece.Weldon,dear!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Tanya, I especially like this particular line–Not mushrooms, shrewd
    They have waited, a humble audience of spores,

    Very clever. The whole poem was a delightful read. Don’t think I’ve ever read a poem about mushrooms!

    Happy to hear you are back with us and my prayers for your recovery. And thank you so much for the shout out here.


    Liked by 1 person

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