Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Poetry in Transit

Congratulations to Cynthia Woodman Kerkham, whose poem "In Praise of Mushrooms" has been selected for this year's Poetry in Transit Program. Soon her poem can be read on buses across British Columbia. The poem, found below, has been excerpted from her collection Good Holding Ground.

Here is what Patricia Young had to say about Cynthia's book: “Reading Good Holding Ground is like entering a lush and sensuous garden filled with fruit and flowers, animals and birds, bodies and sex, a garden at once in splendid bloom and in the process of decay. In thrall to the sounds and shapes of things, Kerkham crafts her words with exquisite precision. Yes, she says, there is regret and sickness and death but there is also healing and love and compassion. By turns, tough, tender, elegant and disturbing, these spirited poems address the complicated business of being human. A debut collection well worth the wait.”

Image provided by Ariel Gordon

IN PRAISE OF MUSHROOMS

My boot almost crushes domed towers dew-beaded,
sprung in the night through loamy ground,
knobbed umber caps on vellum stocks
frilled gills underneath to breathe in the deep.

Mushrooms surprising sprouted bright
white buttons on blackened logs, or fleshy
ruffles from ruin where tub and tiles meet.

Precious fungus—shitake, chanterelle,
oyster, portabella and truffles—
sponge-tongued taste of earth.

Spores float like words,
take hold in the cold and wait
to bloom in the dark.