Poems by Chuck Wright


2019 Feb 20

it’s mid-february 

  valentine’s reds and pinks 

       have come and gone ...

but surprises await along the trail

    hidden beneath gooseberry and sage

       a blackened branch from previous wildfire

           sprouts forth a blaze of color 

                and sensuous folds


     most brilliant of yellow-orange

         atop the scorched black limb

             recalls a more distant holiday


                        and aptly called witch’s butter

fruiting fungi bursting forth

       from much needed winter’s rain

           not to eat this luscious treat

but a feast for the eyes

     a blaze of holiday color

         for this winter’s celebration

Helvella drophila Big Bend, Laguna Coast Wilderness Park,
Orange County, California Photo by Doug Schwartz

2019 MAR 14

i saw the witch’s butter

    i told of its worth

       and then while diligently pulling sahara mustard

           i observed that same sensuous shape upon the ground

I recalled christmas candy

     tucked into that lidded glass candy dish

           sitting on a doily

               resting on the coffee table

                  in the mid ’50’s 

                    in my aunt gladys’ living room

do you recall that hard candy

      wavy like a scrunched ribbon

           hard as a rock

               sticky sweet

well, if you do recall

      you would recognize this fungus too

except that this was wavy & dark &

     the texture of at least 70% dark chocolate 

         it might have been witch’s chocolate

taste it if you dare

Tremella aurantia parasitizing Stereum hirsutum on downed Oak. Harding Truck Trail,
Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary, Orange County, California Photo by Chuck Wright


chuck wright
Author: chuck wright
Long married and retired, Chuck is passionate about the outdoors, photography and poetry. As a park volunteer, active steward and docent, he’s frequently in the field, learning about fungi by finding, photographing and writing about them. Chuck is seriously inquisitive about everything he encounters outdoors. He lives in Orange County, CA.

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