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Contents Page: July, 2010, vol 6 no 2

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Doreen King


My new boyfriend's hobby is looking for fungi. Being considerate, he lets me join him on an expedition to find some. They are not difficult to spot. We soon find some crammed in a crack by the root of a tree. We find others bunched like flowers among rotting leaves in the backyards of thickets, and we come across Amanita phalloides deep in the forest, where sunlight has blistered. Amanita phalloide is yellowish‑olive, smooth, floccose and frondous. I know this because he tells me. It looks quite interesting to me. He makes notes, describing its bulbous stipe and fetid nature in detail while I wait feeling slug wet and hours cold. Then he picks it, and like foam packing it dents. He pours acid over its gills and, as expected, they turn pink. Finally, he is satisfied. "Let's go home now," he says, tossing it into a ditch.

sunlit meadow—
slight breeze rocks
the deep blue cornflowers

Published in The Unseen Wind: British Haiku Society Haibun Anthology 2009, Lynne Rees and Jo Pacsoo (Editors), British Haiku Society.

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