Amanita Phalloides

The lake of grass, fresh dew adorned and pristine,
Awaits the footfalls of foreign creatures.
I walk into the broad expanse,
Swallowed up by earth and sky,
Hesitant to venture far-

The hounds do not care to test the spring
Of fresh moss underfoot.
They bound into the deep,
Crying their pleasure,
And I do not care to stop them.

The shallows by the trees caress my toes
And, barefoot, I follow in their wake,
To feel my way past roots and worms and broken limbs.

I spy the tell-tale marks beneath the undulating grasses-
This lonely shore will offer
A trove of Autumn’s treasures for the harvest.

From the soil the golden mound peeks in luring fancy.
A sheen to bewitch the eyes-
A fool’s gold to tempt-
A cursed trinket, beautiful and deadly.

The gills here will not breathe life,
A no dish served from this ocean’s bounty will fill you-

The hounds and I circle this patch of poison,
Wary of the curse such a siren may offer,
Though tempting, ever-so, in their beauty.

And they race on, into pools of vibrant green,
Where I hasten to follow.


Danielle K Day

Today I found a patch of Death Cap mushrooms on my walk with my dogs. I am a huge fan of mushroom hunting- though I never, ever touch or eat any of the ones I find, and these little buggers are the reason why! The Death Cap is seriously poisonous, and every couple of years a foolish person picks and eats them here in Canberra. Unfortunately, this often results in a pretty horrible death. I took a couple of photos then gave this patch a good kicking. I thought it might be nice to write a poem about it, though, since it was a first for me and they were so pretty!

The Death Cap has a soft gold colour than can look greenish when mature. The gills are white, and there will be a white stipe and large white volva (base) as well. These ones were so shiny gold that I thought someone had spray painted them!


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