The Morel of The Story; The Theology of Mycology. (Garden Notes/Poems, 4.24.09)

A Morel.
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One single solitary morel.
Into my garden –that has proved
FULL of magickal mycology,
and wild mushroom surprises–
it came –for the first time–
last Sunday,
A Morel.
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A mysterious morel.
How did I manage to notice it,
in its dark place
mostly concealed
underneath a large
overhanging planter?
But I did.
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I observed
its unmistakeable
spongey shape
over several days.
I photographed it,
I examined it closely.
I hoped –I suppose– that
more morels might manifest.
But it was to prove
the only one
–this time.
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Five days after discovering it
I picked it.
I felt it out, in the dark,
late at night, taking care
to ease up as much of the stalk
as would come.
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I cooked it, sauteed lightly
in some olive oil
with a little piece of lamb
and some wild chives;
and with a dandelion/mint
salad on the side.
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Grace after meals!
Suddenly the phrase
came to mind:
a phrase I hadn’t
thought of for
many many years.
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What a nice phrase it was;
graceful; it must have
meant a lot more
before it was printed
in a prayer book
–“Grace After Meals”.
All of a sudden
my morel brought it
back to mind
and into style.
[]
We all know “God will provide” —
I mean, we all know the proverb.
There is a Yiddish addition to it:
“God will provide;
Ah, if only He would
till He does so!”
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God is at home in my garden;
He should be;
after all it’s all His Stuff.
My garden is so full of
His bright ideas;
His handiwork —
I am surrounded with it.
[]
Every now and again
He’ll throw me
a mushroom surprise.
For several years He has
been sending me
–at unpredicted intervals–
batches of delicately gilled
Volvariella Speciosa
several overnight crops
in May; a few more in June–
and then big harvests
late into October.
[]
Volvariella Speciosa
is (–I learn from Google–)
a most highly prized,
a most highly priced,
delicacy in China,
lying far beyond
my mushroom means.
“God will provide”
and does provide,
I tell myself
savoring its delicious sauce
with homegrown basil
over angel-hair pasta.
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I have learned to
keep my mushroom eye out.
If you don’t expect them
you might not see them.
I ply the garden
with wicker basket,
sometimes even filling it!
Such bounty;
such benificence;
such blessings:
God provides, indeed!
[]
There would be
more mushroom surprises.
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One day I come across
a growth of new mushrooms
–a crowd of strangers;
with bright orange caps,
thirty or more of them
lumped together,
tightly clumped,
–their architecture
pressed close,
and silhouetted
like an old Italian
hill town;
or a mysterious,
forbidding,
many-towered castle,
as pictured in
a lavish children’s book.
[]
The bright orange caps;
the clammy oily flesh
left no doubt: Poison!
Deadly Poison!!!
NOT Edible!!!
(Though later
my brother Jer
offered a dry correction:
“All wild mushrooms
are actually edible.
The problem comes later.”
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Bright Orange!
Clammy flesh!
My mushroom book
identified the orangeness
of the clump:
it was a poisonous group.
–one name was
“Satanas Boletus”
or “Satan’s Mushroom”
[]
You can’t get more
poisonous than that.
[]
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But later came a quandry!
The Theology of Mycology,
right there, in my garden!
Surely there could be no doubt
about the benificent bounty:
God provides; all praises to Him.
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But the Satanas Boletus,
Deadly Poison?
Was that courtesy of God too?
Might it not poison me
but also bear an as-yet
undiscovered cure for cancer?
(Or stupidity? Or presumption?)
[]
Or was that Satan there
in my garden too?
“Satan will Provide”?
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Just as he had been
in the very first garden–
The Garden of Irresponsibility.


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