Orange Mushrooms

Mushrooms on ground surrounded with brown dry leaves

High in the Smoky Mountains,
in a forest thicket of fir and spruce
saturated with rainwater, often shrouded
in fog, fallen timbers lie askew
in decay, transitioning back to the land,
generating fertile gardens for assorted fungi.

A village of small, bright orange mushrooms
grows in clumps on the shelf of a grooved log,
covered with a farm of bright moss,
green as the grass on Andrew’s Bald.
Their roundish, slightly serrated,
orange bowls, with white rims,
rest atop slim, cylindrical,
beige-colored pedestals.

They look like two-toned, shallow chalices
lifting their offerings skyward, maybe
gifts of water for pine warblers to drink
washing down a meal of insects.
Or late in the day they could be
golden goblets for gnomes
to sip their fungi-flavored, forest wine
at a nighttime green-world concert.


-Wesley Sims

Wesley Sims has published three chapbooks of poetry: When Night Comes, 2013; Taste of Change, 2019; and A Pocketful of Little Poems, 2020. His work has appeared in Artemis Journal, Connecticut Review, G.W. Review, Liquid Imagination, Plum Tree Tavern, Novelty Magazine, Poem, Poetry Quarterly, Bewildering Stories, and others.