Oh you, the living & damp –
the fungi desire to lie with you.
Oh you, the expired & seeking exit –
the fungi reach out
to break you down.
Oh you ancient blue-greens –
the fungi wish to meld with you
flesh to flesh & flourish.
Oh honey and barley –
the fungi yearn to promote
your Dionysian transformation.
Oh finest fir roots –
the fungi seek you out
to knit, parlay & thrive.
Humble-seeming pilgrims. Penetrants.
Nets & nests of filaments, brews of cells.
We praise your frothy heads of mead
& bow before your humped-up
fruit-swells of fog & forest soil –
Bill Yake now living among the fir and redcedar forests bordering the Salish Sea, was born, raised, and first educated, where eastern Washington pine forests grade into the remnant black hawthorn swales and eyebrows of the Palouse Hills. His poems have been published in books, magazines, and anthologies serving the environmental and literary communities — from Orion to Wilderness Magazine, from Poetry to Open Spaces Quarterly, from Wild Earth to ISLE. They have also been featured on NPR programs, including Krulwich Wonders, and are collected in This Old Riddle: Cormorants and Rain and Unfurl, Kite, and Veer, both from Radiolarian Press.