Michael Begnal

Mushrooms at a Grave

Yellow and taut

as supple flesh

a number of them

dot the moss

increasing their ranks

in a solar hour

clouded with loss

obscured by rain

damp earth’s flower

their dank time

fungus fleet

bright as grain

Such Brief Glamor

Branches don’t choose their own bark—

in the seed, dark, it’s not seen

either, no screen shows the knots

they acquire, wrought all too quick,

nor can they pick the color

of birds that soar brightly down,

feathery gowns filling nests,

songs in the mist, then the sun—

trees coming on, green tresses

of leaves confess their concern

like forest ferns on fetid

floor, small amid all, a smudge

on the glass, such brief glamor,

roots dig before their buds burst

pink, but leaves—worse—pull away,

like birds, and grey, dry branches

Michael Begnal is an Irish American poet, author of the collections Ancestor Worship and Future Blues (both with Irish press Salmon Poetry), the chapbook Tropospheric Clouds (Adjunct Press, 2020), and a critical monograph, The Music and Noise of the Stooges, 1967-71: Lost in the Future (Routledge, 2022). He teaches writing at Ball State University. His website can be found here.