Editor’s note: This poem was inspired by the Telluride Mushroom Festival. A picture of the festival is included above. Photo credit: Mariah Grimes.

Gratitude to Funga
Gift to humans
from the powers below ground

The de-composers
Breaking down
strings of amino acids
& fatty woodwind arpeggios

Composting dead trees into creekside
kettledrums. Orchestrating
the grand wheeling kiva crescendo
of singing
cycling & recycling

Sparked by nature’s
spore plugs of regeneration

Polypores. Puffballs
Stinkhorns. Earthstars
Corals & Clubs


In our hearts, minds
stomachs & synapses
so be it…

[The Assembled:]

So be it!

Gratitude to the Fungophiles
The Salzmans
Lincoffs. Weil. Stamets

Corbin. Klite. Norris. Bunyard.
Dame Furci
The Gillmans & the Adamses

Tie-dye locals & suit&tie veterans
And to all us pot-hunting
mountain crazies
jonesing for another foray

Gathering baskets of edibles
on Sheep Mountain slopes


Throwbacks to an earlier dawn
Of earth dancers
Soil singers

Not Homo sapiens but Humus ludens
Hunting & gathering once again
around To-Hell-u-Ride’s
top of the world
Lizard Head slopes
& Sheep Mountain meadows

Playful mud men & mud wymyn
getting down dirty to
dig up stipes

Or cross-species
dressing up
to parade down main street

Swearing fealty
to the sacred Shrooms


In our hearts, minds
stomachs & synapses
so be it…

[The Assembled]

So be it!

Honor the goddess in all her guises
Be she healing tonic
gourmet treat
or amatoxin hell
for those who pick without respect

And may we all experience
(if just once)
the whiz-bang berserker
inebriation of amanita muscaria

Yes! We love Mushrooms!

So raise high the galactic roofbeam
Laura Huxley. Terence McKenna
Dolores LaChapelle

Let us relish
the flavor of xerampolina
The aroma of matsutaki
The ling chi tea of Chinese longevity

May we bioassay phenethylamines
as Sasha Shulgin taught us

Micro-dosing or mega-dosing
For visions or for medicine
Our future’s best bet
& a template for saving ourselves
in what Donna Haraway is calling
the Chthulucene

The old strictures & structures are dissolving
just as the Fungophiles knew they would
They had to. Flimsy & worthless

Finally let us praise entheogens
What they teach us about shattering
old crystal to find the elixir of social resilience
ecstasy to psilocybe acid to ayahuasca

Entangling us in a quantum leap
of camaraderie & communion
The power, the glory & the mycelial
warp of black holes, dark matter
& death’s decomposing mysteries


In our hearts, minds
stomachs & synapses
so be it…

[The Assembled]

So be it!