The Colors Mushrooms Wear
Scarlet garbs and warms, recalls
embers on white-hot ash, pulses
sanguine and unstoppable. It is
the color of a day devoted to good
causes with strawberry shortcake
and whipped cream at its end.
Pumpkin rushes to amuse with its maze
of vines, its promise of toothless grins.
It soothes and beckons, weaves tendril
shawls and taunts dull hours. It is
the color of autumn afternoons—
plump and filled with sweet-tooth wishes.
For an evening out choose melon veined
with whispers of white lace. Slow-dance
melodies flow from the folds, but leave
no footprints. These are the colors
of a woodland ball and if you
carry a fan, you will fit right in.
Gray is necessary for quiet days
though it harbors the slumbering energy
of blue and purple in the trim
of its morning attire. It is the color
of a dirge, that with time will wander
toward a major key’s Picardy Third.
Black worn at night rustles past
unseen, unsettling complacency
and leaving an aftertaste
of poppy-seed enchantment.
It is the color any dream can
ask to dance.
“. . . childhood teaches us/to covet shiny things.” Kari Gunter-Seymour
The moon never sleeps—clever
shifts shapes, clips on masks,
tempts cheese fans, backdrops
swooning lovers, steals sun’s
light, tugs at tides without strings.
We would have called her
looney at home, where some
of the shiny things I learned to bow to
in childhood were handcuffs of duty and rigor.
Now, barred in my room of scribbled lists
and mental deadlines, I am far from
knowing if by moongazing I might
someday pay my bail, be free.
Nancy K. Jentsch’s poetry has appeared recently in Amethyst Review, Braided Way and Verse-Virtual. Her chapbook, Authorized Visitors, was published in 2017 (Cherry Grove Collections) and Between the Rows, her first poetry collection, was released by Shanti Arts in 2022. More information is available on her website: https://jentsch8.wixsite.com/my-site.