Buff Whitman-Bradley

After all Even though the selfIs a self-constructed entityAnd does not actually exist Apart from what we think about it,It does need care and feedingAnd time offOnce in a whileTo walk in the woods, Or bathe in the forestAs the fashion currently has it,So as to replenish and reinforceThe quiet at the deepest beneathnessWhich functions as a kind of pedestalTo hold the imaginary selfMore or less in placeWhich makes it possible for us To go to work, pay our bills,Renew our driver’s license,Cook dinner, love our children,All of which is,After all,The reason we made the thing upIn the first place. Yellow mushroom A warm day in late JanuaryNo rain for two or three weeksBut the ground in the woods and hillsIs still satisfyingly muddyAnd by a rotting log I findA small yellow mushroomStanding perfectly erectLike a ballerina or a gymnastPreparing to launch herselfInto the mild bright air.But of course the lovely little fungus Has no such ideaNo plans to leap or twirl or dive,For a mushroom understands That one can also praise existenceBy remaining perfectly quiet and stillWith feet planted firmlyIn moldering earth. You may see me in a boulder You may see me in a boulderYou may see me in a duneYou may watch me growing golderIn the late October moon. You may hear me in a hootYou may hear me in a roarYou may hark me underfootAs you scuff along the floor. You may feel me in the rollingYou may graze me in the rushYou may tug me in the pullingYou may bump me in the push. You may smell me in the lilacsYou may taste me in the dewAs your take your early walksWhen the day is fresh and new. From Kathmandu to Hong KongFrom tarn to bog to seaWhen I am gone I won’t be goneThere’s nowhere I won’t be. Buff Whitman-Bradley's poems have appeared in many print and online journals. His latest book is Crows with Bad Writing. His podcast of poems about aging, memory, and mortality can be heard at thirdactpoems.podbean.com.