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Fungus, Scott Akerman


Andy Thorstenson

Published in Vol. 5 Issue 2 of Written River

the rotting log has assumed
the contours of the forest floor
curving and moss-soft.

where once a trunk, rigid and durable,
raised this eminent tree skyward
now its individual fibres discolor, decay and detach.

its surface glows green with mosses
and long curving cracks seem to braid
the greying wood into rope-like strands.

in parts the wood has further faded
into a series of of reddish blocks
regularly and mathematically fractured
like bricks arranged in a wall.
each polyhedron a hard, firm sponge
that offers up its liquid when squeezed.

other plants and even small trees
have taken up residence on its surface,
their roots extending into its mortared matrix.

intricate and delicate spider webs occupy
the interstitial spaces of its fissures,
while the remnants of its root system
stretch upward, disinterred,
as if tapping the unseen force
of the atmosphere to guide
the rotting log
back into its earth.


Andy Thorstenson started writing poetry while fixing fences on his grandparents farm in South Dakota. He has received the High Plains Writers Award for Poetry and his poems have appeared in Lilipoh, South Dakota Magazine, Fire Effects, the Vermillion Literary Project and Issue Magazine. He currently lives with his wife and 2 children near Pucón, Chile where the berries are free for the picking. Even while hiking in the Andes, he is contemplating the verb tenses for his next book of poetry.