Mushrooms For Breakfast. A poem by John D. Kelly

Mushrooms For Breakfast
i.m. David Bowie

We were both so young.
Everything was so clear in those days.

I always wanted to eat that pristine sky,
let candy floss clouds in the bluest of blue
melt sugary on the tip of my tongue.

I wanted to fly in it.
I wanted to reach out beyond it
into outer space.

You used to love the scent of wildflowers
in clean air, and you once dreamed of me
licking the yellow moon.

In the morning I pretended to spoon
into the golden yolk of an early breakfast sun.

I drank hot sweet tea with honey,
with you, under the sheets,
and we ate buttery toast and wild mushrooms

and read about the stars,
in tabloids, in bed together.

I prayed for the disappearance of missiles,
drones and the carpet-bombing war planes
that I hoovered up for my nightmares
after reading sanitized reports
of pandemics and slaughter in the broadsheets,
in their lines of black and bloody words,
like the flies that high-flying swifts suck up
to keep the sky clear for mating and sleeping

on the wing

while Nightjars and low-flying bats hunt
Death’s-head Hawkmoths,
with silent stealth,
near the hives of sleeping bumble-bees
and save them from losing
their precious liquid caches of summer gold.

All you ever wanted was to breathe
the sweet, the clear, the heady;
to enjoy the natural, bold, musky fragrances
that used to hang in that ether;
to inhale them all with me
while we still could.

But fuck it, it’s over!
I’m up here now with Apollo;
a moon-man (hermetically sealed)
musing in my tin can as Major Tom
until I see, erupting below me,
my own recurring dream
as thousands of unbreathable mushrooms
spot my whole world, and yours, this morning

as if some virulent mycelium has sprouted
overnight, from under the entire blind earth
to the seemingly unbelievable shock
of everyone else but you and me.

And I won’t be there to hold your hand.
There will be nowhere safe to land.


John D. Kelly lives in Co. Fermanagh. His work has appeared in various literary publications including Poetry Ireland Review, Magma, Skylight 47, Boyne Berries, Crannog, The Honest Ulsterman, O’ Bheal Five Words, The Stony Thursday Book, The Blue Nib, The Cormorant, The Galway Review, Fish Anthology, Poetry NI, etc. His debut collection will be published by Summer Palace Press in 2020.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *