Dancing Dust

Poems by Mollie Caird (1922-2000)


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To Fungus from Alga

I had thought we were lichen,
Symbiotic, a wonder,
Two creatures, one life,
And dead if asunder.

Lichen is multiform:
Long-hairy, small-grainy,
Braves ice-caps and sand-dunes,
Climates torrid or rainy.

Its colours astonish:
Sea-green, scarlet, gold.
Slow as granite it grows
And is almost as old.

Fungus dead, bloodless alga
Might linger a week;
So what monstrous fate
Makes me nature’s worst freak?

Long ago I thought lichen
True symbol of bliss;
That poem ― unwritten ―
Would have differed from this.

Undated. post 1984