BRACKET FUNGUS

I've always been puzzled
by the function of fungus 
bracket fungus, I mean 
those white bellied shelves
that jut out like ears or bookends
from moldering trunks of dying trees.
I loved the weight of them 
solid as hooves or a wedge of pelvis.
Their pages bruised easily 
buffed soft like velvet or lambskin.
My goal was always to find a piece
spotless and pure, unmarked
as a field of fresh drifted snow.
Then I'd cut a nib from a twig,
and inscribe the brown script
of my words into the palm
of its lily hand, which very soon,
I knew, would turn to stone.
I don't know, maybe the forest
made the fungus because she too
gets lonely.
Maybe she's been waiting
all this time for you
to write her a love letter.


Pamela Lee Cranston
The Adirondack Review
PAMELA CRANSTON was born in New York City and was raised in Old Deerfield, Massachusetts. From the age of five, she has spent summers in St. Huberts, New York, where she and her family have been active with the Adirondack Trail Improvement Society (ATIS) and the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK) for over fifty years. She received her B.A. from San Francisco State University, majoring in Interdisciplinary Social Science, where she also studied extensively in their creative writing program. In 1988, she received a Masters of Divinity degree from the Church Divinity School of the Pacific (CDSP) in Berkeley, CA. Ordained an Episcopal priest in 1990, she has served San Francisco Bay area churches and hospices for the past fourteen years. She also is an adjunct member of the faculty at CDSP, writes, lectures, gives poetry readings, leads workshops and retreats and does spiritual direction.  Her books include: The Madonna Murders (a novel to be published in 2003 by St. Huberts Press); Clergy Wellness and Mutual Ministry; and An Eccentric English Journey (privately published.) Her poetry, essays and book reviews have been published or soon will be appearing in various books and journals such as: Anglican Theological Review, On the Trail: An Outdoor Anthology by Birch Brook Press, Blueline, EarthLight, Cistercian Studies, Forward Movement Publications, Journal of Christianity and Literature, Journal of Pastoral Care, Kilvert Journal, Mindfulness Bell, Mystic River Review, New Moon Review, New Song Press, Northwoods Journal, Penwood Review, Presence, South, and Women: Empowering and Healing. Pamela Cranston lives with her husband in Oakland, California, and returns to the Adirondacks regularly. She is a regular contributor to The Adirondack Review.
Adirondack Voices