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The visitation

 

Unbidden, the giant puffballs appeared overnight on the quad lawn.

Grass Out of Bounds to Pupils?

– the puffballs paid no heed.

Not Us, they said.

 

They arrived, without reference to anyone:

perfect giant meringues on an incongruous baize.

Their disregard for their surroundings was apparent:

such red-brick pillared portals were nothing to the ancient race of the Fungi.

 

For that morning they stood Untouchable,

beyond the reach of student boot-for the quad lawn was  not  to be trespassed upon.

Their presence a subversive autumnal delight

in that most serious of all terms, Michaelmas.

 

Defiant. Ludicrous. Delightful.

Giant puffballs: their ways are not our ways.

 

 

© Lucinda Moore, winning entry in the Unpublished Poet category, Lord Whisky Animal Sanctuary competition, 2020

Picture 12487691, illustration by William Hamilton Gibson, 1895, image copyright Mary Evans / Florilegius Collection

 

 

Lucinda Moore is an author and historian, based in Sussex. A graduate of classical archaeology and ancient history from Oxford University, Lucinda has more than a decade of archival research experience, and loves documenting the world around her with words and pictures. Her first publication was an illustrated history book, Animals in the Great War (Pen & Sword, 2017), and she won her first poetry prize in the 2020 Lord Whisky Animal Sanctuary competition.