Plant Riddle #3

Carolyn Masel


They told us all about the insect

who will come when the time is ripe;

every night I dream of him – his magic feet

on the anther, his tongue tickling the pistil.

But no insect came for me. I felt

a little off, a little too warm and dry,

oh, I was parched –

and I could tell I was out of shape

when suddenly my cap burst off

and spores flew out so fast

they made a vacuum and a tiny mushroom cloud.

Oh, they were higher and faster than mushrooms’,

and the wind carried them away like a stork.

Talk to me in Latin, baby! I wanted to say

to myself. But I could not speak.

The little ‘o’ in the capsule

was all that was left of my voice.



Carolyn Masel is a Melbourne poet. Her first chapbook, A Book of Hours, imagines the voices of some of inhabitants of inner Melbourne (Ginninderra Press, 2017), and her first full-length collection, Moorings, includes poems about social issues as well as autobiographical subjects (Ginninderra Press, 2019).


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