Arched Angels

By Adam Chambers

The last thing that I wrote, the last
thing I will ever write
about mushrooms
compared their flesh to my flesh
and their gills to the gilly-white wings of angels.
Is that not just a bit ridiculous?

Don't we all, though, come into life with dirt on our heads?
Don't we all shake at something? slats of light on the floor
cast from a high window, shivering warmth

Instead, this less-than-pristine chapel
but oh my broken and
disdained glass windows remind me of the day
last december I walked 6 miles in the rain
through farmland
and the barns' rusted iron roofs resembled
the corrugated wings of angels

The pines creak, the clouds furrow
it is not the same after all, and after all
you invite in me the cool, the dark, the damp, the foundering
disease, this frail body to grow

I stood in your garden
that day among mushrooms —
you were not at home
— wide brim of a black umbrella
and rain beginning to freeze 

Ice layered inky caps
toppled off, leaving
papery white stems beheaded,
quivering; arrows plunged
haphazard in the mulch

shudder of feather —
a sudden profile of wings
glass-blown, glass boned
like palisades in the dusk
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About Adam Chambers

Adam Chambers lives in southern Maryland, but is currently in northeast Ohio, enrolled in the creative writing program at Oberlin College. He's had several pieces in his school's literary magazine, the Plum Creek Review, but otherwise has not been published previously. In 2010, he received the William Battrick Poetry Fellowship.


  1. Posted July 2011 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    These are breath-taking..stunning poems….exquisite and powerful….gorgeous language…palisades…..mushroom truth…and huge spirt loft….wow…..Judyth Hill

  2. Posted October 2011 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

    Fantastic, Adam! I wish I it were possible to attach your photos of mushrooms and toadstools you took four years ago in our yard…

    Your prize is so exciting! And so well deserved–
    Literal Latte is big time. Congratulations!

    Elisavietta Ritchie

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