The rain is outside.
upon the window,
fly hissing down the flue.
Uncle is lost in sleep,
fingers curled 'round
a red-jacketed journal.
It is much nicer,
to be down-cellar when the sky frowns
and turns day to night.
It is always night in the cellar,
close and secret
in the tunnels beneath the stair.
I suppose if I were older,
they would not seem so....
The hobbit at the end of the Row...
(not to mention his cousins, second and third removed,
in Bree, where I stopped once, with Uncle Sara)
his name is Tunnelly....
I smile in the down-cellar dimness:
I do so love words.
Like toys they are,
toys that one may carry about
without the necessity of
and play with even when mumma says
it is time to
But for now, the expectant damp under-hill waits,
and a soft glow, like a faerie-ring, calls my eyes as
they acquaint themselves to the dark.
A strange, dull glow and a sweet smell....
golden (here i search for Uncle's word, an Elvish
one, so like nectar itself I can taste it on my
Like to mumma's flower vase they look,
bell'd and lit from within.
Here is the treasure which was rumoured
to fill these tunnels....
here, growing in hidden earth.
Or, in the vulgar tongue:
They are better than words, these,
better by far than the rain tapping at eave and
better than the thin high notes of the robin,
wet and sounding like an out-of-sorts tin whistle...
better than the nier....the bees which make houses
of wax beneath Mr. Willow's curtaining arms....
better, even, than lying before the fire on the
star-rug and watching smoke-dragons play ......
Well, maybe not better than that last.
A goodly portion of the mushrooms find their way
to the loose-woven basket that stays upon the crooked
damp of the floor.
Mumma would think me a good lad
to help Uncle with Tea,
I am sure.
And Uncle, once I have found my way upstairs,
laughs to see me,
and finds the great flat skillet that was his
And later, (very much later),
when the night has settled
against the side of the Hill,
to the Roof-tree, there is (still)
the rug before the fire,
and my little cup,
blue like the Sea,
filled with almost-bitter chocolate...
and Uncle's voice,
warm and sounding of sleep,
coaxing the hearth-dragons to
Lest you think I did not do my research on mushrooms, please visit this site, where there is discussed not only the luminescent properties of mushrooms, but also "faerie rings".
And THIS site for information of chanterelles.