Allan Pero’s poetry is provoked by astronomy, nature, and death, among other things. He is influenced by French symbolists including Stéphane Mallarmé and Paul Valéry, modernists such as Wallace Stevens, Mina Loy, and Paul Celan, and contemporary Canadian poets like Anne Carson. Allan is currently working on his first volume of poems.



This is my latest poem. 




The path is not long,
maybe a half mile.
I discovered it,
stumbling, at six,
over a mossy log.
We were looking for toadstools,
to dip their gills in tempera paint,
and make patterns, another kind of spore print.
I and the other first-graders, led by
our smiling, monochromatic teacher.


We were given paper bags, and told to pick “perfect” ones,
mushrooms whose gills were unbroken,
ones more regular and more responsive
to scarring paper with tint.
Some of us were more interested in their mystique:
in the colours, some red with poison, some trumpeting black,
to others hiding teeth beneath their caps, to some sporting honeycomb.
Still others were captivated by the puffballs,
with their dead white skulls and mottled brains.


But there were no mushrooms on the path.


The mud and grass, the moss and vine
under my rubber boots
were shaded by a canopy of yellow and orange,
made brighter by the grey light;
it seemed so permanent, so immortal,
beside my dirty fingers,
beyond the shouts of
the vanishing children.