5. Sorocarp

Now we are truly beautiful. Look at our colours, as we sway steadily.

I am part of the fruiting
head, producing spores to fly away
to venture far from this
place of no food.
I am
          the stalk
            we sway
                  gently in
                            the breeze,
               for strength,
          waiting for
when we
I am part of a basal disc,
rooting the structure to the ground.

We are now differentiated. And once disintegration has begun, in the production of spores, some of us are doomed. Many of us in the basal disc and stalk may die, but we know that the spores will carry our essence on, to start a new life cycle. To start a new life.

We send out spores, to spread our next generation into a new environment, out into the distant beyond. We send out spores so that you can find them wherever you look next. Where will our spores be found?

In space only one of our pseudoplasmodia is able to form the fruiting body. Only one fine mist of cellulose-walled spores is set free to drift in the lost gravity. If the walls of this canister, of this space shuttle were somehow permeable to our spores, where would we send our life? Could we be the first earth beings to colonise another planet?

1. Myxamoebae

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Helen Whitehead

Part of this work was submitted as the Dissertation for the MA in Writing

Nottingham Trent University

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Last amended on 21st May 1998 / copyright H. M. Whitehead