(This poem, published previously, on The Labyrinth of Chemical Sensitivities, was recently workshopped in my Poetry 1 class at Victoria University, St Albans Campus, Victoria, Australia, under the bright shining poetry light of one teacher, Tracey Rolfe (you can visit her awesome blog here). This here is the latest version. Please feel free to leave your thoughts or comments in the comments box below.)


Ubiquitous in nature,

moulds: [1]Cladosporium spores

windswept, transported on the overcast

days you can’t tolerate, microbes of irritation

the sun and sharp vaporous fumes, cause and effect

sinuses aching into eye sockets, lungs wheezing out oxygen

symptomatic of your exposure to the fungi [2]Aspergillus fumigatus

the [3]volatile organic compounded malodour from spores

expanding, hyphae curling out and up like branches

in the night,  fruiting green-grey   monsters

seeking out moist darkness; its colony

a mushrooming city of allergens

released:   the curse of

your existence.

[1] Cladosporium spores: wind-dispersed moulds found in abundance outdoors; in large amounts, these allergens, can affect asthmatics and people with allergies and/or chemical sensitivities.

[2] Aspergillus fumigatus: mould commonly found in the break-down of organic matter such as soil, and compost; however, it can also be found in moisture-damaged buildings where it can grow on chipboard, wood and gypsum board (plaster), thus releasing cytoxins, which not only affect the indoor air quality but also the health of the occupants. Inhabitant’s symptoms can include: rhinitis, irritation to eyes and skin, fatigue and/or respiratory infections.

[3] Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs): organic chemicals released into the air from synthetic and natural occurring compounds. When VOCs are released from mould, these can contribute to sick-building syndrome.


© Michellina Van Loder, 2012


(Note: After living the last year of my life in a mould affected environment, the tole on my health has pushed me deeper into the Labyrinth of Chemical Sensitivities, shitty at the best of times, agonisingly surreal at the worst of times. The following YouTube clip shows a different perspective on mould; a perspective of beauty and appreciation for something so horrid…  As you’ll see, there is some beautiful imagery there–fodder for this here poet!)



The Labyrinth: Pullularia Mould

Michellina Van Loder is a Professional Writer, Journalist and Blogger. This is where she shares her tales about trail blazing her way out of the Labyrinth of Chemical Sensitivities and Mould. This is also where you will find the latest Research on related topics.

About Michellina van Loder


  1. Very nice!

  2. Very expressive. Mold, fumes, and eye sockets… lots to explore!

    • Thanks for the inspiration. New at poetry (been writing really bad stuff for years) now I’m in a poetry class, feel as if, ‘Hey, maybe it’s not so hard after all.’ I’m going to submit the ‘Culture’ poem for workshop and see how it goes.Thanks again!

      Cheers :)

  3. Elegant


  1. […] that the sun comes out afterwards—but I often find they need to be washed one more time, due to Cladosporium (outdoor) mould […]

Information, products and views presented by guest bloggers @The Labyrinth are not necessarily the same as those held by this blog's author, Michellina van Loder. Reviews are my own personal opinions (unless stated otherwise); and satire is used throughout personal posts. Any health topics discussed are not to be taken as medical advice. Seek out medical attention if needed and do your own research; however, you're welcome to use mine as a start.
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