lost time

the scarab remembering its wings

Quite by accident, looking for a recent photo on my phone, I hit the wrong thing and found myself back in September 2019, and this snapshot from Palma de Mallorca’s cathedral museum cried out for re-editing. I opened it in Snapseed, feeling that there might be a haiku in it. There was.

Of course I’m thinking of Proust, but also of ancient Egyptian symbolism about scarab beetles, and the way Japanese use the word 蟲 mushi, commonly translated as bug or insect, to also indicate a kind of second soul, “closer to the depths of one’s being.” All this was brought to mind not only by the photo but also by a real encounter I had the other week with a large black beetle, which was moving too quickly for me to photograph, and chose to escape not by flying but by tunneling into the earth.

Earth Day

millipede on the green
bathroom wall

waves passing through
its carpet of feet

Good to find a use once again for the target-shaped text option in Snapseed. The auto-generated font sizes and lines were a good fit for this tanka as well, I think. All in all, I’d say my smugness about this haiga-like thing is appropriate for the day, which has long been mainly an exercise in corporate greenwashing and liberal performative virtue.

which cloud

Three uncracked brown eggs in the middle of a large blue plate

harbors the sun
winter aconites

I love the variety of colors in brown eggs and took this photo just to record that. Then haiku possibilities began to suggest themselves. I remembered the winter aconites blooming through or adjacent to patches of snow in my friend L.’s garden on Wednesday. My first draft had “a sun” rather than “the sun” and I wonder whether that might’ve been the stronger choice. But when I write poetry I tend to go with whatever rolls off the tongue most easily.

Once again the font is one I’ve come to know through the Snapseed app on my phone, Pacifico, but it’s only available for single-line messages; to get three lines of the same size, equally spaced, requires better eyesight and way more touch-screen dexterity than I possess. (I tried!) So I took it to GIMP on the desktop.