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.
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.
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.
Just spotted this at the back of the garage when I put away the car this afternoon. How had I missed it before? Such gorgeous architecture. I’m not entirely sure what I had in mind with the words but they felt right, and sometimes that’s enough.