Looking up, looking down.

I think this one needs some notes. The kigo (seasonal marker word or phrase) is ‘Quadrantids’, because today is the peak of the Quadrantids meteor shower (have a look if you’re away from light pollution). Today, I noticed all the green lichen blobs growing on the pavements, just like on rocks in a pristine, limestone nature reserve, or on the rocks by the sea. I notice them in places like that, but I had never noticed them on the pavements before, though they are just as beautiful. This taught me something about perception. We look at different things (and at things differently) in different places. Also, we rarely look down at our feet or up at the sky when we are in the city, more often we are looking at people or buildings, cars etc., looking out for danger or social interaction, or signs of direction, our means of transport, our destination.

Lichens are very slow-growing and supposedly a sign of clean air, so it’s good news, but in the context of a city, they looked remarkably like all those blobs of squashed chewing gum that you see everywhere. I thought of green aliens with green chewing gum and put that together with the meteor shower today, remembering how life could have been assisted by comets crashing into the earth (these meteors are the remnants of an extinct comet), and how we are all of the universe, all space-dust and all as alien as anything else within it!


Lichen on pavements,

Green alien chewing gum –

Quadrantids shower.

About Basho Barr

Inspired by the great Japanese Haiku master, Matsuo Basho, I try to capture a daily moment in a small but perfectly formed Haiku.
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