Lichen

Satellite dishes; fairy proportions
Growing in bunches just like mistletoe.

Spreading on branches; shapes ever changing
Fruticose beings of many a hue.

Mutualistic or parasitic;
Not plant; not fungus; a freak of the world
An ancient species long lived and thriving?
Better than humans pollution they’ll find.
Found in abundance, throughout all the world
On branch; on stone; on building or playground

Alien species? Where did they come from?
Keeping their watch from wherever they sit.
Brooding; plotting to take over our world?
Look out behind then; they’re growing near you.

Poem and photo by Englepip© copyright

Lichen are some of the strangest growing things in the world. The oldest in the Arctic is said to be about 8600 years old, the world’s oldest organism, and they probably grow only 1mm a year, depending where they are. They come in many different shapes and forms and even change their shapes and colours as they grow. The more I read about them, the more ubiquitous I realised they were and I began to imagine them lurking and waiting to take their turn in taking over the world! Terrifying.

The following words about lichens are from Wikipedia. “Many lichens are very sensitive to environmental disturbances and can be used to cheaply[8] assess air pollution,[47][48][49] ozone depletion, and metal contamination. Lichens have been used in making dyesperfumes,[50] and in traditional medicines. A few lichen species are eaten by insects[8] or larger animals, such as reindeer.[51] Lichens are widely used as environmental indicators or bio-indicators. If air is very badly polluted with sulphur dioxide there may be no lichens present, just green algae may be found. If the air is clean, shrubby, hairy and leafy lichens become abundant. A few lichen species can tolerate quite high levels of pollution and are commonly found on pavements, walls and tree bark in urban areas. The most sensitive lichens are shrubby and leafy while the most tolerant lichens are all crusty in appearance. Since industrialisation many of the shrubby and leafy lichens such as RamalinaUsnea and Lobaria species have very limited ranges, often being confined to the parts with the purest air.”

Such an interesting organism.

Daily Prompt: The Alien

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Help me human please as soon you may

For I am not conversant with your ways:

I’m standing here beside the hockey pitch

Have not yet been invited with my stick.

To run around the field that’s  over there,

Instead they’ve left me standing without care.

Perhaps they fear ‘cos I am not the same

I’ll bully off with some outlandish sway

And give the game the opposition’s way.

 

I note the ageing seniors as they pass

Their wrinkled faces dropped beyond their jaws

I offer them the skill that’s on me marked

They must want a facelift for their maws.

Perhaps they cannot hear my little voice

My language may not be their one of choice

For they walk away, conversing in low tones.

About the strange machine parked by the stones.

 

So lonely and so woebegone  am I

To see you brings a tear into my eye

The first to really stop and take a look

And smile at my facade  which they forsook

For you can see my  friendly alien smile

And know that I am  here just for a while

And although you know I look just like a lift

YOU see my alien, parallel world shift.

Beep, burp beep bop twee stip blip

Blop wuv wu.

 

I was walking by the hockey pitch when I got this view of the lift used to repair the lights. They are very high up and require specialised equipment to replace the bulbs etc. Can you see the alien? I did  – it cheered my day and got me to thinking.

Poem and photo by Englepip©. Copyright.

 

 

via Daily Prompt: Conversant