Tanka for coming autumn

For Frank Tassone’s weekly challenge.



listen to autumn

rattle to the ground

from the oak tree

acorns fall bright new hopes

among last year’s dead leaves



For Frank Tassone’s haikai challenge. The sturgeon, another creature we prize so highly we’re wiping it from the face of the earth. We don’t have a sturgeon moon here, but we do apparently have the last remaining population of European sturgeon living in our river Garonne. Numbers reduced to below sustainable levels, and since 2012 young sturgeon have been released in an attempt to prevent the population disappearing altogether. We’ll have to wait another 5-10 years to find out if the action has been successful as sturgeon don’t reach reproductive age for 12-20 years. The lucky ones can live up to 100 years. If we leave them alone.


For a million years

in tepid deeps then rivers cool

in balance with tooth beak and claw

the sturgeon waits

for the inescapable nets.