Autumn foliage

A gogyohka for Frank Tassone’s weekly challenge. This week is red autumn foliage. The leaves don’t turn here with a spectacular display as they do in some parts of the world. It’s been a hard summer for the trees and many of them were showing signs of stress before the end of August. Lots of yellowing, and the grass is still dry and brown. The ash trees look miserable and the poplars are shedding big golden leaves like the wealthy tossing alms to beggars, but the rest are hanging on, still green.



summer dried and shrivelled

tree hearts ached

and autumn rains run dry from mean clouds

leaves cling fading green

dreaming of red gold fire

Haikai challenge: Easter lily

For Frank Tassone’s haikai prompt Easter lily which has a special symbolic significance if you’re Irish. Like all symbols, it has its detractors, but they grow in all the gardens in Bordeaux and I like them. We left ours behind when we moved because one of our cats is buried under them.



Lile na Cásca

beautiful symbol of death

for ideals

lost now perhaps in the

scrimmage but pure once

Haibun for the start of spring

An early spring haibun for Frank Tassone’s haikai challenge.


Last night a barn owl fluttered, silent, moth-pale across the meadow. This morning hares raced round and round the house and the first babies toddled from their form when we blundered too close. Thrushes throng the high poplars filling the bare branches with song. Blackbirds battle.

last curled oak leaf

brown tenacious torn free

by spring’s first gust