Winter lingers


Reset the fireplace

mothballed until next winter

snow and ice return.


by Scooj


Spider crab


Spiny long legs and

decorated carapace;

harmless omnivore.


by Scooj

  • Atlast, after years of looking, I have found another transposable animal name. The first was goose barnacle/barnacle goose, now I can add to it spider crab/crab spider. Phew.



Slender herbivore

tall ears and like a rabbit

but not a rabbit.


by Scooj




Great gladiator

conical dust arena

jaws at the ready.


by Scooj



Goose Barnacle


Attached to flotsam

a curious crustacean

and filter feeder.


by Scooj

  • Occasionally one can be lucky enough to see these fascinating creatures washed up on driftwood. They really are most unusual.
  • I like the name, because if you switch the words you get barnacle goose, which is great wordplay. I test myself regularly to see if there are any other such animal names that can be transposed in this way. I haven’t found one yet. (Sadly there is no such thing as a monkey spider…for example.)
  • It was named because it was thought (before such things were understood) that barnacle geese were created from them as their nests and chicks were never seen in Northern Europe. The goose barnacle has a long ‘neck’ and the main part of the body resembles a head and beak.

Conventional wisdom


In the seventies

the country was much greener;

rose-tinted glasses.


by Scooj


  • A convenient narrative adopted by pro-Brexit campaigners urging a return to the ‘good old days’ before we were told what to do by Europe. The facts rather contradict this romantic notion, and certainly my recollection of growing up in London in the 1970s is not a pleasant one – choking car fumes, filth and litter everywhere and heavily polluted rivers, our countryside didn’t fare much better. What did European regulations ever do for us…? (Habitats Directive, Water Framework Directive, the Birds Directive, Bathing Waters Directive, Air Quality Framework Directive and others).





Conspicuous stripes

infectious, inflected bray

grazer of the veldt.


by Scooj.


  • The challenge of choosing an animal and then writing a haikuĀ  about it is actually much harder than I thought it would be.