carnivorous nights


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About the Artist

Read the first chapter

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We asked contestants to write original haiku about an extinct, endangered, or cryptozoological animal---or about an environmental problem like global warming or habitat destruction. Here are the winners!

***Grand Prize Winner*** (Tasmanian Tiger Award):
Carl Mehling of New York City for
"Passenger Pigeon" and "The Yeti Story"

Passenger pigeon
Once as common as bison
Until you met us

I just saw Bigfoot
In fact a whole family
Camera batteries dead

Cryptids are for real
They are everywhere on Earth
Most are small insects

The Yeti story
Lacks a voucher specimen

If we continue
Despoiling, we, too, will be
Endangered species

We better find him
This old Sasquatch character
Before sprawl kills him
--Carl Mehling, New York City

**Runners-up** (Tasmanian Devil Awards):
Christopher Lane of Sedona, Arizona
for "Glen Canyon Damn"
Lynne Wander of Oakland, California, for "Texas Ocelot"
Chris (youcantryreachingme) of Sydney, Australia
for "Did You Know, Huh Huh?" and "Bye-bye Wallaby"
David Traver Adolphus of Bennington, Vermont
for "A Sampling"
Aaron Spriggs of Fort Collins, Colorado
for "Acid Rain" and "Urban Runoff"

through panes of glass;

100 years,

in a barren tree

a red bird!

(This one is for Edward Abbey and his torrid "love affair" with the Glen Canyon Dam.)

Glen Canyon Damn

my heart holds Abbey,
my mind, the fuse,
my skin and concrete are one,


--Mr. Christopher Lane (, executive director NORAZ Poets, Sedona, Arizona
© 2006 Mr. Christopher Lane

Texas ocelot.
The state has fewer left than
people on death row.

Polar bears drowning
Sounds like it could be a joke.
Nope! Global warming.
--Lynne Wander, Oakland, California

did you know, huh, huh?
how many we've sent extinct?
fifty-four critters!

Bye-bye wallaby,
bilby, rat-kangaroo
and thylacine too.
--by Chris (youcantryreachingme), Sydney, Australia
© 2006

"A Sampling"

Thunderous black wings,
Harbingers of fell passage
Behold! The Grackle!

Oh how slovenly
Unable to breathe the filth
Is the wastrel sloth.

Narwhal singing songs
Of being a whale at sea
Horny ocean songs.

In the deep grass hide
Eleven dreadful badgers
Bright and quivering

Little vulture chicks
Like the ugly ducking tale
Except in reverse.

Little footprints ran
Along the frozen streambed.
A weasel was here.

Now, after the fall,
I must daily contend with
Giant mutant apes.

Heaving, grunting beach.
Fur-covered, piniped grubs.
Mating time for seals.

Aggressive monkeys
Ripping flesh from the tourists.
Running and screaming.

Lemurs everywhere
Why are all these lemurs here?
So many lemurs.

Rabbit hopping there
Oblivious of the hawk
Stooping to the kill.
--David Traver Adolphus, Bennington, Vermont

"Acid Rain"

Destruction rains down
Fire Salamander sweat
All frogs disappear

"Urban Runoff"

Silted river dies
Mono-crop farming continues
Future goes thirsty


Breath hot and meaty
Carnivore stalks for dinner
Smug little turnips

"Ceolcanth 1"

Extant old fish
Swimming past extinction
Living, breathing fossils
--Aaron Spriggs, Fort Collins, Colorado

*Joggers-up* (Spotted-tailed Quoll Awards):
Jon Swabey of Flinders Lane, Australia, for "Doolagarl Spoor"
Gurpreet Jawa of Raleigh, North Carolina
for "Will Dolphins One Day" and "Through Urban Jungles"

"Doolagarl Spoor"

Wattle afternoon--
Claw Marks on the Gum, musk-stink
stains the clear cool air.
--Jon Swabey, Flinders Lane, Australia

Will dolphins one day
Debate the Patterson film
Of the last human?

Through urban jungles
ET cryptid-hunters search.
Did humans survive?
--Gurpreet Jawa, Raleigh, North Carolina

Prizes: The grand-prize winner will receive a Tasmanian tiger prize pack, including: a Tasmanian tiger T-shirt, a jar of Tasmanian leatherwood honey, a DVD of the "Howling III" featuring a Were-Tiger, a signed copy of Carnivorous Nights: On the Trail of the Tasmanian Tiger, and one signed copy of the book for the library of his choice. The five runners-up will each receive one signed copy of Carnivorous Nights and one copy each for his or her favorite library. The two joggers-up will each receive one signed copy of Carnivorous Nights.

Thanks to MCA (a.k.a. Adam Yauch) of the Beastie Boys for starting us off with a haiku about his favorite cryptid, the Sasquatch. Read Adam's haiku and more at the Haiku Zoo.

Carnivorous Nights: On the Trail of the Tasmanian Tiger follows two naturalists (and one wacky artist) on a humorous and heartbreaking adventure as they hunt for traces of a rare---and probably extinct---creature on the wild island of Tasmania. Carnivorous Nights was named one of the 25 best books of 2005 and a "Book for the Teen Age 2006" by the New York Public Library, which is just one reason we LOVE libraries.