Unless stated otherwise, all poetry on Swimming in Lines of Haiku is Copyright Kirsten Cliff and may not be reprinted in any form without written permission from the author. kirsten(DOT)cliff(AT)gmail(DOT)com

Saturday, December 31, 2011

December Round-Up - Week 52: TICK!

Here's how I'm doing on my 2011 goal of submitting poetry to a publication or competition every week:
And that's it. I've done it! For every week of 2011 I submitted a poem of some kind, some where :) Phew!

It's been a very rewarding year poetry-wise: not just because I reaped the benefits of so many submissions by being published much more, and much more widely, but because I also meet heaps of great haiku-folk through blogging and on Facebook, and through participating in a few PAD (poetry-a-day) challenges (small stones x2, NaHaiWriMo, NaPoWriMo) so that I'm now happily part of the on-line haiku community - a great place to be and to be part of :)

Thank YOU for being part of it with me through Swimming in Lines of Haiku. I'll be back next year with more poetry, and, knowing me, another challenge to be working towards...

Have safe and happy New Year's celebrations!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Mall

      Christmas mall...
      clouds move slowly
      across the skylight

Notes From the Gean, December 2011 (3:3)

Merry Christmas to all my friends, readers and fellow writers!

May you find some space to move slowly
this busy holiday season :)

Thursday, December 22, 2011



          three finches take turns
          in the bird bath

a handful of stones, Friday, 16 December 2011

There are still a lot of finches flitting around at our new home, but none of these ones are showing any interest in the bird bath. Luckily, in our rural setting, we don't need such an item to attract all the bird life, and we are happily enjoying watching them where ever they may nest, rest, play, fly and feed.

To all my Facebook friends: Although very exhausted from the move, etc., I'm not bed bound just now, thank God! I know you've been leaving me messages of support and I thank you all :) 

Unfortunately, between needing to rest and my dial-up connection, I haven't been able to get back on Facebook. The good news is that I've reached another milestone: only six-months of treatment to go, and the start of my latest 3-month cycle and bone marrow aspirate is being held-off until after Christmas and New Year. Phew!

A very happy Summer Solstice to those in my part of the world :) It's been a rainy summer here so far and I'm loving it as it's filling up our water tank! A happy Winter Solstice to the bulk of my readers over in the Northern Hemisphere. I hope everyone is writing some Solstice haiku...

Friday, December 16, 2011

Onion Tears

          blue moon...
          I hide behind these
          onion tears

Notes From the Gean, December 2011, 3:3

My new rural home is proving to be perfect for moon-viewing: what with no neighbours, being on a hill, panoramic views and no city lights, we really are getting some of the best night skies that New Zealand has to offer. Bring on the first New Year full moon!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Away With the Birds

          rushing thoughts...
          the speckled breast
          of this thrush

Notes From the Gean, December 2011, volume 3, issue 3

I haven't seen any thrushes here at my new home in Hobbiton, but many, many other birds that will stop me in my tracks; mind and body. Some I saw daily in suburbia, like blackbirds (a favourite of mine and hubby's), finches (partial to these wee ones, too) and sparrows (of course!).

Then there are the beautiful array of new birds for my viewing palette, like the ever loud and proud peacock, the majestic pair of hawks, the magpie's with a nest in our gum tree, the native pukeko that drink from the cow troughs, beautiful swallows, cheeky minors, and various brightly coloured parrots. It's a busy place!

Needless to say, much haiku is being written about the birds and our amazing rural views. I just sent in a new batch of ten haiku for my third set on DailyHaiku Cycle 12. My second week-long set is running now and looking great :) I'm also getting a submission ready to send in to The Heron's Nest by 15 December.

And to my surprise, I had a great session over the weekend writing dragon haiku and tanka for Aubrie Cox's New Year's Day post over at her blog, Yay Words! I'd never written about dragons before, but once I got going I had heaps of fun. Check out the submission info here. It's going to be fantastic!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Experimental Tanka

a war, inside:
a death,
and you want me
to choose...

I considered this my 'experimental tanka'. Hubby had no idea what I was on about - although he's not versed in the ways of tanka. (Happy to report that he's been writing haiku and senryu again since our move to the country though:). I knew it was different and submitted it once without success.

When I submitted it again, it was not with much hope, but I thought I'd give it one more go (having learned over the years that editors all have there own tastes and that just because one rejects it, it doesn't mean that that poem should be binned. I now trust in myself and my poetry much more - something that comes with time and experience.)

So, I put my 'experimental tanka' in as number ten of a set of ten tanka. And was surprised and pleased when Notes From the Gean Tanka Editor Michael McClintock chose it (and none of the others!) for the December 2011 Issue.

This was the type of tanka that arrived pretty much fully formed word-wise, but getting the line breaks and punctuation right took a fair bit of fiddling. And I wasn't in a good space when writing it, but these things are better out than in (which I find poetry perfect for). I'm grateful to have it picked up by Notes From the Gean. Who knows where tanka will take me next...

Friday, December 9, 2011


          in my mind's eye
          this new tanka...
          the tinker tinker tinker
          of teaspoon against mug

Eucalypt: a tanka journal, issue 11, 2011

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

November Round-Up - The Hills Are Alive With Haiku

Gosh, so much happened in November that I don't know where to begin! Definitely the busiest month this year, jam-packed with good things. It started with a short honeymoon after my partner and I were wed on 31 October. A week after getting back we bought a house. Then about two weeks after that we moved!

We've been in our new home a week now and are enjoying the quiet and quirks that come with a life lived in the country. One change that we weren't expecting was the downscale to dial-up Internet. Although it is kinda cool to be so rural that we can't get broadband. It means you have to slow down. Perfect!

Here's how I'm doing on my 2011 goal of submitting poetry to a publication or competition every week:
  • week four-four - submitted ten haiku to Notes From the Gean, three haiku accepted!
  • week forty-five - submitted ten tanka to Ribbons, one tanka accepted!
  • week forty-six - submitted five haiku to the Thom Williams Memorial Contest (first time submitting here)
  • week forty-seven - submitted five haiku and five tanka to paper wasp (awaiting outcome)
  • week forty-eight - submitted five haiku and five tanka to Kokako (awaiting outcome)
November saw my poetry appear in a handful of stones twice, and my first week of haiku published on DailyHaiku, which you can read here. I was very pleased to see that the 'bride-to-be' haiku went on-line the day before I got married!

Only four weeks left now of submitting each week and I would have achieved the goal I set for myself in the first week of January. I won't be keeping it up in 2012 (especially not with dial-up!) but I'm sure I'll find another challenge to excite my senses. There is certainly a lot of haiku to be found around these parts :)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

By The Light

          the day after chemo
          he reads by the light
          of his cellphone

a handful of stones, Thursday, 24 November 2011

Monday, November 21, 2011

NZPS Special Call For Submissions

Call for submissions for a special edition of haikai café to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the 2011 earthquakes in Christchurch (22 February) and Japan (11 March).

This will appear in the March 2012 issue of a fine line - The Magazine of the New Zealand Poetry Society.

Please send up to five haiku and/or tanka for consideration to Kirsten Cliff with 'HAIKAI CAFE' in the subject line. (NZPS members only)

Unpublished poetry is preferred, but previously published works will be considered (if credit supplied).

Deadline: 31 January 2012

(Note: a fine line is always looking for Feature Articles "to encourage informed debate, and to assist readers to improve their understanding of poetry." See the submission guidelines here.)

Friday, November 18, 2011

What We Can Learn From Cows

the cows
still chew their cud

Haiku News (November 28th, 2010)

Haiku and photograph © Kirsten Cliff 2011

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

My 2011 Christmas Picks

Here's my picks for you and your creative peeps this Christmas:

(Please note: some links direct you to the book on my favorite New Zealand on-line bookshop Fishpond, but these books can also be found on Amazon.) Additionally, you might find some Barnes & Noble savings here.

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Poetry of Your Soul

I know not
all the details of your life
and your death,
but am blessed to have read
the poetry of your soul

~for Svetlana

Friday, November 11, 2011

A Small Stone of Love

     at the door
     with muddy gumboots
     he offers me his love &
     a freshly pulled carrot

a handful of stones Thursday, 10 November 2011

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Tears in Ice Diver

            the doctor shifts
            in his seat

Commended, New Zealand Poetry Society International Haiku Contest 2011
Appeared in Ice diver, New Zealand Poetry Society Anthology 2011

Monday, November 7, 2011

October Round-Up - A Surprise Or Two Or Three...

I had a couple of great surprises this month: I was excited to receive a contributor's copy of paper wasp and to find that four of my haiku and four of my tanka were published inside! And I was absolutely ecstatic to be accepted as a contributor for Cycle 12 of DailyHaiku where 28 of my haiku will appear over the next six months. My first week of haiku started on 30 October and can be read here.

Here's how I'm doing on my 2011 goal of submitting poetry to a publication or competition every week:

During the month, my haiku, tanka and haiga appeared online at DailyHaiku, Notes from the Gean, Issa's Untidy Hut, Chrysanthemum, Yay Words! and in paper wasp (print). And there's much more to come this November and December as all my diligence in submitting each week, and trying so many new journals, pays off. Only eight weeks left!

But wait, there's more...

I've left the biggest surprise 'til last...

Cameron and I eloped last week and were married at 2pm on 31 October in Auckland (NZ). Here's our favourite photo from the day, which was taken just after our first kiss as a married couple!

Monday, October 31, 2011


the gravity of her words wailing moon


die Anziehungskraft ihrer Worte Klagemond

Chrysanthemum 10, Oktober/October 2011
Haiku ©  Kirsten Cliff 2011
German translation by Chrysanthemum editors

Saturday, October 29, 2011


          I lie still
          covered in pain & exhaustion
          busyness all around
          and in my mind
          poetry happens

paper wasp, volume seventeen, number 3, winter 2011

Tanka © Kirsten Cliff 2011

Thursday, October 27, 2011

My Body

          so many ideas
          that'll never be realised
          my body
          always fighting
          with itself

paper wasp, volume seventeen, number 3, winter 2011

Tanka © Kirsten Cliff 2011

Sunday, October 23, 2011

This Small Piece

          i give you
          this small piece
          of myself -
          anymore & i
          should fall apart

Notes from the Gean, volume 3, issue 2

Tanka and photograph © Kirsten Cliff 2011

Friday, October 21, 2011

Under the Rain

          under the rain
          of cherry blossoms
          a rusting pickup

Notes from the Gean, volume 3, issue 2

Haiku and photograph © Kirsten Cliff 2011

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

With Good News

                    each time
                    with good news
                    seems to come bad
                    the wind snatches thoughts
                    of our future

paper wasp, volume seventeen, number 3, winter 2011
Tanka © Kirsten Cliff 2011
Photograph by Cameron Elliot

Monday, October 17, 2011


          my drug regime
          with the doctors
          I tell them that today
          they may see me cry

paper wasp, volume seventeen, number 3, winter 2011

Tanka © Kirsten Cliff 2011
Photograph by Cameron Elliot

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Thinking Twice

          winter sun
          I think twice about
          destroying this web

paper wasp, volume seventeen, number 3, winter 2011

Haiku and photograph © Kirsten Cliff 2011 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

New Neighbour

          new neighbour
          a peony blooms
          through the fence

paper wasp, volume seventeen, number 3, winter 2011

Haiku and photograph © Kirsten Cliff 2011 

Friday, October 7, 2011


          after love-making
          a single candle

paper wasp, volume seventeen, number 3, winter 2011

Haiku © Kirsten Cliff 2011
Photograph by Cameron Elliot

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


               my head will clear
               hazy moon

paper wasp, volume seventeen, number 3, winter 2011

Haiku © Kirsten Cliff 2011
Photograph by Cameron Elliot

Saturday, October 1, 2011

September Round-Up - An Inspiration of Cherry Blossoms

Two activities hit my personal poetry Refresh button in September: an afternoon with my local poetry group 'Pacific Poets' in Papamoa and a brief spot of cherry blossom viewing in Greerton Village. I came back reinvigorated from both with a steady flow of poetry for days afterwards. It always amazes me how a small change in my routine or environment can make such a positive difference to my writing. I'm grateful to have been well enough to appreciate the experience.

Here's how I'm doing on my 2011 goal of submitting poetry to a publication or competition every week:
  • week thirty-five - submitted ten haiku to The Heron's Nest, awaiting outcome
  • week thirty-six - submitted ten tanka to Notes from the Gean, one tanka accepted!
  • week thirty-seven - submitted ten haiku to Notes from the Gean, one haiku accepted!
  • AND submitted six tanka to Simply Haiku (first time submitting here), two tanka accepted!
  • week thirty-eight - submitted two haiku to the HIA Contest
  • week thirty-nine - submitted ten haiku to DailyHaiku (first time submitting here), awaiting outcome
Lots of submitting this month, but not much coming out as Notes from the Gean and haijinx are still working on getting their respective issues out. I look forward to seeing my poetry in these journals, both for the first time, in a matter of days; and in Chrysanthemum and Simply Haiku in mid October, also both for the first time.

At the beginning of September I had one haiku appear in The Heron's Nest, an image feature as cover art on Kokako and my first haikai column in a fine line. I've been working on my second column throughout September and am almost ready to put it to bed. Happy October 1st all and a warm welcome to my new readers!

Greerton Village Square - September 27, 2011
Both photos by Kirsten Cliff

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Ink Fading

a new thought
my gaze shifts
from the page


the ink fading
as I print a haiku
about spring's end

Excellent Writing (July, 2011)

Senryu and photograph © Kirsten Cliff 2011

Monday, September 26, 2011

In Memoriam, Svetlana Marisova

Haiku written for friend and fellow haiku poet Svetlana Marisova,
during her illness, and on her passing 7/9/2011

winter sun...
my thoughts again
turn to you

winter breeze...
your haiku song in
these wind chimes

                 winter's end...
                         the world through this
                         blackbird's song

Please do take the time to read some of Svetlana's haiku on her website here and as Featured Poet in Simply Haiku here.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Crafty with a K

Here's my latest crafty piece: turning the wooden 'k' from my childhood (the front surface of which had been defaced with stickers - yes I loved sticking stuff to other stuff even then:) into an item of interest once again that I'm happy to display on my writing desk.

It's a project I'd had in mind for some time but wasn't sure what to cover it with. Then I remembered a page I'd marked in one of the old children's books I keep for collage and knew it would be perfect! You'll see I've kept that sense of childhood about it - I think we all need things around us to remind us to play.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Submissions are open for DailyHaiku Cycle 12‏

Patrick M. Pilarski and Nicole Pakan
Editors --- DailyHaiku

DailyHaiku is a print and daily online serial publication that publishes the work of Canadian and international haiku poets, blending contemporary, experimental, and traditional styles to explore the boundaries of English-language haiku. Through our special features section, we also aim to chronicle the diverse and ever-changing landscape of contemporary haiku-related forms. We're now looking for a new roster of six talented haiku poets for our upcoming cycle (Volume 6, Cycle 12, Fall 2011/Winter 2012). If selected as a contributor, you will be responsible for providing a total of 28 haiku over a six-month period.

Submission Period: Sept. 1st--30th, 2011 (closes 11:59 pm Mountain Standard Time)

How to Submit: Email submissions to desk@dailyhaiku.org

What to Submit:
Ten unpublished haiku---no more, no less---your contact information, a 75 word publication-ready biographical note, and a digital author photo. We do not accept work published or under consideration by other journals or websites.

One contributor copy of the print volume featuring your work.

For specific submission guidelines and more information about this publication, please visit: http://www.dailyhaiku.org

Monday, September 19, 2011

One Day You're In, The Next Day You're Out

This is one of my haiku and photo combinations that hasn't made it into my calendar. I love the image (taken at the entrance to Tauranga's Mission Cemetery in June this year) and the haiku - but found the pairing to be over illustrated, with not enough for the mind and eye to ponder.

Haiku first published in Presence #40 (Jan, 2010)

This haiku is now matched with another of my images taken around a similar time (just at the end of autumn). It still features a gate but it doesn't dominate the shot leaving room for the haiku to breath and the senses to expand. (Please click on the photo to see a larger image.)

Friday, September 16, 2011

Cicada Song

cicada song
replaces the heavy traffic
of home

Haiku and photographs © Kirsten Cliff 2011

(scroll down to find Spider's Strand: a linked haiku verse with Patricia Prime, Catherine Mair, Margaret Beverland, Steve Cordery, Owen Bullock, Sandra Simpson, George Swede and myself) 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Size Nine

he creates
a new centrepiece
for the dining table
a size nine shoebox
full of medications

Presence #44 (June, 2011)

Tanka and photograph © Kirsten Cliff 2011

Monday, September 12, 2011

While I Have Chemo

          planning our wedding
          in the hospital chapel
          while I have chemo
          I am not dying
          but a part of me is

Presence #44 (June, 2011)

Tanka and photograph © Kirsten Cliff 2011

Thursday, September 8, 2011

First Winter's Day

          first winter's day
          I slip into
          his gumboots

The Heron's Nest, Volume XIII, Number 3: September, 2011

Haiku and photograph © Kirsten Cliff 2011

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

An Update on the 2011 NZPS Anthology

I just found this information on The New Zealand Poetry Society website, regarding poems submitted to The 2011 Annual International Poetry Competition:

"We regret that due to circumstances beyond our control notification of poems selected for our anthology were not made before the end of August. We apologise for the delay, and request that entrants wait a little longer before submitting their poems elsewhere. We are sorry for the inconvenience."

So, you could still have a haiku chosen for the 2011 NZPS anthology edited by Linzy Forbes. Watch this space :)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

My Half

one side of the rose
has no petals:
hoping he'll return,
I keep to my half
of the bed

Kokako 13 (September, 2010)

Tanka and photograph © Kirsten Cliff 2011

Monday, September 5, 2011

August Round-Up - It Was All In The Cards

August saw me getting crafty making birthday cards for family members: see my mum's one here and the ones for my niece and nephew in Canada here. I also began on a card project of a different kind: thinking about a collage I could make with all the cards I received while in hospital. You can read my post about that here, and I will keep you updated on my (very slow) progress.

I had a haiku appear in Melissa Allen's Red Dragonfly blog post about dragonflies: see my contribution here and the full post in all it's glory here. A recommended read, for sure! And speaking of reading: I'm doing a daily one from Martin Lucas' Stepping Stones: a way into haiku. The haiku are top drawer and I'm learning new things all the time. You can get your copy here.

Here's how I'm doing on my 2011 goal of submitting poetry to a publication or competition every week:
  • week thirty-one - submitted five haiku, seven tanka and one haibun to Presence, one tanka accepted!
  • week thirty-two - submitted ten haiku/senryu to Chrysanthemum (first time submitting here), one haiku accepted!
  • week thirty-three - submitted ten tanka to Ribbons (first time submitting here), awaiting outcome
  • week thirty-four - submitted five haiku to the Katikati Mural Festival collaborative arts project
August was a very low energy month for me so lots of resting was done.
This is a sight I saw often: the shadow of the trees and a bird ornament
with a crystal casting many shapes and rainbows on the drawn curtains.

September is already in full swing: the September issue of Kokako has come out with my paper cranes image on the cover, the new edition of The Heron's Nest has been released containing one of my haiku, and my first column as editor of the haikai section of a fine line (the Magazine of the New Zealand Poetry Society) is in NZPS members' in-boxes and mailboxes. Happy haikuing to you!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Paper Cranes & Kokako 15

The September issue of Kokako arrived in my mailbox yesterday morning sporting my paper cranes image on the cover. My scan here of the print copy hasn't come out very clear so please do pop on over to my Photography page and check out the original image.

next to the washing
my tired girlfriend

Cameron Elliot (my fiancé)

Don't forget about the The 6th Kokako Haiku and Senryu Competition which closes on October 31st. Entry details here.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Small Crop of Vegetable Ku

        sunday brunch
          with the in-laws
          the taste of pepperwort

          returning home
          all the lettuces
          have gone to seed

          pulling up
          the last few carrots
          chimney smoke

All haiku and photographs © Kirsten Cliff 2011
Haiku appeared in the
Sketchbook Vegetables Haiku Thread, May/June, 2011.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Vision of Birds

New ideas for creative projects seem to come to me no matter what mood I'm in nor where my energy levels are sitting. Some ideas can simply never be realised and have to be let go. Others just keep bubbling back up into my conscious awareness and need to be fulfilled.

          from a 2nd-hand
          two tickets for
          the bird gardens

The feeling of wanting to create something out of all the cards I was sent while in hospital last year can no longer be ignored. I have a vision of birds: of cutting each card into a bird silhouette and setting them on a background to be hung on the wall.

All the cards I was given during my time in hospital having IV
chemotherapy for leukaemia last year, from March to July, 2010.

I don't know how it's all going to work out but I'm willing to follow this vision and see where it leads! Will keep you updated :)

Monday, August 29, 2011

My Latest Follies

          I confide in her
          my latest follies
          it doesn't seem to matter
          that it's ten years
          since she died

Presence #44 (June, 2011)

Tanka and photograph © Kirsten Cliff 2011

Friday, August 26, 2011

Winding Roads

homeward bound
the car driven fast
round winding roads
a feeling in my stomach
that's not car sickness

Kokako 14 (March, 2011)

Tanka and photograph © Kirsten Cliff 2011

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Crafty Cards for the Kids

My mum is heading to Canada at the end of this month to visit the newest addition to our family: my sister's baby girl, Sadie. I always give the kids books as presents so have loaded mum up with Christmas and birthday books for both my niece and nephew. Here are the cards I've made for their birthdays: Sadie will be one year old in April and Toby will be two this November.

They may not fully appreciate these but the fun was in the making :)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


          at the sheltered end
          of the bay
          two gulls preening
          watching makes it easier
          for me to be alone

Kokako 13 (September, 2010)

Tanka and photograph © Kirsten Cliff 2011

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Simply Haiku Calls For Submissions

Simply Haiku is now accepting submissions of "Quality Traditional English Language Haiku, Tanka, Haibun, Haiga, Renga, Book reviews, Interviews and Feature articles."

Submission deadline: September 15, 2011. Please read carefully the Submission Guidelines before submitting.

On behalf of: Robert D. Wilson & Sasa Vazic
Co-Owners, Co-Publishers, Co-Editors in Chief

Monday, August 22, 2011


          within his armful
          of raked leaves
          this lifeless dragonfly

          Red Dragonfly, August 19, 2011

Haiku and photograph © Kirsten Cliff 2011

This haiku was part of Mellisa Allen's illustrated Dragonfly Dreams post on her blog Red Dragonfly last week: a stunning collection of haiku, haiga, tanka and images. Much more than a blog post and one that won't be forgotten in a hurry.

Friday, August 19, 2011

This One Wish

for today
I have this one wish
not to feel
like I'll always carry
that scared little girl

Presence #44 (June, 2011)

Tanka and photograph © Kirsten Cliff 2011

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Riding My Creativity Waves

The poetry is slow in coming at the moment, which seems to happen after I do any month-long poetry challenge. But I've found what I do write during these times of recuperation is quality. I'm learning to ride my own creativity waves and no longer get concerned during these down times. Instead I focus my creative energy on other more hands-on crafts.

Monday night saw me finally finish the collage haiga that had been sadly sitting on my art table for over two months. It's a great feeling to have this one complete and looking so good now standing proudly on my easel (where all new artworks stand for a spell). Then last night, I made a card for my Mum's upcoming birthday, which features the colours she likes and an origami crane.

The card I made for my Mum's birthday 2011

I've done some more work on my haiga calendar as I decided I wasn't happy with two of the photographs and two of the haiku in my first printing. Now it is closer to fabulous. And I also did some baking over the weekend, which counts as creativity in my book! Black Doris Plum Crumble and a Date and Walnut Loaf - both wheat and dairy free, and super yummy! :)

Enjoy riding your creativity wave today, wherever it may take you.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


the weight
of this peg bucket
waning moon

Presence #44 (June, 2011)

Haiku and photograph © Kirsten Cliff 2011

Monday, August 15, 2011

One Hundred Times

          open casket
          her hair still soft
          she used to brush it
          one hundred times
          before bed

Kokako 13 (September, 2010)

Tanka and photograph © Kirsten Cliff 2011