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, April 30, 2011

April PAD Challenge: Personal Mythology Prompts Day Twenty-Six - Revelation

Poem #26

the realisation
that my dreams are full
of His wisdom -
I can never go back
to who I was before

Copyright © 2011 Kirsten Cliff
For the prompt used to write this poem, please go here.

Friday, April 29, 2011

April PAD Challenge: Personal Mythology Prompts Day Twenty-Five - The Image

Poem #25

the image

as I sit at my desk to write
there's a daytime shadow
that keeps catching my eye

before I turn to take a look
my mind sees bird, cat, man
but it's just the pathway

strewn with autumn leaves,
just the overgrown grass
& the jacaranda tree

both moving to the tune
of the traffic's steady flow,
just the two pairs of shoes

that are waiting by the mat
& my reflection in the window
as I sit at my desk to write


Copyright © 2011 Kirsten Cliff
For the prompt used to write this poem, please go here.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

April PAD Challenge: Personal Mythology Prompts Day Twenty-Four - Renewal

Poem #24

thinking
that moving away
will change things
but each time I'm
still left with me

Copyright © 2011 Kirsten Cliff
For the prompt used to write this poem, please go here.

Haiku Baby

Haiku Baby is written and illustrated by Betsy Snyder (Random House, 2008). WINNER 2009 - Beginning with Books "Best Books for Babies" list.

I love this board book for babies/toddlers and have brought it for both my nephews. Adhering to the 17 syllable format, it may not contain the kind of haiku I would write, but they are fun for kids and do what haiku do best - celebrate Nature. Each page has a theme: rain, flower, sun, leaf, snow, moon, with an animal, and is tabbed to make it easier for little fingers to turn the pages.

Kiwis - you can get it from Fishpond here. It's also available from Amazon where you can look inside and see the illustrations and simple poems for yourself - Amazon US and Amazon UK. You can also take an animated sneak-peak here.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

April PAD Challenge: Personal Mythology Prompts Day Twenty-Three - Memory

Poem #23

white lilies... just like in hospital


Copyright © 2011 Kirsten Cliff
For the prompt used to write this poem, please go here.

NZ Poetry Society 2011 International Haiku Competition

Haiku (including senryu) entries must be received by 31 May

Prizes: The top five haiku/senryu will be awarded NZ$100 each. In addition, the 1st prize winner will be awarded the Jeanette Stace Memorial Prize of $150. There will be up to 20 commendations.

Judge: Joanna Preston - a Tasmanaut poet, editor, and freelance poetry teacher. Her first collection, The Summer King, won both the 2008 Kathleen Grattan Award and the 2010 Mary Gilmore Poetry Prize. She co-edits Kokako magazine, and was the 2001 Haiku Competition winner.

Entry fee: NZ$1.50 per haiku; for NZPS members every 5th haiku is free. PayPal on site.

Go here for all the entry information.

This was my submission for week 13 of 2011 (part of my goal this year to submit to a poetry competition or publication every week).

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

April PAD Challenge: Personal Mythology Prompts Day Twenty-Two - The Animal

Poem #22

wind and rain, but I want to see if anymore monarch's have hatched this autumn day, and there, on the cyclamen, a butterfly fresh from it's chrysalis, swaying, wings closed, waiting still for the right time to go... how will it know? how will I?

Copyright © 2011 Kirsten Cliff
For the prompt used to write this poem, please go here.

Photo (c) Kirsten Cliff 2011

Written A Poem About Writing?

Then it could be just right for Excellent Writing - an e-newsletter for writers. Editor Janie Sullivan is looking for poetry about writing or the writing life to use as fillers (100-150 words) along with quick tips relevant to writers, website/blog reviews, news bytes and drawings or cartoons.

A poem I wrote for NaPoWriMo has been accepted for the May issue - "A Journey in Three Masks". And I've had three of my quick tips for freelance writers accepted, which will run over three issues. (This was my submission for week 17 of 2011.)

Jane is also looking for articles and features for Excellent Writing so check out the Writers' Guidelines. There's no payment for contribution, however Jane is offering a FREE advert in the newsletter so contributing writers can promote themselves.

Jane is great to work with, enthusiastic and quick to reply to emails. She has made up my advert for me, complete with photo, and I'm really looking forward to the May issue of Excellent Writing coming out on Monday. You can subscribe here.

Monday, April 25, 2011

April PAD Challenge: Personal Mythology Prompts Day Twenty-One - The Element of Fire

Poem #21

sheets of rain from no where talk of us spooning

Copyright © 2011 Kirsten Cliff
For the prompt used to write this poem, please go here.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

April PAD Challenge: Personal Mythology Prompts Day Twenty - The Body

Poem #20

autumn sun
my right hand colder
than the left


Copyright © 2011 Kirsten Cliff
For the prompt used to write this poem, please go here.

Speak Out Woman!

On April 22 my article, "Writing Each Day Keeps The Doctor Away" appeared on the WOW! Women On Writing Blog as their Friday "Speak Out!" guest post.

You can write an article and have it published here too. My friend Jo Bryant did - her guest post from March 18, "Living With Words". Here's what you need to know:
Would you like to participate in Friday "Speak Out!"? Email your short posts (under 500 words) about women and writing to: marcia[at]wow-womenonwriting[dot]com for consideration. We look forward to hearing from you!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

April PAD Challenge: Personal Mythology Prompts Day Nineteen - Archetypes

Poem #19

Said the mage,
"You too possess the skills
to unlock the
beautiful power within
yourself. Now go forth!"

Copyright © 2011 Kirsten Cliff
For the prompt used to write this poem, please go here.

Friday, April 22, 2011

April PAD Challenge: Personal Mythology Prompts Day Eighteen - The Story of Dog and Squirrel

Poem #18

The Blackbird and The Birdbath

"Why do you come
to splash with such fuss
at the birdbath each day
Mr Blackbird?" I asked.

"Why, to wash away the curse
that has turned my feathers black
as black as the darkest night!"
He replied.

Copyright © 2011 Kirsten Cliff
For the prompt used to write this poem, please go here.

Passing On Some Gifts This Easter

Happy Easter weekend, dear writers and readers! In the busyness of travelling and family and outings: I hope you'll take some time out for yourself this long weekend to notice something fully each day and write it down.

Or maybe you could start with reading Fiona Robyn's FREE e-book How to Write Your Way Home. It contains simple instructions to help you feel more connected to yourself and to the world, information on hunting and polishing small stones, advice on how to build a creative network and much more.

You can also hear more about this practice of writing small stones in the video clip below by Fiona and Kaspa: the beautiful beings behind the river of stones project, which will be running again in July. Come join us!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

April PAD Challenge: Personal Mythology Prompts Day Seventeen - The Element of Air

Poem #17

full moon
the strength of
my voice

Copyright © 2011 Kirsten Cliff
For the prompt used to write this poem, please go here.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

April PAD Challenge: Personal Mythology Prompts Day Sixteen - Beauty

Poem #16

autumnal light
on the monarch's wings
i believe again


Copyright © 2011 Kirsten Cliff
For the prompt used to write this poem, please go here.

Klostar Ivanic International Haiku Contest - FREE entry!

The Klostar Ivanic International Haiku Contest is my submission for this week (that's week 16 of 2011). I entered for the first time in 2009, but took a break in 2010 due to illness, and am pleased to get back to it this year. Here's all the details:

Klostar Ivanic International Haiku Contest
Organised by the Tourist Community of Klostar Ivanic, Croatia,
and Three Rivers Haiku Association.

Entry is FREE

Cash prizes totalling $US100

Deadline: May 31, 2011

Limit of 3 haiku which must contain "nature and man as part of it".
Results on the internet by November 1.

Send entries by email with the subject line "For the contest",
with haiku in the body of the email to:
dvrozic (at) optinet (dot) hr

Or by post (include addressed envelope with 1 IRC for results) to:
Haiku Association Three Rivers,
Kolodvorska 44,
10310 Ivanic Grad,
Croatia.

In 2010 New Zealander's did very well, with Pat Prime receiving Third equal, Catherine Mair receiving an Honourable Mention, and Margaret Beverland and Owen Bullock both receiving Choice of Haiku placings. I'm very pleased with the haiku I submitted and hope I can live up to the New Zealand standard!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

April PAD Challenge: Personal Mythology Prompts Day Fifteen - The Adversary

Poem #15

Bubbles

So many unsolved niggles
that pop into my head
with too many speech bubbles
of what I should have said

Today I choose to set free
the bubbles to the light
to bask in rainbow beauty
and let go of the fight

Copyright © 2011 Kirsten Cliff
For the prompt used to write this poem, please go here.

Submitting to Haibun Today

I submitted my first ever piece of tanka prose (which is like haibun but with tanka instead of haiku) to Haibun Today last week. This was my submission for week 15 of 2011. It was my first time submitting work to this on-line publication, edited by Jeffrey Woodward, with New Zealand's own Pat Prime as Assistant Editor.

I received a quick email reply from Jeffrey, which was unfortunately a rejection, but a very encouraging one. And I will be submitting work here again in the future. You can find the submission guidelines here, and lots of helpful articles and interviews here. And don't forget to check out the current issue!

Monday, April 18, 2011

April PAD Challenge: Personal Mythology Prompts Day Fourteen - Tribe

Poem #14

my tribe
we cancer patients
long after
the treatment's done
a bond remains

Copyright © 2011 Kirsten Cliff
For the prompt used to write this poem, please go here.

The Query Letter

I emailed a query letter to the editor of Australia's The School Magazine this morning proposing an activity on writing Found poetry.

This evolved in 2009 after I did a series of four poetry workshops for children from four local primary schools who were part of the Gifted and Talented Literary Programme. I had so much fun doing those workshops that I wanted to share the poetry writing exercises I'd devised with more children.

New Zealand's School Journal published by Learning Media was my first choice for publication. Many of New Zealand's great writers of children's literature have begun their publishing journey within the pages of the School Journal.

I adapted my Found poetry and List poetry worksheets into activities that I felt would sit well and work well within the School Journal set-up. I sent my query in and received a reply quicker than expected: the editors deciding that my activity wouldn't work as a self-directed classroom activity. So, I put the idea to bed.

Over the weekend I was reading an article about educational publishing and how many children's writers use this market to supplement their income. And that is where I found out that Australia had a school publication similar to ours.

I went through the guidelines on their website and found that with activities the protocol was to email the Editor first indicating the type of activity you have in mind. I only had to make a few small changes to my original query letter and I was good to go.

Now all my hard work in 2009 has a second chance to shine and I've got nothing to lose by putting myself and my ideas forward. Watch this space!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Photo Competition "Literature in the Asia-Pacific Area"

The 11th International Literature Festival Berlin is organising a photo competition with the theme “Literature in the Asia-Pacific Area”.

All submissions of analogue or digital photos (300dpi) in black-and-white or colour are welcome: photos of book shops with their owners, libraries, children reading, youth and adults, or other motifs that are associated with the theme.

The winning photograph will be announced by a jury as the main motif for the festival and awarded with $500. It will grace the festival posters, website and brochures, and together with a selection of photographs it will be displayed in an exhibition during the festival.

The final submission date is June 30th, 2011. Please enclose the following information: name of the photographer, contact details, place where and date when the picture was taken.

Address: internationales literaturfestival berlin, Photo Competition, Chausseestr. 5, 10115 Berlin, Germany or: photo_competition (at) literaturfestival (dot) com  http://www.literaturfestival.com/

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

April PAD Challenge: Personal Mythology Prompts Day Thirteen - The Talisman

Poem #13

that song
and I'm taken back to
a sadder time
where I was alone, but
I had found writing

Copyright © 2011 Kirsten Cliff
For the prompt used to write this poem, please go here.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

April PAD Challenge: Personal Mythology Prompts Day Twelve - Desire

Poem #12

the vision board
I collaged last year
before cancer
questioning now if I
still want those things

Copyright © 2011 Kirsten Cliff
For the prompt used to write this poem, please go here.

Monday, April 11, 2011

April PAD Challenge: Personal Mythology Prompts Day Eleven - Limitation

Poem #11

Thank God
I am not my body
or my mind:
both have been broken
unlike my spirit self

Copyright © 2011 Kirsten Cliff
For the prompt used to write this poem, please go here.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

April PAD Challenge: Personal Mythology Prompts Day Ten - Ritual

Poem #10

morning ritual
cranberry juice
and chemo


Copyright © 2011 Kirsten Cliff
For the prompt used to write this poem, please go here.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

April PAD Challenge: Personal Mythology Prompts Day Nine - First Stories

Poem #9

making mud pies
in the afterschool sun
alone...
no one to hand down
my recipe book too

Copyright © 2011 Kirsten Cliff
For the prompt used to write this poem, please go here.


The book I had as a child,
and still have somewhere!


Friday, April 8, 2011

April PAD Challenge: Personal Mythology Prompts Day Eight - Inheritance

Poem #8

Family

Mum's recipe for Apple Almond Pie
coming down through the wires to me

left shoulder raised, holding phone in place
scribbling ingredients on a scrap of paper

butter and sugar – beat together
add the egg and almond essence

mix it all with flour and baking powder
the chopped apples and milk come last

PTO for the time and temperature
plus a poem about Dad and me

Copyright © 2011 Kirsten Cliff
For the prompt used to write this poem, please go here.

An actual scan of the recipe I wrote down -
everyone in our family loves this pie!

PTO and it's part of a poem I wrote about an early
childhood memory - complete with spelling mistake!

Snapshot Press Haiku Calendar Competition Results

The 2011 Haiku Calendar Competition results are out now, see here. My congratulations to all the winners!

This year was my first time entering the competition, and I'm pleased to know that one of my haiku was shortlisted for the awards, although unfortunately was not selected for the calendar.

Snapshot Press are encouraging poets to get their entries in early for the next competition, which closes January 31st, 2012. You can find all the information here.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

April PAD Challenge: Personal Mythology Prompts Day Seven - The Element of Earth

Poem #7

nausea...
I take a walk through the autumn garden
white chrysanthemums primed to burst into flower
five chrysalises swaying in the breeze, a sixth has fallen
grass shiny wet from showers then lazy sun
the lemons and feijoas are ripening day by day
further afield, I can just make out the Papamoa Hills
I stop, inspire, and draw strength from the pā sites

Copyright © 2011 Kirsten Cliff
For the prompt used to write this poem, please go here.

Call For Submissions: An Anthology of English-Language Haiku by Women

Yesterday I finally got organised and sent off my submission to this exciting new anthology being edited by Aubrie Cox (my submission for week 14 of 2011).

Seeking haiku and senryu for an anthology focusing on excellent English-language haiku by women around the world. Ladies, send 5-15 of your best haiku, published or unpublished, to: paperlanternhaiku (at) gmail (dot) com. With your submission, please include your name, country, a brief bio of 150 words or less, and any applicable publication credits of submitted poems. Nominations of poets and individual poems are also welcome, and strongly encouraged. Deadline: April 15.

It had come to my attention when searching that there is not an anthology of just women's English-language haiku (none that I've found anyway). With such prolific and powerful women writers within the English-language community, they deserve a space/recognition of their own.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

April PAD Challenge: Personal Mythology Prompts Day Six - Personae

Poem #6

A Journey in Three Masks

Before I was “A Writer”
I wrote just what I felt,
I didn't know the road rules
or what the journey spelt.

Then as “Emerging Writer”
I studied, read and wrote,
I ate from wisdom elders fed
and left my love a note.

So now I am just writing
but different than before,
the truth I speak is wiser
and I've not closed the door.

Copyright © 2011 Kirsten Cliff
For the prompt used to write this poem, please go here.

My First Published Poem - Aged 7

My first published poem appeared in the New Zealand Herald on January 11, 1985


It was placed in the Children's Holiday Competition and I received $5 (I can't remember what placing)


It's not anything amazing for a 7 y/o but I'm very pleased that Mum has kept it all these years - not just my first published poem but my first paid piece of writing.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

April PAD Challenge: Personal Mythology Promtpts Day Five - Sense and Synchronicity

Poem #5

I
pick
up this
fallen leaf,
a dying morsel
of Mother Earth and
see myself reflected in its
autumn glory, the final show
of bravado before it's forever
changed. It reminds me where I
am dying, how I am changing,
but doesn't teach me about
why I must start
a
n
e
w


Copyright © 2011 Kirsten Cliff
For the prompt used to write this poem, please go here.

What is Tanka?

This description by Yoel Hoffmann in his book Japanese Death Poems:
Most tanka contain two poetic images. The first is taken from nature; the second, which may proceed, follow, or be woven into the first, is a kind of meditative complement to the nature image. Tanka produce a certain dreamlike effect, presenting images of reality without that definite quality of "realness" often possessed by photographs or drawings, as if the images proceeded directly from the mind of the dreamer. The tanka poet may be likened to a person holding two mirrors in his hand, one reflecting a scene from nature, the other reflecting himself as he holds the first mirror. The tanka thus provides a look at nature, but it regards the observer of nature as well.

I found this description within Richard von Sturmer's judge's report of the 3rd Kokako Tanka Competition, in Kokako 14 (April, 2011) and had to share it. It's the philosophy of tanka writing that I was taught in a workshop with Owen Bullock in December 2009. I've been writing tanka ever since.

Monday, April 4, 2011

April PAD Challenge: Personal Mythology Prompts Day Four - House and Home

Poem #4

The Virtues of Home

"The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt within the heart." ~ Helen Keller

Home is the place where
I know his love,
the space where
I find solace in my solitude

The sanctuary where I reach peace
of mind, body, spirit
The altar where I connect to
the energy within me,

yet greater than me,
from which art & poetry arise
Where I embrace it all
with a humble gratitude.

Copyright © 2011 Kirsten Cliff
For the prompt used to write this poem, please go here.

March Round-Up - The Three "P"s: Poetry, Prose & Photography

Here's how I'm doing on my 2011 goal of submitting poetry to a publication or competition every week:
March saw me attend to some prose, and write up an account of my paranormal experience, which was published as a guest post "To Help Or To Haunt?" on Marvellous Mable. Then I was asked by Lorraine Holloway-White (A Skeptical Medium) if I'd give my permission for the story to be used in a book she's currently writing. A very unexpected opportunity which I said yes to right away!

I also submitted an article to a fine line, the magazine of the New Zealand Poetry Society, which will be published as a feature article in the July issue. Super pleased about this as I've wanted to see an article of mine there for some time (about time I submitted one!). It's about haiku, of course :)

I completed one haiga for my collection exploring my journey through leukaemia, making a new total of 26 pieces, and wrote four new tanka. I'm starting to think about getting the poetry collection together to enter into chapbook competitions, but I'm not sure yet if that is where I want to head with it. As I'm still writing and have over a year of my leukaemia journey left, it will be a while yet before I would seriously consider a complete publication.

For now, I'm sending most of the haiku and tanka I wrote late last year out to journals so I can be sure that it's of a high standard and can stand alone without needing the context of the collection. So far one tanka has appeared in Kokako and three tanka are forthcoming in Presence. I'm awaiting news of submissions to other journals.

I've done a lot more with my photography this month than my writing, and that's just the way it goes sometimes. After two straight months of writing one-a-day, I got to worrying in the second week of March that my poetry writing had stopped short! All I needed was to remind myself that as long as I'm having fun and doing something to quench my creative thirst then all is well with me.

I submitted some images to Four and Twenty for consideration as cover art and editor, Vinnie Kinsella, accepted one for the June issue. :) Yay! I also submitted my cover image for Kokako, which was accepted by the editors, so that's all go for September.

St Patrick's Day saw me spend the afternoon taking my sister's pregnancy photos. We had fun and got some great shots. I'm sure she won't mind me sharing this one seeing as I'm not showing faces or mentioning names (yes, I have more than one sister! more than two, in fact! and two out of the three are pregnant, due a mere six weeks apart!).

Photo by Kirsten Cliff (c) 2011


Sunday, April 3, 2011

April PAD Challenge: Personal Mythology Prompt Day Three - Loss and Distance

Poem #3

leukaemia -
not letting the tears fall
until i phone mum

Copyright © 2011 Kirsten Cliff
For the prompt used to write this poem, please go here.

The 6th Kokako Haiku and Senryu Competition

Closing date: 31st October 2011

First Prize NZ$200

Second and Third Place prizes of NZ$50 each

Judge: Owen Bullock

Send entries to:
The Kokako Haiku Competition,
Patricia Prime, co-editor
42 Flanshaw Road
Te Atatu South
Auckland 0610
New Zealand

Please make cheques out to Kokako
Overseas entrants may send cash at their own risk

Conditions of entry
  1. Haiku must be previously unpublished and not under consideration elsewhere.
  2. Entry fee is NZ$5 for every 3 haiku; for overseas entries, US$1 per haiku, cheques acceptable or cash at your own risk.
  3. Send two copies of each haiku, or group of haiku, with your name and address on one copy only.
  4. 1st, 2nd & 3rd haiku, 3 Highly Commended and 3 Commended entries will be published in Kokako 16 (April 2012).
  5. Winners will be notified by email or mail.
  6. Any theme is acceptable.
Any queries, email: pprime (at) ihug (dot) co (dot) nz


Saturday, April 2, 2011

April PAD Challenge: Personal Mythology Prompt Day Two - The Element of Water

Poem #2

autumn rain...
how could i have known
that i'd cry today


Copyright © 2011 Kirsten Cliff
For the prompt used to write this poem, please go here.

Poems in Kokako 14


Cover art (c) copyright Ron Moss
holy-day
his sleepy smile
across the sheets



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



at his gravestone
beside the buddha
a bottle of lager

Copyright © 2011 Kirsten Cliff

Friday, April 1, 2011

April PAD Challenge: Personal Mythology Prompt Day One - Recycling the First Dream

Poem #1

golden dry fields
of the African plains

a lion

coming towards me
flowing mane



Copyright © 2011 Kirsten Cliff
For the prompt used to write this poem, please go here.

The Start of a New Month - The Start of a New Challenge

National Poetry Month in April, being American, hadn't really come up on my radar. It was brought to my attention this year via a post on The Muffin - the blog of the WOW! Women on Writing team. I decided then that I'd do it. (You can read that post here, which has info on other writing challenges throughout April.)

The link they gave is to Poetic Asides, which give daily prompts throughout the month. Having never had anything to do with Poetic Asides before I was going to wait and see what they're prompts were like. (You can read their guidelines for the 2011 April Poem-A-Day Challenge here.)

Then I came across InkSeeds - a blog that is giving poetry prompts for April around Personal Mythology, and I knew this was the place for me. Mention Jung, dream work, writing as a spiritual practice and I'm there! Check out the post here. (Thanks to Fiona Robyn for posting this link on Facebook.)

I've also listed my blog on the NaPoWriMo (National Poetry Writing Month) website. You can submit yours too and check out other participants' sites that are following the PAD (Poem-A-Day) Challenge. I will post mine daily here on Swimming in Lines of Haiku.

I'm just home from holiday and about to check out the first prompt. You can join me here. I'm very interested to see what I come out with. Happy writing this April :)

For my fellow haiku writers: You can also find prompts for writing a haiku-a-day during April on the NaHaiWriMo page on Facebook.