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

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Salt Beneath the Skin: A Haibun

Looking down on Papamoa Beach, kids in coloured towels run from ocean to shower, then into the arms of mum. Surf lifesaving flags flicker - bright yellow and red - stark against the backdrop. Waves thunder onto the foreshore creating white caps that match the cumulus cloud. Wind grabs at my coat, my hair, makes my nose run, and still I catch birdsong from all directions, every tree, pines to pohutukawa. Traffic noise, a constant at my back, the car fumes don't reach my nose, for this I am grateful. Wooden bench, of adequate comfort, scattered with graffiti. The plaque reads: “In loving memory of Murray Dingle 28.7.1954 - 7.12.2001 'Salt beneath the skin'". Scratched to the right of this: 'Salt beneath the foreskin', my laughter taken away by the gusts, my smile firmly fixed. Hands now heavy, cold has set in as the sun retreats, I reacquaint them with the deep lined pockets of my jacket.

suspended from
an evening cloud

Copyright © Kirsten Cliff
First published on the Tauranga City Libraries 'Memories a Plenty' Website here

Mauao is the Māori name for the mountain you see here. More commonly
called "The Mt" - short for Mount Maunganui - it is a New Zealand icon in
the Bay of Plenty region near where I live. Photo taken by Kirsten Cliff.


  1. I do love your writing- your title was perfect. And I was ever so happy to spend a bit of time at the beach.

  2. Glad I could sweep you away for a short while, Teri :)