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