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

Sunday, January 29, 2012

When A Poem Finds Its Home

I'm beginning to believe more and more that every poem has a home, which will be found eventually. Prune Juice is a place where senryu of mine (some written back when I began in 2007) are finally finding their kin and I'm so pleased that these poems, which I was starting to think just didn't fit anywhere, are now being enjoyed by an audience who can appreciate my humour.

          at the lookout
          we view pics
          on his camera

                    valentine's day
                    buying tampons
                    on special

                                        the size of this bathroom
                                        with me in it
                                        as well as the fly

This third senryu is relatively new having been written during NaHaiWriMo last year. But even so, it was still rejected its fair share of times before finding a place in Prune Juice's pages. NaHaiWriMo 2012 starts in just a few days, where people all over the world will be writing a haiku a day for the month of February. Check out all the information here. And who knows what place your haiku will eventually call its home...

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Simply Haiku, Simply Tanka, Simply Svetlana

When I first heard the news that Svetlana Marisova was to be the new tanka editor at Simply Haiku it gave me courage; I knew I should try sending some of my work there for the first time.

Unfortunately, our dear Svetlana passed away before she could fully embrace this role. In honour of her, I sent in my submission anyway, knowing that she wouldn't be there to receive it.

I'm grateful that two of my tanka were chosen in the end to be part of this latest issue of Simply Haiku, which is in loving memory of Svetlana. You can read an in depth piece on her and her poetry by Robert D. Wilson here.

          on the morning 
          of her death, I sit
          for the small differences
          between these wild finches

          why couldn't I
          have let myself love her?
          the sun's warmth
          as I sit in the graveyard
          this spring morning

A posthumous book, Be Still and Know: a journey through love in Japanese short form poetry, by Svetlana Marisova, and her dear friend Ted van Zutphen, is out on-line now. You can read it free here. Print copies with be available for purchase soon.

Having been given the honour of reading a preview of the book, I can say that I've never read or seen anything like it before. It's a beautiful conversation between two haiku poets across the page, across time zones, across seasons, genders, age groups... It works extremely well as their voices balance and blend throughout the book.

I look forward to holding a copy in my hands very soon and savouring the unique voices of these two haijin.

Tanka and photograph © Kirsten Cliff
Tanka appeared in Simply Haiku (Autumn/Winter 2011) here
Book cover © Ted van Zutphen

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Chinese New Year

January 2012 - Kirsten's Calendar of Haiku & Photography

Regular followers of this blog might remember that I actually set myself a second goal last year: to make a calendar of haiku and photography to be given as Christmas presents to my family.

Well, I did it, and everybody loved it! :)

With the Chinese New Year celebrations upon us, I thought it was about time I showed my readers some of what my calendar turned out like. Above is my January page: a shot I took near my old home of Papamoa Beach, from one of my favourite spots, and the haiku is one that was published in the NZPS Anthology in 2008, Before the Sirocco.

It's probably one of my favourite haiku by me: it was my first play around with form in haiku, and I still think of it every summer when I stretch out my toes and feel that first rush of cool breeze.

I hope the sunny scene warms those of you in the Northern parts of our Earth. And Happy New Year once again!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

High Risk

          she advises
          I'm at high risk
          of a relapse...
          I breathe in air heavy
          with crushed dreams

Moonbathing #5 (January, 2012)
Tanka & photograph © Kirsten Cliff

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


will you share yours with me?
red dragonfly

Haiku by Kirsten Cliff  -  Photo by Cameron Elliot

Monday, January 16, 2012

News From Haiku News

Greetings Friends!

We would like to announce that after a several month hiatus, Haiku News will be returning in January. As often happens, life got in the way and forced us to prioritize other things. However, we are ready to begin 2012 with a new vision and commitment to publishing excellent poetry that reflects the social and political events of our world.

On January 15th, we will begin accepting submissions. Please email your tanka, senryu, and haiku to our new address, the4shades@gmail.com.

We would like to thank all of our readers for being patient and supporting our journal through word of mouth and quality poetry. Please be on the lookout for news about site updates, including a new interview project headed by Laurence.


The Haiku News Staff

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The One That Got Away

My tanka that didn't make it into Aubrie Cox's The Language of Dragons...

I place on his finger
the wedding band
we chose together
ringed with Celtic dragons
my spirit fire roars

Tanka by Kirsten Cliff - Photo by Cameron Elliot

Monday, January 9, 2012

Haiku Festival Aotearoa 2012

Don't forget about the Haiku Festival Aotearoa happening in Tauranga this June, being organised by Sandra Simpson and Margaret Beverland. These gatherings don't happen that often in New Zealand so if you're curious but not sure then I recommend you go for it!

There will be Haiku and Haibun Master Classes by US haijin Jim Kacian, and workshops by Owen Bullock (Haiku as Performance), Dr Lawrence Marceau (Haiku, Haibun & Everyday Things), Tony Beyer (Better English Haiku & Tanka) and Sandra Simpson (Introduction to Renku).

Also on the programme is a trip to the Haiku Pathway in Katikati and the prize-giving of the bi-annual Katikati Haiku Contest.

You can find all the information at the HFA 2012 website here.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New Year's Dragonfest

A big THANK YOU to Aubrie Cox for sparking my imagination with her call for dragon/water/fire haiku, tanka, haiga and such like!

the water dragon
swimming through
my lines of haiku
flicks a tail at the sight
of his lover's name

                    dragon fire...
                    the way he moves me
                    this night

                              black robes dance
                              around the ritual circle
                              earth - air - water - fire
                              I draw in a dragon's breath
                              to lead the chant

                                        dragon daydream
                                        the streaks of fire
                                        in her hair

The New Year's Day blog post celebrating the beginning of 2012 (which is the Year of the Dragon) can be downloaded from Yay Words! I'm sure you'll enjoy this magical mix of artwork and short form poetry that has become The Language of Dragons.