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, October 27, 2013

Now This

spring festival--
in this belly dancer's hips
a new blessing

first outing
in my wheelchair
even the cats give way

Two of my haiku from Now This: Contemporary Poems of Renewals, Beginnings and Firsts (ed. Robert Epstein, 2013).

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Now on Twitter!

I've been finding my way around Twitter for a few weeks now. It's fun! You can find me @KirstenCliff. There's lots of #haiku and #tanka to read, and I've enjoyed connecting up with poets that aren't on Facebook. If you're on Twitter then look me up. If you're not, then come and join me! :-)

Friday, October 18, 2013

100 Tanka by 100 Poets

Cover & inside art by Ron Moss

Yesterday I received my copy of 100 Tanka by 100 Poets of Australia & New Zealand. It's beautiful!

My tanka included in this fine collection is:

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

Published in Presence #44 and Take Five vol 4

 It was also mentioned in the introduction by Kiyoko Ogawa (co-editor 2010-2011 Poerty Nippon 1967-2011) who wrote:

"Kirsten Cliff's tanka of 'our wedding / in the hospital chapel' sounds sad, yet her shadowed love must be all the more pure and profound."

This fine collection is edited by Amelia Fieldon and Beverley George of Australia and Pat Prime of New Zealand.

Reading through the tanka last night I was blown away. So good, so moving, so delicate. I'm over the moon to be included within the pages. And dare I say that tanka is edging ahead of haiku as my first love . . .

Thursday, October 10, 2013


Thirty-five and still I travel as I did when I was a child. Head pressed against the cool of the window trying to ward off the carsickness rising within. Asking Dad to stop the car when things threatened to boil over. Mum having to give up her right to the front seat for my spot in the back. Watching the world swerve by in a mess of green as my forehead bumps lightly on the glass. Twirling my hair between finger and thumb, something my husband says I still do when tired. And what I used to do while sucking my thumb for comfort not so many years ago. 

this forgotten shoe
at the path's end 

Contemporary Haiku Online October 2013, vol 9, no 3

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Damaged goods

When you have a car accident (although emergency services don't believe in accidents, so they call them car crashes) if the damage to your vehicle is greater than its perceived worth, then it is written off. As I drain my savings account, and that of my parents, seeking to fix what is broken within me, I wonder: is my damage greater than my perceived worth? Maybe nothing is ever an accident . . . 

low moon
the drive home
in silence 

Contemporary Haiku Online October 2013, vol 9, no 3

Friday, October 4, 2013


first drought --
I make an altar
of this tree stump

I wrote this haiku in New Zealand's summer months, and during the first drought my hubby and I had experienced on our rural property. I entered it in the Svetlana Marisova Memorial Kukai 2013 as I thought it encompassed the theme of atonement, or rather "at-one-ment" as Sveta was reported to have pronounced it. You can read the other haiku entered on her blog, and see the results of the voting soon, here.

My tree stump altar is a bit overgrown and cobwebbed now -- I haven't paid much attention to it over winter. But my hubby did write this haiku about it a few months ago, which was published in Kokako 19:

her wooden altar
crowned, just now
by a blackbird

              Cameron Elliot

The blackbirds are singing beautifully these spring days as they prepare their nests, or bring food to their young. We also have a magpie clan in the 30m gum tree near our house, so are experiencing the magical sounds they make on a daily basis. And for the first time we have swallows making a nest under the eaves of our home. These uniquely shaped birds have always swooped and sawed close to the house, even sometimes coming through the house from the back french doors to the front ranch slider. I hope they enjoy living with us for this season. One thing's for sure: there will be haiku written about them. :-)

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

October's in the Air

October page: 2013 Calendar of Haiku & Photography (click to enlarge)

See other pages from my 2013 calendar here and my 2012 calendar here. It really is time to start on 2014 . . .