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

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. :-)


  1. Dear Kirsten, Very beautiful. Tree stumps, with new growth, were powerful images for me when I was recovering from major surgery (almost 20 years ago now) and a chronic illness. Also weathered trees - not beautiful in the same way anymore, but interesting, stronger, even more beautiful. No two alike. Many blessings to you and your husband, Ellen

  2. Thank you so much, Ellen. It's always a treat when you pop in! :-) Blessings to you and yours, Kirsten x