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 20, 2014

Happy Holidays!

I created this book Christmas tree for Elliot Books and I'm so stoked with how it turned out. Oh, and before I forget - here is the December page of the haiku calendar I did with my husband for this year. (click to enlarge)

Haiku first published in The Heron's Nest Volume XV, Number 2 (June 2013)

Well, it's been a crazy year with lots of twists + turns. And for those that haven't caught up - I stepped down as editor of the haikai section of the NZPS magazine. Onwards to 2015.

I wish you all the best for a safe + happy holiday season, and a creative new year ahead. Blessings!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

November Calendar Page

Here's the current page of the 2014 calendar my husband and I did for our family. (Click on image to see enlarged view.)

thoughts of home
the air sharp
with sea salt
I didn't think I'd get a calendar done this year, but even with all that's gone on these last several months the itch to create one was still strong. So glad I did it, and my family members that have already seen it are loving it. I hope you've been inspired to create some of your own Christmas presents this year, in whatever form that takes. Maybe even pop a haiku in a card, or two. Enjoy! :-)

Monday, October 27, 2014

My latest venture: Elliot Books

My husband, Cameron Elliot and I, have teamed up to create Elliot Books. And we're super excited!

Yes, we dreamed of owning a bookstore (many booklovers have, eh?). This probably started when I was diagnosed with leukaemia in 2010, and many hours spent in hospital were whisked away on dreams such as these. In the end we decided that doing it online was the way for us, and so here we are.

That's right, we're operating 24/7 through New Zealand's Trade Me. To find us just type elliotbooks into the search line, making sure you have the category set to 'Members', and there you'll find our listings for your perusal. We currently have over 800 listings, and over 1,000 books with fresh listings every week. Well, almost every day, actually - we're pretty obsessed!

Once you've found us you can save elliotbooks as a favourite trader. This way you'll receive all our latest listings right into your email inbox. Once on our listings page just hit the 'Save this seller' button (circled in red in the picture below), and you're all set.

To search our listings, go to the elliotbooks page then type the author, book name, or subject you're looking for in the search line and hit enter (circled in red in the picture below). This will filter our listings and hopefully you'll find what you're looking for. If not, please just ask! We might be able to help. :-)

I've also set up a Facebook page for Elliot Books so please do connect up with us there: www.facebook.com/elliotbooks
It's so good to be home and be launching our dream. Cameron and I hope to connect up with you soon. Happy book hunting!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Spolight on Christine L. Villa

Friend and fellow haiku poet Chrissi Villa, is doing so many great things in the writing world right now that I wanted to share them with you. Here she is wearing one of my "Trust me, I'm a haiku poet" t-shirts, which you can buy from my online store Haiku On - www.cafepress.com/haikuon


Frameless Sky is the first haiga and tanka art video journal, which was dreamed up, and is edited by, Christine L. Villa. It brings haiku and tanka poets together with visual artists and musicians. Chrissi has created a demo of the journal on the site so you can see how it will be. It's amazing! Submissions for the first issue close at the end of this month. There is also a competition on the site called 'Take the Challenge'. Read about that here.


Chrissi has recently published two children's stories, both of which you can find at her author site here: http://christinevilla.weebly.com/ The first is a DVD - The Eskalets. I have a copy of this and can't wait to show it to the little ones in my life. The story follows four Robbins from birth to first flight, and includes true-to-life photos, video clips, and music background. The second I haven't read yet - The Magic Paintbrush - but it looks and sounds delightful. Both are available through Creatspace and Amazon. Great Christmas gifts - yes, it's getting to that time already. :-)

You might notice that my Facebook profile pic is of this cover at the moment. That's because Chrissi is generously giving away a copy of The Magic Paintbrush, and you're in the draw if you've changed your pic. Thanks, Chrissi! I hope you'll take a look at her work. You're sure to come away inspired.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Tan-renga: Seánan Forbes & Kirsten Cliff


bearing winter on its back —
a silent crow

I add my ex's name
into the spell check


cicadas’ cries
the sharp names
of lost loves

a phlebotomist asks
if I'm prone to fainting


saying goodnight
when I mean goodbye . . .
Hunger Moon

condensation beads
on the cake's icing

Seánan Forbes
Kirsten Cliff
Kokako 21 (September 2014)


Saturday, September 20, 2014


Yes, almost! Our house is almost ready and we hope to move back in next weekend. Wow, what a long 5+ months it has been since what hubby and I called home was severely storm damaged. Now it's all fresh, clean and new and I can't wait to settle in to our country retreat once again.

Here's the September 2014 page from the calendar hubby and I did together for our family last year. Looking forward to getting back to this!

(Click on image to see an enlarged view.)

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Number 2 of 3 Haiku in Pulse Magazine

Pulse: voices from the heart of medicine -
Take a look around the issue at this link: https://pulsevoices.org/

Saturday, August 9, 2014

August Calendar Page

August 2014 - Calendar of Haiku & Photography by Kirsten Cliff
Can't wait to get back to this! Looks like it will be September at this stage. Doing my best to hang in there. (Click on image to see an enlarged view.)

Here's a pic from my birthday: Hubby made me a 'Happy Birthday' sign in Spanish. :-)

The t-shirt was one I purchased with some birthday money, and I was so pleased it arrived in time for me to wear it on the 31st. As well as being a rockin' tee (I love Frida Kahlo!), it was my way of giving a little on my birthday. It's a Shave for Cure supporter t-shirt designed by WORLD, and $17.50 from the sale went to Leukaemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand. Yay!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

For My Birthday . . . Give A Little

The last few years here on my blog I've done some sort of giveaway for my birthday. This year I'm encouraging you to pay it forward, and below are some of the deserving causes that are close to my heart at the moment:

During my 4+ months of inpatient chemotherapy for APML leukaemia I had countless transfusions of blood and platelets. They literally helped save my life, from day one of my diagnosis, in March 2010. So please, if you are willing and able, do go and give blood at your local centre. You can find out more about giving blood in New Zealand here.

For those of you unable to give blood for health reasons (like me!) or are just squeamish at the thought, please consider a monetary donation to one (or both!) of the below fundraising projects:

Firstly, emerging writer and fellow sufferer of ME/CFS (commonly known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) is raising money to go to London to collect her well deserved prize. Anna Sjardin-Killick (of Annie Blackberry Jewellery) has not once, but twice, won the Write Your Own Christie competition by writing two winning chapters for this worldwide contest, where entrants submit a chapter for an Agatha Christie-style book. You can read more about it on Anna's blog here: http://dreamingwithagatha.wordpress.com/

As Anna says on her write-up:

Through 16 years of illness I have seen many dreams die. One of my dreams has now come true: I have won an Agatha Christie writing competition. An even bigger dream? To meet Agatha Christie's grandson, Mathew, at a special dinner in London.

After years of chronic illness myself (plus cancer!) I can totally relate to Anna's story. I wish her all the best for following her dream all the way to London where she should take her place at the winners' dinner with Agatha Christie's grandson, Mathew, and the publishers. I know she has almost reached her fundraising goal, and I hope this will help boost her over the line.

Support a fellow writer in her success. Anna is certainly a generous soul herself doing giveaways of her jewellery all the time through Facebook, of which I was one of the lucky winners last year.

Donations to Help Anna Meet Mathew can be made here: https://www.givealittle.co.nz/cause/helpannameetmathew

The second fundraising event that I want to draw your attention to is for a Habitat For Humanity house building project in Fiji. This time last year I had just returned home from Fiji having spent a wonderful six days on Castaway Island for my brother's wedding. (You can read my post about it, complete with haiku and photos, here.)

During the trip from the airport to the island resort, I got to see the less fortunate places of those living in Fiji, and I've always thought that I wanted to give something back. Also, with what's happened to my home this year, the Habitat For Humanity cause seemed a perfect fit.

So please join me in donating to Nicola, on behalf of Habitat For Humanity New Zealand, who is going with a team to Fiji in September to help build a house for a family there. Donations are being collected here: https://www.givealittle.co.nz/cause/NicolaFiji

givealittle.co.nz provides Zero fees fundraising for New Zealand, thanks to the Telecom Foundation. 100% of what you donate gets through to your cause on Givealittle. I hope you can help! :-) It's a great way to celebrate my birthday.
rising wind
my worries drift out
to the horizon
May you let yours do the same. ~Kirsten Cliff

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Roofless: 3+ months on . . .

July 2014 - Photo & Haiku by Kirsten Cliff
Here I am finally writing a post for my birthday month of July. I was really hoping that hubby and I would be back home by the 31st, but it's not to be. Thankfully I have lots of good news to share . . .

Firstly, a remission milestone: I found out last week that I've been downgraded from three-monthly clinic visits to six-monthly. That is progress, folks! Still monthly blood counts, and a special blood test every three months for molecular studies. But all in all I'm moving further away from cancer. Phew!

As to the progress on my home: we now not only have a new roof, but all the internal walls and ceilings have been erected, as well as some parts of the flooring that needed repair. It's all looking much more like a house now, instead of a barren womb.

I'm told that plasterers are starting this week (that may be "Gibb-rockers or stoppers" to some of you not in NZ). After that it will be internal and external painters, kitchen and carpet installers, plumbers and electricians. Such a big job - I'm so glad I'm not the one organising it all!

The good news includes our contents claim being settled in full, too. All that the insurers said they would repair they have; all they said that they'd replace they have; the rest has been paid out to us to buy the things we need. So yes, you guessed it - I plan to shop it up on my birthday tomorrow! :-)

Many of my fellow poets have their birthdays in July, and here I'll just mention a few. Margaret Dornaus invited poets to write a moon haiku or tanka in celebration of her birthday. You can read the results on her blog here. And Chrissi Villa is asking poets to join in her birthday fun by writing a poem for her inspired by the music that you'll find at the top of her blog here. There will be prizes - find out more about it on the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/704682542937953/

It was also my late Granddad's birthday on July 10th. I wrote this tanka during the summer, the last months of his life:

the call that says
he’s gone …
two petals left
on the last poppy

A Hundred Gourds 3:3 June 2014

Sunday, June 22, 2014


Wow, a month since I've posted here. That's how exhausted, strained, stressed and busy I've been. But things are looking up. Decisions are being made. I'm writing again, and submitting again. Have just started a summer kasen with two other poets and am looking forward to working and playing my way through that process. Collaboration is good for my soul.

we speak of God
in whispers . . .
my ache for touch bathed
in the music of his eyes

Skylark 2:1 (Summer 2014)
My haiku journal, which I also used for recording all manner of creative thoughts and ideas, was thoroughly soaked when a big storm left my home open to the elements this Easter. Mid-week I went in search of a new journal, and after 5 shops I finally found the journal that spoke to me.
Having a beautiful journal is not necessary for writing, but lots of the nice things we have we don't need, but they inspire us. The smallest things can bring joy. I hope you find a haiku / writing / creative dreaming journal that speaks to you. Maybe it's one of the ones that I created to help bring a little joy into this world. View them here in my online shop, Haiku On: http://www.cafepress.com/haikuon/11141019
June - winter for New Zealand, and being mid-year, a good time to take stock of where one is at. Through Facebook I'm participating in a month of daily "Abundance is . . ." (fill in the blank) to shine light on things I'm grateful for and to notice the abundance all around me. A haiku and two tanka of mine came out in A Hundred Gourds this month. I'd completely forgotten about them with everything that's been going on, so it was a nice surprise to find my work amongst the pages. And of course, there's the calendar of haiku and photography that I did with my hubby this year, for friends and family. Below is the June  2014 page, by Cameron Elliot:
Haiku & Photo by Cameron Elliot

Friday, May 23, 2014


Here's a photo that shows the current state of our home: Me standing in my study saying hello to my husband who's standing in his study . . .

where does
the pain go
when I can't feel it
a lilac sunset     soft
on the year's first day
Skylark 2:1 (Summer 2014)
I've been a bit overwhelmed by all the insurance claim stuff that needs doing: phone calls, decisions to make, information to send through, things to pick up or drop off. But everyone is being very kind and helpful. And I hear the roof is going on today, which is more than enough to be grateful for! :-)

Sunday, May 18, 2014


Things are coming together . . .

The house: the architect's plans for the new, reinforced roof of our home were sent through to me this week, and have been sent to council for the required building permit. Also, the house has been gutted - all the walls, ceiling, kitchen, carpets, etc., have been ripped out, and will eventually be replaced once the new roof is on and the building is watertight. It's so good to know that things are continuing on over there in Matamata while hubby and I make another day-to-day life for ourselves in Te Awamutu.

A photo I took from my study last August of the peacocks that roam our country property.

I have no need
of all these peacocks
to teach me how to cry
last night I felt you
in my arms at last
Skylark 2:1 (Summer 2014)

The manuscript: my haiku and tanka manuscript did not place in the Snapshot Press Book Awards, but I'm very excited to say that it is now being read by another publisher. Happy, happy, joy, joy! :-)

The store: my online shop Haiku On has taken a backseat for a while now, but today I released a new t.shirt design that I'm really excited about - "What's my sport? Haiku!" This is with thanks to friend and haiku poet Margaret Beverland, who told me about a conversation she had along these lines with fellow haiku poets, and her husband! The bestselling tee "Trust me, I'm a haiku poet" is still available, as well as some beautiful haiku journals, and much more. Come over and take a look at http://www.cafepress.com/haikuon

Brand new t.shirt design at Haiku On available now! http://www.cafepress.com/haikuon

Saturday, May 3, 2014

In Situ

Here is the May page of the calendar of haiku and photography that I did with my husband. I've taken a photo of it 'in situ' at our new, long-term temporary accommodation, which we moved into on May 1st. It's so great to have our own place again, even if we don't know for how long we will be living here. And "here" is Kihikihi, Te Awamutu in my brother's recently vacated house, and not far from the support of my parents.

Haiku & Photograph by Cameron Elliot (haiku first published in Kokako)
duck flight
this grey stump
no longer unnoticed
As far as our Matamata home goes, things are starting to move along. Plans are being drawn up by an architect for a new roof - one that can stand the high winds we catch up on our Hobbit hill. The place is being stripped out - carpets, plaster board, etc. - and then remodelling and decoration will begin from there. I miss the beautiful views of mountain and sky, the ducks laughing away at this time of year, and the places I know so well. Time to make some new memories. :-)

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Updates: Haiku, Tanka Prose, House . . .

The first of three of my haiku appears in Pulse: voices from the heart of medicine this week. You can check it out on the site here and take a look around the rest of the issue while you're there. Submission information can be found here (scroll to the bottom for haiku).

I'm currently racing to meet a May 1st deadline for a commentary I'm writing on my tanka prose, The Taste on My Tongue, first published in Skylark. I usually don't leave things until the last minute, but I had been busy for the past six weeks and knew I had time to do this in the last two weeks of April. Then the roof came off, and here I am. The piece is for Haibun Today and will hopefully include reactions re its meaning from those that have since read it. You can read the tanka prose in question here and send me your thoughts by email here. I can't guarantee that what you send me will end up in my article. But if you'd like to be part of it then please send it through by the end of Monday 28th. I'd love to read your response! :-)

Last but not least, an update on my home. Well, we made it to page 3 of the regional newspaper, Waikato Times, as well as our local Matamata Chronicle. Read the web version here, complete with pic. The insurance assessor has been through both our home and contents claims and we're waiting to hear back. Meanwhile hubby and I are still living at my parents, but hope to move into more long-term temporary accommodation next week. It could be months before we get home, and there ain't no poetry coming to me yet . . .

Friday, April 18, 2014


9:30 am yesterday the roof was ripped clean off the home I share with my husband in Matamata. It landed in the neighbour's paddock. Both my hubby and I were unharmed, and were evacuated off the property by the Fire Service. After more hours of stormy rain we returned and found the ceiling collapsed in. We're now safely settled at my parent's home in Te Awamutu.

Our kitchen-diner open to the elements and me trying to save what I could.

sun shower outside inside 
My study where the magic used to happen.
My thanks to all who have sent messages of support through Facebook, and offers of books (haiku and more) to replace my sopping wet ones. Special gratitude to my parents who've helped with everything over the past two days. I'll keep in touch . . .

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

April Calendar Page

My apologies to all of my readers out there for letting my blog fall silent this month. I have big plans in the works and they've taken up most of my creative time. But I thought I'd at least put up the April page of the calendar I did last year with my husband, for our friends and family. Enjoy!

April 2014 - Photo & Haiku by Kirsten Cliff (click on image to enlarge)

Some good news to share: the haiku I choose as the winner of the NZPS Haiku Competition (junior section) last year has been shortlisted for a Touchstone Award. I nominated this haiku by Harry Frentz and am delighted to see it's made the cut. You can read my judge's report here and find The Haiku Foundation shortlist here. Congratulations to all the shortlisters!

Monday, March 31, 2014

How quickly

turning hawk
how quickly these tears
dry in the breeze

Kokako 20 (April 2014)

Saturday, March 29, 2014

I'll miss you

mountain of green
how I'll miss you
when we're parted . . .
the moon won't taste as sweet
without you to hold it high

Kokako 20 (April 2014)

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Yay! Kokako 20 Out Now!

The new issue of Kokako arrived in my letterbox this morning sporting a lovely cover by Ron Moss, "Summer Dreams". Issue 21, due out in September, will have one of my images as cover art, which I'm super excited about!

Back to this issue, here's one of my haiku:

autumn cool his features in the firelight

We haven't started lighting fires yet this autumn, but the mornings and nights are definitely getting pretty chilly!

Here's a tanka of mine that was printed incorrectly in the previous issue, and has been kindly reprinted in KK20:

a rush of tears
at our airport parting . . .
home, I search my luggage
for a last love note
that isn't there

Lot's of great haiku, tanka, haibun and more in Kokako, as well as the details for The 5th Kokako Tanka Competition. Email co-editor Pat Prime for more information. There is also a review of A New Resonance 8. A reminder that copies can be purchased from me - just leave me a message! :-)

Thursday, March 20, 2014

At Haiku On Now - Beautiful Haiku Journals For You

I've been crazy busy for the past week getting a range of beautiful haiku journals ready for release in my online shop Haiku On. Now they're here for your writing pleasure! Buy yours now.

Choose from cherry blossoms, origami peace cranes, century old oaks, and more. All priced at US$11.99 with your choice of blank, lined, or task pages inside. Find your inspiration here.

Buy this journal and others at Haiku On


This range of beautiful haiku journals are ideal for writing down your haiku, poetry and other ideas throughout the year. Be inspired by the cover images taken by me, Kirsten Cliff, from the big backyard that I call home - New Zealand.

If you're anything like hubby and I, you'll love doing your writing in these ring-bound journals. Yes, I do write haiku and other ideas down on sticky notes, old envelopes, serviettes, and even a used ice cream stick one time at the beach! But I wouldn't be without the pages of a lovely journal.

So buy yourself a journal and come join me! :-) Haiku On - Taking you on a haiku journey.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


empty cocoon
what I think about
when it's dark

A Hundred Gourds 3:1 (December 2013)

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Travelling One-Liner

Autumn is doing great things in New Zealand right now. I wrote this one-liner about this time last year and was so pleased when AHG chose to publish it.

after travelling so far that tree of yellow

A Hundred Gourds 3:1 (December 2013)

Friday, March 14, 2014

Songs of Change: A tanka sequence with Seánan Forbes

Songs of Change

By Kirsten Cliff & Seánan Forbes

budding storm
in this hospital waiting room
a child's vacant stare
I write a recurring role
for her in my life

haunting my dreams
unscarred and innocent
the girl I might have been . . .
I carve a nest
for her in my life

pulling colour
from this stretch of pain
my poetic muse
the lengths I will go
for her in my life

songs of change
on this solstice night
an old friend's voice
I shape a new space
for her in my life

those days I wished
her dead and worse . . .
what shall I do now
with all this wanting
for her in my life

Presence #49 (February 2014)

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Sipping Coffee

sipping coffee
to the sound of dead leaves
sweeping across the path . . .
my definition of success
changing day by day

A Hundred Gourds 3:1 (December 2013)

Monday, March 10, 2014

Long Gone

long gone
the songs of yellowhammers
and shining cuckoos . . .
a day early I flip the calendar
to next month's page

A Hundred Gourds 3:1 (December 2013)

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Haiku Anthologies A-Plenty

speckled egg
the sunlight
on my thoughts

The Heron's Nest (XVI:1, March 2014)

So grateful to have had this haiku chosen to appear in The Heron's Nest. I'm looking forward to buying a copy of The Heron's Nest Anthology Vol 15, which comprises all the haiku from the 2013 editions of the journal, including three of mine. (See PayPal button at bottom of this page for purchasing.)

Congratulations to New Zealander Sandra Simpson for winning Favourite Haiku of 2013 and also being voted Poet of the Year in The Heron's Nest Awards. Go Kiwi 'Ku!

I also have a haiku in  fear of dancing: The Red Moon Anthology of English-Language Haiku 2013 and have just been informed my haibun 'Damaged Goods' will appear in Contemporary Haibun Vol 15. So that's two more anthologies to buy. Yikes!

How about buying a "Keep Calm and Haiku On" journal from my online shop Haiku On to write your haiku in, and support a poet with big dreams? :-)


Special thanks to hubby for creating this design.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

My 4th Cancerversary - "Keep Calm and Haiku On"

This first week of March 2014 marks four years since I was diagnosed and began treatment for acute promyelocytic leukemia (APML). I'm celebrating being cancer free by releasing a new t-shirt design in my online shop Haiku On.

Brought to you by Haiku On - Taking you on a haiku journey. 

That's right, it's the method that got me through the madness of cancer: "Keep Calm and Haiku On". Isn't she a beauty? Buy yours here.

I first used the phrase "Haiku on!" in my judges report for the junior section of the NZPS International Haiku Competition last year. (You can read it here.) So when I was coming up with a name for my online shop it just seemed right. 

Now putting that together with the well-known "Keep Calm" saying means I have something that not only commemorates my journey, but indeed the experiences of many others world wide who have the haiku bug and just can't stop writing haiku!

I hope you enjoy this new range of tees. Check out the other designs while you're there. And remember to "Keep Calm and Haiku On" :-)

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Calendars, T-shirts, Chapbooks, Positivity: It's a Haiku Life for Me!

Welcome to March, dear readers! Below is this month's page from my 2014 calendar of haiku and photography, which I did with my husband this time round, for our family and friends. Hubby, Cameron Elliot, took this photo last year in Cambridge, and his haiku is previously unpublished. (click to enlarge)

Haiku & photo by Cameron Elliot
February was a great month for me on the haiku front. I put out my first poetry chapbook, thinking of you, as a gift of love for Valentine's Day. (Read my post about it here.) My eChapbook of twenty haiku and tanka on the theme of love is free to read and download here. Enjoy! And don't forget to pass it on.

I also began an online shop called Haiku On where I'm selling t-shirts, cards, and later this year, my 2015 calendar. Haiku poets around the world have responded favorably buying "Trust me, I'm a haiku poet" and "Every Haiku is an Act of Environmental Activism!" t-shirts. I am so grateful for the support I've received from the haiku community on my new venture. More t-shirt designs coming soon! If there is something that you'd like to see in the shop that isn't there then please ask, and I'll try to create it for you.

I've also been flooding my Facebook page with positivity this month, and doing a daily post on what I'm grateful for each day. It's been amazing to see people's positive response, and even joining in with the gratitude posts. I couldn't have wished for better. :-) Come join me!

March is already full of haiku and tanka promise. I have a haiku in the March issue of The Heron's Nest here.See a collaborative haiga here that I did with Seánan Forbes, which appears in the March issue of A Hundred Gourds. We hope to do some more collaborating this month. I've been asked to write a commentary for Haibun Online about my tanka prose piece, The Taste on My Tongue, which first appeared in Skylark 1:1. And I'll be adding more to my online shop Haiku On - Taking you on a haiku journey. Stay tuned . . .

Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Catch

afternoon moon
the catch of satin
across her breast

Presence #49 (February 2014)

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

It's Okay

stagnant water
he tells me it's okay
to give up

Presence #49 (February 2014)

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Haiku On - My New Online Shop is Open for Business!

Since seeing me in my "Trust me, I'm a haiku poet" t-shirt, fellow haiku poets from around the world have asked to buy one for themselves. Now everybody can through my online shop, Haiku On - Taking you on a haiku journey.

Haiku On is the place to find unique merchandise with haiku poetry and art on it, created by Kirsten Cliff (that's me!). I've started with my iconic t-shirts, as well as my photo-haiga on greeting cards, postcards, and note cards.


I'll be uploading new designs each week, and Haiku On will also be the place I'll sell my annual calendar of haiku and photography. If you're a Facebooker then you can like my page at https://www.facebook.com/haikuon where I'll be keeping fans up to date with new designs and other news of interest.

If there's something you don't see at Haiku On and would like to see then please let me know, and I'll try to create it for you! Haiku On - Taking you on a haiku journey.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Skylark Gallery

I have a collaborative haiga in the winter online Skylark Gallery. The image was taken by me in Fiji last year, and the tanka is by Seánan Forbes. Just click here to see it (once there there is no need to click on the image, each one will roll over in a slide show for you). Enjoy! (Sneak peak below!)

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Celebrate Valentine's Day with my FREE Chapbook!

I haven't been participating in NaHaiWriMo this February. But I have been getting creative with haiku, and have come up with this: my first chapbook!

Click here to download my eChapbook

"If you miss love, you miss life." ~Leo Buscaglia

A mix of twenty haiku and tanka with the theme of love. It's my gift of love this Valentine's Day. Please feel free to print it out and pass it on to those you love.

I'm also researching creating print copies for purchase, so please let me know if this idea interests you. Watch this space for future projects coming soon!

how can I repay
all the people who've created
my recovery?
I will write poetry
& learn the layers of love

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Mindful Writing Challenge – day 31

swooping swallow
I follow its path into the blue

Find out more about the January Mindful Writing Challenge here.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Mindful Writing Challenge – day 30

lone pink carnation blooming between the wildflowers

Find out more about the January Mindful Writing Challenge here.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Mindful Writing Challenge – day 29

amongst the mountain mist helicopter sound

Find out more about the January Mindful Writing Challenge here.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Mindful Writing Challenge – day 28

this yellowhammer's insistent call
rings out through the sun-drenched valley

Find out more about the January Mindful Writing Challenge here.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Mindful Writing Challenge – day 27

dry grass still the red of the poppies

Find out more about the January Mindful Writing Challenge here.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Mindful Writing Challenge – day 26

that little bud of reassurance the grows within me
when I open the blinds at 7 a.m. and find the cows 
walking back to the paddock after the morning milking

Find out more about the January Mindful Writing Challenge here.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Mindful Writing Challenge – day 25

my morning of colours . . .
the pure white of the basil flowers against the scented green leaves
the black & yellow stripes of a wasp dead in the windscreen wipers
the pink of my shirt matching my tall glass of berry smoothie

Find out more about the January Mindful Writing Challenge here.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Mindful Writing Challenge – day 24

arriving home
to the scent of last night's roasted red peppers

Find out more about the January Mindful Writing Challenge here.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Mindful Writing Challenge – day 23

sun haze
these bees in & out
of the cornflowers

Find out more about the January Mindful Writing Challenge here.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Mindful Writing Challenge – day 22

sunlight streams with warmth into my study
a scatter of rainbows adorn the walls, floor, and I
created by the crystal hanging in the window

Find out more about the January Mindful Writing Challenge here.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Mindful Writing Challenge – day 21

a crumpled tissue in my pocket
all the memories come flooding back

Find out more about the January Mindful Writing Challenge here.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Mindful Writing Challenge – day 20

lighting a candle 
for the first time this year
the smell of pear blossoms 
as I think of you
& start to smile

~ for Kat

Find out more about the January Mindful Writing Challenge here.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Mindful Writing Challenge – day 19

the morning grows colder by the hour & goose bumps appear
I search out some winter clothes to wear this midsummer's day

Find out more about the January Mindful Writing Challenge here.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Mindful Writing Challenge – day 18

clock tick
tractor rumble
bird song
leaf rustle
house creak
computer whir
cow moo

Find out more about the January Mindful Writing Challenge here.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Mindful Writing Challenge – day 17

the tears come suddenly 
and itch on my cheeks as they dry

Find out more about the January Mindful Writing Challenge here.

In Memoriam: Kat Creighton

I was very shocked and saddened to hear today that fellow writer Kat Creighton has passed away. She was a lovey and talented woman, whom I had the pleasure of writing with in 2012. 

Kat was going through a tough time emotionally after Hurricane Sandy hit her home town on the Jersey Shore. I reached out to her and asked if she'd like to write with me as I'd found collaborations to be a beautiful way of connecting and inspiring during and after hard times. I'm so glad she accepted my offer! 

Below is our tanka sequence, the first Kat had written, which was published in LYNX. Rest in peace, Kat. You will be sorely missed in the haiku community, especially on Facebook, by myself, and many, many others.

Uncharted Depths
by Kirsten Cliff & Kat Creighton

seeing myself reflected
in his sunglasses . . .
how long have I been
inside this chrysalis

these ruins
swaddled in fresh snow
and I
beneath boundless stars
wriggle out of the darkness

hoping I'll know
when I've become whole . . .
so much to learn
watching the sunflowers
watching the sun

morning frost
reaching for a source
of warmth
I rearrange by color
the sea glass on the sill

lightning storm--
still this humid air
remains . . .
my mixture of old
and new scars

where the ice ends
and the river begins
uncharted depths . . .
the measure of this life
mapped in ebb and flow

on the wave
of a cuckoo's song
we drift again
over last night's dream
. . . this need for control

every leaf
from every branch
long gone . . .
so much starlight to carry
my endless prayers

across this expanse of sky
two rainbows
shedding the shadow
from my heart

finally free of winter's grasp
the footlamps along the path
guide me
to a space wide enough
for wings

Please go and read more of Kat's poetry on her blog my ninth life. You can also read her work in the Living Haiku Anthology here and find out more about her here where she was featured as a NaHaiWriMo prompter.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Mindful Writing Challenge – day 16

the wind's swirl hugging the house
searching for the cracks in between

Find out more about the January Mindful Writing Challenge here.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Mindful Writing Challenge – day 15

walking to the car after a blood test
I feel a warmth on my arm and find it
bright red, running down to my wrist

Find out more about the January Mindful Writing Challenge here.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Mindful Writing Challenge – day 14

summer morning chill
I find a patch of sunlight and become a cat

Find out more about the January Mindful Writing Challenge here.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Mindful Writing Challenge – day 13

break in the wind
the neighbour's dog barking 
then not

Find out more about the January Mindful Writing Challenge here.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Mindful Writing Challenge – day 12

swaying gums
my mind sways too

Find out more about the January Mindful Writing Challenge here.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Mindful Writing Challenge – day 11

I open the curtains and see the cows
even before I put on my glasses
slowly walking in a line down the track
back to a fresh paddock after milking

Find out more about the January Mindful Writing Challenge here.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Mindful Writing Challenge – day 10

a man leading his child along on a white pony in the morning sunlight

Find out more about the January Mindful Writing Challenge here.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Mindful Writing Challenge – day 9

a tissue in the washing
creating snow as I hang it on the line

Find out more about the January Mindful Writing Challenge here.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Mindful Writing Challenge – day 8

the moon phases missing from my new diary
I vow to look out the window tonight instead

Find out more about the January Mindful Writing Challenge here.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Mindful Writing Challenge – day 7

the musicality of the word musicality

Find out more about the January Mindful Writing Challenge here.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Mindful Writing Challenge – day 6

my eczema
set to 'high itch'
summer heat

Find out more about the January Mindful Writing Challenge here.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Mindful Writing Challenge – day 5

Monday morning after the holidays and the world seeps back to normal
I take down the Christmas tree, leaving an emptiness behind me

Find out more about the January Mindful Writing Challenge here.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Mindful Writing Challenge – day 4

like the storm
my headache gathers and explodes into sound

Find out more about the January Mindful Writing Challenge here.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Mindful Writing Challenge – day 3

summer market
the way each stall holder looks up as we pass

Find out more about the January Mindful Writing Challenge here.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Mindful Writing Challenge – day 2

dark morning
the bruise on my leg
turning purple

Find out more about the January Mindful Writing Challenge here.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Mindful Writing Challenge – day 1

century old oak a sparrow leaves the path

My first small stone of 2014 for the Mindful Writing Challenge. (I started a day late to fit in with most of the rest of the world.)  Come join me! :-)

In Memoriam: John Carley

I remember his prompt of 'karumi' over at the August 2012 NaHaiWriMo. I came up with:

thoughts of you
a shift of light
on the mountainside

So poignant now.
RIP John Carley. Thanks for your teachings and your friendship.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Welcome to 2014!

What better way to start the new year than with the first page of my calendar of haiku and photography, which I did jointly with my husband this time round. Below is actually the view from our lounge at this time of year, often complete with a herd of dairy cows chewing their cud. Just click on the image to see an enlarged view and to read Cameron's previously unpublished haiku. Didn't he do well?

January 2014 haiku & photo by Cameron Elliot

If you're a regular reader of Swimming in Lines of Haiku you'll probably notice that I've changed the look of the blog for 2014: a fresh, clean slate to start as I mean to go on. And before I do I'd like to take this opportunity to say a big THANK YOU to all my readers and supporters, to the editors that have accepted and published my work, to those I've written and celebrated with, to those who bought my desk calendars and New Res anthologies: Thank you so much! Let's do it all over again.

Wishing you all the best for a year ahead of reading and writing, and I hope you enjoy the rest of the festive season. If you're looking for a way to kick-start your writing year then join in the January 2014 Mindful Writing Challenge. Maybe I'll see you there! :-)