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, January 18, 2014

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.


  1. Saddened as well Kirsten. Such a loss. I was happy to have collaborated on a haibun with Kat and to have had the honor of publishing her in Prune Juice. Such a talented lady. Love the tanka sequence. Did Kat write the last verse? In any case, she is in a space now that is wide enough for her wings. RIP Kat You will be missed.

  2. Yes, the last verse is hers. So poingant now.
    Still can't believe she's gone . . .

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks, Scott. So pleased to share it here (I haven't before).

  4. A fitting tribute and thank you for posting this...another friend on the haiku path has passed. Ron

    1. Thanks, Ron. Yes, another so soon in this new year.

  5. Beautiful! How wonderful that you offered the gift of collaboration with Kat at such an emotional time. Can't think of anything more healing than that. Love the last verse. Thank you for sharing this, Kirsten. Stevie Strang

    1. Thanks so much, Stevie. Happy to be able to share this here amongst the sadness.

  6. That last tanka of Kat's really struck me. I had to check my feeling and found this on Kat's blog, also written in 2012:

    for Susan
    free of winter’s grasp
    I wonder is she at peace
    wandering the stars

    Your post is a beautiful tribute.

  7. These are gems. So deeply moving and reading them I can almost feel the woman that she was.

  8. Thanks! Love your story…a nice tribute to a wonderful writer and friend.

    1. Thank you so much for reading and enjoying. Her poetry will live on.

  9. so, so sad...God bless this Jersey Girl...

    1. Yes, indeed. My heart goes out to her family. (((hugs)))

  10. Thank you for sharing this beautiful, poignant tanka sequence, Kirsten. A fitting tribute indeed. Peace and prayers to Kat's loved ones and friends.

  11. Thank you both for your instinctive gift of a shared space of healing through writing, and for sharing the results of your collaboration here. It is difficult to describe how profoundly that storm and its continuing losses have shaped the lives of the people most strongly affected.

    1. Thank you for listening to the songs that were in our hearts at that time, Shelley. It was a healing process for us both, in different ways, from different places. We always thought we'd write together again. And who knows, maybe we still will.

  12. Tribute to Kat:

    as a haïjin
    you probe the depth
    your soul is free

  13. Kirsten, do you know what year Kat was born? We will want to remember her in the next HNA memorial.

    John Stevenson

    1. Yes, John. She was born in 1955. Blessings to you.