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

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