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, June 24, 2012

Into the Night: A Rengay with Cara Holman

Into the Night
Cara Holman & Kirsten Cliff

garden party
moths flitter
around the lantern

fairy dust
in her hair

pixie ring
dancing long
into the night

koi pond
the children hunt
for mermaids

tinkling laughter
clusters of coral bells

dark lantern
still the heady scent
of wild jasmine

This rengay was written especially for Aubrie Cox's solstice Yay Words! project featuring faerie folk and lanterns. You can download 'Winged Moon' here and take your time to enjoy this beautiful collection of short form poetry and artwork. Thanks to Cara for writing with me, and to Aubrie for inspiring us with her fun projects that are bringing our on-line haiku community together in exciting new ways! :)

Saturday, June 16, 2012

The XIV Calico Cat Haiku Contest

I entered the Calico Cat haiku contest for the first time last week as it was in honour of the late Hortensia Anderson. The results are now out and I'm very happy to see that I have been awarded an Honorable Mention for:

shooting star
I fold another
origami heart

Congratulations to the winner Sanjuktaa, who also took first place in the Haiku My Photo Challenge that I judged last month. You can view all the award winners and the write up here. A big thank you to Origa for running this wonderful competition.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Take Five Tanka

I'm so very excited to have three of my tanka chosen for the latest (and last) volume of Take Five: Best Contemporary Tanka. M. Kei and a team of editors from around the world (two of which were New Zealanders! Patricia Prime and Owen Bullock) read over 18,000 tanka published over the course of 2011 and chose the best to come together in this fine anthology.

Although a tanka may be as small as a pebble, it creates expanding ripples in the mind of a receptive reader, ripples that touch far shores, with the polished perfection of the poem as the still center of meaning and experience. ~M. Kei

I'm honoured to be there alongside so many of my friends within the on-line haiku community, and especially two that we've lost to cancer - Svetlana Marisova and Hortensia Anderson. My three tanka to be included are all from my leukaemia journey and I'm grateful that they can now be read by many more people so that they might reach the very souls that need to read them.

the second-hand books
from my wheelchair
today I decide
not to feel ashamed

Eucalypt 10 (May 2011)

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

                    Presence #44 (June 2011)

                                        my drug regime
                                        with the doctors
                                        I tell them that today
                                        they may see me cry

                                        paper wasp 17:3 (October 2011)

My thanks to M. Kei and his editing team, and to the editors that first published my tanka. You can by your copy of Take Five from Createspace or from Amazon.com.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

He Snores

My photo of last month's super moon rising. Click on image to enlarge.

 full moon tonight he snores louder

DailyHaiku Cycle 12 (December 2011)
Haiku & photograph © Kirsten Cliff

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Winters Streets...

                    winter streets...
                    the steam rising off
                    roasted chestnuts

DailyHaiku Cycle 12 (November 2011)
Haiku & photograph © Kirsten Cliff

Friday, June 8, 2012

The Night He Left...

                    the night he left...
                    the many sounds
                    of summer rain

DailyHaiku Cycle 12 (November 2011)
Haiku & photograph © Kirsten Cliff


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Rengay Fever!

Ever since my long-time on-line haiku friend Cara Holman asked if I wanted to write a rengay with her back in February, I've been hooked! We have since written eight rengay together and all have been published or have been accepted for publication. And I must say we are pretty pleased with ourselves! It's not only great fun, but a really good learning experience, and it's kept me writing through though times when I wasn't otherwise regularly putting pen to paper.

There is something special and unique about writing in this way. It's kind of like a prompt but not quite; it's so much more than that. It's a conversation through time and place (Cara is in America and we write via email), it's a poetic dance that moves me to new heights, it's a wake up call to look deeper into haiku and Nature and relationship. I love it! :)

The first two rengay that I wrote with Cara have just come out in A Hundred Gourds (AHG) and can be read here - The Scent of Pine and Turning a Corner. I still really enjoy reading these two pieces, especially after a break away from them. This was the first time I've been in AHG as I'd never submitted there before. Please check out the publication if it's new to you.

The first rengay that we had published appeared in Aubrie Cox's Yay Words! project, fox dreams. You can read Dream Catcher here. Cara and I have just written another rengay for the new Yay Words! project, which has been accepted by Aubrie. To find out how you can get in on the fun, read Aubrie's latest call for submissions here. I also wrote a rengay with Aubrie last month; my first with a different partner. We will submit this for publication soon, and then I look forward to writing some more!

The biggest rengay task that Cara and I have taken on was to write about our cancer experiences: me with leukaemia and Cara with breast cancer. We came out with a rengay sequence comprised of four rengay that was at times hard to write, but that seemed destined to be written. We are very proud of this work and the places it took us, and are very happy to have it accepted by LYNX: A Journal for Linking Poets for their October 2012 issue.

So what next? In a couple of weeks I will be at the New Zealand Haiku Conference Haiku Festival Aotearoa 2012, where I'm taking the Introduction to Renku workshop with Sandra Simspon. She has just sent through some notes on the form 'junicho' and asked us to write some possible hokku to start us off on the day. And if you're a rengay writer, then don't miss this call for submissions by Michael Dylan Welch for a 20th Anniversary Rengay Anthology. Cara and I will definitely be getting ours submitted! Talk about rengay fever...

Friday, June 1, 2012

Long Winter Nights...

...are perfect for getting crafty! But before I show you what I've been up to this week, below is the June page of my calendar. The haiku was written a year ago today and appeared in The Heron's Nest. The photo was also taken a year ago at the new Te Puke Cemetery, as the last of the sun was going down.

June 2012 - Kirsten's Calendar of Haiku & Photography

Now that winter has hit us here again in the Southern Hemisphere, I've been spending some time each evening sticking stuff to other stuff, and coming out with these cards:

I love using bits and pieces I find in old books, and adding a bit of origami is always fun. I look at these cards as mini canvases. I just see an image in my head, then try to collage it out into the real world. I'm not making these with any person or any occasion in mind. I'm just enjoying getting stuck into my crafting again, and enjoying having my own creating room for the first time, to do it in! :)