National Poetry Month: Guest Post #5, Kirsten Cliff . . .

For my fifth guest poet slot of the month I’m happy to introduce the work of Kirsten Cliff, one of the most upbeat and inspirational haiku poets I know.  Kirsten and her husband live in “Hobbiton,” New Zealand, where they lead the writing life in close to idyllic surroundings.  Her poetry has been published in many international journals, including “a fine line,” The Magazine of the New Zealand Poetry Society, where she serves as haiku editor. You can learn more about her work at her blog Swimming in Lines of Haiku.  Here’s what she has to say about why she writes haiku, as well as one of her haiku/tanka sonnets:

In 2007, the year I began writing haiku, I wrote this in the back of my journal:

Haiku is my way of . . .

  • connecting to the environment
  • being thankful for what’s around me
  • living in the moment
  • appreciating the little things
  • becoming more aware of my surroundings
  • documenting myself, the ups/downs, people, places, events, challenges
  • learning
  • practising writing
  • enjoying
  • experiencing

Five years on, this is still the truth of my life with haiku.  Long may it continue!

–Kirsten Cliff

The day the willow spoke

last of spring . . .
the different shades of shadow
under the willow

 . . . again
circling the willow
this lone hawk

driving rain . . .
dairy cows huddled
around the willow’s trunk
as an old bull calls forth
the mountains

sleepless night . . .
between the moon & I
only the willow

(Notes: stanzas two and four appeared as separate haiku on DailyHaiku Cycle 12, March 2012.)

[Sponsored by Couplets–the brainchild of Joanne Merriam of Upper Rubber Boot Books.  I’ll be hosting haiku/tanka poets here throughout the month of April.]


About Margaret Dornaus

I’m a writer and a teacher, as well as a haiku-doodler. I live in a beautiful woodland setting, surrounded by native oak forests, that inspires me to record haiku snapshots of luna moths and our resident roadrunner, and even an occasional black bear as it hightails it across the top of my road, my mongrel dog barking at its heels as I watch with wonder. My work as a travel writer has appeared in publications from The Dallas Morning News to the Robb Report. You can find examples of my travel writing–as well as excerpts from a travel memoir I’m working on–at my other WordPress site, Travelin’ On. What more than that do you need to know? Only that I started this blog with an eye toward collaboration. Got a haiku? Send it my way. . . . I’m all about new visions & voices. Best, Margaret
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6 Responses to National Poetry Month: Guest Post #5, Kirsten Cliff . . .

  1. Cara Holman says:

    Fancy meeting you here, Kirsten. 😉 What a great list you made about why you write haiku! It is a wonderful way to slow down, and give gratitude for the things around us, both large and small. I always love reading your tanka and ku!

  2. Thanks for hosting me, Margaret 🙂 My first tanka sonnet sees the light of day!
    Hi Cara, Thanks for your support and encouragement, as always.
    Love all my haiku friends!

  3. Claire says:

    Wonderful tanka sonnet, Kirsten. Lovely to see it here!

  4. Pingback: The Dead Horse Poets Society « rAZmatAZ

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