Unknown Shores

It is with immense sadness that I share news of the untimely death of a fellow haijin, the remarkable, inspirational, beautiful spirit, Svetlana Marisova. Svetlana befriended me on Facebook and we became close via email and our mutual passion for haiku. In a few short months, this young woman has shared with me such virtues as grace, humility, faith, wisdom, hunger, strength…such things that most of us take a lifetime to acquire, if ever. She was just 21 years of age.

I urge you to read her poetry, to take inspiration from her words, to keep the flame that was, that IS Svetlana, burning. May we continue to push the boundaries and keep her words alive.  Her haiku and in depth special features by Robert Wilson, can be accessed at Simply Haiku : http://simplyhaiku.theartofhaiku.com/ and its archives.

Words have come and gone today, they are not enough. 

I wish the godwit that stole our hearts and our minds safe landing on those unknown shores.


My humble offering:


Unknown Shores


your heartbeat. . .

from unknown shores, the tui

enters my dreams

yet I wake to a sky stained

with a robin’s breast of song


without your breath

what is this hearth of embers. . .

must it cling

without the wind, this world

of turning leaves? 



this world is darkness…

in dreams

I listen for the sun

rising in your heart 



beyond time and tide

the godwit’s last flight 


Rest in Peace, Svetulya

Your friend,




8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Renée
    Sep 08, 2011 @ 17:22:57

    this most beautiful poem brings honour to your friend Svetlana! I am deeply touched by your profound words and I feel with you, Claire!


  2. Ted van Zutphen
    Sep 08, 2011 @ 19:05:02

    Thank you, Claire, this is beautiful ❤


  3. a. friend
    Sep 09, 2011 @ 09:24:32

    Thank you for this lovely tribute. She touched hearts around the world.


  4. Sasa Vazic
    Sep 09, 2011 @ 15:29:20

    Thank you, Claire. Svetlana is alive and will be living forever.
    Such wisdom is timeless.


  5. brian.zimmer@juno.com
    Sep 09, 2011 @ 15:32:11

    Incredibly sad. A moving tribute to friendship and that gifted voice made wise too young.


    • Claire
      Sep 09, 2011 @ 17:13:30

      Sasa, Robert, Brian, Ted and ‘friend’, thank you for reading these humble words, what little I could offer Svetlana. I don’t think I could ever do justice to her life and poetry and the best we can do is keep her flame alive. She was, and will continue to be, an inspiration, a soul perhaps too pure for this earth. Blessed were we that she touched our lives so deeply in her time here.
      Yours, in friendship and in poetry,


  6. Paul Smith
    Sep 12, 2011 @ 17:52:09

    This leaves me speechless Claire, a beautiful tribute…


    • Claire
      Sep 12, 2011 @ 19:21:56

      Thank you, Paul…although I feel I owe these words to the beautiful spirit who inspired them. I thank you for being the first poet to hear my voice and to give me the confidence to express myself. Your comments always mean the world to me. World of dew that it is….
      My Best, always,


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