Back in 2009, I had not written any poetry for over eight years, having been writing since I was a very small child.  A bad period in my life had left me feeling I would never write again. Falling in love and feeling nurtured and safe, was the catalyst, I feel, especially as Tony asked for a blessing from Brighid (Celtic goddess of fire, alchemy, poetry, the hearth…) at that time, not long after we met, in the hope I would feel moved to write poetry again. Never once did I dream I would come this far, discovering in the process, that Japanese short form poetry is the right way for my heart to sing– so Imbolc is particularly meaningful for me, with a deep sense of rebirth, awakening and inspiration. Slowly, tentatively, this rather battered tree started to unfold new green buds….

With special thanks to my husband who breathed spring back into the darkness. Here’s that first tentative poem:

 Imbolc ~ February 2009

Touchpaper green of light and life beginning
the snake uncoils from a well of dark,
sensed, unseen, and then first glimmering,
leaf-foil, shoot and scale slink from spark
to flame, heat upon the living wire,
mouth on flesh, lips and tongue
of green, an alchemy of earth and fire.
Maiden and sun-king, the poet’s song
heard in the streams, in the pulsing haste
where his kiss is a coin in the chillbright flow
of rock-borne quickening, the dreaming taste,
a seed in her darkness with will to grow.
Now hang your cloak on the rays of the sun,

Brigid, awakening, it is done.


and from April 2010, here’s my first ever tanka/gogyohshi:


rain clouds hang

from the boughs of the sky

but for now

only the blossoms



Since published In Lyrical Passion Poetry e-zine

Thanks to Raquel D. Bailey for being the first editor to publish my haiku and tanka, to Paul Smith, for being such a generous and inspirational mentor and to Chen-ou Liu  (@ericcoliu on Twitter) for being the first to retweet the tanka/gogyohshi above 🙂



4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kris
    Feb 01, 2012 @ 13:17:45

    Hi Claire . . .
    Your thanks for my tweet led me here . . . which led me to posting the link to your Imbolc poem, and also writing a subtropical Imbolc tanka inspired by your style, though I take full responsibility for the heavy-handed personification ;-)!

    Snowdrop season
    on my childhood street
    but here
    spring leans in the window
    milkweed flowers in her hair


  2. Founding Editor, Lyrical Passion Poetry E-Zine
    Feb 02, 2012 @ 21:36:52

    Dearest Claire:

    Thank you for your kind words! You are brilliant! On behalf of the writing community, thank you for sharing your evocative poetry with us. You will go far.

    Congratulations on your achievements!


    of the World’s Finest
    for the year 2011

    1. Claire Everett, UK


    • Claire
      Feb 02, 2012 @ 22:30:35

      Thank you, Raquel. Your passion for haiku and tanka is a gift to the community. I believe there are a lot of “number ones” out there and there is still much for me to learn. The journey never ends!

      Hope you are well and Happy Year of the Dragon to you and yours.



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