scent of breaking light

the shortest day

this night

a black flower

we have pressed between us


in the yew wood

the mystery of the runes

as yet uncut

depths of me I did not know

took shape in your hands


I don’t seek

to understand life

or love

but hold you while you’re here–

snowflake in my hand


you are not here . . .

so I write a poem

against the night sky,

dot each ‘i’

with Venus


still, she leaves

a light on for him . . .


at the crumbling window

of a tumbledown cottage



to know that somewhere

an osprey

has stirred

this mountain mist

A t l a s P o e t i c a • I s s u e 9 • summer 2011


skin and bone

beneath a thin grey blanket

my life waits

huddled on a gurney

outside your hospital room


Ribbons, volume 7, no 3, Fall 2011




Dad’s personal effects

his coat still smelling of rain…

in the inside pocket

closest to his heart

my sister’s photograph


Ribbons, volume 7, no 3, Fall 2011


I was delighted to learn that the second poem(above) was ‘The Back Cover’ choice for this issue of Ribbons, The Tanka Society of America journal, edited by Dave Bacharach.




Broken Wing


falling leaf. . .
ah, to be oneself
of weightless gold


gathering dusk. . .
the shape of my thoughts
in starling skies


oh tree
of the blood that bore me
I was pledged
by the sun’s inscription
to return to earth, to light

for and inspired by Ted van Zutphen

‘Broken Wing’. Image, Tony Everett, tanka by Claire.

(Husband and wife’s first haiga!)

* The blog Ted and Svetlana started as a place to share and explore their mutual love of haiku is where you’ll find some of Ted’s haiku. It is a venue where others on the journey can share their poems and thoughts.

t’heart of haiku




a poem from a friend

with dawn on its wings…

a heron unfolds

from my inbox




damselflies mend

a moment’s broken seam

how delicate

these blue pins of sadness

silent masters of the flame




what you mean to me…

a solitary swift

finds a window of blue

and the sky tilts

on its axis


3 of my tanka from GUSTS (Tanka Canada) No 14, fall/winter 2011



nodding sunflowers …                                                  nickende Sonnenblumen …

Grandma opens her eyes                                            Oma offnet die Augen

to dreams                                                                          den Traumen


Chrysanthemum, autumn 2011




spaghetti sauce —

we meet each other

half way


Honourable Mention,

International Senryu competition 2011

Lyrical Passion Poetry e-zine





under a dark moon




under a dark moon

I have come to see

that every star

is the night’s undoing


there not there

the pull of this blue mood

a damselfly

above the gravel track…

the frayed edge of time


drawing my ink

from the veins of tanka…

how dare my hand

be so smooth

when tectonic plates shift


mist on the mirror

this path we walk…

my fingers trace

a memory of bluebells

and wild garlic


warbler song

from my cupped hands

the mountain stream


glowering skies

two cormorants

dry their wings


a linnet singing all the colours of her windblown hair




The Voices of Leaves


The Voices of Leaves

a tanka sonnet:



with dust on your wings, what lies

beyond the sunset?


not the ocean

but the voices of leaves. . .

whorled shell


how you danced

on a pin head of time. . .

my turning mind

combs this music box night

encrypted with stars


the dove’s head

beneath its wing. . .

windswept moon


Remembering Svetlana,  one month on.



this journey

through sun and squall and desert wind

and we

all hostages to fortune

with butterfly wings



twisted willow

I sit in the shadow

of Shiva

poetry coursing

through my veins




this still lake

and these mountains painted

in antiquity…

rain on her sleeve, the sky

upsets a tin of tacks




autumn leaves

where we walked beneath

a honey moon

the folds and unfolds of dreams,

the yellowed tape of Lakeland





you’re gone     you’re gone

and yet…

catching this gossamer

what’s left of the light





she curls around a memory

of herself

this golden timepiece

summer’s fading pulse



beyond this vanishing



in a cold blue sky

ripples of robin song–

each note takes me

deeper into loving you,

losing you



white roses

and fresh linen

neatly folded

even her letter

smells like home


Take Five Best Contemporary Tanka, volume 3, 2010


a hawk moth

passes the window —

I am haunted

by the ghosts of lives

I might have lived


Take Five Best Contemporary Tanka, volume 3, 2010


I thought you taught me

all I needed to know

about silence…

waxing with the moon

magnolia blooms


Bottle Rockets no 25 2011


edges blurred

the seasons of my heart…

today the willow

sheds yellow leaves

on yesterday’s perfect snow


Bottle Rockets no 25 2011


the sky so clear

I can see for miles…

I look hard

for your future

as they wash your blood


Ribbons, volume 7, number 2, summer 2011


morning rain

mist of breath on the lush shoots

of spring flowers…

time will have me be

no more and no less


Red Lights, volume 7, number 2, 2011


by candlelight

watching incense twist and curl

as shadow…

the double helix uncoils,

this illness passed down the line


Red Lights, volume 7, number 2, 2011


this is mother

the red beak-spot tells the chick —

so often now

imprinted on my mind

the face of a stranger


Red Lights, volume 7, number 2


Four haiku for Svetlana:

ten thousand leaves
whisper in the shale…
ebbing moon


the egret preens
as if to reach its heart. . .
autumn rain


red maple leaf…
still holding her heart
up to the sun


this vanishing. . .
the godwit’s light



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