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

Friday, May 25, 2012

In Memoriam, Hortensia Anderson

I'm so grateful to have known Hortensia. Not just her poetry but her beautiful and courageous spirit. She reached out from her pain to mine with generosity and genuineness. In fact the first message she sent to me through Facebook was: "I think we have a lot in common!"

In further messages she told me that she was so excited for my accomplishments, that my work touched her and that I inspired her. Of course the feeling was mutual! I so enjoyed reading her poetry. She was posting tanka on her Facebook page as she said it helped ease her mind and that the feedback made her forget a little bit despite the bleak outlook of her current health.


just as I think
i can't stand the pain,
a blossom passes
and I cling to this life
while learning to let go...


hortensia anderson
April 26, 2012

(This is the last tanka she posted on Facebook.)

Back in February, Hortensia sent me an email with the subject line: "I thought of you today". She was about to have some further tests and said, "I want to be the piping plovers on my Facebook page. They don't seem to worry..."


in the wide sweep
of wind-sculpted dunes
i found undisturbed
the tiny trail
of a piping plover


hortensia anderson
(Modern English Tanka, Winter 2007)


click on image to enlarge

I look forward to recieving the copy of Take Five: Best Contemporary Tanka, Volume 4, which I've ordered as Hortensia's work is within its pages, along with mine for the first time. You can read more of Hortensia's work on her haibun blog The Plentitude of Emptiness and more about her life, as well as the awards she received, poetry books she wrote and some of her haiku, on her Haiku Registry page at The Haiku Foundation here.


Haiku and Tanka for Hortensia 
from her friends and fellow poets around the world. 

(You are invited to post your haiku or tanka for Hortensia in the comments section and I will add it to this post.)

spring dawn
in the stillness
a mourning dove

                    vigil lamp
                    losing the flame
                    to the Light

~Alegria Imperial
Both posted at NaHaiWriMo (24/05) under the prompt, Hortensia Anderson, In Memoriam

indigo sky
the lingering chill
in Chelsea

                    dusk at Union Square
                    lone pigeon waddles
                    against pounding steps

Couldn't resist adding these two. I know the area where her body lay in state from the years I lived at the Lower East Side. My friend in NY says there’s thunderstorm today, her burial. ~Alegria


                    first butterfly
                    of the season
                    I name it Hortensia
                    then it flies away

~Stevie Strang
On Facebook, every comment or like from Hortensia was an inspiration. I am honoured to have known her, if only for a while.


spring woods . . .
a distant voice
falls silent

~Michael Dylan Welch


                    in the seconds
                    between then and now
                    the white on her wing

                    ~Kat Creighton


poet’s journey
filling your bowl
with stars

                    the milky way
                    unfurls at your feet
                    hortensia
                    now galaxies hear you
                    sing the cosmic song

'as a wave'*
my finger sails round
the clay jar

~Stella Pierides
*'as a wave' refers to Hortensia’s haibun on her blog The Plenitude of Emptiness


                    fireflies
                    as far as I can see...
                    this gentle night

                    ~Pris Campbell          RIP Hortensia


I would like to offer this interaction between Hortensia and Svetlana Marisova on 28 June 2011. Hortensia sent it to me earlier this year with these words "I don't want this one to get lost. She posted it on my page July 28 when we were both feeling insomnia" ~Hansha Teki

Hortensia Anderson - I am the ultimate insomniac.
28 July 2011

Svetlana Marisova - I thought that I was.

waning moon
also awake
beyond dawn

28 July 2011 


howling wind —
an autumn note within
the bamboo flute

                    full moon
                    a glowing taj mahal
                    on river Yamuna

lotus leaf...
a water droplet rolls
the moon

~Kala Ramesh


I was overwhelmed by Hortensia's last post about her diagnosis a few weeks ago, overcome with grief and the realization that I'd never have the chance to meet the wonderful person whose work--and spirit--I'd come to admire. . . .

                    heat lightning
                    the sky heavy with
                    promises of release

selfish thoughts
at the news of her death . . .
if only we’d met
this friend I know only
through the shape of words

~Margaret Dornaus


I remember a draft of a haiku getting a lot of criticism, and I was about to ditch it when Hortensia stepped in, and said she liked it and it worked.

ill all day...
a crime novel
in both rooms

~Alan Summers

Publications credits: Blithe Spirit vol. 17 no.1 (2007); Haiku Friends Vol 2 (Japan 2007); Disclaimer, (Bath Spa University 2008); haijinx vol. III issue 1 (2010); Day’s End: Poetry and Photography about aging (2011)

Thank you Hortensia, for your faith in my work.

that star
to the left
so bright

i.m. Hortensia Anderson
June 24, 1959 – May 21, 2012


                    where she passed
                    a trail of poems
                    still glimmers 

                    ~Annette Makino



15 comments:

  1. Alegria ImperialMay 25, 2012 at 1:24 PM

    spring dawn
    in the stillness
    a mourning dove

    vigil lamp
    losing the flame
    to the Light

    Both posted at NaHaiWriMo (24/05) under the prompt, Hortensia Anderson, In Memoriam

    Couldn't resist adding these two. I know the area where her body lay in state from the years I lived at the Lower East Side. My friend in NY says there’s thunderstorm today, her burial.

    indigo sky
    the lingering chill
    in Chelsea

    dusk at Union Square
    lone pigeon waddles
    against pounding steps

    ReplyDelete
  2. On Facebook, every comment or like from Hortensia was an inspiration. I am honoured to have known her, if only for a while

    first butterfly
    of the season
    I name it Hortensia
    then it flies away

    ReplyDelete
  3. in the seconds
    between then and now
    the white on her wing

    ReplyDelete
  4. spring woods . . .
    a distant voice
    falls silent

    ReplyDelete
  5. You're welcome, Michael!
    Thank you Alegria, Kat, Stevie and Michael for sharing your moving words here for a poet who moved us time and time again.

    ReplyDelete
  6. poet’s journey
    filling your bowl
    with stars
    .
    the milky way
    unfurls at your feet
    hortensia
    now galaxies hear you
    sing the cosmic song
    .
    ‘as a wave’*
    my finger sails round
    the clay jar
    .
    *’as a wave’ refers to Hortensia’s haibun on her blog The Plenitude of Emptiness

    ReplyDelete
  7. fireflies
    as far as I can see...
    this gentle night

    RIP Hortensia

    ReplyDelete
  8. I would like to offer this interaction between Hortensia and Svetlana Marisova on 28 June 2011. Hortensia sent it to be earlier this year with these words "I don't want this one to get lost. She posted it on my page July 28 when we were both feeling insomnia"

    Hortensia Anderson - I am the ultimate insomniac.
    28 July 2011

    Svetlana Marisova - I thought that I was.

    waning moon
    also awake
    beyond dawn

    28 July 2011

    ReplyDelete
  9. howling wind —
    an autumn note within
    the bamboo flute

    —Kala Ramesh



    full moon
    a glowing taj mahal
    on river Yamuna


    —Kala Ramesh



    lotus leaf...
    a water droplet rolls
    the moon


    —Kala Ramesh

    ReplyDelete
  10. I was overwhelmed by Hortensia's last post about her diagnosis a few weeks ago, overcome with grief and the realization that I'd never have the chance to meet the wonderful person whose work--and spirit--I'd come to admire. . . .

    heat lightning
    the sky heavy with
    promises of release

    selfish thoughts
    at the news of her death . . .
    if only we’d met
    this friend I know only
    through the shape of words

    --Margaret Dornaus

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thank you Stella, Pris, Kala and Margaret for your beautiful words.

    Hansha - thank you for sending in that exchange between Svetlana and Hortensia. I had actually read it a few days ago when I was searching back through Hortensia's fb page for her 'piping plovers' tanka. Lovely to find it again here.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I remember a draft of a haiku getting a lot of criticism, and I was about to ditch it when Hortensia stepped in, and said she liked it and it worked.

    ill all day...
    a crime novel
    in both rooms

    Alan Summers

    Publications credits:
    Blithe Spirit vol. 17 no.1 (2007); Haiku Friends Vol 2 (Japan 2007); Disclaimer, (Bath Spa University 2008); haijinx vol. III issue 1 (2010); Day’s End: Poetry and Photography about aging (2011)

    Thank you Hortensia, for your faith in my work.

    that star
    to the left
    so bright

    i.m. Hortensia Anderson
    June 24, 1959 – May 21, 2012

    ReplyDelete
  13. where she passed
    a trail of poems
    still glimmers

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thank you Alan and Annette. I have added your thoughts and poems. Xx

    ReplyDelete