Changing calendars is a good time to think about the year gone and the one to come – when I look back over 2014 I feel like I didn’t achieve much with my haiku so it has been good to look through my record of poems that got published.

January: Frogpond (1); Haiku and Humour, a collection by Rangitawa Press (3). March:  A Hundred Gourds (3); The Heron’s Nest (2). April: Kokako (3, no website); Frogpond (1). June: A Hundred Gourds (2); Presence (2); The Heron’s Nest (1). September: A Hundred Gourds (2); The Heron’s Nest (2); Kokako (4). November: New Zealand Poetry Society’s anthology, Take Back Our Sky (2). December: A Hundred Gourds (1); Presence (4, still coming, due date was December) = 33.

January 2015: Speedbump Journal (1) and cattails (2).

Coming up: Modern Haiku (1); A Hundred Gourds (2); Wild Plum (1) with a couple of submissions still out there …

An Honourable Mention in the Betty Drevniok Award (Haiku Canada) was my only contest result, although I was named Poet of the Year and had the Poem of the Year at The Heron’s Nest! (A pretty big honour but I have to note that this was for work published in 2013.) This year I also had a photo selected in The Heron’s Nest illustration contest for the annual anthology.

water rising
to my thighs and beyond –
gamelan music

– Sandra Simpson, from Speedbump Journal

See and hear a Balinese gamelan performance here.

Meanwhile, the final selections have been made for big data, the Red Moon anthology for 2014 (I’m the South Pacific editor). The work of three New Zealanders is included and six Australians from a total of 148 poets.

I intend to try and write more this year and to work my way back through my unpublished folder and do some editing, which will be good for the soul, if nothing else!


Had my first acceptances for the year – three to appear in the March edition of A Hundred Gourds, two in the March edition of The Heron’s Nest and one in the winter issue of Frogpond (which comes out in February, I think).

And on January 1 the first edition of cattails appeared, the online journal of the United Haiku and Tanka Society (UHTS, sounds like a kind of milk!), including three of my haiku.

August heat –
screams from the theme park
rise and fall and rise

– Sandra Simpson

This one was written after my visit to Disneyland in August last year. Our very nice motel, the Candy Cane Inn, which I can highly recommend, was just a couple of hundred metres from the entry and partly alongside Disney California (directly opposite Disneyland). When we were in our room there was a vague backdrop of regular screaming.

The noise came from the Tower of Terror which Sophia rode (twice). It is set in an abandoned Hollywood hotel with the riders taken to the top and strapped in to an “elevator”. The doors opened and they could see right across the two parks, the doors closed and they dropped in darkness, thought “whew” and then dropped again!

Needless to say, I waited outside and took the photos.

All text and photo copyright Sandra Simpson and may not be reused without permission.