Rachel Sutcliffe, formerly of Harrowgate, North Yorkshire, was a talented haiku poet who is much missed in the international haiku community. For almost a decade, she and I workshopped our creative fiction and poetry on several online forums and since her death from lupus in 2019, I have been in regular contact with her mother, Marie.
When I learned that Marie was to visit Ireland in August, we arranged to meet up in Belfast. I was surprised and delighted when she gifted me a set of writers’ pencils and the charm in the photo above that had belonged to Rachel. We found we had lots to talk about and ended up spending several hours together that day. The tanka below, published and translated into Chinese by the poet Chen-ou Liu, was inspired by our meeting.