Catherine Mair

cathaCatherine Mair is a past chairwoman of the Katikati Haiku Pathway Focus Committee and still a committee member. Part of the land on which the pathway stands was Catherine’s family farm. She was born in the homestead next door to where she now lives, and married on the lawn there. Catherine was awarded a Queen’s Service Medal (QSM) for services to poetry and the community in 2008.

In the late 1980s Catherine showed some of her poetry to well-known children’s author Phyllis Johnston of Tauranga. Phyllis introduced Catherine to another children’s writer, Jean Bennett (Tauranga) who sent her information about haiku, thinking it might interest Catherine because of the nature focus in her work. Phyllis meanwhile, had put Catherine in touch with David Drummond and she had become involved with a postal ‘orbit’ workshop co-ordinated by David.

Catherine was guest editor of winterSPIN from 1995 to 2001, this annual edition focusing on haiku, tanka, linked verse, etc. She has judged the junior section of the biennial Katikati Haiku Contest for several years. In 2015 she published incoming tide (Uretara Press), her first collection of haiku, tanka and haibun.

Contact Catherine.


above ancient
        transmitting antenna

after your
         telephone call
                           the rain
just the retriever’s 
nose above the stick –
flight of wading birds     


wrecked ship
beside the memorial
a starfish  
midnight thirst
drinking from cupped hands –
 a moth’s closed wings 
   in her bedroom
        all her lovers
only photographs     
on the front lawn
trying to fly his kite –
the wind won’t        

tartan umbrella
my own bright roof
in the alleyway       
hurting me more
           the departure
                of my son’s lover    
sheltering also
this sandfly
on my hand      

Publication Notes:

above ancient: RAW NerVZ (Canada), Vol. 4 No. 3.

after your: Azami 48.

just the retriever’s: ibid.

wrecked ship: Azami 54.

midnight thirst: ibid.

in her bedroom: paper wasp (Australia), spring 2000.

on the front lawn: paper wasp, autumn 1998.

tartan umbrella: ibid.

hurting me more: ibid.

sheltering also: An Exchange of Gifts (NZ Poetry Society anthology), 2001.