Earthworms, by Robert James Berry

by Robert James Berry

When the ground steams after rain,
that is when the earthworms come.
They are rope-thick, blind,
crows peck them off.
If you sink a pitchfork in the soil,
it teems with them.
But when the earth cakes up
they’re gone, their inscrutably
subterranean ways begun.

Robert James Berry lives and writes in Dunedin, New Zealand. He is the author of nine collections of poetry: Smoke (2000), Stone (2004), Seamark (2005), Sky Writing (2006), Sun Music (2007), Mudfishes (2008), Moontide (2010), Swamp Palace (2012) and Toffee Apples (2014). His latest collection, Gorgeous, is out from Sylph Editions, London ( His poetry has appeared in literary magazines such as Stand (Leeds, UK), Poetry Salzburg (Salzburg, Austria), Westerly (Perth, AUS), Rattapallax (NY, USA) and Landfall (Dunedin, NZ).

Robert was born in the UK and educated in England, Ireland and Scotland. He holds a PhD in English Literature from the University of Stirling, Scotland and MA and BA degrees from the University of Ulster, Northern Ireland. He has lectured in English Literature at universities in England, Malaysia and New Zealand. He is married with three sons.


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