Earthworms, by Robert James Berry

Earthworms
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 http://www.sylpheditions.com (https://www.amazon.com/Gorgeous-Robert-James-Berry/dp/1909631213). 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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Owls, by Robert James Berry

Owls
by Robert James Berry

There is a hide on the peninsula
where you can view owls.
I love to watch them roost
and blink their barmy eyes
and swivel their perfect heads.
That a creature so cuddly
could be a killer
mystifies me. But
the bush is littered
with their murdering.

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 http://www.sylpheditions.com (https://www.amazon.com/Gorgeous-Robert-James-Berry/dp/1909631213). 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.

Otter, by Robert James Berry

Otter
by Robert James Berry

Sleek, solitary
whiskered like a cat
not maternal
a gourmet for shellfish
grooming her fur
on the strand
inexpressibly lovely
smelling me
gone with a splash.

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 http://www.sylpheditions.com (https://www.amazon.com/Gorgeous-Robert-James-Berry/dp/1909631213). 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.

Castaway, by Robert James Berry

Castaway
by Robert James Berry

I should like to founder
on a coral atoll
bathe my big toe
in glistening turquoise sea
paddle with dugongs
maybe dolphins
eat salty anemones
admire the rush of tropical sunsets
never get rescued.

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 http://www.sylpheditions.com (https://www.amazon.com/Gorgeous-Robert-James-Berry/dp/1909631213). 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.

Deep, by Robert James Berry

Deep
by Robert James Berry

Deep ocean creatures
enthrall me.
If you haul them
to the surface,
they implode,
into distorted monsters,
far-fetched freaks
to disquiet your dreams.

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 http://www.sylpheditions.com (https://www.amazon.com/Gorgeous-Robert-James-Berry/dp/1909631213). 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.