‘Earthworms’, ‘Castaway’, ‘Deep’ by Robert 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.



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.



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 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, available on Amazon. 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 is married with three sons.

Copyright © 2018 by Robert Berry. All rights reserved.