Ernest J Berry

ernieaErnest J Berry was born 1929 in Christchurch. After a decade of shepherding in Poverty Bay and the Canterbury high country, he spent several years in business in Auckland before retiring to a wilderness beach in Mexico where he rediscovered his childhood love of [short] poetry. He un-retired in 1993 and settled in Picton where he adopted haiku as a retirement project. He was deeply involved with the haiku movement world-wide ever after.

Two of his many haiku books were honoured with Merit Book Awards from The Haiku Society of America and he had long lost count of his successes in haiku competitions. After founding Picton Poets in 1994, Ernie taught haiku in workshops, secondary schools, poetry meetings and special-interest groups. In 2013 he moved to Blenheim.  Visit the website of NZ Society of Authors southern branch to read a more extensive biography. Ernie died at the end of May 2021. Read tributes made at the time of his death.

the taste of rain
from a barrel

my infamous ancestor
in diapers

clouded moon
the sound of her slip
hitting the floor

childhood home
someone else’s mother
on the mantelpiece

high desert
i’m surrounded
by a fly

she skirts
the word

neighbour’s cat
the cicada in its teeth
keeps singing

muddy garden
her puppy
brings it in

a yellow caterpillar
in its tracks

bright moon
light years
between starfish

Publication notes

Ernie was unable to supply publication details for these haiku but believes they have all been published somewhere.