John O’Connor, 1949-2015

johnoconnorJohn O’Connor was a Christchurch poet and critic. He was co-winner of the New Zealand Poetry Society competition in 1998 and winner of both the poetry and haiku competitions in 2006. In 2000 his fifth book of poetry, A Particular Context, was voted one of the five best books of New Zealand poetry in the 1990s by NZPS members.

John was an editor for Canterbury Poets Combined Presses, was co-founder of Sudden Valley Press and founding editor of the journal plainwraps. His book, Parts of the Moon, was published in Australia in 2007, and his tribute to the classical haiku of Japan, Bright the Harvest Moon, was published in 2011. His interest in haiku began in the early 1980s.

Read tributes to John, made at the time of his death in May, 2015.

mountain-side –
the train climbs its own
circus dwarf –
so high above his hand
the red balloon
wedding ring worn thin
she kneads dough
in autumn sunlight
attic dust
finding my mother’s
the empty billboard frame
the whole mountain
past the manikin
the girl with the same
dusk –
up to my ears
in birdsong

for JK
boarding house porch –
a lone male
lights up
‘hi’ / high
the young hooker 🙂 s
at everyone

Publication Notes:

mountain-side – : Balancing on Blue.

circus dwarf – : Frogpond (US).

wedding ring worn thin: ibid.

attic dust: ibid.

in: Modern Haiku (US).

past the manikin: Manichi Daily News (Japan).

dusk -: Frogpond (US), chosen as the best of the international issue.

boarding house porch -: Poetry Aotearoa.

‘hi’ / high: A Fine Line (NZ Poetry Society newsletter).

riveroflight: ibid.