Karen Peterson Butterworth

karenaKaren Peterson Butterworth lives in Otaki, a small town with a strong Maori presence and community spirit. She writes poetry, fiction, and non-fiction, has had haiku published in six countries including New Zealand, and been placed in competitions in four of these. She especially enjoys writing haiku about human nature, some of which are senryu, and some not.

“When I joined the NZ Poetry Society in the 1990s, I came to haiku as a newcomer, and was not at first impressed by the genre. Then I bought a copy of the society’s 1996 anthology Catching the Rainbow, and read the prize-winning haiku by Ruth Dallas. She introduced me to the haiku world of illusions and contradictions, and caught me as well on her floating thread. I began to borrow books on haiku.” Email Karen.

southerly storm
we give the old ewe a hand
with her last triplet

shy girl in the doorway
impaled on ranks
of friendly eyes

strewn on the road
a six-pack of beer
and a teddy bear

adventure playground
grandma is stuck
in the fort’s entrance

Playboy magazine
between the playmate’s breasts
a squashed cockroach

wedding photo –
towering over the groom
the bride’s son

round the jetty’s end –
marigolds and a condom

harvesting pears
all the street’s children
arrive to help

bhnd th bk shds –

moon eclipse
meeting our shy neighbour
for the first time

Publication notes

southerly storm: Haiku-with-cello performance sequence, selected by Cyril Childs, Haiku Festival Aotearoa 2005.

shy girl in the doorway: RawNervz (Canada) 1998.

strewn on the road: Valley Micropress (NZ) V1 no 9, 1998.

adventure playground: Bravado (NZ) 2005.

Playboy magazine: Kokako (NZ) 2003.

wedding photo: a savage gathering (NZ Poetry Society Anthology) 2002.

floating: Valley Micropress, V1 no 11, 1998.

harvesting: Yellow Moon (Aus) no 10, summer 2001.

tngrs: Haiku Presence (UK) No 25, 2005.

moon eclipse: Kusamakura Competition anthology, Japan.