Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Pirates 2009

The shoulder parrot
and the wooden leg
are gone
No more dangling earrings
or swashbuckling swords
hanging from belts hoisting
tattered old shorts

Bare chests are still in vogue
however, eye patches
are all but forgotten

The Jolly Roger has gone
There are no tall ships
made of timber
and driven by enormous sails
filled with air,
or terror
depending on your view

Pirates sail little dinghies
and carry big guns

They call for ransoms
rather than scuttle
the ships of the scurvy dogs

The pirates of 2009
are big business,
charging millions
for a single transaction
they never see it that way
preferring to cling to a romantic idea
an excuse
for their behaviour

Not much has changed
but everything has

Calico Jack, Anne Bonny and Mary Read
went down in history
however, who hijacked
the Maersk Alabama?

Jack would not have lost the ship
then fled
shadowed by warships
hiding in a life boat
that looked more
like a death boat
as each hour passed

Imminent danger
snipers on the Bainbridge
all over in seconds

Captain Richard Phillips
survived the hero
though calling himself
‘The by-line’

The pirates
we will forget
There will be
no history books for them

No romantic memory
or campfire story

Easter Sunday
the pirates chose death
over justice

The hunter must become
the hunted
the seas once again
a battlefield
for justice

© Bernard J Rossi

Sunday, April 26, 2009

A dust storm of optimism

In the dust of a creative storm
an idea
swirling around with many friends
It was hard to recognize
One minute it was there
the next whirling among the crowd
They all looked the same
yet I knew I had to have the idea
Nothing else would do
I clutched at it blindly
hoping it might find me
as I searched for it
lost in my own crowd
my own dust storm of optimism
a million story tellers deep

In the dust of a creative storm
an idea
If I could separate it from the cloud
it would be the one for me
I did not realise at the time however
that in the idea
lay a story
the story
Everybody was reaching for it
My hands bounced off theirs
theirs off mine
The hands that were competing
could not write the idea the way I would
How could they?
They had not lived the story the way I had

The idea was unique
It had to be lived before a poet could write it
No author had this in his head
It was an idea
on the wind
an idea in a dust storm
and many chose the easy path
looking for a needle in a haystack

I followed the dust storm
and here I am
tired and dirty
with a pocket full of ideas
hoping one of them is the one

© Bernard J Rossi

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Poetry workshop

Good morning all and welcome.

In the last few days I have been talking to Brian from The New Author about a number of projects, and one we would like to run in the next week or two is a poetry workshop where we will give you an image and ask you to write a poem about that image. I have done these exercises before and they are very useful in getting the imagination flowing but we would like to do more than that with this one so we will be asking you to concentrate on certain things within your poem as well. Not the creative stuff, but the mechanics of what makes a good poem.

If this sounds like something you might be interested in doing please let either myself or Brian ( know of your interest so we know how many we have. I plan to be available throughout the entire workshop at any time (unless asleep) to help along the way but the extent of that might depend on the numbers.

This exercise will be lots of fun and we will all learn quite a lot from the exercise if past experience is any guide.

Have a nice weekend and I look forward to posting the outline and the aim of the workshop next week.

Drop by and have a look at Brian's site ( your going if you have not visited it yet, its a great site with tremendous posts on writing.


Monday, April 20, 2009

Reflections of you

Reflections of you

The joy in your heart brings happiness to mine
The longing you feel I mirror
Any sadness that touches you
Aches within me
These reflections of you,
So wonderful and divine
Two are as one
I move with you in my heart
I survive on the love
That flows between us
When you hurt I hurt,
When you sing I soar
Knowing it will not be forever
That we are apart

Oh how I love these reflections of you

© Bernard J Rossi

Monday, April 13, 2009

The first taste of exploration

On the first read this may seem a simple enough poem with a few mistimed mistakes that take a way from its rhythm. Does it have more to say though? IS everything here thought out and calculated, or is it contrived? What title would you give to this poem if it were yours?

In these examples I may not always give you the name of the poem, lest it rush a journey that should be savoured.

Through life’s rich path I wearily tread
Death and pain, elements I never dread
The road is often rough, seemingly impassable
But I carry on, knowing otherwise to be farcical

The many dangers I have had to face
Leave me without any outward disgrace
But the one fear that haunts my soul
The one enemy that can destroy my goal

You have the power to save me here
Always in reach, remaining forever near
Untouchable maybe, touching me still
Enjoyment, pleasure, more than the thrill

Keeping me sane, not overstepping my bounds
I hear the danger; it’s horrible, vicious hounds
They track me now with insatiable desire
Trying to defeat me, to put out my fire

You are my saviour, my princess in the tower
Giving me strength, allowing me all your power
Without you they win, the hounds will attack
Never again to be seen, never to be back

My one great enemy, over my shoulder does peer
Aware of my panic, undoubtedly smelling my fear
Knowing the time approaches swiftly and anon
Help me fight my adversary, let it eternally be gone

Difficult to conceive, amorphous yet undeniable too
Lurking from my past, close then sad and true
Never again do I wish to come face to face
With this onerous devil, to be lost without trace

The beast frightens me more than death itself
To be left forever a dark void on the shelf
Facing the devil I cannot hope to defeat
Forgive me my weakness as I fall at your feet

I have no right to ask of you these things
Yet to my heart your true alliance brings
All that I crave, to me a comfort so rare
To look back now, as into the mirror I stare.

© Bernard J Rossi

What is hidden underneath the surface?

In poetry there is often more hidden under the surface than you will ever find out in the open, and in fact this is part of what makes great poetry great. The metaphysical poets used this centuries ago when they wrote poems they were sure only others within their group would understand. We read them now and get a lot of what they were saying but we have history and hindsight to assist us.

The metaphysical poets did this as an elitist act but poets like myself are not so ego driven. We do it for the sake of the poem, the poet and the reader, not to mention for the sake of the art itself. Over the next few days I'd like to explore some of this poetry and maybe even look into the spiritual side of my poetry as well. It is always there, underlying the words but oft' times hidden from view. Sometimes we learn more from the search than we do from the words themselves though and this is when we enjoy the poetry to its fullest extent.

The poems will be along soon (they are not hidden, they are just yet to be selected).


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The oculist

I wear glasses, and have for a little while now. This came from Joy sending me three or four words that she found in a poem and wanted me to see if I could write my own poem that included them all. Today I thought felt like a humorous day so I chose this today to share this one with you.

Behind the desk a little balding man,

With horn rimmed spectacles sat

A middle aged midriff some would say

Yet others would simply call him fat

An oculist by trade the shingle said

Hanging above the weathered door

So all who could not read the sign

Could be treated, or so he would implore

A small and facetious man he was

When it came to the topic of sight

He promised much but cared so little

When restoring day from night

Peering over those nose riding glasses

Across an imposing inlaid desk

He would talk to the patient quite inanely

Whilst believing himself to be quite picaresque

Alas no one left feeling saved or safe

But merely airy through pockets lighter

To head home tripping over every crack

Swearing and cursing at the useless blighter

© Bernard J Rossi

Monday, April 6, 2009

When I am old

This one is a question of reflection, and I have matched the picture with a poem I wrote many years ago. This is not my usual way but I do think they fit well together. What do you think? I could write another and we could compare the two approaches. The picture is not one of mine but comes from a great website that shares pictures for use with its members. Let me know if you want their url

When I am old

When I am old will I be remembered
For who I was
Who they thought I was
Or who I wished I could be

Will my words have had such power
To have made people smile
Or will they not have been
What I always wanted them to be

Will they recall that I loved life dearly
For all that it is,
That I knew it was continuous
And always there to challenge me

Will my words reflect the depth of my heart
The love that I held
For my family and friends
And all the things that touched me

When I am old will they remember I tried
To always be fair
In all that I said and did
And that I let people live life free

Will my words be known to share my thoughts
On life’s vast richness
And it’s many great joys
That allows us all to remain free

Will I go down as one who made an effort
To enrich the lives
Of all those around me
And to live life as it was meant to be

When I am old will I be remembered
For who I was
Who they thought I was
Or who I wished I could be

© Bernard J Rossi

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Tap Dancing on the Roof

With winter about to hit here in Australia, and with Canberra about to rug up and turn the heaters on high regardless of the exorbitant charges of the utilities companies, I thought it might be nice to relive the outbreak of summer. Then I think I might move to a warmer climate, at least for the winter.

Tap Dancing on the Roof

The sounds of summer
hit the country out west
with the painted mountains
blue in the background
summer brings with it the beating sun
we crave so much, and yet hide from
as we watch each dance of nature
and listen to its every sound

The steamy heat torches the village
a hundred tin roofs crackle
restless dogs howl
in the middle of the night
we lay on top of sheets
wearing nothing but sweat,
thinking of the beauty
held in every summer sight

The sun rises early
the birds squawk and squeal
and cockatoos screech
as they pull bark from huge trees
that creak and threaten
to send mammoth branches
crashing to the ground
like elephants to their knees

Smaller feathered friends
twitter and tap dance
across a flat tin roof
that has seen better days
waking all who sleep below
to a brand new dawn
surrounded on all sides
by that familiar summer haze

Lawn mowers roar to life
breaking nature’s tranquility
whipper snippers chime in
to sing the chorus
sprinklers and hand held hoses
shower the garden before the heat arrives
and while the ground remains
at least a little porous

Backyard swimming pools
spring to a childish life
in areas left with enough water
to keep them viable
and the cricket commentary
fills the airwaves and the kitchens
as cold drinks of all sorts and strengths
keep us cool and pliable

The heat in the middle of the day
sees an eerie quiet descend
While nature takes a well earned break
hidden from the unrelenting sun
then evening comes
without taking away the light
just turning it pink
until once more the day is done

© Bernard J Rossi

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Alone in the crowd

Welcome to my newest poetry genre. In line with wanting to put a lot of variety onto my blog I have ventured into the world of picture poetry and I will be posting one or two of these a week. These are pictures I have taken but if anyone out there wants to send me a photo they would like me to put poetry to I would be thrilled to do that and post it here. You can send photos to me through my website, or email to

Now for today's offering, which I have called Alone it the crowd. You can click on the photo to get a larger view (I think!)

Sometimes I feel alone
One of a kind
A different species to everyone else around me
And I am in danger of being engulfed
By early morning mists
While others watch on unconcerned
I remain barely above the water
Hoping to stay dry
At least until it is time to eat
Afraid to put my toe in the water
In case the others see my weakness
My mouth seems to hang down
Resting on my chest
Particularly on my worst days
Yet somehow I remain afloat
Something keeps me just above the surface
Holding me out of harms way
Allowing me to rest until I am ready
Until I can take off once more

I know I can fly
Some days the mist keeps me grounded though
As I wait for another like me
To stand beside me
And make this picture perfect

© Bernard J Rossi


So far I have not had any comments on the poems chosen for this week but I will continue on with the darker theme a little with this one. Perhaps that is a little indulgent, but this is my blog after all is said and done. Well it is yours as well of course as it it only exists here for your enjoyment...

Wandering lost in an urban landscape,
A product of so many wrong turns.
Not sure where I want to head
Or what I will feel when I get there.
Rushing into decisions and directions
That only serve to lead me deeper.
Press on? Or maybe return to where it began?
Lost in a world that should be familiar,
A world where once I was comfortable.
Not wise enough to avoid sinking further
Even as a sense of direction appears
Wondering when will I arrive at my destiny
And when my heart can finally be content

© Bernard J Rossi