I ... entered the poem of life, whose purpose is ... simply to witness the beauties of the world, to discover the many forms that love can take. (Barabara Blackman in 'Glass After Glass')

These poems are works in progress and may be updated without notice. Nevertheless copyright applies to all writings here and all photos (which are either my own or used with permission). Thank you for your comments. I read and appreciate them all, and reply here to specific points that seem to need it — or as I have the leisure. Otherwise I reciprocate by reading and commenting on your blog posts as much as possible.

15 April 2017

Long John Looks back

He was a good lad,
a right good lad. 
I liked the boy well, 
he had a lot 
of possibilities.

Mighta been
the kid I never had.
Could-a taught him
a good trick or two
for making his way.

But, when you came
right down to it,
he was one of them –
not exactly gentry
his own self, but

fixing to earn their praise
and respect, and get on
that way, rising 
by virtue of virtue,
you might say.

Ah, Jim! I was never
going let them kill ye.
Too bad we didn’t both
get away together
with all that treasure. 

It could have been
a grand life. But there –
I’m getting too old
to travel with youngsters.
And me pretty parrot …

ah, she’d have got jealous
would Captain Flint,
and I couldn’t have that.
Been with me a long time,
that cranky old bird.

Robert Newton as Long John Silver, in the 1950 Treasure Island movie. Image: Public Domain.

Poem written for The Villain Speaks, Day 15 of April Poetry Month at 'imaginary garden with real toads'.


  1. You have captured the vernacular very well, Rosemary. An interesting idea that 'villainy' may well be a question of social class.

    1. I think Stevenson did present it that way, whether unconsciously reflecting his cultural conditioning or meaning to portray it.

    2. Yes! I'm so glad you brought this out, Rosemary. Well done.

  2. Long John and the swashbuckling crowd all with their ruckus!


  3. I really liked the nod to class here too. Really excellent take on one of my childhood favorites.

  4. I can hear them so lively in my head. And what Kerry said.

  5. I absolutely LOVE the voice in this, Rosemary. You've nailed it.

  6. I felt like we were in a pub, sharing an ale, while you were shedding this tale

  7. So clever! Thanks for the smile! K.

  8. I sure did like the accent here, it came through very well. Guess too "Jim" came through okay.

  9. I love the voice in this poem, Rosemary 💖 you bring back so many memories!

  10. Pirates - romanticized for sure, but I love them - old movies and the new... :) Great capture

  11. Pirates, they always reel me in. I'm with Margaret. I love me some pirates. :)


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