Welcome to Rosanne’s world-changing Salon

A portmanteau. A treasure trove. A time capsule. A poetry book. A diary. A photo album. Memories. Dreams. Wishes. Hopes. An open letter to an unsuspecting public. An intimate confession to close friends. A declaration of intent. A whisper of love. A personal record. An experiment in introspection. A performance space. A political rant. A wild yawp. Why do any of us publish our words and images online? Come, dream with me.

Precious

These are moments that you treasure, just sit­ting of a sunset, Shoulder to shoulder as you remin­isce. And whether it’s Those memories of women’s decisions, the baby borne or the Journey halted, the intimacies and the viol­a­tions, or whether It’s gasping...

Raw

(With thanks and grat­itude to Robert Borden) 1. 2017 was a good year for fear, a good year for screaming Not like some other good Amer­ican years but it slid out of A year of celebrity death and tele­vised suf­fering that we were all Only too...

Trust

Step out with me — the rocks and the waves are calling and I have some­thing to show you. Step out with me — the ocean is singing to me, songs of spiral shells, seahorses, anemones and brine. Step out — you’re safe with me. It’s almost mid­summer,...

Taming the sea

I My daughter is stretched out on white sand, feeding the ocean. She says she is taming the sea — its wild­ness nibbles at her fin­gers. We have seen no dol­phins today, nor any stin­grays nor whales nor any­thing bigger than spiky brown coral that has...

Place

There used to be water in Cali­fornia; snow­melt rushing through rav­ines to coalesce laugh­ingly as lakes and lagoons and other summer indul­gences. That was long away and far ago, in some strange before time when the land wasn’t riven with cracks and the heat had...

Words

Rough-cut paper tells you it’s a first edi­tion and the must takes you back — Years spent, nose down. Ink-smudges and foun­tain nibs, the romance Of Umberto Eco and sharp-edged medi­eval scores. There’s a deep Con­nec­tion through time to these...

Flamenco

Long fin­gers and silver rings; that rhythm; that flight Of fore­finger down a string; that tap of the fin­ger­tips Against the golpeador — one of your legs is crossed over The other and it all dis­ap­pears but for the music. That slight frown on your brow...

Memento mori

His mother painted it, in another life. It is small — less than half a metre across, not quite square. At first glance, it’s nothing but greys, as if it could be Some 19th cen­tury indus­trial city­scape or Soviet town, But closer in, you see...

If voting fails, break glass

It goes without saying that spells of this kind gen­er­ally require a kitten; At least one, more if there’s a storm brewing — the weather Is a fickle assistant. As to breed, well — the more docile spe­ci­mens Tend to dis­rupt pro­ceed­ings less....

A box of old photos

In storage, one card­board box filled with pho­to­graphs. I know one grey envelope con­tains: Peppy, full name Pep­per­mint, Aged 2 or so, inspecting one minus­cule ball of black kitten fluff, Two weeks old, soon to be Nemesis, by name if not by nature. In...

Through the looking glass

A poem about me in which nothing is true She’s humble; speaks little. Mousy they call her, when they notice her. She’s hap­piest on her own. Never thinks twice, quite con­tent. Quick to praise and no regrets. She tends her garden, dili­gent, and Basks in the...

Peggy

She’s prac­ticed at it. You can tell: expensive dress, eye­shadow just so. The way she dips her eyes and glances over your shoulder, as if There’s some­thing she’s idly won­dering but of course, it’s a ruse. She’s scan­ning escape routes and plan­ning...

Every heart a doorway

Thresholds have never been what you’d call safe And over the years, the rituals have gotten silly (after all, the phrase ‘swept off her feet’ only make sense Where a cer­tain kind of force is called a ‘bridal carry’). And love (well, trust) creaks open...

The ravine

Step off. Or not. It’s one of those decisions that hovers at your peri­pheral vision — are you ready? Wings unfurled at your back, that sen­sa­tion of almost-moistness lingering — will they hold? 

And you are listening

It is 10.40pm in Paris and they have taken host­ages at the Bataclan It is 11pm and some­where on Face­book a kid posts: “they are killing every­body. one by one.” It is 4pm in Mel­bourne and my friend is giving birth to a little boy named Clancy but...

When I was 12

i ran away and for one wild secret day any­thing was pos­sible i huddled in the recessed entry to the Com­mon­wealth Bank in Garema Place and watched a pro­ces­sion of police who (i was pretty sure) were looking for me i guarded my pre­cious solitude...

Six scant years

The year my daughter was born I thought maybe we were starting to get it right after all A woman was prime min­ister of Aus­tralia And Julia was elo­quent and sharp And fought for justice, cli­mate, all the ways (we thought) You’d expect...

Rosanne Bersten

Rosanne Bersten

passionate political poet

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