ar-ah-ar for the ride

ahhrrhh ar-ah-ar-ah ar-ah

ahhrrhh ar-ah-ar-ah ar-arrhh

from the tenth floor of the hospital
the view across melbourne at this late hour
is of a suburban universe
twinkling through thousands of halogen and neon lights
red yellow and green for cars
that all have some place to go
even now

behind me an old lady
is moaning aloud in greek
for elli
the next time it’s for soula or toula
one of them
it all ends up sounding the same

ahhrrhh ar-ah

there’s one behind the curtain
with a tube running up through her nose

-ar-ah ar-arrhh

I think it affects her breathing

at three a.m. they brought in a big guy
way way overweight
I must have missed it while I was at doze
in a stiff arm-chair with about as much give
as a harassed night nurse
until he rattled the windows with a snore
that could have sliced through an old-growth forest
without needing to be re-sharpened

his pauses are just long enough to be filled in by

ahhrrhh ar-ah-ar-ah ar-ah                               soula

where is soula

and my guy
the fourth in this bedlam of ailments
is asleep at last still wearing his glasses
now set absurdly at a jaunty angle
that’s almost a summary
while the streetlight universe continues to flicker
with a flashed message that even though there’s nothing
that really matters
some-thing elects to go on

call it life call it death
there’s no need to call it at all
just wait with your thumb sticking out
when the car slows down to catch the next green
hop on board and remember
you only get to ride once if you’re lucky enough
to ride at all

© Frank Prem, 2009


6 thoughts on “ar-ah-ar for the ride

  1. wow – excellent transcription here – and all of it – brought me right to the place and space, the smells, sounds, the feeling …… this is a great piece Frank – it really all comes together, line by line by line.

    Liked by 1 person

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