the man who knew

Poem #16 from The Book of Evenings

Back to: The Book of Evenings – Introduction

he could tell when he touched the door

there had been no signs
no clues or expectations
but the moment the hand that held the key
came in contact with the door
he knew

perhaps an absence of vibration
or a hollowness
seeping from around the edges of the door-frame
perhaps nothing
who knows how the senses intuit or infer

he stopped
with the key halfway into the lock
and wondered if he should retrace his steps
get back into the car
return to work for an hour
then start out for home again
but that wouldn’t change anything

he knew


when a voice speaks into silence
it can jar                sound over-loud
but in a moment
the emptiness will assert itself
and reply with a touch
on the shoulder
a shiver along the spine

footsteps echo
like a cathedral funeral
reverent and ominous
while familiar objects
become mysterious messengers
mutely trying to communicate
matters of great moment
if only

great matters of if only

and the scan of these once-familiars
leads inevitably
to the new item
the one supported
by cut-glass salt and pepper shakers
gifted on the big day
so long ago

a stark white rectangle
with his name
addressed in the tell-tale loops
that once suggested open fields
and laughter

it beckons


the quiet can be a companion
when any noise would be an intrusion
in the hours past darkness
spent thinking
and wondering

so many possibilities to consider
so many ruled improbable
by the fact of the envelope
thinking the worst
dismissing the benign
reviewing all that he knows and can recall

deep in an armchair
in the dark
the only sound
rhythmic tapping
of an unopened communication
against a twitching leg

he cannot work it out
in his mind
but he knows

he just knows

© Frank Prem 2003

The Book of Evenings Poem #17: when she walked it was a saunter



19 thoughts on “the man who knew

  1. This piece I read the other night – but set aside because I needed to sit with and give it and myself a breather – but from the first line, wrapping into the next and the next – oh how you’ve completely “nailed” it all – this is what I would consider “damn perfect” – wouldn’t change a thing. It so encompasses everything – tension, stress, anxiety, the knowing – and all the sounds – and the sound of silence – which is more than damn impressive Frank.

    when a voice speaks into silence
    it can jar sound over-loud
    but in a moment
    the emptiness will assert itself
    and reply with a touch
    on the shoulder
    a shiver along the spine

    And this???? Holy heavens above – this stanza??? it totally is perfectly framed, placed and is at the heart of the piece – this is an exceptional piece Frank – cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on Black Cat Alley and commented:
    I’ve been following Frank for quite some time now – and he writes on a range of subjects and topics – some with a light and easy touch, others far more troubling. And each poem he offers and shares is handled with care and great skill. This is a recent poem on his site – and I think it is well worth a few minutes of your time. Stop by Frank’s place and give him a nod or word of your time and thoughts – I’m sure you’ll be delighted by the wealth of treasures you find waiting for you. Cheers Frank 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve done away with accepting likes on my main writing spaces. I had some trouble with trolls selling get rich quick schemes. But I use them to let folks know I’ve been, and for myself to let me know I’ve been visiting sometimes. I rather think that a simple word or two is nice. So don’t change things on my account. I always tell folks your site is yours to do with as you see fit. I’ve three main ones to separate writing categories. So that’s why I have the links on the bottom of my posts. And I also have a document of saved addresses so I can visit folks I find (besides the likes list). Seems there’s quite a bit of kurfuffle every time WP makes some change. I’m not thrilled with the new set up where everything opens to stats. But I’ll live.

        There is always pen and paper 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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