the loquat flower:the frost:the winter

the loquat tree is flowering white
on the first frost day
of Autumn

I object to this fact
on principle
I object to the chill
so soon after a poor excuse
for Summer

with hardly any real heat
and barely any sun
far too much of rain
and here
far far
too briefly

I’m bracing now
for all-day fires and a rug
to keep my knees warm
any old day now
I’m sure it will snow

and the fog will descend
to conceal the town
I usually see
from on my hill top

the loquat’s in flower
the frost is on the grass
and I’m already cold
as cold as if
it was

© Frank Prem, 2012


harmony (minor)

if we harmonise

a minor chord

we can make the wind

ooo ooo
I feel the thrum of you
deep inside me

a vibration



I watch you change
the shape
you are holding your mouth

you close your eyes

woe-wo                ooh-oooh

I watch you


we harmonise
the wind

in a minor third

© Frank Prem, 2017

August 2017 Poem #01: empty, starlings

breakfast dance

Poem #20 from: A Lizard Life

Back to A Lizard Life – Introduction

taking my lizard
for a walk on a lead
doffing our hats
to each person we see

into a café
where I hold the door
for my lizard who enters
with a crawl cross the floor

and I’ll have a ‘cino
the lizard
a snail
we’re out to be seen
we’re both wearing Tails

dance between tables
the lizard and I
a tango
a quick step
raw egg and hot pie

then down at the table
and laughing
and foolish
and high

we waltz through the morning
the lizard and I

© Frank Prem 2017

A Lizard Life Poem #21: Lizzie Blue steps out (1)

picture window

the over-sized glass is noticeable
eye-catching in its own right
taller than a man standing
almost as wide as the room
boundaries marked by the thick
full-height timber of adjoining sashes
one each side of the main window

the outlook presents in squared format
as through the view-finder of my instamatic

this morning the sun
only part-emerged
from behind remnants of rain and cloud
has added a lustre to the green grasses
of the eastern aspect
a serene expanse in the centre
of this postcode Malvern
the heart of suburbia
bordered by highway and shopping town
franchise fast-food and higher education
as far from the lapping waters of my Bay
as I am able to imagine
and yet a small compensation

in the foreground
advantaged by
morning light from above
parkland beyond
the slender she-oak
a stoop of dangled soft-needle leaves
colored wet and dark against the peeping sun
holds a tremble of diamond at each tip
a bright one hundred
that glisten like light played over a treasure chest
framed in the living-picture window
of number thirty-eight

© Frank Prem, 2002

outline of today

no hunt today
for exotica

no creatures
on the run

there’s only oak trees
while they wait for Spring

socks on the line
jiggle in the breeze
oh my
oh my

around they go
on the rotary hoist
around they go
to dry

finds the highest branch

is not an issue

a little of acrobatics
is a tiny price
for swaying
nearest to the sky

nearest to the sun

look at me
look at me

the magpie

and then he’s gone
and the silence sits
in the shape that he was

when I look again
I can outline
the bird
in nothing

still there

but gone

© Frank Prem, 2017

July 2017 Poem #37: harmony (minor)


Poem #19 from: A Lizard Life

Back to A Lizard Life – Introduction

the progress is slow
even for this cautious one

he approaches
bobs his head low

peers forward

looks to each side


weaves forward

opens a wide yawn and


fierce and sharp

silence hisses in return

a step forward


tongue out

tongue out

a handsome contemplation

move left

move right

admirable stripes

raises his head

raises his head

a sleek tail

slow blink

slow blink

a turn away

the reflection
is gone
merely a tail
merging into distance

© Frank Prem 2017

A Lizard Life Poem #20: breakfast dance

late shift and the lonely bull

do you remember ‘the lonely bull’
a slow brassy number
done by some ensemble from mexico
they were popular for awhile

I don’t …
remember that is
not really
but these half dozen trumpet notes
are playing
over and over in my head
sort of soothing
almost nuisance
and I’m sure they come
from that band
and that tune
nearly forty years ago

it’s late
I’m supposed to be working
ba-da-dada-da dada                da-da-da
a chorus without words
the way some girl vocalists can do
it’s haunting
beautiful I suppose
playing in the back of things
lonely and tugging sad

it’s late

© Frank Prem, 2002

smiling home

Poem #18 from: A Lizard Life

Back to A Lizard Life – Introduction

the smile of the lizard
is a trick of the light
for the face of a lizard
is stone

as the day hurries past
between shadow and bright
full relief is a lizard

but when night falls hard
and the dark descends
the shape that is lizard
is gone

the lizard himself
both willow and wisp
in a blink of the light
has turned home

the lizard himself
is home

© Frank Prem 2017

A Lizard Life Poem #19: tba

gravel and shell

I believe I will die a bent and wizened shape
in a contorted body frame
it is because of gravel           gravel and shell

when I was a young boy the gravel
at the roadside           from the blue-metal and bitumen edge
to the gutter and the adjacent footpaths
was taken from the banks of same local creek
that wound its way through the granite gorge
that ran down through the woolshed valley and connected
with the waters flowing through the old el dorado
gold field           gem stone creeks one and all

I walked everywhere in those times
with the characteristic posture of a pedestrian fossicker
hunched shoulders and head leaning forward           eyes to the ground
I was a collector of gem stone crystals
and possessed a great cardboard box full of ‘clears’ and ‘smokeys’
cut-glass inner surfaces           rough rock exteriors
all to be had at the cost of keeping an eagle eye peeled
and watching where I walked what was beneath my feet

I lost all my crystal treasure
misplaced somewhere between my adolescence and adulthood
but I still remember the thrill of unearthing
an innocuous rough rock            protruding innocently enough
from the road verge
until forcibly removed by scrabbling kicking and gouging
to reveal the reflective smoothness of hidden facets
to hold it against the sun to prove the degree of transparency

I’m older now          in the city by the bay
I walk for my health and an overweight condition
I am not a shell collector           no truly I am not           but
I like to examine them           pipis and snails that leave patterns
in the sand beneath the shallow waves
then wash up empty on the sand           fragments of fan
occasional urchin balls sans prickling spines
and lately abalone shell with its nacreous pink-tinged luster

everyone around here can find abalone shell            no surprise in that
there was a whole industry based around it on the bay and the only fun
is in finding a shell whole           as large as the palm of a hand
without holes worn by sand or broken from the action of tide
I have found variations           minuscule versions no larger than a thumbnail
each one smaller than the rest and too deliciously fragile to be ignored
I am searching them now           each night on the beaches of the bay
as I walk for the sake of my health
with hunched shoulders and head leaning forward           eyes to the ground
for no good reason save the collection of small treasure

I believe I will die a bent and wizened shape
in a contorted body frame
it is because of gravel           gravel and shell

© Frank Prem, 2002

sleep in the dark of the moon

Poem #17 from: A Lizard Life

Back to A Lizard Life – Introduction

he climbed up
on the star-way stair
until he reached the moon

licked both lips
with his broad blue tongue
and he ate her
right out of the sky

in the dark
he curled himself around
tail to nose
he fell into sleep

it was then he saw
that moon
so fair
as a sliver
and a shining light
that grew
and grew

at the full
he awoke at last

in the deep of the drain
just a strange

so pretty

small dream

© Frank Prem 2017

A Lizard Life Poem #18: tba