love of the sun

Poem #16 from: A Lizard Life

Back to A Lizard Life – Introduction


the lizard raised
his head from the ground
to reach toward the sky
and the sun

blinked

so sweet
was the warm pouring down
he wished he could take it below

for the den where he lives
at the end of the drain
is cosy but so empty
in darkness

he wished he could hold
the sun within his claw
to carry as his beacon
below

oh sun

he cried

I am in love with your light
I long
to lie down
in your warm

come with me
let me show you my den
let us banish the dark with your light
with you I’ll be charmed
and your warm will be
my balm

come with me
down below
come with me down
below

the sun will not
entertain a lizard’s court
though it is a flattering thing
to be adored

a single beam
for the lizard lover
is all the sun
would give forth

lizard
caught it within a claw
and he took it to his home

now he sleeps
through the night
and he is warm

the skink who loved the sun
sleeps warm


© Frank Prem 2017

A Lizard Life Poem #17: tba

shrine

Poem #15 from: A Lizard Life

Back to A Lizard Life – Introduction


what is it

how would a lizard know

~

from under the paving stone
where so many slither
to cling
and to die

a shell

the process of extraction
grip without fracture
requires gentle firmness
and dexterity

a slow saurian waddle
across grass
and concrete

avoidance of the lightning movement
of a car coming to halt
in the carport

then a subtle twitch
and pivot
to enter the grating
into the storm-water pipe

back in the deeper darkness again
it is a delicate process
to raise above the earlier arrangements
and place this trophy
number twenty-eight
at the apex of the triangle
backed against the canyon wall
of the drain

~

a lizard cannot know
but there is a symmetry
a comforting air and feeling

encouragement enough
to start another


© Frank Prem 2017

A Lizard Life Poem #16: love of the sun

a way to fly

Poem #14 from: A Lizard Life

Back to A Lizard Life – Introduction


on the third day of gazing
from the grate
up into the sky
he saw the birds again

resolved
he whispered to a spider

please

with the web
he spun and wove
gossamer all around him

the magpie left a gift
of black and white
that he ought to include

done

he scrambled to the height
of a verandah post
clutched the cloth
one corner
for the claws of all four feet

when the breeze rose up
when the sun shone warm
and when the blue that was the sky
made a picture

when he drew his breath
when he’d calmed his thoughts
and when he’d flung himself
to the mercy of air

then he fell for a while
then the ground rose close
and then the grasses luffed close
underneath him

until the lizard flew

until the lizard soared

until the swirl of a rising current
sustained him

then he turned in air
and looped through a loop
and the lizard rose as high
as the birds


© Frank Prem 2017

A Lizard Life Poem #15: shrine

to see a man

Poem #13 from: A Lizard Life

Back to A Lizard Life – Introduction


first he stood on four good legs
and waddled as he walked

he raised his head above the grass
to see
all there was to see

he raised his head through the grate
and strained beyond the drain

he clawed up with his two front legs
to see
all there was to see

he reached up high on the veranda pole
rose above the plants and flowers

stood tall and nearly straight like that
to see
all there was to see

he walked upright and strolled for hours
stopped to sniff a rose

gazed across the green grass wide
to see
all that a man could see


© Frank Prem 2017

A Lizard Life Poem #14: a way to fly

lizards shaka-sha

Poem #12 from: A Lizard Life

Back to A Lizard Life – Introduction


a feather from a magpie
one from a white cockatoo

the pit from the heart
of a prunus plum

look
oh look a rusted nail

a strand of orange come away
from baling twine

a tarnished silver talisman
that once adorned a young girl’s wrist

there they are
worn around the head
of the lizard shaman

he dances left legs
right legs
held still
in the air

shakes his dandelion staff
to release florets
to the sky

incants
incants
his tail rattles
and whips
like a St Vitus snake

shaka-shaka-sha shaka-sha

bless lizards
everywhere


© Frank Prem 2017

A Lizard Life Poem #13: to see a man

yo ho the rain goes on

Poem #11 from: A Lizard Life

Back to A Lizard Life – Introduction


yo ho the rain goes on

well well
ahoy there! my shipmates
beware for the water’s rising
ahoy!
ahoy!
here comes the swell

brace yourselves
to ride across the waves
a pirate’s life is for the brave
don’t cause the roving eye
to light on you

no matter what you do
you’ll do darn well
to survive a sail on this briny hell
keeping out of the steely gaze
of Captain Blue

it has been raining for days
raining for nights

the sunny basking afternoons
with snout in the air
soft grasses
and the warmth of baked concrete
have vanished

now the thunder rages
as though bitten
and the lightning plays through the air
like retribution

down in the drain
the waters first seeped
then crept
then ran
in a noisy rush
of no ending

there is no home
for a lizard
but a stray corner of pine board
broken away
from an old apple crate

a crouch

a shiver

then a curl
into a huddle

as the rain
goes on

yo ho
yo ho
oh what pirates are we
sailing our ship
across a storm-drain sea


© Frank Prem 2017

A Lizard Life Poem #12: lizards shaka-sha

the masque to soar

Poem #10 from: A Lizard Life

Back to A Lizard Life – Introduction


when he dons the mask
he is The Lizard

scincidaen snout
raised to the air
a walk that is both sway
and saunter

feels his way by the taste
of honeyed sun
head up head up
he is so lizard proud
so
lizard sure

but in the hole
again
the empty tunnel
when the dark has closed
is an end to games

there is nothing now
but mask
to claim last certainties
as the long night falls
while shivers seem
so very much

too near

he aches
through hungry hours
for the light of another
holy day


© Frank Prem 2017

A Lizard Life Poem #11: yo ho the rain goes on

a dude need not seem to move

Poem #9 from: A Lizard Life

Back to A Lizard Life – Introduction


aauuurrgghh you lizard!
you’ve fooled me
again

I was searching for you
by the roll-a-door
but then I saw you
looking out the drain

oh slow lizard
how is it that you move
so fast

I know I saw you
where I saw you
I know full well
that you were there

and yet
and yet
I see your head
old lizard
in profile you look sharp

a dude

I guess you move
without looking like you’re trying
just appear
where you need to be
and when you need to be

I’m keeping watch dear lizard
I’m going to catch you
between my here
and your
over there


© Frank Prem 2017

A Lizard Life Poem #10: the masque to soar

wizard number one

Poem #8 from: A Lizard Life

Back to A Lizard Life – Introduction


lizard one is such a
long long long

lizard two
is rather short

why can’t I see them
standing nose-to-tail
for once
why do they only show up
each one
alone

they make me doubt I know
what’s going on
was that lizard two
or lizard one
or are they
really both the same

first over here

they are really the same

no
look there
inside the drainpipe

then over …
hey
beneath the roll-a-door

and who was it just fell to earth
when I moved that scrap
of sheet iron

lizard one
I’m sure it was
but
who can tell

I do believe
in multi-lizards
perhaps by magic
a little hocus
then some pocus
till I’m confused
I think that shortness
was number two
but now
he’s gone


© Frank Prem 2017

A Lizard Life Poem #9: a dude need not seem to move