mock orange

tangerine

sky

the day
today
was a stinker

every time I saw the sun
it burned me

every time
I looked into the orb
I went blind

now tangerine
the sky
so benign
is nothing but a stinker

no apology
no why
no promise
to put its ire
away

just a passive
sweet

good night

splayed in orange
across the face
of the clouds

a sugar mock
left behind
to remind me

left behind
just
to tease


© Frank Prem, 2017

February 2017 Poem #01: a towel to ride

immigrants

tonight
the stars have drifted off
and wandered
like so many
tiny migrant boats

afloat
on a wide black sea

listen to their song
of

go – o – going

they sing of going
endlessly

the night
is a sky-sea
over-filled with travelers

they are going
so far
they are going
endlessly


© Frank Prem, 2017

Poem #32: mock orange

the disruption in Mary’s Room

the disruption in Mary’s Room


eeee!!!

eeeee!!!!

stop it
stop it
I hate it
oh
I hate it

I didn’t know
it would be
like that

it was the
exposure
that caused her reaction

all of her life
was shades
of grey
dark and light
black and bone
either full-block or absent

eeee!! eee! ee!

it was the suddenness
of the change
that caught her

made her cover her eyes

cry aloud

won’t you please
please
stop it

take it away

can’t you see
my eyes
can’t take it

eeeee!!

they said that this would be
astounding for her
in a good way

but she wept

they said that
colour in her world
could only make it
richer

brighter

better

so much more
real

it would be astounding

eeee!! eee!! eee!!

she had only ever known
the two colours
black
and not black

graphite
on blanc

grey
was for clouds
grey was for shadows
black was the solid tones
of night

they should
perhaps
have realised
that colour
was too much
for her to handle

she shut her eyes
and kept them closed
until they swore
the world
was as black
again
as the sun
is white


© Frank Prem, 2017

Poem #31: immigrants

backyard latin

the dragonflies
the sky
the sun
behind

a dancefloor
suggested
in the air

tango sharp
they are

they are over

here

then

they’re

over there

how then
did they learn
to dance
in the air

like this

slow
slow
and quick-quick

then a slow
my dear

let me

around you

I’ll-stay close

a dragonfly tango
the dragonfly tango
I float above you
then it’s down I go

a dragonfly tango
the dragonfly tango
I fly beside you
then

 

I go


© Frank Prem, 2017

Poem #30: the disruption in Mary’s Room

mote song

music
is reverberation

~

I hear the song
sung by rays
of sun
as they fall

they strike motes
of the colored dust
that fills the air

spin them round

listen to the faint
vibrations

the day sings

~

sun
strike me  hard
spin me around
that I can add my own
tremoring
and harmony
to the song of dust

the song of sun
the song
of every minute of the day

~

music is
resonant reverberation


© Frank Prem, 2017

Poem #29: backyard latin

a visit home

he
wheezes

a first outing
into uncontrolled air
and it exhausts him
completely

as though
he has been laboring
for hours

his breath
hoarsely stertorous
verging on distressed

he looks around
everywhere

the familiar home
of fifty years
is more than halfway
to seeming
a stranger

his first beer
after a week of hospitalization
taken from his personally
refrigerated stock
is
almost
too cold to bear
but he mans up
and gulps it down

there is little pleasure
much grimness
in this visit
and the stress of breathing
drives him
to return to the hospital
in the hope
of easier air

she
is trying to close
a recalcitrant car door
while standing committedly
within its arc

eventually
moving her wheelie-walker
out of the way
and stooping profoundly
she steers
to a confrontation
with a stubborn step
that will neither
remove itself
nor take action to minimize
it’s own height

the corridor lies beyond

she starts the wheeled contraption
moving
to initiate a full-load wash
in the automatic machine
situated in the laundry
despite having forgotten
the soiled laundry
that remains
at her hospital bedside

oh well

the finances drawer
is next
squeezed between the nested tables
and the rocking chair
just an over-balance away
from a fracture

like last time

but he
is hoarsely stertorous
as though he’s watching
with alarm
as she
attempts to close
a recalcitrant car door
while standing
committedly
inside
its arc


© Frank Prem, 2017

Poem #28: mote song

a philosophy of the woodpile

sometimes
like life
a round of sawn firewood
is too damn hard

so
will it be
the axe
or the splitter

perhaps the wedge
and a hammer

maybe
there is no way
to cut through that knot

but
if you take the round
at the outer
you can slice
after slice
it apart

and what about the gnarl
that tangling of fiddleback
lying right across
your path

can you
smite your way
through
like a god
wielding his hammer

what
when the wood holds on
despite you

will that crack
there
lead you through
the centre

or is it a trap
to tempt you away
from the tried and true journey
around the sides

you could smash it
to splinters
determined in your rage

or should you just move on

throw the ugliness
of mauling
to the discard pile
with all the other failures

truth holds

truth holds

whether you can find it
or no
it’s in the rings
packed tight and hard around
around the heartwood

and it will bathe you
like a swimmer
in a bucket
of your own sweat

that’s the lesson that’s taught you
through the hard thin edge
and long smooth handle
of your splitter


© Frank Prem, 2017

Poem #27: a visit home

the plane of the poet

I tried to reach up
to touch his robe

but
stretch on toes
much as I liked
he was always
a little bit
higher

a one-step
from the storeroom
I made myself
thirty centimetres
taller

but reach as I could
and wave both my hands
he was always
a little bit
higher

the old chair
in the kitchen

I brought it
right under that man
and I clambered on up
but the depth
somehow deceived
and I found he remained
a bit
higher

I placed my one-step
onto the kitchen chair
and I dragged myself
up the first
then again
up on the other

and from this very lofty perch
I surveyed
all around my world
but
I found he was
still
a little bit
higher


© Frank Prem, 2017

Poem #26: a philosophy of the woodpile

eucalyptus farewell

an old windmill
across the back fence
is twirling
like it’s powered
by the current
from a river
of the wind

around and around
while the branches
high above
are waving
their eucalyptus fare-thee-well

bye and bye

bye and bye

we’ll see you
a little bit later

there’s been a promise spoken
that the rain might come
tonight
or maybe
early in the morning

when I look up at the sky
the clouds seem full
but the air is holding
only its memories
of a burning sun

the humidity
is enough
to broil me

but the trees
keep waving

so long

so long

so long and singing
a sweet shush
to the wind

bye shush-aby

and goodbye-bye
shush-aby

we’ll see you
in the morning

we’ll see you
later

bye shush-aby

I
will see you
later

shush-aby


© Frank Prem, 2017

Poem #25: the plane of the poet