last one

today
is the last day
of November

it’s a hot one

I can’t wait can’t wait
to get myself to the pub
and buy a beer

to buy another

I don’t drink so often
that it ever gets old
but today
is the last day

I’ve been toiling today
since way before
the sun got warm

and I haven’t had a chance
to take my pen
into my hand
and I’m due another one
before that sun goes down
so here it is

here’s
the last one

this is the final thing
I’ve written down
for November

and that
my friends
is the last that I can do
for Spring


© Frank Prem, 2016

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the crocodile trainer

I am the crocodile trainer

I have an egg-flip
in my hand
and six sets of teeth
are smiling up at me
as I line them up

side-by-side

big one on the left
descending in size
until I get to the
big one on the right
who’s now climbing
all over his neighbour

Hey! Hey!
watch out for my sheets
 with those claws

tonight I have to sleep
in that
again

I have delivered a smack
sharp across the tip
of a nose

and somehow my egg-flip
seems to get
a good response

and there they are
my croco-stars

six mouths open
six in a simultaneous
hiss

and I am ready
to wake up now
job done

the crocodile -trainer’s job
is done


© Frank Prem, 2016

Poem #30: venus of the eucalypts

the last annual show

wandering around
the annual show
I see the same names
winning every prize

in the bonsai
the succulents
the red roses

in the preserved fruits
in the handcrafts
and fancy stitching

Neil says sure
you can take
my picture

because I’ve won
half the show
with exhibits of my own

I’m everywhere
but
this could be the last year

because everyone is tired
and they don’t want to organize
anymore

see the committee
is hovering
around eighty

none of them can compute
except to skype
with their great grandchild

so they want to keep everything
by pen
and by paper

but in a digital age
even fruit preserves
demand a little more

and no one
wants to put their hand up
for volunteering

and nobody want
to take time out
from facebook
twitter
and things like that

so this show
might be the last one
that you can come to

better catch
a carny ride
they won’t be back

and my bonsai
well
I’ll still trim it
that one’s a moreton bay fig
and I couldn’t quit this
if I tried

but I won’t be back

there’s no place
for old crafts
or
slow growing
anymore


© Frank Prem, 2016

Poem #29: the crocodile trainer

my a*** belongs to the government

I’m not
in any way
a paranoid

no
I’m not

but I believe
the government
is after my arse

~

the day that I turned fifty (somethingsomething)
it was quite a long time
ago

the government
sent me a letter
signed with love

send us
a little specimen

they asked

collect it
on the spoon
that we’ll provide

don’t be embarassed

it’s for your own good

you can trust us

we love you have your very best
interests
in mind

~

well I ignored that letter
as you can
well believe

no specimen of mine
is going
for tests in a
white-coat
lab

no thank you
kindly

~

time passed

~

today
I was anxiously
awaiting

the mail should bring
an exciting new
old tome

I bought it on e-bay
a French Philosophy
a book that’s going to set
my poetic heart
on fire

and there
when I glanced out
of my window

a package
too big to fit inside
the mailbox

oh boy

oh boy oh boy

oh boy

~

hello Frank
this
is your government

last chance now
we’re asking you nice
we’re asking kindly

where is
the specimen we require

don’t try to tell us
that collecting it
was too hard

we gave you
the spoon
we gave
the jar

we gave a stamped-return-envelope
with each step
illustrated
on a how-to-do card

we want our your specimen

we want it now

we need to
take a deep look
inside your bowels

why do you resist us

we are your friends

if you don’t return this
the friendship ends
takes on a new twist

send 
your specimen
NOW

we await
your swift reply

~

oh boy

oh boy


© Frank Prem, 2016

Poem #28: the last annual show

a casual meeting with the banjo frog

well hello
mister pobblebonk
it’s long-time-no-see
my friend

fancy finding you
just here
where I am working

with my shovel

with my fork

with a heavy hammer
in my hand

but
do not be concerned
I see you there
and all is well

tell me
have you just woken up
from a long sleep

winter was very hard
this year

are you out now
searching
for a nice feed

or
maybe a love match
to meet down the swamp
this evening

could romance
be in store

well in that case
I better rosin the strings
on my fiddle
and you
better get your banjo
and the picks
then we’ll sing a little

pobblebonk
pobble-
bonk

sing a little song

pobblebonk
pobble-
bonk

a very little tune
but it has a rousing chorus
I’ll sing it with you
while we both play

something like this

pobble

pobble
pobble
pobblebonk

again

pobble

pobble
pobble
pobblebonk

yes
that’s the way it goes

pobble

pobble
pobble


© Frank Prem, 2016

Poem #27: my a*** belongs to the government

job of the day

yesterday
the task was rain

to fall
hard enough
to rattle iron

from staccato
tapping
becoming solid
until it filled the air
with sound

inspiring the magpie
to become chortling accompanist

~

today
the task
is golden light
glowing in the green
of trees

blueing the above
until it feels
like home

and it is the blackbird
solo
who sets the tone
bright
reverberating

~

each day
has it’s own


© Frank Prem, 2016

with ghosts

I went to sleep
with ghosts last night

some dead
some still living

conundra
whispered softly

the why
and what
of long ago
anew as though
right now
again

again

in my mind
they whirl around
spinning dervish-like
memories spreading
wise as skirts
mid-spin

fling them

one

another

all the rest

away
that I might be
in peace

some little peace
until
my spectres gather strength
once more


© Frank Prem, 2016

Poem #26: a casual meeting with the banjo frog

tarn-tarn OOF! – a rain dance

tarn-tarn-ta-ta-ta-tarn-tarn OOF! OOF!

tarn-tarn-ta-ta-ta-tarn-tarn OOF! OOF!

I am stamping around the kitchen
to a little
I don’t know
maybe classical
beat

ta-ta ta-tarn-tarn OOF! OOF!

I don’t usually do this
at least
not always

OOF! OOF

it’s just that

there’s this tiny wee drop
of constipated rain
that’s attempting to fall

and I’m trying to get a good beat

a strong rhythm
going
as an encouragement

with sound effects

OOF! OOF ta-ta ta-tarn-tarn

on the OOF!

who knows
it may help and anyway

where’s the harm in a little

ta-ta ta-tarn-tarn

how can that hurt

OOF!


© Frank Prem, 2016

Poem #25: with ghosts

climbers rescued

the moon is big
and round
tonight

something calls me
to her

I’ve never seen her
come so close
so near

~

if I grasp the rope
with both my feet
wrap one arm around it

perhaps
I can reach up
to caress her
with the other

~

luna
you seem so pale
you are soft and golden

luna
have you come so close
for me
this time

~

the moon is big
and round
tonight

I’ve been climbing
to get closer

watching her
it’s like she smiles
for me

she waits

~

oh luna
now you’ve gone
so far away
though I have not yet
reached you

luna
was I too slow
were you
dismayed

~

I took too long

I didn’t try
quite hard enough

I took the wrong way
to try to reach her

she is gone

she is gone
beyond my reach
and I
am
lost

alone
on this wretched hill

Mount
Tibrogargan


Super Moon – November 14, 2016


© Frank Prem, 2016

Poem #24: tarn-tarn OOF! – a rain dance