way poem #10: a court farewells its king

when the tomb was bared
the king
appeared to be at rest

his face towards home
his hands held
in peaceful pose

the queen
lay beside him
in her separate space
she too was serene
as though no more
than sleeping

a maid had twisted
from her side
to gaze up

the cousin seemed to feel
the lack of air
clutching at her throat
to aid
one more shallow breath

the harem in disorder
hands holding tears
to long lost eyes

the weakest one
had crawled
beneath her last bed
to hide

the eunuch from the harem
in attendance
for eternity
has parted from his head

all covered in an hour
five thousand years ago
just as
it was meant
to be
beneath heaven

© Frank Prem, 2016

November 2016, Poem #1: way poem #11: how I thought, it was




by a confidant breeze
to ears of grass
that reached as high
as the sky
is tall

with burden bowed
their heads nod down
nod down
to the ground
they bend so low

oh how they wish
they’d paid no heed
ignored the vex
of that soft zephyrous moan

but too late now
their own they are
the secrets
of the sough

© Frank Prem, 2016

Poem #35: way poem #10: a court farewells its king


way poem #9: poor saturations

how much oxygen
in your fingers?

one hundred per cent sat

how your lungs must work so
when you love your cigarettes
do you know
that this is dying
I wonder
do you care

light another cigarette
old friend of mine
old fool


how much oxygen
in your fingers?

eighty-eight percent sat

feel the world start closing in
but still
another cigarette
will help to clear your head
let me light you up
old idiot old friend
I can see you’re fading


how much oxygen
in your fingers?

sixty-five percent sat
to thirty-eight

and you don’t feel much like cigarettes
with an ambulance in your doorway
to put the mask across your face
try to breathe
while the machine’s still yelping
for life is all there is
dear boy


how much dioxide
in your fingers?

I fear
there is no room
there is no room

© Frank Prem, 2016

Poem #34: secrets

R.I.P Brian. Died 20/10/2016, aged younger than me.

way poem #8: journey by boat

mother night
I have grown weary
for the sea of this sky is long
and I have crossed her
one end to another
above the earth I’ve blown

my sun boat that glowed golden
is leading me
towards my home

mother night
come take me
to your arms where I may rest
for I’ve steered the ship of day
across heaven

my sun boat has shone
beacon to the shoal
and westward now I am coming
my boat
where to go

© Frank Prem, 2016

Poem #33: way poem #9: poor saturations

way poem #7: three birds

the black swan has no legs
majesty alone propels her
prow and wake
she crosses water

the pelican has no legs
his flight of wings
ride on currents
whose joy it is
to hold him elegantly
within the air

the gannet has no legs
before the bullet of her mind
the waves
with grace bid welcome
and embrace her
like a daughter

© Frank Prem, 2016

Poem #32: way poem #8: journey by boat

way poem #6: perhaps by questions

he stood at the end
of the concrete path
just below
the washing line

raised his head
and shouted out
into the blue
his name

I am …

I am …

he yelled it at the sky

shouted through
the clouds
into beyond
and then a little bit further
a little bit more

his name came back
reflected in the sunlight
diffused among the new green
leaves of the trees

his name came back
by the action of light
diffuse daylight

do you think you are

deep question

who do you think
you are

he fell
knees to the ground

I don’t know

I don’t know I don’t know

I am just a question
I’ve asked answer of the breeze

do you know
do you know

but the breeze
has gone
and the day is done
and the light fades dark
and the sun bids goodbye
and tomorrow beckons
with answers
to the


I don’t know
but my task lies
in questions

and I will ask the sun
I will ask the stars

I will ask …

perhaps forever
but I will ask

© Frank Prem, 2016

Poem #31: way poem #7: three birds

way poem #5: the five steps to wheaten pecks

he progresses
five steps at a time
to reach a wall
a fence
that he can lean on

air that tastes
so sweet
is hard these days
to come by

a moment of rest
till the gasps calm down
to regular breathing
five steps more

and five steps more

it’s important to keep moving
even though the atmosphere
is so thin
down here
on planet earth
and the small brown hen
the last remaining hen
is waiting

she has no flock
to be part of
they have passed away
one by one
to a cat
to a fox
to a feather depleting

and now she waits
for the shuffle
of him
beside the yard gate

in her nest
is an egg

he sits beside her laying box
on a chair he placed
some time ago
to one side

in his hand
a covered palm
of golden wheat

she dainty steps
until she can stand
upon him
on his knees
to take each grain
one peck
one peck at a time
until they’re gone

and then she leaves him
and goes to forage the yard

and he
can take his five steps
all the way back
to the rest
of his life

© Frank Prem, 2016

Poem #30: way poem #6: perhaps by questions

way poem #4: the poet

in the morning
while he gazed through glass

the play of light
the sway of trees
in new dressed green

(it is spring
after all)

dapples spread across grass
where the two combined
at the height of their season

restlessness grew
a feeling inside
of tightness


in the afternoon
almost beside himself
with pent agitation
he gave himself the push

that urged him


to let the tensions flow
into thought

his mother
thick wool
where thoughts live

his father
one gasp
and that may be all

the garden
what if the seeds take root

where is the trail
that leads through
this winding

which word
to start
this on its way

and then

and there

the poem is done
the mood is light
evening calls
with a smile

another leg
of his journey
is over
another mood that drove him
another thought
is held in amber

all in all
it’s been another day

all in all
another day
well done

© Frank Prem, 2016

Poem #29: way poem #5: the five steps to wheaten pecks

way poem #3: to a higher place

you slow-to-bubble philistine
of wasted time

he is talking to
the milk
poured into a saucepan
on the stovetop

the brown grumbler
is roaring it’s head off at me
and you
are not even trying

or I’ll tip you out
and start over

he doesn’t mean that
not really

but judging the sweet timing
that brings coffee
to percolation
at the same time
as milk to the boil
is art rather than science
and his agitation
to achieve precision
itself boils over into impatience
when he has to wait on one element
or the other

there you are

crooning now

bubble bubble
the whole surface over

now I can quick you
to the cup

the coffee is still complaining
a slightly slower scowl
in the percolator

nothing has been lost

the flavor

who knows
perhaps his routine
of distress and irritability
had an alchemical effect


it is his way
to the higher place
and every day
he gets there

© Frank Prem, 2016

Poem #28: way poem #4: the poet

way poem #2: who knew the way

A Poem a Day in October 2016: #26

he caught the cloud
that flew too low
turned it around
and sent it out that way

he paused the wind
by holding his hands
before his eyes
then reached out
to turn it aside that way

he bent down low
his eye reflected
in the pond
smoothed each wrinkle
with a hand
that swept away

the fish and he
knew the flow undisturbed
though tempest raged
and that nothing need tremble
when it knew the way

© Frank Prem, 2016

Poem #27: way poem #3: to a higher place