necessary preparations

remembering the last time
he resolved
on this occasion
to be prepared

beside him
he laid out
a range of possible requirements

bow and quiver
filled with arrows

snorkel and mask

an evening suit
with bow tie

hiking boots

fishing line and a lunch-box
containing three cheese sandwiches

drinking glass
filled with water

chain mail vest

laying them down
within easy reach
he surveyed the assortment
nodded thoughtfully
to himself


they may not meet every possibility
but he felt
a little better prepared
for what may come

he placed a large hand-drawn sign
penned in a red
permanent marker pen

gone reading

opening the book
to the page
the line
where he had left off
the night before
he began
to read

© Frank Prem, 2016

storm free

the storm
was nearing

gusts of singing wind
then softed
and silenced

higher up
the sky was a-scud
with the movement
of billows
and frowns

he removed all his clothes
except the red jockeys
and wandered outside
in the middle
of a still moment

he lay down on his back
in the centre
of a small patch
of lawn
and waited

there had been heat
this day
and the breeze
at first
was tepid and slow
barely enough
to ruffle

but a sharp lick
saw the goose-bumps rise

of the cold front

the chill held him
to a shiver
but he almost leapt
into air
as a first
fat droplet
struck his chest

before an irregular pattering
caused a kind of prone
skeleton dance
where cold kissed warm

but finally
it was serious

rain falling steadily
wind crying a cold
fierce lament
and he
thoroughly soaked now
releasing his awareness
to rise up
into the weather

so constant
the deluge and the buffeting
he found it hard to breathe
as he was beaten
and beaten again
all over

he wanted to laugh
at the thoroughness
of his purging

but a small thing
restrained him
with a whisper

you’re going to drown yourself
you bloody

© Frank Prem, 2016

Poem #15: the last red delights

a fisher of storms

at the prow
he stands
above the water’s
swirl and turmoil

the movement
is a maelstrom
the whirlpool
a shoal

in the teeming
he sees one

it is the one he wants
to know

and he dives
casts his heart in
before him
held sharp and pointed
like the spear
of his intention

down his descent

and far
far away below

eye on the prize

the only one
in that chaotic entirety

a thrust
of his spear point

what has he caught
he cannot know

until he rises
he can look then
at his prize

back on-board
and sailing
across smooth oceans

ever on
ever on
to distant storms

© Frank Prem, 2016

Poem #14: storm free

learning to read by inches

he is learning
to read
one inch
at a time

he knows the words
he sees
the sentences

he can take in
and tell you
by the page

but he has never learned
to read the words
meaning by meaning

or image
off the page
and right into his mind
as though a real thing
just happened
just happen

if he reads it right
the next inch
of words
also holds a picture
if he
can only see it

so he reads
goes back to read the same things
and then

he isn’t satisfied
any more
with knowing
a story

he needs more
he needs what every inch
of words
might hold

© Frank Prem, 2016

Poem #12: trad-ie wars

all included

to commence
he wrote his desk
and then the room
his den

onto the page
went the window
the garden
the parkland
trees shrubs
a small dog
all of them

he incorporated the house
starting from the basement
rising to the attic
the chimneys

a line of pigeons
astride a ridge
running along the centre
of the roof

his street
the road
the houses
the neighbors
all of them
all of them
into the story

all that he could think of
all that he could imagine
he wrote

at last
when it seemed
he had included
the whole of the world

he wrote his wife
his children

and then
he was done

with a tear
beginning to spill
from the corner
of an eye
he looked around

saw nothing

© Frank Prem, 2016