the search for truth

tonight I eat the roasted meat
gifted me by the friend
who strayed from his herd
to fall beneath my spear

charred and brown
hot juices soak my beard

where do you come from
beast friend

I found you and slew you
I cut you down
with reverence in my heart

but where were you
where was your herd
when the plain before me
lay empty

what caused the womb to open
from what seed did you grow

to which god should I kneel
in my gratitude

I will wear you for my cloak
you will keep your spirit through me
I will make your image upon my walls
in the red-ochre that stains my nails

o lord of the herd
o sire who is the meat of life
you have come from beyond the plains
and I will walk with you
when you leave


© Frank Prem, 2009

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oracle midwife (cubist morning : picasso day)

his middle eye is focused
on something still to come
his other one is watching
us

with one ear he’s listening
the other is not here
his lips are murmuring whispers
of what will be
what will be

of what has been

a gesture
an incantation
tics and twitches
and shouts and screams

birthing rites have ever been sung
this way

when the sun has passed it’s height
his trembling fades
a slump into the corner speaks eloquently
and the day he made has died

beneath the creeping shade
evening steals colour
away from the light
but he is not dead
no it’s only the passing of a time
and he will rise again
unfix his eyes and let the palsy dance
resume his arms and legs

to wake up the morning
again


© Frank Prem, 2010

modern times

sceptic
and cynic

he sets a monument
an altar
of sorts

inside it
he places his soul

he turns
to all the quarters
and summons
the demons

aži dahāka

beel-zebub

div-e sepid

freud

but they don’t do much
root around with fire
jab ineffectually
with lances
thoughts
and foul intentions

they don’t come close

he turned to mythology
and summoned

magi

djinn

shamen

and witches

jung

offensive cackling
putrid exhalations
hopeful incantations

they danced
built magic fires
analysed

but none
none
could find the strength
the potency or power
to move
that poet’s soul


© Frank Prem, 2016

Top 5 – Mythologically inspired poems

Concluding the  retrospective posts, I had in mind to showcase a few poems from the Drought/Lagoon collection. When I came to look at it, however, I found it troubling reading (again) and I found I didn’t wish to focus on a set that was quite so grim, especially immediately after the Surviving the Devil set yesterday.

I decided instead to take a look at the mythologically inspired poems that have been posted through the year and to feature a five of those.

These poems were largely generated from my reading of Joseph Campbell, a great mythologist and an absolute inspiration. Without ado, my Top 5 Mythologically inspired poems are:

Five: maketh the man. This was an idea that fired my imagination. The possibility of shaping a person as an incidental event in a god-child’s game. Leanne and I recorded this piece and loaded it up on Soundcloud, where it is still available for a listen. As someone once suggested to me – do yourself a favor and check it out.

Four: a call: a dance: here again: gone.The lapis lined harp was an object found in a great burial chamber in old Ur (a city mostly featured in crossword puzzles these days).

This piece calls the moon through her cycle.

Three: way poem #10: a court farewells its king. More recently written, this poem came after I read some descriptions of the burial arrangements discovered and interpreted in old Mesopotamia. One in, all in.

Two: the moon concedes in three parts. A personal favorite. The Sun has defeated the Moon in the battle for the skies. The Moon formally concedes, but sets conditions, for, though defeated, there is still pride.

One: the day craft. You’ll have seen images of the women of particular age groups, particular culture groups, particular eras spinning at their wheels – wool, flax and so on. Then on to the loom to weave the thread into linen or similar. Very rustic scenes.

In our home, Leanne and I have cloth that was spun and woven in just such a way by my grandmother. We treasure the few items we have even though they have been put to hard use over their working lifetime. It is a craft skill that was once upon a time critically functional.

What if … the Sun was a spun and woven object. Spun and woven new, every day. Surely a woman’s work. What raw material would be used?

Leanne and I have recorded this piece. As with all of these recorded works, Leanne is composer, musician and producer. Kudos due. You can listen to her marvelous accompaniment and my reading on SoundCloud.

Lastly, and Honorable Mention:

a long night to sunrise.

Old lady, can you get a working man a man a cup of tea …

As with the day craft, above, I’ve enjoyed playing with different ideas for how the Sun is created, how it works. My own father is a clock man – he repairs them, tinkers with them, makes them work right again. Here, the Sun as a clockwork arrangement tended by a querulous old man and his wife. It gets an Honorable Mention, simply because I like it.

This one is another piece that we recorded and it can be heard on SoundCloud.


Top 5 (or 6) – end of year review

Top 5 for 2016 – from the archives (daily prompt)

Top 10 for 2016 – from the Poem-a-day Collection (Part A)

Top 10 for 2016 – from the Poem-a-day Collection (Part B)

Top 5 from the Bushfire set

Top 5 – Mythologically inspired poems

Way Poem #17: Boat to the Island

The good folk at The Drabble have given me a lovely Christmas gift by publishing one of my Way Poems – #17 the island, today.

Thank you Drabblers, I am delighted.

The Way poems were a little set that arose rather loosely from a consideration of Tao and the way it might be seen to work in different scenarios, and it’s lovely to see one of them in print.

Cheers,

Frank

sailing-boat-1473281_1920

By Frank Prem

boat
the current calls

will you carry me

unfurl your sail
then let us drift together
beneath the sun

the lazy breeze
knows me well
and to where I’m bound

~

boat
raise a little wake
for me

that I might feel the salt
and spray
as though we sail
for pleasure

my friend the breeze
has riffled my shirt
and you
are steadfast

~

boat
let’s circle once
this island

the surf
broken on a shoal

the harbor

then tell the breeze
that I am ready
to ride the current
and her sweet luff
home

      
BIO: Frank Prem has self-published three collections of his work, The Book of Evenings (2003), Memoir of a Dog (2008), and Small Town Kid (2009).

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a mythfit ambling

well I have been away
joe-campbel-ling
back through the years
and stars
and drawings of
by
shamen
and potsherds of the mother

the scattering of osiris

I have been away campbell-ambling
from the bang
wading through the cosmos
with the bodies of jesus and mary
at light speed
still trying to rise to heaven

and I have hunter-gathered sacrifices
to gain strength

and I have handed my beliefs
to be kept safe
by the priesthood

and I have lost my way
in a world of fallen idols
and fully explained phenomena

I have cursed at science
I have rebelled against theology
I have embraced the gods
and blessed them

while rambling
joe-campbell-amble-ambling
through the symbolic meanings
of my life


© Frank Prem, 2010

who is the girl/boy

I am the girl
who spread her wings
in the treetops

I am the girl
who has tamed the wind
for flight

it was me you saw
I was the one
blocked the stars out

I am the girl
who’s just like a bird
and I fly

~

I am the girl
swims like a fish
in the river

I am the girl
who pushes water
aside

it was me who danced
beneath the flash
of the sunlight

I am the girl
the stream and the river
are mine

~

the wind
cannot blow me
away from my path

the river
washes over me
then it’s past

I am the one
that the flames
cannot consume

I am the girl
this day is mine
it’s my turn

~

I am the girl
who walked naked
into the fire

I am the girl
poked her tongue
into the coals

it was me behind
the fiddle the day
that Rome baked

I am the girl
and I have no match
but I burn


 

I am the boy
who spread his wings
in the treetops

I am the boy
who has tamed the wind
for flight

it was me you saw
I was the one
blocked the stars out

I am the boy
who’s just like a bird
and I fly

~

I am the boy
swims like a fish
in the river

I am the boy
who pushes water
aside

it was me who danced
beneath the flash
of the sunlight

I am the boy
the stream and the river
are mine

~

the wind
cannot blow me
away from my path

the river
washes over me
then it’s past

I am the one
that the flames
cannot consume

I am the boy
this day is mine
it’s my turn

~

I am the boy
who walked naked
into the fire

I am the boy
poked his tongue
into the coals

it was me behind
the fiddle the day
that Rome baked

I am the boy
and I have no match
but I burn


© Frank Prem, 2015

way poem #18: in anger

I spoke to the sky

I am ANGRY

is what I called

I am ANGRY

I shouted
from my heart

in every inflection
I placed rage

stamped my feet
hard
upon the ground

waved
both my fists
at the air
clenched
as hard as I
could hold them

OH OH
OH
how I am ANGRY

I am so angry

hear ME placid sky

is what I raged

~

in the corner of the sky
grew one grey tendril

curled upon itself
it boiled
in a small mist
kind of way

and grew

it writhed

it formed a bank
of cloud

grey grey
grew into a sky
that was placid
no more

it growled
grumbled

lightning flew
from out of the storm
that roared now
and RA-RA-RA-RA-RA

even the stars had fled

even the moon

only the sun remained
as black as the bright

the sun shone
and darkness
was its preferred
colour now

~

I
I stood under a storm
afraid of the light spears
afraid of the roar
unable to stand
unaided

I
I looked at the maelstrom
and I
felt
gradually
a fear that flowed my way
projected by thunder
illumined by the break up
of old light

and I knew
I
had done this thing


© Frank Prem, 2016

Poem #10: not, at all

way poem #17: boat to the island

boat
the current calls

will you carry me

unfurl your sail
then let us drift together
beneath the sun

the lazy breeze
knows me well
and to where I’m bound

~

boat
raise a little wake
for me

that I might feel the salt
and spray
as though we sail
for pleasure

my friend the breeze
has riffled my shirt
and you
are steadfast

~

boat
let’s circle once
this island

the surf
broken on a shoal

the harbor

then tell the breeze
that I am ready
to ride the current
and her sweet luff
home


© Frank Prem, 2016

Poem #9: way poem #18: in anger

way poem #16: open to new

it’s a new world
every time
I open my eyes

because I
had a new thought
looked in a new place
surprised by an idea
I noticed the dust swirl
under the sunlight
was profounded
by my joy

it’s a new world
every time my eyes close

because I see the pattern
of the lamp’s light
play across my eyelid
watch as all the dark spots
move

drift away in an idea-
boat on a thought sea
the pulse and pulse
of my blood flow
feel my heart rate rise
when I think of you
and me
in a wide new world

it’s a brand brand
brand new world
every thing that I see
every time that I think
every blink when I close my
eyes are open
to new worlds


© Frank Prem, 2016

Poem #8: way poem #17: boat to the island