circular square town

Poem #57 from Small Town Kid (final)

Back to Small Town Kid – Introduction


I’m watching a circle form

from the start
at the point where I had to leave

within the arc
that constantly drew me to return
never once letting go

to the place where I stood
away out
on the perimeter
of being an independent man

how many radial steps
did it take
to pace from youth
into middle years

to this moment
a return to the beginning

the old town is different now
so am I
but the circle
is set to be squared
at last


© Frank Prem 2009

Advertisements

broken english

Poem #56 from Small Town Kid

Back to Small Town Kid – Introduction


I can hear it on the streets
like when I walk into a milk-bar
to get a paper in the morning

the guy will say something
to his lady or the kids

doesn’t matter where he’s from
I can mostly understand it

I hear it when a woman rings the phone
and I tell her she’s got a wrong number
she says

sori

she meant to dial somebody else
but the sound of her voice is so familiar
it makes me want to go back
to see the people that say

frenki
kako si?
you go okay
frenki-boy?
good
good
dobro

I wonder how my mutti is
what tata has been getting up to
and oma and teta
uncle damjan

it’s time to go home


© Frank Prem 2009

Small Town Kid Poem 57: circular square town

small town kids

Poem #54 from Small Town Kid

Back to Small Town Kid – Introduction


it seems long ago
we were just kids
watching time pass away

in a place where open space
formed the barriers and walls
of nowhere to go

growing without mirrors
our young eyes never noticed
the fleeting glimpses
of mental barricades

and day upon day
we were formed
as small town kids

was there ever a chance


© Frank Prem 2009

Small Town Kid Poem 55: broken english

palmer’s not

Poem #53 from Small Town Kid

Back to Small Town Kid – Introduction


for mick, who didn’t make it

palmer’s not swinging on her arm tonight
he got delayed somewhere
she’ll have to make do with the rest of us
take a drink and kill the hours

palmer’s not eating what his mama cooked
he’s not sleeping in his bed
we set a place but I might help myself
to an extra serve of egg and a sausage

palmer’s not turning up on time at work
he must have over-slept
the boss is talking about stopping his pay
and I think we’re going to be on overtime

palmer’s not collecting for the tipping pool
he didn’t lay the bets last week
somebody else ought to take the job
because the horses are still running

palmer’s not marrying next saturday
and he didn’t pay for my tuxedo
the bride’s putting back the wedding gown
but
I’ll see you at the church


© Frank Prem 2009

Small Town Kid Poem 54: small town kids

vale

Poem #52 from Small Town Kid

Back to Small Town Kid – Introduction


driving the night
traveling home
from a gathering at some party
in myrtleford

oncoming lights sway
and weave
hypnotising in dance

slow down
pull over
stop the car
watch and wait them
to pass

~

five minutes from home

three minutes delay

ten minutes post-contact

they are gone

~

mothers shed tears
while fathers just stare
and friends can’t believe
these were the ones
that we loved

christine and jill
where are you
where are you
why won’t you answer
when we call


© Frank Prem 2009

Small Town Kid Poem 53: palmer’s not

role to play

Poem #51 from Small Town Kid

Back to Small Town Kid – Introduction


sometimes in the night
the child is sleeping
sometimes
I watch over
my tiny wonder

hold my breath
lest a sound escape
think
what role
might I play

in the making
and in the shaping
of the future
dreaming there

and sometimes
it’s in the late of night
I toss and turn
and I ponder

what good role
for that sleeping child
what’s my role
to play

no answers
in the nighttime
maybe tomorrow

maybe sometime

maybe answers
one other day


© Frank Prem 2009

Small Town Kid Poem 52: vale

from the sticks

Poem #50 from Small Town Kid

Back to Small Town Kid – Introduction


there’s chicken shit
on the boots of the boy
who came to the smoke
from north-east victoria

speaking too slow
and walking with a roll
grown on steep murmungee hills
above white foggy mornings
his eyes are as wide
as collins and elizabeth
streets that stretch
so much longer than a day
with the dog and the traps

he’s some kind of a wonder
probably it’s the weathered hat
or maybe the patchwork sheepskin coat
but he’s surely now
a captive
and a wonder


© Frank Prem 2009

Small Town Kid Poem 51: role to play

libby’s puzzle

Poem #45 from Small Town Kid Back to Small Town Kid – Introduction


little libby was
the runt in a line
of older sisters
and bigger brothers

everything in the world
was already known
before she came along
and someone else
owned all the simple answers

she
was the only mystery left
in a tiny universe
a puzzle
growing up and searching
for her own pieces

some of the boys
tried to help her out
by touch
but they only
added clouds
to the picture

by the time
we visited the fairway
near the green
she was already tired
drifted beyond caring
my clumsy presence
more hope than help

for her it was already
just an old habit
but I at least
felt some pieces move
in a pursuit
of higher learning


© Frank Prem 2009

Small Town Kid Poem 46: not the mandalay

between sink and stove

Poem #49 from Small Town Kid

Back to Small Town Kid – Introduction


if we look in mcphails
we might find what we want
they don’t do much new
but it’ll function alright

old wardrobes with drawers
two for our room
one for the spare
is that enough
will it do

we’ve got space for a dresser
if the money will last
but first
a crib and change table
for the nursery

hey I think we’ll get by
won’t our folks
be surprised
they think that we’re lost
but I don’t suppose
we’re so bad

will you dance me
my dear
in this ballroom of ours
I can almost embrace you
when I reach
right around

yes dance with me
bride of mine

between sink
and stove
an orchestra’s playing


© Frank Prem 2009

Small Town Kid Poem 50: from the sticks

a cocky’s morning

Poem #48 from Small Town Kid

Back to Small Town Kid – Introduction


christmas beetles
carrion
and paddocks bathed in heat

scrawny cows
with white in their eyes
awaiting milking
for relief

a big-striding man
walks across the yard
to survey
another day

seven mornings
in a week
the same damn things
just like it’s always been

not a lot
to laugh about
not much
to raise a smile

the season is shot
and the politicians
are bad
add a useless new son-in-law
and the cocky’s lot
is a pain
in the arse

always
a pain in the arse


© Frank Prem 2009

Small Town Kid Poem 49: between sink and stove