New poems
by Frank C. Praeger


Suffering in The Offing


It's never been so;

the countless grasses in a dry summer,

without warning treetops toppling.

The days were getting shorter,

cranberry bogs too long without water

and who could be assured

that something violent was not about to happen.


Blood trickled,

a somewhat useless harbinger,

suffering in the offing;

bird nests abandoned,

lighthouses darkened.


I could go no further.


An elegaic end


as nameless motes of dust settle,


plucked feathers float,


roots, spider webs, refractory and elemental.



a short black line


Downplaying the Inconceivable


A hiccup,


what a start

segueing into yawn.



no, collared,

tiddled and baked,

yes, shredded.

Had had zest.

Let down?



someone cried 'betrayal'


while all those dissed


as they had been;

no one had guessed,

could have,

how it came.



Mark the lengthening shadows,

the finale

to each day's parade.



a short black line


And Lastly


Heathcliff! Heathcliff!


febrile, feet slipping,

leads that lead nowhere

as black on black.

She was the one as much as he;

dreams and disbelief,

imagine overcast sky and gray

and a starless night.


Heathcliff! Heathcliff!

Not to be less than worse;

mounds, boulders

sourceless as our final demise.

What could be braver: mountain flowers,

wind-tossed spiders?

A little magic, backward glances,

and with each sleep

roiled, unfettered spaces

less and more than distant.



a short black line


Innocence or Tact, Fake or Frump


Innocence and tact, though stressed,

belie artificial

grasses' lack

of inwardness as much as a drug-besotted

paranoid last-likeness's fantasy

to once again eclipsed

by be as much, say, as become

as tomorow confounded by temporal

as sun's shadow stalls as non-apparent as lunar

side to side oceanic surges daftly as seedy fields bulge

in toughened plants' gritty spill of self sameness dulled

to me, too,

as ingratitude bearing birth shamelessly, vain,

crimson blotched,



trinket topped, cream

to yellow to

blue veined handmaiden green.


Yes, filamentous,

but more moment

than can be taught.

In a dither, in tears,

obligated by paraphernalia of ought,

fake or frump,

my name has not, as yet, been called.



a short black line


Stutter Stepping Through Town


Hot spots, cicadas, leeches,

the touch of pre-formed lives, arrhythmic disorder,

an incomplete followup, deteriorating story line.



tricuspid teeth,

illusions of steel,

the tenth violation,

a thirtysecond gasp,

brief delight,

laughter huger than self

foster sequences of strung-out events.

Umbrellas crowd the sidewalk,

voices cut each other,

statements clutter.

One person rests, another falls behind.

A small pile of feathers remains.

Among the fish bones, shark fins, pectoral hopes,

an angler stays in the shadows,

a child balances on a boulder.

Ugly sentiments, popped blisters, used cat litter

obscure the more obnoxious.


Each wonders as to the next curtain call.


You, or I, may have climbed the sheerest heights.

You, or I, may have shivered in the autumn rain.


Two months to tally up the facts.


A lifetime answering charges.



a black line

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