Frank Praeger



Slight Inclines



Segregated - no! sequestered.

Grapevine not budding yet,

otherwise, fine.

Breathing hard on slight inclines,

despondent climbing stairs,

swollen feet and ankles,

as I've said, otherwise, fine.

Happiest sitting down.

This path, these bushes, thorn entangled,

       deep in dusk

with nowhere to get to.

A transient pain measures wakefulness.

Is it that trees do not sleep?

And why should that follow?

Who will call busy but careful?


But true, I have not heard a nightingale

nor played with wolf pups,

or been a comfort for the aged,

too mournful of yesteryears distancing

and all the in betweens.

Troubled, humbled  

by the confetti of the last parade.

Shouldering arms and an uncertain fate

conspire toward screw-ups

as miscue follows miscue,  


as all the rehabs are bungled

all the seats taken.



Never So Incisive



Crepe laden monuments,

misleading signs,

a debacle in bundled fibres,

fractured shorelines,

measures out of whack.

I am no more thankful than before;

darts, dartboards tender climatic moments;  

binges, excesses, hopes precede

a modicum achieved.

Humidifiers off,

fire out,

I plummet.  

and where I had once been

a man falls.

And what to make of having gone on,  

having had someone else pronounced dead?

These fragments may well tell whatever I may wish.

My father dead, too,

left no footprints.



Frank C. Praeger © 2013

Getting It Right



Motorized vehicles,

spaces between intervals,

firing blanks celebrating

ascendency of jolt -

where has the color gone?

More motors, abandoned mine shafts,  

a grainy, faded iridescence,

a not so obvious opal,

not even neglected tears or yesterday's joys.


Swings still.  A see-saw rests.  Shadows form

as children scatter.

Sleeves catch on blackberry thorns.




Start over



Shoulders back, swagger  

tossing bread crumbs into storm sewers.          

Let the early arriving birds  

make patterns overhead,

chatter, in part, their disapproval.

No further question where the color has gone.


Say it is now that dawn comes over.

Shades partially drawn,

an old dog shifts  

into a more comfortable position.


A lattice takes on color.


An outdoor faucet drips.

Here and there,          standing pools of water.







Frank C. Praeger © 2013