The Truth of Time (As Told by The Pictures), poetry by Frank Prem at

The Truth of Time

The Truth of Time

(As Told by The Pictures)

written & performed by: Frank Prem



picture 1

a group
of soldiers
are hanging out
of the doors
and windows
of a moving train
leaving egypt

to the western front

for a stoush

a bit
of a barney

it’s time
to come to grips
with the enemy

and they’re cherry ripe
for a


picture 2

is holding olga –
tightly –
on the platform

a blue train
is nearly ready to leave

she’ll go
to poland
across the border

will join his friends
in the territorials

a week
to practice
how to hold a rifle

and to learn
first aid

then away

he must forget
to be an accountant

a front-line fighter


picture 3

a heap of rubble –
and half-bricks
timber and concrete
and dust –
lies as a mound

among mounds

it is
a streetscape

an avenue
of homes

destroyed by artillery

a soldier
slung over a shoulder
picks his way
toward camera

there is nothing left
that might hold
or meaning


picture 4

the village near kyiv
is a series
of mounds

that was homes
and houses
a month or so

a woman
is sifting

for something –
anything –
that might
have a use

it’s all been destroyed
by missiles
and artillery

she hasn’t found
a lot
that will be helpful


they won’t
let me sleep
in the night

they shout at me
that we have come
full circle

and the ukraine
is in 1916
all over again

Frank Prem

Frank Prem

Frank Prem has been a storytelling poet for forty years. When not writing or reading his poetry to an audience, he fills his time by working as a psychiatric nurse. He has been published in magazines, e-zines and anthologies, in Australia and in a number of other countries, and has both performed and recorded his work as ‘spoken word’. Frank has now published sixteen collections of free verse poetry, including memoir, true life stories, what he describes as ‘picture poetry’ and books suitable for young children. He and his wife live in the beautiful township of Beechworth in northeast Victoria (Australia).
Frank Prem

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