festivals and words and illusions and threads and air

I realised today
that I will never feature
at a writers fest

looking at the names
their bios
and their well-known works
I knew

it’s taken time
but five hundred dollars
and a hundred and fifty poems
for competition entries
and magazine submissions
a hundred dollars
more for the price of post

self addressed envelopes
returning home
to tell me

but now I’m there
I have arrived
in the place where
coming to terms
is the start of the rest of my life

five hundred dollars

it was worth the price

a hundred and fifty poems

they were only life lessons


I had to know

think I’ll go back
to my day job
it’s been neglected
for awhile

hardly any point
in writing the way I do

it’s not to standard
the clever words
that lift a thing above mundane
up to the billboards
for the festival

or the highly commended list
for the competition

into the pages of journals
the literati litter
around their coffee tables

dreams can seem so powerful
but they unravel
as insubstantial thread-illusions
in the air

© Frank Prem, 2009

7 thoughts on “festivals and words and illusions and threads and air

    • Haha Tita, when a poet says never, it’s only until the next time.

      I’ve entered and submitted since – sometimes yay, sometimes nay, but at least early in the writing career, it is important to try these things out.

      I still submit, from time to time. The desire to be read is overwhelming.




  1. Great poem, Sir–but I too, felt sad…we can’t give up our dreams; as Langston Hughes said, “for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly”. But I saw your comment that ‘never’ only means “till next time”–so that’s good.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Leandra, yep, only till next time.

      I’m a bit of a recognition junkie, when it comes down to it. No point in writing if nobody gets to read.

      Thanks so much for dropping by and leaving a comment.




      • I completely understand that need to be acknowledged–read and responded (kindly) to. I think most of us blog because we don’t just want a closet full of notebooks/ journals–my free opinion🙂 Best to you.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you Frank minus seven years, loved this piece. When I think of ephemeral failure & success I remember a Dilbert cartoon–“I lost my fortune and my trophy wife today. But I learned a valuable lesson” … “I hope I wrote it down somewhere.”

    Liked by 1 person

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