Pen To Print
2020 poem danny fenn summer of festivals write on pen to print

Showcase: 2020 + Illusion

It’s been a couple of weeks since we last showcased the excellent poetry we receive here at Write On!. To make up for this, I am pleased to share two highly enjoyable poems this week.

The first is the winning poem from Barking and Dagenham’s 2020 ‘Summer Of Festivals’ event. This began in 2015 as a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the formation of the Borough Barking and Dagenham. The series of events were so well received, they have been repeated, and expanded upon, every year since. Like everything in 2020, the ‘Summer Of Festivals’ had to be adapted this year to accommodate social distancing and lockdown. But that did not stop the high number of entrants submitting their creative and diverse entries to the ‘Folks & Dreams’ Poetry Competition. Instead of ignoring the challenges of 2020, the winning poet, Danny Fenn, chose to tackle them head on, focusing on the positives and humour of lockdown, and the common experiences we have shared this year.

The second poem, Illusion, is short but powerful: it takes only seconds to read, but every moment spent pondering the words will conjure up new ways of interpreting them. Does Ilias Tsagas’ poem speak of love? Of loss? Of hopelessness, or hopeful longing? I’ll let you decide for yourselves…

Keep on writing!

Dan (Associate Editor)

*****

2020

2020 poem danny fenn summer of festivals write on pen to print

The spring of 2020

We had nowhere we could go

We watched box sets on the tele

And we listened to the radio

 

We clapped every Thursday night

For the heroes whose jobs are key

We showed how important these people are

To the likes of you and me

 

Those lucky enough to have a garden

Sat and basked in the sun

While others made the most of it

Going for walks or a run

 

Our houses were suddenly spotless

As we scrubbed every nook and cranny

Each night we’d be on Skype or WhatsApp

To aunts and uncles and dear old Nanny

 

We learnt to smile again

There were no aeroplanes in the sky

The only things with wings

Were a bee a bird and butterfly

 

We suddenly realised the value

Of a voice on the end of the line

A pint of milk was more important

Than even the finest wine

 

We looked out for our neighbours

The elderly or those in need

A small package left on a doorstep

A simple but honourable deed

 

The spring of 2020

We rediscovered our heart

Closer than we’d ever been

Though we stood 2 metres apart

 

(C) Danny Fenn, 2020

 

Congratulations, Danny, from all of us at Write On!

 

*****

 

Illusion

illusion poem ilias tsagas write on pen to print

I saw us in a dream

the image was very strong

 

when I woke up

it still held true

 

nobody challenged it

it continued to creep

 

(C) Ilias Tsagas, 2020

 

If you’d like to see your writing appear in the Write On! ‘Showcase’, please send your short stories, poetry or novel extracts to pentoprint@lbbd.gov.uk. You can read more fiction, poetry, interviews and author advice in the latest issue (6) of Write On  OUT TODAY and  Available here.