Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives #Potluck #Poetry – stripping by Frank Prem

Welcome to the series  Posts from Your Archives, where bloggers put their trust in me. In this series, I dive into a blogger’s archives and select four posts to share here to my audience.

If you would like to know how it works here is the original post:

Frank Prem is an Australian author with two collections of poetry that describe his childhood growing in a small town… and the second, the dreadful wildfire that rapidly engulfed communities and took many lives. Both of which I have read and can recommend. I am delighted to be allowed to sample his archives to share with you.

In June 2017, Frank posted a poem a day.. and so I have chosen the poems he posted on this day and then the subsequent poems that correspond to his posts here…

stripping by Frank Prem June 25th 2017

beneath the paint
the timber

mountain ash
that once grew
so tall
so straight
in the heart
of the rain forest

length by length
canary bright
used to seat the children
in municipal pools

Yellow Board

beneath the paint
still pure

in dabs and blobs
a coating applied
of a jelli-um

a something derived
from a something

wait and watch
paint cracks
and bubbles rise
soaking deep
while lifting

Yellow Scrapings1

I feel the burning
of the stuff
seep into
across my fingers

this is not sport
it is a fire
of redemption

and as the scraper
and digs
yellow ribbons curl
above the sludge
and fly
off to the side
away to ground

but  where the paint
is pushed away
like new skin
cloistered beneath a parasol
the wood
the straight grained wood
is revealed again

Clean Board

I would not have thought
to be so moved
by this
and revelation

but when the garish
is gone
what is left
is the passing purity
of mountains

©Frank Prem 2017

About Frank Prem

I’ve been a storytelling poet for about forty years. Longer in fact, as I remember the first poem I wrote while at secondary school was about 150 – 200 words long and was accepted in lieu of a 500 word essay. I think that may have been the start.

I love to read my work to a live audience, and have audio recorded some recent recordings and popped them on my author page. I have also done some studio- recorded work under the direction and accompaniment of my wife Leanne Murphy that can be listened to there. These poems are on mythological themes and the accompaniment by Leanne makes them a little bit extraordinary.

By profession, I am a psychiatric nurse and have worked across most facets of public psychiatry and the mental health/mental illness spectrum. My experiences and reflections on what I have seen and done are the subject of a forthcoming memoir – scheduled for late 2019, or perhaps more likely, 2020.

I’ve been published in magazines, zines and anthologies, in Australia and in a number of other countries, but for a long time I haven’t sought much publication. The whims of editors are a little too capricious and unknowable, so I have preferred to hone my craft and self-publish on my poetry blogs

Leanne and I reside in the beautiful township of Beechworth in the North-East of Victoria (Australia).

Books by Frank Prem

One of the recent reviews for Devil in the Wind on Goodreads

I’m not a poetry person, at least not normally, but I cried when I read ‘Devil in the Wind’ by Frank Prem. It’s about the Black Saturday fires that claimed 173 lives here in Victoria.
I was at home in Warrandyte that day. I’d sent the Offspring away, but I was at home with Dad and the animals because Dad had mild dementia and…I don’t think any of us really believed. I listened to 774 radio all day and some horrific reports were being phoned in, but we had the best roof sprinklers money could buy, and fire-resistant shutters. I was sure we’d be fine. And we didn’t really believe.

The next day, the reports started coming in and finally, we believed.

It was ‘all in together’ for a while after Black Saturday. We grieved, and donated food, and money, and hay because the animals were starving, and because we were alive and so many were not.

The togetherness has disappeared now, but we had it for a while, and I thank Frank Prem for helping me remember.

Read the reviews and buy the books:

And Amazon UK:

Read more reviews for both books and follow Frank on Goodreads:

Connect to Frank

Website Audio:
Seventeen Syllable Poetry:

My thanks to Frank for allowing me access to his archives and I suggest that you head over and enjoy for yourselves..thanks Sally.

26 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives #Potluck #Poetry – stripping by Frank Prem

    • Hey Janet.

      Glad you’re enjoying Small Town Kid.

      The wood in this picture was just lovely to uncover. Glorious Victorian Ash – tall and straight. It had been used as Swimming Pool seating for years, with the thickest coat of yellow paint on it.

      Hard work to remove, but a great preservative.

      I’ve taken to allowing myself some deep contemplation when doing physical labour (not too much of that), which always ends up in poems.

      Thanks for reading.


      Liked by 2 people

  1. Reblogged this on Frank Prem Poetry and commented:
    A final stroll through my poetry archives by Sally Cronin at Smorgasbord Blog Magazine.

    This time she has uncovered a poem that was written while I was, myself, in the act of uncovering. A thickly painted piece of magnificent Victorian Ash – a majestic tree, tall and straight hardwood.

    This wood was acquired from a salvage yard after it had done service for many yeard=s as seating around the sides of a now demolished Council Swimming Pool.

    I love this wood and used the occasion of its uncovering to create a poem in celebration.

    Once again, I thank Sally for her support. SHe runs a brilliant blog and is a prolific and excellent writer in her own right.

    Scootch across and take a look at this poem, but at the rest of her place as well. It’s a true smorgasbord, over there.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I recently spent some time stripping old paint from old wood (ca. 1930) in my house. It’s from fir trees that must have been hundreds of years old when they were cut down to make the lumber. Once the beautiful grain was revealed, we didn’t paint over it again, but applied varnish instead. So this poem strikes a chord for me. Thanks for writing it, Frank; and thanks for re-posting it, Sally.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Weekly Round Up – Music, Numerology, Vitamin C, Guest Posts and funnies. | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

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