Back To Competition Winners

2013 Overall Winner & recipient of the Babies of Walloon bronze statuette

Edwards Property Mentorship Award

Ipswich Theme Awards

Chair’s Encouragement Awards

Rosewood Green Award – Open Age Local Poets

Joy Chambers & Reg Grundy Award – Open Age Other Poetry

Metro Hotel Ipswich International Award – Open Age Bush Poetry

Waiting by Catherine Lee (First Prize)

A Feather in a Locket by Robyn Sykes (Second Prize)

A Victim of War by Tom McIlveen (Third Prize)

A Little Silver Locket by Allan Goode (Highly Commended)

Aussies by Bessie Jennings (Highly Commended)

The Jumbuck Drama Club by Shelley Hansen (Highly Commended)

Said You Could Fly by Arthur Green (Highly Commended)

Two Wars by Yvonne Harper (Highly Commended)

My husband had returned from war, a cold man with blank stare.
The wounds he carried deep inside had led to his despair.
He couldn’t sleep – he shut us out – he wouldn’t talk to me,
and when I asked, he always said, “Louisa, let it be.”

His first day home was tainted by the silent tears I shed,
when Matthew walked in through the door on feet that dragged like lead.
My little girl was deeply hurt when she reached out to hug
her Daddy, whom she had adored, dismissed her with a shrug.

He moved from one job to the next; he rarely stayed for long.
And all that time I prayed and hoped that one-day he’d be strong
enough to put aside the nightmares making him so ill.
I kept my vows and stayed with him because I loved him still.

I should have known that Matthew wouldn’t march on Anzac Day.
His mates who shared the dangers on the lands so far away,
arrived to take him out to talk of times they’d spent offshore,
but Matt was far away on cliffs swept barren by the war.

But then one night when Matt came stumbling through the kitchen door,
I took my chance to save the man I’d loved before the war.
I made him talk – until he slept – exhausted on our bed.
I sat beside him pondering the things that he had said.

I ate my tea while Matt still slept, a torrid, restless sleep.
When l looked in, I saw his bedclothes tangled in a heap.
Though we had talked, his war was not resolved but I had hope,
and given time, with no more fears, I felt l now could cope.

But as he tossed, our little girl had risen from her sleep,
and troubled by her Daddy’s cries, crept in to take a peep.
On tippy-toes, she stretched her hand and gently tapped his feet.
Matt woke and lunged and grabbed our Meg and swamped her in the sheet.

He held her down and raised his fist to deal a fatal blow.
That’s when Meg cried imploringly, “No Daddy, let me go!”
Bewilderment and disbelief came flooding through my soul,
with so much force, it made me fear that Matt had lost control.

With Meg’s cry ringing in his ears, Matt crumpled and turned pale.
He couldn’t look at Meg or me; he suddenly looked frail.
In trembling voice, that wrenched my heart, l heard my husband beg
for our forgiveness, for he never meant to hurt our Meg.

He held our hands and told us of his times out on patrol.
When seeking cover for a rest, they’d choose a deep shell-hole.
The men would sleep, except the guard, who stood beside their feet,
to kick them into readiness to charge and not retreat.

He said that they were very good at grabbing little naps,
then springing up with rifles cocked for brutal, savage scraps.
Matt told us he’d been dreaming of those barren cliffs again,
while waiting for the kick to send him forward to be slain.

Today, I’m asking if those men who went away to war,
believe the price they had to pay was worth the death and gore;
not only on the battlefields but here on our home front
by families and those they loved who also bore the brunt?

This poem was inspired by these lines:

“Platoon of ten exhausted soldiers, lying in a circle, feet inwards ….. The Sentry would lightly kick the boots of the men who would immediately spring up noiselessly, bayonets fixed and ready.” P.128 R.M. Winn True grit and Dry Wit. The Penguin Group (Australia) 2009

Ipswich City Council Award – 16-17 Years

Broderick Family Award – 14-15 Years

Queensland Times Award – 11-13 Years

Ipswich District Teacher Librarian Network Award – 8-10 Years

River 94.9 Award – 5-7 Years