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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)

In the she-oaks’ needles rustle and the Willie Wagtails’ bustle;
in the eucalyptus blossom and the wattles’ buzzing band;
in the gurgle of the river and the new-born lambs that quiver 
as they suckle; there your spirit’s warm as feathers in the land.

When your ashes kissed the grasses, on our hill where nature’s classes,
in the downy squawks of eaglets, tangled webs of life and death;
tender token of tomorrow floated down to soothe my sorrow
as it fluttered on my face, a feathered emblem of your breath.

I remembered your proposal, all those dreams at our disposal
as Jellarney’s fences ringed your cows, your Angus bull and sheep.
Just a simple country wedding and a room with summer bedding
where a soft and silky feather roused the blood instead of sleep.

Pictured picnics by the river and the debt that made me shiver
when the paddocks looked like cardboard, when the bushfire scorched the flat.
How your kelpie, dear old Rusty, worked as green engulfed the dusty
earth! The feather in your hatband danced as Dorset lambs grew fat.

When a room is packed with people or I kneel beneath the steeple;
when the solitude is breathless, leaving night and day both black;
when our grandson mourns his whippet or I read a tasty snippet,
it’s a feather in a locket guides me back towards the track.

How my lips are loath to mention our three children and the tension
as they rip and pull at title deeds, impatient for their share;
turn a simple draft of cattle to an epic three-way battle.
Weary fingers stroke your feather as they bellow, “It’s not fair!”

I escape the neighbours’ pity, with a smile both fixed and gritty,
for a holiday in Sydney at the Country Women’s Lodge.
Diesel fumes and honking traffic and the language, foul and graphic,
see me clench your feather tightly as I try to weave and dodge

all the Gucci ladies’ purses, the Bandidos with their curses
and the brief-case bearing bankers, steel eyes stapled to the road.
In that crowded isolation, I’ve no friend for consolation,
just a feather in a locket to bear witness to my load.

With a glint of sharpened metal my heart pounds and will not settle.
Tattooed terrors starch my body as my sins blare blazing red.
Jagged fingers, like a sprocket, scratch and snatch your silver locket.
Feather knees begin to buckle as the blood deserts my head.

With a fear I fail to banish, how I wish the world would vanish,
for the sun looks dull and grey without those links of love to share!
Then I see a brush-tail possum, smell some eucalyptus blossom, 
and a feather falls from nowhere, angel answer to my prayer.

Now the pathway seems much brighter and my load feels ever lighter,
and my steps grow strong and sturdy in the golden glow you give.
I see rocky roads I’ll travel, whether city streets or gravel,
will be lined with feather kisses’ and I make the choice to live.

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)

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