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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)

A Victim of War by Tom McIlveen (Third Prize)

A Little Silver Locket by Allan Goode (Highly Commended)

Now I doubt that I will ever meet another quite as clever
as my uncle known as Harry to his friends.
But the home where he’s residing called and said that he’s deciding
that he’s ready and it’s time his journey ends.

So I rush to where he’s staying without any more delaying,
reminiscing times we shared along the way.
For he often told me stories he referred to just as *warries
that would see me held in rapture through the day.

As a pilot he was smitten flying Spitfires out of Britain,
‘like as if it were just yesterday’ he said.
He was shot down on a sortie over France in 1940
and he floated through a hail of flying lead.

Though the **Hun were loud and vocal he was helped out by a local
and was passed on to the local underground.
He was hailed by all the others, who he called his Froggy brothers
as the shot down British pilot that they’d found.

Though it took some time in telling past the language they were yelling
he convinced them he was Aussie to the core,
when a pretty girl came running who was absolutely stunning,
who had never seen an Aussie man before.

Though the times were quite alarming, he would talk of it in calming,
almost happy, quiet tones of death and life.
When he mentioned in his musing of this girl he found confusing
who in other times he may have called his wife.

In the filtered, moonlit lighting during lulls in all the fighting,
they would sit and talk of all their hopes and dreams.
He’d be happy ever after if he always heard her laughter,
though unlikely as it was in these extremes.

She was skilled at fine coercion and in causing a diversion
and was first to volunteer in times of need.
In the battles rush and hurry, she would tell him not to worry,
though he did and knew he would ’til they were freed.

But one day he was recounting an attack that they were mounting
to alleviate the threat to all her kin.
For the Hun, adept at lying were in need of one for spying
with a hope to break resistance from within.

She was hiding with her brothers as the Hun were herding others
to interrogate with threats of death and pain.
But she ran out through the maelstrom just to lead the Hun away from
all of those who were still hiding near the Seine.

She was quick, but still they caught her and they made her watch the slaughter
of a family they found still hiding out. ,
When she shook her head denying, as the Hun decreed her lying,
then they left her shot and dying through the rout.

As her blood ran in the gutter, when the last word she would utter
through a shudder, was the whisper of his name.
When her cold and deathly rattle saw her lose her final battle,
then he knew his life would never be the same.

As he lay here reminiscing of the love that he was missing,
he was patting at the pocket on his chest,
then he said he was contented over what we had lamented
just consoling it would all be for the best.

As he knew his death was nearing, he consoled my blatant tearing
with a smile that passed his lips and reached his eyes.
Then he squeezed my hand in knowing as his weary face was showing
me his readiness to meet his own demise.

So I held his hand, supposing as his eyes were slowly closing
that perhaps his life was happy after all.
He was blessed, if just to know her, now his breathing’s getting slower
and he smiles as if he hears his angel’s call.

The machines erratic beating seems at last to be depleting,
’til it winds up with that never-ending tone.
As the tears on all the faces seem to mock the fading traces
of the smile upon his lips, that’s his alone.

The alarm bells started ringing as the angels started singing
and then something out of his hand fell to mine.
So I close my hand whilst rising as the nurse is summarising
as she’s looking at the slowly moving line.

What he’d taken from his pocket was a little silver locket
which was scratched and had attached a broken chain.
It was worn a bit and battered, but I guess it hadn’t mattered
as the memories it carried will remain.

So I opened to discover, who I guessed was once his lover,
just a picture of this fair complexioned girl
and behind it in a tether was a tiny strip of leather
round an auburn coloured snippet of a curl.

You could tell that she was pretty and I thought it such a pity
that they never got to share a happy life.
For I’m certain uncle Harry would have loved to up and marry
this amazing girl he would have called his wife.

So this battered old reminder shows how glad he was to find her
when the world was in a whirl of discontent.
For he never thought he’d ever find a love to last forever
that a tragic warring world could not prevent.

Though I fear he made an error through his tales of war and terror,
for I never heard him say what she was called.
But I smile myself moreover as I turn the picture over
and upon the back her name is faintly scrawled.

* slang – an abbreviation of war stories or perhaps a contraction (portmanteau Word) of “war stories” – War-ries (pronounced “War -rees”)

** slang – a term used for a German person or the German people, used especially by their opponents during World Wars I and II.

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