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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

Jacaranda Street by Damen O'Brien (First Prize)

Eight Embraces by Julie Lynch (Second Prize)

Robowars at the "Swich" by Scott Thouard (Third Prize)

Bomb by Brett Dionysius (Highly Commended)

He hands it to me. 
His fingers, a pale spider, 
the ball, its bloated egg sac. 
His hairs brush mine, 
vibrations are sent from 
the world wide web. 
Between our two trunks 
string begins to resonate. 
Smooth as a river stone, 
polished by eons of licks 
to the face, dog-nose cold 
the ball is dimpled as though 
struck by meteors of hate. 
My very own genesis rock.

My vice puts friction’s 
strong law on the golf ball. 
My industrial popping candy. 
The drill wheedles its way 
twirling through hard, white 
layers like some seismic rig 
breaking through the Arctic’s 
frozen crust. Scoops of white 
plastic fall like nail clippings 
onto the workshop floor. 
The drill chews the icing down 
to the quick of its rubber core 
Black strings reverse like smoke 
up the drill’s steel chimney.

He hands me a backpack. 
It is asteroid heavy. He says 
there are butterflies inside it 
& that if I pull the rip cord 
it’ll free them; blue & green 
wings will fold like hands 
at the end of loud applause. 
The great sound of god 
is in the seashell I hold to 
my ear as I climb the fence. 
I tip-toe so as not to shake 
up my delicate cargo. I don’t 
want to kill the insects; he says 
the Americans will like me.

My very own genesis rock. 
He says there’s white powder 
inside that will trigger dreams. 
I draw the cigarette from behind 
my ear like a hunting dart from 
my neck’s soft quiver & he grasps 
it in one of his pale mandibles. 
As he transports it to his mouth 
a fang jumps out onto his lip 
like a white shark beaching 
itself on the red sand of his lips. 
As he slides back into the liquid 
light, the tooth snags its prey. 
He lights it like a fuse.

Up the drill’s steel chimney 
my fingers scour like a huntsman 
& flick the last wisps of the golf 
ball’s black innards away. I pack 
the bearings inside the hollowed 
out shell, like a wasp depositing 
its eggs into a caterpillar’s gut; 
a time bomb’s interminable pause. 
I shoot up the baby cannonball 
with my violent mixture; an egg 
timer fills with soot. Time runs 
black. I cap the improvised device 
with old chewing gum, like a coin 
that seals a dead man’s fate.

The Americans will like me & 
maybe even decorate my chest 
with chocolate when I release 
my gift. Whose heart wouldn’t 
expand at the thought; the velvet 
texture, the eyelash thin antennae 
that curl at the ends like a question 
mark? The see-through wings that 
shift your vision like a kaleidoscope 
I marvel, at how something so small 
can bring laughter like a magician’s 
trick. As I reach the soldiers, statue 
still, their faces lit like new bronze, 
I feather the cord & a dog barks.

He lights it like a fuse. 
The ball is shiny as volcanic glass; 
the fused harmony of molecules 
melted in the sun surface heat 
of a violent pyroclastic eruption. 
I up-end it to shake out the white 
powder like a salt shaker that has 
become damp. Nothing gives. 
I bash it on my hand’s dinner table. 
He rounds the garage & ducks low 
like a demolitions expert. There is 
a noise like lightning hitting a power 
line. The skin frays from my fingers 
like an umbrella that rips in a cyclone.

That seals a dead man’s tongue? 
What about who takes him down? 
The blast is about twenty aerosol cans 
of laughter lit up by a fire-eater’s belch. 
I lose my balance momentarily like the 
bottom step missed when dead drunk. 
There’s a whimpering that’s not quite dog. 
I sneak a look. He is witchetty-grub bent, 
a white blob grounded, curled into himself 
like a kick to the balls in a footy scrum. 
My smile breaks open like a picked sore. 
The inky ghost cordite, possesses my nose. 
I’ll never run out of weapons; the internet 
is my ammunition dump; I, its cyberpunk.

I feather the cord & a dog barks. 
I ask him for a grown up cigarette. 
He takes one from his shirt pocket. 
It slides out like a white torpedo 
from its silver tube. He looks 
into the face of his afterthought. 
Beneath his helmet, his eyes are 
half-lit, in shadow’s smudged kohl, 
as if they’ve gone behind a cloud. 
As I open the backpack’s cocoon, 
bright wings flick out like a serpent’s 
tongue & the butterflies are gone. 
In the sheet lightning sky, helicopters 
glow like black kites caught in the sun. 

Little Brisbane by Caitlin Prouatt (Highly Commended)

The Elixir by Damen O'Brien (Highly Commended)

Fishing by Maureen Clifford (Highly Commended)

Joy Chambers & Reg Grundy Award – Open Age Other Poetry

Metro Hotel Ipswich International Award – Open Age Bush Poetry

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