Back To Competition Winners

2014 Overall Winner & recipient of the Babies of Walloon bronze statuette

Chairperson’s School Award

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

Ipswich City Council Award – 16-17 Years

Wholly in the Deep by Kate Wilson (First Prize)

Return to Jerusalem by Joshua Dunne (Second Prize)

Dear Ma by Gabriella De Oliveira (Third Prize)

Indigo Shadows by Tessa Campisi (Highly Commended)

The clock on the hearth ticks,
Ticks;
Places to set.
Shelves to dust.
Silver to shine.
Crisp,
White curtains,
Billow in the wind.
Flustered, 
She contemplates her nest,
With all its perfection in tow.
Everything at 
Right-angles,
And ironed creases.
Tick,
Tick.
Her husband lounges,
Languid,
Pipe in his mouth.
Ash falls soundlessly upon the floor.
Eyes flicker,
Hand flinches.
Where’s the broom?

The guests are set to arrive presently
Tick,
Tick.
The wafting smell of rhubarb pie:
Rich nostalgia,
And sweet memories.
She wipes a trickle of sweat from her brow.
Betty!
Silence.
Silence and the beat of her heart.
‘Where’s my tie, Woman?
She cowers,
Quivering,
Tie held forth.
Grunt.
He snatches it.
Retreat;
The hallway.
Distance,
Safety.

A year.
An anniversary.
A matrimonial memory,
Framed in white,
Hangs in the hallway.
He grips her around the waist
Firmly.
Perhaps too firmly?
They smile at the camera.
‘The happiest day of her life’
Or so she was assured.
Smile
The photographer had said.
And she had smiled. 
Because she was told to.
She reaches up
To straighten the frame.
Suddenly it is
Falling,
Tumbling through her grasp.
Tick,
Tick.
Shattering upon the tirelessly polished floor;
A thousand crystal tears.
Quickly;
Hide the imperfection.
Frantic hands
Sweep the accident away;
Out of sight,
Out of mind.
Cutting her hands on the
Fragmented glass;
Fragmented dreams.

The woman
In the mirror
Eyes her off.
Powdered nose,
Blond perm,
Deep indigo eye shadow
To mask yesterday’s bruise.
A shadow of her husband’s hand.
The reflection stares back.
Cold.
Calm.
Composed.
Suddenly,
She sees her deceased mother
In the mirror.
Is she but an echo,
A shadow,
A mere reflection of her mother?
Her mother’s brooch upon her chest,
Her mother’s pie within the oven,
Her mother’s plastic smile,
She so despised,
Plastered across her face?
Was it with the same shade of purple
Her mother hid a secret?
Hid the same secret?
Tick,
Tick;
A knock at the door.

The room whirls around her.
Dapper gentlemen
And cordial exchanges
Ms. Merriweather, what a pleasant perfume!
How lovely your geraniums are, my dear!
Lovely Ladies
Dote upon one another.
Baring their teeth
In what they call smiles.
Flustered,
She flutters;
A nervous butterfly.
Tending,
Fetching,
Pretending.
Betty, what a lovely house you keep!
From the corner of her eye, she spies the roses.
Wilting.
Betty? Did you hear about Jane’s son?
The petals fading,
Unfurling.
Hadn’t she picked them that very morning?
Betty, are you heading the missionary group this year?
At a distance
The pink petals
Still seemed perfect.
But why did they bruise so?
As if dying
From the Inside.
Quickly;
Snatch,
Hide them away.
Before somebody notices 
The wilting petals fall.
She had always detested roses.

Her husband holds her waist,
Parading her,
Like a doll,
Like a trophy.
Pleasantries
And manicured lies.
Where’s your famous rhubarb pie, Betty?
What?
Do you smell smoke?
Tick,
Tick.

The voices disappear.
Disintegrate
Into the air
Shaking steps.
Black,
Burnt,
Shame.
She cradles
The pie.
The hours spent
Slaving away.
The relentless kneading,
Ceaseless sculpting,
All up in smoke. 
A glance at the clock.
She rolls up her sleeves,
And ties back her curls.
Tick,
Tick.

Frilled apron,
Pink oven-mitts.
She emerges, smiling.
The smooth,
Sweet crust
Revealing nothing.
Peering closer,
One may catch a glimpse,
A hint of
The stewed rhubarb.
Deep crimson
Through the cracks
In the pastry.

That crust was perfection, Betty
They insist.
A perfect conclusion
To a perfectly pleasant evening.

However, 
Once bid adieu
It would be later commented that beneath the pastry – 
The perfect crust – 
The rhubarb was,
Perhaps,
A little too tart.
A somewhat bitter aftertaste,
Lingering just beneath
Such a sweet exterior

Across the Seas by Tessa Campisi (Highly Commended)

A Trojan Elegy by Joshua Dunne (Highly Commended)

Verging upon Virgil by Emma Hartley (Highly Commended)

Marri Yatarla by Meg Stroud (Highly Commended)

Fruit Bats at Lockyer Crescent by Serena Green (Highly Commended)

Junk Dragon by Luka Zubcic (Highly Commended)

Little Girls by Emily Eastwell (Highly Commended)

Queensland Times Award- 14-15 Years

Broderick Family Award – 11-13 Years

Ipswich District Teacher Librarian Network Award – 8-10 Years

River 94.9 Award – 5-7 Years