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

Queensland Times Award- 14-15 Years

History Rewritten by Ella Fox-Martens (First Prize)

The Cry of an African Heart by Erica Emms (Second Place)

As the winds toss the sea of grass,
A heavy heart climbs its way
Before the break of day
A sigh from an African heart.
Bare brown feet on the sands aflame
A mind going back on her childhood,
Eyes are welling with a heart of pain
For once in a place she stood.

A tear finds its way down a creased old face,
The pains of the past
Were not the last
A tear from an African heart.
Yes once in a place she stood alone
Young and strong and free,
Listening to the seas wildest tone
Fate had sprung, for her eyes to see.

Now fear crossed that creased old face,
Memory flashed
Heartbeat clashed
The tremor of an African heart.
The sea was once no dread to her
But Hark! Betrayal!,
No longer would the sea defer
The white and ghostly sail.

The fear was now too much to bear,
She seemed to fail
All sickly and pale
The sway of an African heart.
She had eyed that sail with a curious eye
As it approached the shore,
Flee little bird and let hopes still fly!
But nay! All hope is sore.

Now anger was aroused within,
Tears flew
Bitterness grew
A flare from an African heart.
Shyness over the youthful face spread
As rowboats drew on nigh,
Sounds of the brutes stealthy tread
Fly little bird fly!

Now anger was too strong for tears,
There’s burning
There’s churning
The furnace of an African heart.
Behind the shadow of their captain’s swagger
They formed a circle around the girl,
Pulled out sword and pulled out dagger
They captured an African pearl.

Anger devouring the frail old form,
Ever brewing
Ever chewing
What’s left in the African heart.
The little bird was caught in the net
It was struggling, screaming but in vain,
Doom and the bird had at last met
This the beginning of pain.

Now anger died down to a cinder,
So it’s just pain
All over again
A moan from an African heart.
On a man’s face there was a seer
Away from his breath she recoiled,
He carried a club and carried a leer
Her cowering was but foiled.

There’s pain but no more tears,
Tightness in her breast
Tightness in her chest
A gasp from an African heart.
The club had made its painful mark
She knew not what then followed,
Just dark, just fearful dark
And in it she wallowed.

The red old eyes lifted themselves,
They soon found
There’s beauty around
A breath from an African heart.
Her youthful eyes had fluttered open
There was nothing but darkness bleak,
Only the sound of a sloshing ocean
And the joints of a ship that creak.

She cooled her feet in the shallow frothy water,
Rinsed her tear stained face
Leaving but little trace
Of the pain in the African heart.
Now she had no room to spare
In the darkness deep,
Many hearts cried in despair
From their home they started to creep.

Her head started to throb with her heart
The pounding
Ever sounding
The thudding of an African heart.
With the ship her people groan
Death was near at hand,
While the seas forever moan
There’s longing for their land.

The beauty around her did not care,
They had no worry
Nor were the sorry
Of the bleeding in an African heart.
The revenge of the sea went on raging
On the ship she held,
The people were ever waging
For death among them dwelled.

Her burdensome eyelids won their war,
Yet her mind was ever going
Memory ever sowing
Pain in the African heart.
The waters swallowed many a body
White man saved his skin,
The future was but bleak and foggy
Little was left of her kin.

The weak old eyes rested awhile,
They did not see
Resting was she
Relief of an African heart.
At last the eyes could see a light
No more sitting in waste,
Life is still a desperate fight
A new master now she faced.

Anger crept in again, impossible to keep away,
She wanted to cry
And then just die
The infliction of an African heart.
All hopes and fears were but sore
Sold and branded, a slave was she,
Told: ‘You belong to God no more
But you belong to me.’

But death seldom will come when wanted
Tears would not come
And life was not done
Resisting the African heart.
She now worked in a sugar cane field
Corpses caked in mud,
Together packed and sealed
Sugar mixed in African blood.

Her heart so tired of life and death,
So weak so sore
Could handle little more
Of the life in an African heart.
Little children swallowed by fire
Grown men too tired to weep,
Forever there’s a groaning choir
Lives too much to keep.

Despite the dull thud in her heart,
There’s a whisper of light
Breaking through the night
The sight of an African heart.
She was to die one sweltering night
She stumbled close to the flame,
A steady arm reached to her plight
A silhouette, of a thin strong frame.

Yet week and feeble a smile had spread,
A tear left its trace
On the creased old face
The healing African heart.
Bright kind eyes looked down in hers
She knew she’d found a friend,
Her vision at kindness blurs
She from death had been rend.

The thought of kindness softened her heart,
Tears washed away
The shadows of the day
The view of an African heart.
Someone who cared and stood by her
Someone of freedom dreamed,
Someone in her heart would spur
Love and full esteem.

Death lifted its heavy blanket,
Her heart adorned
With love that warmed
Sunshine in an African heart.
A night were the moon was covered
A secret marriage was held,
Two hearts together anchored
With love which was not quelled.

A thin tight line of determination,
A heart set hard
Even though it scarred
The shreds of an African heart.
They were to escape the misery
For freedom now they strived,
To strive for love and victory
While they were yet alive.

Her heart started to beat anew,
The wind whistled
Her neck hair bristled
The flutter of an African heart.

Soft and as silent as the night
Into the mist so deep,
Even a sound ever so slight
Will break the dogs light sleep.

The embers of her eyes on fire,
They are shining
Through their lining
The fire of an African heart.
That frail night there joined a few
Together they crept along,
Through the wind that ever blew
All hearts throbbing song.

In her heart there rose a song,
The singing
Loudly ringing
ln the depths of an African heart.
The frail old night died away
They found a hiding place,
There the waited all the day
Hounds were on the chase.

The song began to take its shape,
There’s hope and despair
Singing all its care
ln the longing African heart.
Hopes and fears hung by a thread
Hearts frozen inside,
While above their masters tread
A hungry infant cried.

Desperate is the tone of her song,
Desperate to the core
Desperate and so sore
Is hope in an African heart.
Flinging themselves on their master
The desperate struggling fight,
No time to answer
His words for her, to take flight.

Her song wanted to stay and flee,
Torn in two
Tears anew
Confusion in the African heart.
Leaving her heart behind
She fled a little way,
Stumbling along as if blind
She hid at a crossway.

Scared and lost nowhere to go,
Confused
And bruised
The plummeting African heart.
White, white, is her face so pale
She followed her love so sweet,
All her hopes in are now betrayal
The whip crushing his heartbeat.

Anger, despair, and pain
All in a clot
Tied in a knot
The struggle of an African heart.
Night fell, alone she crept to his body
Struggling for life his last words gasped
“Look after yourself, our unborn baby”
Hand in hers he passed.

She could not see could not feel,
Her chest heaved
She battled to breath
The anguish of an African heart.
There she had sobbed the night away
Week and drained she stumbled along,
All hope she would not slay
For him, she would be strong.

Her heart set hard like a rock,
Still depressed
Tears suppressed
The bottled African heart.
Freedom was a reality
Feet on safe brown earth,
She had struggled with difficulty
To suppress the pangs of birth.

The rocking of her body and heart
As memory shot
To the spot
And broke the bottle of the African heart
She looked into the crumpled face
It was cold and blue,
The truth too much to embrace
Her baby was dead, that she knew.

A river of tears on the creased old face,
Arms uplifted
A heart that drifted
Towards relief of the African heart.
Arms held out toward the sky
There rose a feeble plea,
That she would be free to fly
‘To a place with my love, my baby, and me’

The cry of the heart was heard.

A Heart’s Desire by Dylan Burgess (Third Place)

The Beauty within the Beast by Vegini Krishnamoorthy (Highly Commended)

Who Dies in the End? by Sara Suk-Udom (Highly Commended)

Old Man Winter by Emile Regano (Highly Commended)

The Race by Darcie Smith (Highly Commended)

Here We Stand Side by Side by Erica Emms (Highly Commended)

I Forgive You by Erica Emms (Highly Commended)

Yggdrasil by Simone Engele (Highly Commended)

The Lady Who Went for Afternoon Walks in High Heels by Emily Parker (Highly Commended)

Broderick Family Award – 11-13 Years

Ipswich District Teacher Librarian Network Award – 8-10 Years

River 94.9 Award – 5-7 Years