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Queensland Times Award- 14-15 Years

Broderick Family Award – 11-13 Years

Don’t Tell Me this will Pass by Eden Filbin-Yung (First Prize )

Last of the Peaks by Sara Chapman (Second Prize )

Hold your breath, it’s not time yet, the coals are cold
Look at the hills, a grey sloping corpse, heartbeat no more
Up and down, through grass, swamps, crops, up and down
Not a sound, just dark lonely death, the soil has no soul

Do you feel the ghost that surrounds us all?
It’s thin like paper and cool like sleet
It wraps around your spine making you shiver
The air of ice seeps into the homes as harmless children sleep

Look up, the silver eye of a jewel staring at tiny lives below
Nestled in the clouds, I’m never alone, its breath is always by my side
Accompanied by dots of white and grey like bleached bones from long ago
They’re bright and gleaming like the fangs of a slinking menace

Tick, tock, tick, tock, minutes are hours but a spark will come
Red, blue, purple, grey, the colours slither up the clouds lungs with strangling scars
The boulders on the horizon try to hide their secret, but soon a golden yolk is free
The spears of light pierce the rotting clouds and dreamy darkness high

Look at the peak guiding the sun, the symbol of its presence
I remember the jutting edges that were ignited red and blue
He was old and grey, with a mask of trees and shrubs, wise eyes of shale
When I looked out, at the off cuts of stone, I knew I was home

The ball of fire would then grow solid and harsh, judge his land below
Splattering blood of heat off the mountains blunt tips
The red tails took advantage of dying barren land
Emerald outcasts of stone lurk in the thick spiny bush, when that old sun was back

I remember the great swaying gums as far as the eye could see
Left, right, left, right, whispers passed on from shaggy stiff tuft
In summer when air was fire boiling in a burning blistering kiln
Their bulges fattened and green leaves turned to wicked shards of glass

The iron barks were short and gruff little thorns
Wrinkled and old with a toad’s hide and the spines of a cactus
They stabbed the hills like sick twisted hands reaching for the blues galore
Riddled of spiders, ants, bees, angry mindless twigs bring a burden to the plain

But then there was the red gum, an old smooth display
Just one, that’s all, where the magpies would snap and boast in rough scolding voice
Engulfing the sky its bark shimmered to the West on quiet deserted noons
Thick slicing curls snapping at the clouds like the crocs in the rivers and lagoons

I can still feel the curses of that old hill
Every day was a battle against the flames of brutal punishment, in summer the green would suffer
The smell of sheer heat is still in my mind, metallic sparks of gas like a blade against a grinder
The chatter of a skeletons dry teeth was in the treetops, the clank of rocks against steel capped boots

The last thing I remember was the golden stones waiting on the hills
The rustle of the palms harsh leaves and the sight of their thorny teeth the snakes called home
The gurgle and chirps of wild grass finches, wrens and eagles, burning pebbles beneath my feet
Musty scent wafted through the air like charcoal burnt beneath dancing flames hundreds of times

As the sun rose behind the peaks I’d never see again, he didn’t pursue the hills
It glimmered boldly and poured golden rays upon the mountains
The last time I’d see the goannas and never ending rugged trees, the twisting snake’s vines, boulders scarred, the one dead gum that sat lifelessly as the wedge tails perched
The shimmering brown waters or swift rolling creek, waking to peafowl’s calls

The last time I’d hear hissing cackles of dried golden grass
The last time I’d see a red tailed hawk, devils of the sky
The last time I’d see the peaks
The last time I was home

Letter from a School Desk by Jordan Howlett-Jones (Third Prize)

Bones by Annie Bond (Highly Commended )

Doing it Again by Kate Hudson-James (Highly Commended )

Shackled by Brodie Abraham (Highly Commended )

Divorce by Leora Adler (Highly Commended )

Winter by Charlotte Drynan (Highly Commended )

2016 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

Ipswich District Teacher Librarian Network Award – 8-10 Years

River 94.9 Award – 5-7 Years