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Rosewood Green Award – Open Age Local Poets

2017 Overall Winner & recipient of the Babies of Walloon bronze statuette

Chairperson’s School Award

Picture Ipswich Theme Awards

Chair’s Encouragement Awards

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

Zipper by Sonya Frossine (First Prize)

Marking of a Printed Title by Sidney Boen (Second Prize)

Lament for Bruadair by Clare O’Sullivan (Third Prize)

See derfor vil jeg hellere være Svinehyrde paa 1
Amagerbro og være forstaaet af Svinene, end 
være Digter og være misforstaaet af Menneskene

I
Allow me to introduce as docent Mim should do 2
this pallid bathroom man whom I birthed
some eighty seasons ago, on clean sheets
and in the utmost sterility to be assured
He smelled of eucalyptus (the black and gold variety) 3
a trait that doubtless carried into
His flowering despite the apparent 
blackening of his faculties, indeed
You have seen it I am sure you lived it
This broken frame who standing before
A glass in shivering delusion did exclaim
“OH! 
how the foggy mirror 
cries 
for me!”
Stained the blurry image
with tear tracks of clarity
Stepped back a little, to lucid, view-
his pentagram anatomy 
To piece apart, to piece 
together the bars to see
the pale face of man 
who reaches now for the canister
Upon the porcelain sink and
Applies his daily creams
and takes what was prescribed
and utters infrequently 
O sun, to tell thee how I hate thy beams 4
And retreats unto his blanket to
bathe himself in blue frames from
the comedy of errors the tabloids say 5
may or may not 
give him cancer.

II
Awaking from comatose now reborn
A tachycardiac, he played tapes of
Foetal worlds on fast forward- the
lurid shades of abcs inducing nausea 
for all that were involved (especially involuntarily)
The zoetropic acid test of memory 6
a roulette of images cast upon the screen
whose blackness now found itself
Reanimated in his pin prick pupils
that saw a thousand dancing sisters
and all the meals set down before him he
saw a thousand rotund fingers slapping
chicken thighs on laminate
(Behold! Plato’s man!) 7
Seasoned with the spit and spite
of some gibe and jarring discourse
that headphoned infants doth ignore
As vacant faces seat themselves
on the “eclectic” chairs straight from
The pages of the last domestic monthly
And idle there
painted into silverware
Static but for the occasional scrape
Static but for the 
Drip Drip
Drop
You watched the insect bodies pile up
Under the light of a sixty watt god that
struck them dead as they rose to kiss him
The meek sons of Bellerophon burnt and mangled 8
in a Turkish bowl upon the table runner
“She’ll be coming tomorrow
the bitch 
I hardly know what
we’re going to do with all her
junk she keeps we ought to
Refuse her, they ought to have
kept her in for longer. I suppose
she’ll need a mattress I’ll go
fetch it from the attic at some point
In the morning.”
(and on the pile heaped)
Prodding pumpkin you wondered
why the lonely old witch you
shared a cup with shrank away
and told you that blood was thicker
than water when she nearly bled to death 
on the pin of her mother’s brooch
“Horseman pass by” she rasped 9
Then withered.

III
Walking down Alameda to play 10
limbo with electric twine you
Stopped in the underground
To meet Phalaris whom ushered 11
you unto the station restroom
Toothless bar one ebony nugget
He retrieved ambrosia from behind his ball sacks
Hvad er en Digter? 12
You stared into the hollowing eyes
with your own, clear but watered
and nodded amiably
and so underwent the cling wrap exchange
To shuffle out the stall
like Grindr otters, the both of you 13
tripped out and buggered on the yellowing tiles
Lying prone, you traced your tongue
along the grout and cracks
and other mildewed interstices
Just as you did, in that bygone night
Her ivory back
And recoiled just the same
To the howls of hipsters in the outer hall

And they’ll be 14
plaaaaaaaaaycing 
fingers through the 
notches in your spine
and when all is 
breaking-
Finally it came and when you had 
idled long enough you
Cleaned it up with baby-wipes 
No more pale girl now no more pale bony girl no more girl no more
piano key ribs against your groin just nothing just
you alone with your phone and your fingers and the memory of
Your mother feeding you Kellogg’s every morning 15
It didn’t work at all. It didn’t work. It didn’t.
None of the kitchen dawns wiled away
with your ears ground against the bench
did stir you from your firm impertinence 
Staring at assorted fridge magnets,
One in floral border, a little rusted but remains to this day
you read it last visit, it read-
“THIS TOO SHALL PASS”
and in your oily vehemence completed-
“like a kidney stone”
Bitterly spat under a half-breath, all those 
nights spent fat and naked- the sweat 
melting flesh into synthetic leather
All the jagged profanities scratched
into the backs of bus seats
All amounted to nothing but
the phlegm on the pavement now 
Icterine before you, before the pigeons
gathered about your swollen feet
(Watch the one-winged little lamb there)
Limping where you laid your head
in decaying freesia this evening 16
fifteen years heretofore, now gone
your legs itching stubble, bleeding
like wheat after the harvest.

Annotations and References:

 

  1. quotation from Either/Or by Soren Kierkegaard
    Translation: “I would rather be a swineherd at Amagerbro and be understood by the swine, than be a poet and misunderstood by humans “
  2. Mim was a figure in norse mythology renowned for his profound wisdom, after being decapitated in the Æsir-Vanir war, Odin found the head and after speaking charms over it was able to carry it around with him for use as as personal advice and counsel.
  3. referring to black and gold branded disinfectant
  4. from “Paradise Lost” by John Milton
  5. reference to Elliott Smith’s song- “Miss Misery” (as well as the Shakespearean reference originally contained)
  6. reference to the “Electric Kool-aid Acid Test” and the LSD parties conducted by Ken Kesey, often involving strobe lighting and flickering projections.
  7. Quote from Diogenes. After Plato gave the definition of man as a “featherless biped”, Diogenes was said to have walked into Plato’s academy holding a plucked chicken and cried “Behold! Plato’s man!” Soon after, “with broad flat nails” was added to the original definition.
  8. Bellerophen- Hero of Greek mythology who attempted to fly up to Mount Olympus, the realm of the gods, upon the back of Pegasus only to be struck down by Zeus
  9. “Horseman pass by”- last line from the poem “Under Ben Bulben” by WB Yeats, also is engraved on his tombstone
  10. Reference to Elliott Smith song “Alameda” about a self-obsessed heroin addict
  11. Phalaris was a Greek tyrant renown for his torture device called the “brazen bull”- a bull-shaped furnace that was said to have turned the screams of the victims burning alive inside into music
  12. quotation from Either/Or by Soren Kierkegaard- full passage translation: “ What is a poet? An unhappy person who conceals profound anguish in his heart but whose lips are so formed that as sighs and cries pass over them they sound like beautiful music.”— also makes reference to the brazen bull myth. Used here as if the translation is actually a query whether to undergo the drug deal- symbolises lack of communication and understanding as well as subtly commenting on the way modern artists tend to turn to drug abuse- the Elliott Smith references supporting this allusion.
  13. Grindr- an application used for the purpose of casual homosexual intercourse, “otter” is slang for a gay man of a certain physique between muscular and skinny
  14. lines from Neutral Milk Hotel’s “Two-headed boy”- a song about the holocaust and starvation. The album the song is from has gained notoriety for being a favourite among hipsters.
  15. Kellogg’s was originally founded for the purpose of creating a cereal to prevent masturbation in adults and children. It was believed that an extremely bland diet would reduce sex drive.
  16. freesia is known to symbolise innocence

Commuter’s Requiem by Luke Bradshaw Poier (Highly Commended)

The Man from Serayu River, an adaption of Banjo Patterson’s poem ‘The Man from Snowy River’ by Emily Bradley (Highly Commended)

Outro Requiem by Isabel Longbottom (Highly Commended)

Have you heard of the girl who breathes flowers? by Lauren Rawlings (Highly Commended)

Mum by Rahim Mohammadi (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