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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

The Cynic Route by Kate O’Neil (First Prize)

Up in the Devils Lair by Terry Piggott (Second Prize)

The Lady of the Lakes by Terry Piggott (Third Prize)

The Night The Kids Cooked Dinner by Caroline Tuohey (Highly Commended)

A Racing Tale by Jim Kent (Highly Commended)

Another Mountain Cup was past, another picnic day,
the race was won, the setting sun cast shadows ‘cross the way.
Though horses, jockeys, people too, departing from the track
a few remained to “chew the wind” as was their way outback, – to reminisce of other times, the meets of other years
to which they’d been or wished they’d seen, the many joys and tears
of racing cups and handicaps, of flats and jumps and steeples,, of horses known and riders bold and other racing peoples..
He leaned across the running rail to gaze into the past. and saw again the riding men and horses running fast, though ghostly in the setting sun just  spectres in the haze, the horses great and laughing men belonged to other days. A stranger there they thought of him, a lonely sort of bloke,
they sensed his ilk with racing silk and listened when he spoke. “I’ve been around the tracks,” he said, “to meetings far and wide , to see great races won and lost, to watch great jockeys ride.”
“The Melbourne Cup I’ve seen of course, the better known of all. and races great in ev’ry state ,and all I can recall —
but not forget the greatest seen, the one remembered more the Mountain Cup in ‘thirty-nine, the last before the war.
No handicap two miler then, around a railed in track,
a ten mile race at cracking pace to Baldy Rock and back, the handicap the Whipstick scrub beyond the flat outbound,
the hillside steep and gullies deep, the rough and broken ground.”
“The riders in the race that year, I see their faces clear, Danny Ryan and Pat O’Brien and Clancy Silvatere.
The Tobin Boys, the two of them, and Curly Jack McRae, Bobby Moore and Slim McNee, the drover Tommy Bray. The final rider of the ten, the ringer Darby White,
a cranky coot, a young galoot, a noisy blatherskite.
The better rider there his claim, he’d win the race, his boast, no rider there, no horse yet born, could beat him to the post.”
“A bantam Rooster crowing loud, a boastful little man, no sportsman he who couldn’t see himself an also ran.
He would not share their toast to luck, ‘luck doesn’t count’, said he, 
‘the better man will win this race, the better man is me!'” 
“Ten horses at the starting line, the riders holding reign,
the starter’s gun began the run-, and cheered across the plain the racing horses crowding close, no space at all between
from first to last and closely match’d and none was racing green. Into the stinging whipstick scrub still wet from recent rain,
the way was rough, the going tough, of blood and sweat and pain,
across the broken, slipp’ry ground and racing side by side
the brave young men to saddle born, ’twas grant to see them ride.”
“Still tightly bunched they reached The Rock and horses turned around, more ridges steep and gullies deep, and rough and broken ground. Darby White there took the lead where hazards at their worst,
to be in front his one desire, he had to be the first.
A gully deep and slipp’ry wet with water running brown,
the horses slipped and heels were clipped, Darby White was down. The Tobin boys stopped at once and helped him to remount,
but he could not win the race of course, too far behind to count”.
“Who won the race it matters not, the purse was on the bar,
the prize was shared by those who dared with whisky and Three Star. ‘Come Darby White, ‘ they said to him, ‘and drink to Mountain Men, and that we may live another year to ride the race ag’en.’
‘No, I’ll not drink with men who cheat, to beat the better man’, So Darby cried with foolish pride -‘so foul the race you ran, you crowded me into a fall, the Tobins held me sway,
the only way that you could win, to beat me home today!”‘
“I’ll not drink with you, he said, ‘or toast the Mountain race, the way it’s run, the way it’s won, is nothing but disgrace…’ He cursed them then, an angry man, and spat into the dirt,
and walked away, he did not care, the pain they felt, the hurt.”
“He drifted to the city tracks, in with the City push, training horses, riding courses, longing for the bush.
He’d not go back, his foolish pride, the pride before the fall­ and working still those city tracks he heard the bugle’s call.
In Greece and Crete, on desert sand, in jungles near our shore, he heard men cry and saw men die in the bloody hell of war, and brotherhood in battle, how men fought and lived and died, humbled him to recognize his selfish foolish pride…”
“If the Gods of War allowed him life, he made the promise then, when war was done, the battle won, he’d seek those mountain men, his purse alone upon the bar he’d admit his own disgrace,
sorry for his foolish words when lost the mountain race.
Returning though the local folk sadly showed the way
to a tomb of stone that stood alone, of granite grim and grey,
a monument to those who fought and who’d paid a bitter price, their names were there, each with a cross, the supreme sacrifice . “
“The Tobin boys together died, their ship at sea destroyed, in a bloody fight against the might the enemy deployed, Clancy Silvatere a soldier’s grave in distant desert sand, with Bobby Moore and Slim McNee, all dying for their land. For a mate young Danny Ryan gave his life in Crete,
and Curly Jack on Kokoda track death before defeat. Tommy Bray a medal won, also a jungle grave,
and Pat O’Brien amongst the dead, amid the fallen brave.”
“Don’t let the sun set on your wrath, his father often said, Come the dawn and with the mom a man could well be dead, The sun set on his wrath that day, the pain will never cease, death arrived before the dawn, before he made his peace . 
“Tis sixty years or almost so but night and day since then,
they’ve haunted him and taunted him, the ghostly mountain men. Never days without respite or nights without the pain,
if only he could turn back time and ride the race again-“
anguish in his weary eyes – ” a moral to my tale,
don’t be absurd with act and word if to win the race you fail,
too great the cost, the anger ,wrath – and I know that I am right, I was there, I rode that race – my name is Darby White!”

The Flags That Fly at Castlebrook by Noel Stallard (Highly Commended)

Bandy Bill by Jim Kent (Highly Commended)

Real Time Dream Time by Kevin Pye (Highly Commended)

Plywood Crosses by Graeme Johnson (Highly Commended)

Ipswich City Council Award – 16-17 Years

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