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River 94.9 Award – 5-7 Years

Metro Hotel Ipswich International Award – Open Age Bush Poetry

Picture Ipswich Theme Awards

Ipswich Poetry Feast Encouragement Awards

2018 Overall Winner & recipient of the Babies of Walloon bronze statuette

Rosewood Green Award – Open Age Local Poets

Joy Chambers & Reg Grundy Award – Open Age Other Poetry

Ipswich City Council Award – 16-17 Years

How to Write Poetry by Emerson Hurley (First Prize)

First Performance in Leningrad by Emerson Hurley (Second Prize)

Her Guitar by Brenda Tan (Third Prize)

We Do Not See the Moon by Maja Vasic (Highly Commended)

Echo and Narcissus, the B-Sides by Erika Strehler (Highly Commended)

I. Echo Sees Narcissus
You were initially observed cradled in candy coloured blankets
howling into baby monitors for candy coated praise,
lied to about the bogeyman and Santa and Jesus and the tooth fairy,
told truths which meant nothing, carried distances called nothing.

It was night-time apple puree dribbled down your clothes
Apple puree smeared, apple puree squished
in your hands your parents wanted to cry and you griped the brand-new tablecloth
(they eventually understood)

You grabbed onto VCR tapes with those chubby hands you
placed them into players and watched shapes colours voices cried
not because you were overwhelmed with emotion – you didn’t have the capacity – you were hungry

Meanwhile there was a constant hum but
It wasn’t summer so it couldn’t be the cicadas.
The apartment was quiet so you deducted the source,
the sounds, the two albums playing on loop.
(cd 1) an instrumental series of lullabies
(cd 2) the cackling of your neighbours paired with the croon of their television quiz shows news
shows drunk babbling ONLY

You’re napping again.
You wake up and you’re old
Old enough to be told off

“Barbies abound like kangaroos in the bush: why haven’t they been shot their clothes are
and so are yours please brush your teeth please stop your tantrums please start making your bed of
your own volition.”
Your face is bloated
“ “ “ red
“ “ “ snotty
“ “ “ a mess
“stop crying” maybe not this time.

If you grow up you’re pretty sure the bogeyman will retire move from his cavern in the wardrobe
find somewhere quieter,
settle down with a wife and with kids, with
less cars and some pine fresh pollution free air he’d probably find so nice that he’d leave you alone,

but you still wonder what growing up means:
trading in stripped barbie doll bodies for a barbie doll body of your own?
swimming in ignorance to the point of self-destruction?
will it be inevitable?
will it be serious?
will you finally become emotionally viable?
(you know the next time you cry probably won’t be due to hunger)

II. How Juno Altered Echo’s Speech
In the high fantasy of an ancient woodland
Lived a young nymph Echo who loved trees and earth and sand
She was gossipy and garrulous
To a point that made other querulous
So from saying words that she wanted was banned

In suburbia lived innumerable teens
In an age of industry change and so many machines
They witnessed the world,
into worse shape it whirled
And they were promptly dismissed due to the influence of screens

III. Narcissus Sees H**self and Falls in Love (radio edit)
There’s my grandiose delusion scr*wing me up the ass
moaning Oh My God Ur Basically God
Goals and obsessing should I really start progressing;
Impulsive choices Who? Fatal flaws Where?
for some reason I still seem nonchalant / for some reason I can do what I want
Mirror, mirror on the wall I’m a strong independent w*man & no inanimate object can sway my self-promoting pitch
Mirror, mirror falling face first falling off the wall shrieking praise glory ¿is that a catcall?
There’s envy coursing through my veins don’t mind me I’ll drive u insane
Favour me, love me, hold me up like Simba,
I can climb over you, can’t wait 2 be king to you
Waiting for my perception to flip while riding on some ecstatic trip
I’ve been told for my behaviour there no malignant cause so I’m just waiting for more and more
(Ap)p-( l )-a-u-s-e

IV. Narcissus Laments the Pain of Unrequited Love
Midnight, stars bright, empty road and in the
backseat. Radio droning, radio bopping,
50s country tired to pop classics less tired
earphones in anyway.

Senses heightened but there’s no real danger,
because if you die this late at night you don’t die in real life.
Are the voices in the fog from Lady Gaga
or from God telling me that I’m going to be stuck in a bad music bad car bad loop for at least a
bad week and there’s nothing bad I can do to stop it?

There’s a phone in my hand I’m wasting battery and data (time and money (or a light source and a signal and a connection to home))
She said red heart I said red heart red heart red heart
Red heart and I wish she meant the same in her heart
and I sit and close my eyes again and my brain is rattling again.

Maccas chips used to be less oily and their drinks less sugary and their bread less rubbery,
so if I throw up all over the seat do I get monetary compensation?
How valuable is currency in the confines of a car?
When Will I Be Able To Sleep.

V. Narcissus is changed into a flower
Shrieks of laughter haunt my reverie,
they skim rocks across the water, my reflection restarts.
I never know what will ever be.

I think I’m clouded by delusion but that can’t be
(Unless the Gods have concluded this is the punishment to impart).
shrieks of laughter haunt my reverie.

I think I’m in love but it can never be,
who is that girl (beyond a work of art)
I never know what will ever be.

My hand grazes the water. I feel sensory
overload some exponential euphoria I could plot on a chart.
Shrieks of laughter haunt my reverie.

The Gods have assessed and judged and made me an accessory.
The nymphs have won, transformations will start.
I never know what will ever be.

Irrational emotions remain trapped in memory.
I’m a vine, a blossom, white petals decorate my yellow heart,
shrieks of laughter haunt my reverie,
I never know what will ever be.

A Yellow Envy by Brenda Tan (Highly Commended)

Dead Souls, Pt. III by Emerson Hurley (Highly Commended)

Crown of Thorns by Isabel Mitchell (Highly Commended)

Queensland Times Award- 14-15 Years

Broderick Family Award – 11-13 Years

Ipswich District Teacher Librarian Network Award – 8-10 Years