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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

Rough Country by David Gagen (First Prize)

Dun Waiting by Maureen Clifford (Second Prize)

For King and Country Roads by Maureen Clifford (Third Prize)

Conversations with the Bitch by Leonie Parker (Highly Commended)

I’m not good at socialising, often feel I’m out of place,
much more comfortable on keyboard, not so good at face to face,
and I don’t know why I bother ’cause it never turns out well
when I try communicating with ‘real’ people for a spell.

I’ve attended cocktail parties and I’ve met some people who
talk at length about their cruises, those they’ve done or mean to do,
and they boast about their travels, while I drift off with the elves,
as their voices blend together, talking all about themselves.

I have nothing I can offer, I get seasick in the bath,
and I’m not too keen on flying, or the jet lag aftermath,
so I sit and sip my cocktail, tuning out their travelogue,
thinking how I’d rather be at home, conversing with my dog.

You might say I’m anti-social, I’ve been labelled that before,
and it’s true though I like people, I like animals far more.
But I’m hardly Doc Dolittle as I’m sure you would agree
if you only saw the way all living things respond to me.

I tried talking to my parrot but results soon left me cold.
He’s amusing and attentive but repeats what he’s been told
and my goldfish doesn’t listen to my troubles or my fears.
He has fish selective hearing, or there’s water in his ears.

For a lesson in frustration that is even worse than that
just ask anyone who’s ever tried to reason with a cat.
Masters of superiority, they’ll treat you with disdain,
and those fluffy little paws can dole out razor slashing pain.

People say ‘commune with nature’, it can soothe a troubled soul,
so I headed to the country where ‘communing’ was my goal,
and a cow that I encountered seemed quite friendly, she said, “Moo”
and then left me with a nasty mess that I scraped off my shoe.

When I met a kookaburra on my sojourn to the bush,
where I stumbled on a tree root, landing firmly on my tush,
was he kind enough to stop and ask me if I was OK?
No, just laughing like a maniac, he upped and flew away.

So I’d had my fill of nature and of animal discourse,
(and trust me, you don’t want to know what happened with the horse),
when I got an invitation that I thought might be a hoot
and I’d catch up with old friends I hadn’t seen in years to boot.

But my old workplace reunion would serve only to remind
those who’d bothered to attend it of the reasons we resigned.
And some half-forgotten supervisor’s boring monologue
of supposed superiority annoyed this underdog.

When I’m cheesed off at a world that is refusing to play nice
and instead of human comfort unsolicited advice
is the only thing on offer, though the fault may well be mine,
I don’t need another critic all too keen to join the line.

I am weary of the people who advise with good intent
and are quick to point out failings (though offence is never meant)
and I find myself more often than it’s healthy, I would think,
deep in doggy conversation – but she’s cheaper than a shrink.

She’s no substitute for children. I have those all living near
and for ‘grown-up’ conversations I have friends that I hold dear,
even have a live-in partner who sometimes heeds what I say
but a bitchy conversation often is the only way.

So I converse with my canine where I’m almost always right.
There’s consensus of opinion and we never, ever, fight.
She is mostly in agreement, her support an even bet.
She might turn around and bite me but it hasn’t happened yet.

Joy Chambers & Reg Grundy Award – Open Age Other Poetry

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