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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)

He leaned on the fence in a nonchalant way,
tipped his hat down to keep out the sun
cast a keen knowing eye over stock gathered there
but his eyes had returned to the dun.
“owmuchissit” he asked, looking bored while he spoke
as he lit up a durrie and sucked in the smoke
whilst the toe of his boot kicked up dust . Yes this bloke
played his cards really close to his chest.

We gave him a price and he ummed and he aahed
and he scratched at his ear for a while,
then he hitched up his pants and he strolled down the yard
wandered back with a smile on his dial.
“That’s a good lookin’ awse – looks like he knows the land –
It’s a deal then” he said holding out a brown hand
“You can’t beat brumby stock and this blokes from Queensland
so I know I’ve got one of the best.”

Toolara State Forest up near Tin Can Bay
was his home – where pines grow straight and tall,
as a foal he had always stuck close to his mum
and not much had fazed him at all.
But Governments considered Brumbies a pest,
their eradication thought to be the best
approach to now take – though it put to the test
the thoughts of Australia’s people.

The dun was a lucky one, captured and caught.
enticed by salt lick in the yard.
A cull done by choppers would never have worked
in a pine forest – No way. Too hard.
“Wodja rekkun young fellow?” the old ringer asked
“Do yooz rekkun good memories might be amassed
if we look to the future and forget the past?
We can forge a mateship that’s peaceful.”

The dun shook his head, flicked his ears, swished his tail
and gave the old ringer a nudge,
his brown eyes were trusting – what more can I say
reminded me of chocolate fudge.
“Orright then old mate – let’s be gettin’ ya back.
Thanks a lot Jim for all ya done.” They hit the track
with the dun tagging close behind – lead rein quite slack
I could see ’twas a match made in heaven.

Many years have gone by since the sale made that day
I was out at an Ag Fest in Roma
They’d some horses there busy at working the stock
A comp of some kind with Diploma.
My ears heard the tannoy say Toolara Ted
and there with a dorsal stripe from tail to head
was the brumby I’d sold – sleek of skin and well fed;
on his saddlecloth – number eleven.

Well I watched as that brumby horse strutted his stuff,
he was quick, he was sure, he was clever.
He out thought those cattle at every turn
and he foiled them at every endeavour.
And old Perc the ringer sat astride at ease
he worked that dun brumby with words and with knees
’twas a delight to watch them I have to say. Geez,
it was one hell of a demonstration.

It has ever been thus in this great Southern Land
our brums roamed free … Nature’s resources.
We used them for droving, we used them for war
they were tough and gutsy Aussie horses.
We built this brown land on their broad sturdy backs.
and used them as stockhorses and ladies hacks,
they carried our children, our produce, our packs
Brumbies are the best of our nation.

Do you want their eradication?

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

Conversations with the Bitch by Leonie Parker (Highly Commended)

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