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2019 Overall Winner & recipient of the Babies of Walloon bronze statuette

Ipswich Poetry Feast Encouragement Awards

Picture Ipswich Awards – Open Age

Ipswich City Council Awards Open Age – Local Poets

Joy Chambers & Reg Grundy Awards Open Age – Other Poetry

Ipswich Poetry Feast Awards Open Age – Bush Poetry

Kelly's Corner by Heather Knight (1st)

Australis in Extremis by Catherine Lee (2nd)

A Simple Epitaph by Tom McIlveen (3rd)

In the book of Jeremiah and Leviticus they speak
of a terrible catastrophe to come.
It was meant to be a warning for the wicked and the weak,
and an omen of what lay in store for some.

In the following millennium, a million miles away
from the land where Jeremiah prophesied,
there is famine, drought and pestilence still happening today,
as those ancient scriptures rightfully implied. 

But it’s different today somehow… the droughts are not the same,
and the seasons are becoming more obscure.
They are telling us that climate change is probably to blame,
but I guess we’ll never truly know for sure.

I’m the seventh generation now, to farm this barren soil,
and the first to throw the towel in, it seems.
I have seen my share of misery in blood and sweat and toil,
and a thousand wasted promises and dreams.

I remember what my father used to say when things were bad,
he would tell me …’Son , you’ve gotta think ahead!’
And although the banks had taken nearly everything he had,
he had somehow kept his sheep and cattle fed.

But if Dad was here today, I’m sure he’d sing another tune,
and admit that something weird is going on.
We have hardly had a drop of rain since sowing wheat in June,
and the stubble hay has very nearly gone.

They can take our land and flog it off to someone overseas,
and then keep the deeds upon their foreign shelves.
They can auction off my breeding stock to pay their bankers’ fees,
and then divvy up what’s left between themselves!

I could hang around and wait until the seasons settle down,
or could heed the words that Jeremiah said.
I could walk away and bludge on someone’s charity in town –
to be honest….I would just as soon be dead!

They will think it was an accident, and probably assume
that I slipped and fell, out shooting starving sheep.
They can write a simple epitaph to place upon my tomb…
‘as a man shall sow, then so too should he reap!’

When I get to meet Leviticus and Jeremiah’s mates
in the barroom of that heavenly hotel,
will they welcome me and open up those rusted pearly gates,
when I tell them that I’ve done my time in hell?”

Mallee Farmer by Max Merckenschlager (Highly Commended)

From Gallipoli with Love by Tom McILveen (Highly Commended)

Song of the Water-Lilies by Max Merckenschlager (Highly Commended)

Walk a Mile in Our Shoes! by David Campbell (Highly Commended)

Ipswich City Council Award – 16-17 Years

Queensland Times Award- 14-15 Years

Broderick Family Awards 11-13 Years

Ipswich District Teacher Librarian Network Award – 8-10 Years

River 94.9 Award – 5-7 Years