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2020 Overall Winner & recipient of the Babies of Walloon bronze statuette

2020 Ipswich Poetry Feast Encouragement Awards

2020 Picture Ipswich Awards – Open Age

2020 Ipswich City Council Awards Open Age – Local Poets

A Friendly Warning by Cassandra Farthing (1st)

In Training by Robert Chapman (2nd)

No Ambrosia by Kel Wheeldon (3rd)

Joe's Mate by Maureen Clifford (Highly Commended)

They said he was unrideable – a rogue, a killer, brumby bred
and few there gave a thought to trying to see what was in his head;
just avoided the issue – said he should be used to feed the dogs
or bait the pig traps on the run – for they were plagued with black wild hogs.
But  in somebody’s heart it seemed he held a soft spot .  He stayed on,
although the rider he once had was buried deep and now long gone.

He must have been ’bout twenty years of age – his muzzle turning grey.
The eyes were somewhat clouded on this broken mouthed old rangy bay
who stood ’bout fifteen hands or so – his aged limbs now arthritic, slow –
although the rumours were that in his day he had a lot of go.
But that was when young Joe would ride him – in his Jacky Howe and jeans,
back when life  here was wonderful and full of hopes and young blokes dreams.

That ended when an accident so cruelly one day took his life.
A punctured tyre, a  muddy graveled road, a recipe for strife.
They found him in a terrible state, entreated him “Please Mate – hang on
the Flying Doctor’s on his way” – Alas his heartbeat wasn’t strong.
It faltered, failed – they tried their best – gave CPR and shared their breath
to no avail – he’d passed and gone to the arms of the Angel Death.

And in the paddock stood the bay – his ears pricked forward – in distress,
he whinnied, galloped to the gate, nobody laid his fears at rest.
He pawed the ground, he shook, he sighed, his body broke out in a sweat
that lathered ribs, darkened his hide – not hard to see he was upset.
And when she came to tell the tale, to rub his ears and whiskered nose,
his rough course tongue caressed her cheek and wiped her tears as they arose.

She said – “He’ll work if he’ll be rode – if not then leave him spend his days
in the home paddock close to me, he’ll keep the grass down, let him graze.
He’s earned his rest and earned his keep and though you blokes don’t understand
 I do, his heart is broken now – he’s lost his master and his friend.
I’ll keep him close, we share a bond, for both of us truly loved Joe
and maybe solace can be found for both of us.  I pray it’s so”.

And the so the two lived out their days, both finding comfort in the end.
She fed him apples every day, in memory of his closest friend.
At night when tears fell as they did, ’twas to Joe’s mate that she did run
and he’d stand close and rest his head on hers – until her tears were done.
’till finally calm would return, she’d stroke that muzzle turning grey
and he’d respond with whispery breath, sweet scented from the lucerne hay.

Some claimed he was unrideable – a rogue, a killer, brumby bred
and few there gave a thought to trying to see what was in his head.
But these two shared a secret that was known to none other than they –
at night she climb up on his back, and he’d stand calm, that rangy bay.
And slow and steady they would ride, and pass slow through the stockyard gate.
heading west to the silver gum up on the hill – Mum and Joe’s mate.

And there beneath the starlit sky, beneath the moon and scudding clouds
together quietly they would wait, sometimes for minutes, sometimes hours
until across the nighttime sky they’d see a flash – a shooting star,
then she would rub the old bay’s neck and murmur – ‘Well Joe, there you are,
you’re not forgotten, we are here, both holding on and doing fine’
She turned the old bay’s head for home – They’d both come back another time.

Just a Little Drop by Francis Kelly (Highly Commended)

The Clothesline by Suzanne Dick (Highly Commended)

Run by Cassandra Farthing (Highly Commended)

2020 Joy Chambers & Reg Grundy Awards Open Age – Other Poetry

2020 Ipswich Poetry Feast Awards Open Age – Bush Poetry

2020 Ipswich City Council Award – 16-17 Years

2020 Queensland Times Award- 14-15 Years

2020 Broderick Family Awards 11-13 Years

2020 Ipswich District Teacher Librarian Network Award – 8-10 Years

2020 River 94.9 Award – 5-7 Years