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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

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

2020 Ipswich Poetry Feast Awards Open Age – Bush Poetry

Remembering Bill the Bastard by Irene Dalgety Timpone (1st)

Where Angels Tread by Tom McIlveen (2nd)

Bringing the Cattle Home by Irene Dalgety Timpone (3rd)

 

Each sunrise at the homestead was a beauty to behold –

with Nature’s palette at its splendid best:

the colours of a bushfire mixed with clouds and edged with gold,

stark contrast to the darkness in the west.

 

Each new day brings such promise to the people on the land –

for them, hard work and hope are much the same.

The pristine glow of dawn revives their faith in all they’ve planned,

and gives them strength to play life’s complex game.

 

The cattleman’s worst nightmare is that fire burns his run,

consumes the last of dwindling Summer feed,

takes lives of men and cattle, ruins homes before it’s done –

the last thing that bush folk will ever need.

 

We watched the dark smoke rising, one hot day in ninety-four.

Mum said, “There’s nothing more that we can do.

We’ll set the sprinklers going, beat the flames back from the door,

survive the hell this bushfire puts us through.”

 

In pre-dawn chill, we went outside to face the world, next day,

the burnt-out landscape not a welcome sight.

A pall of black surrounded us and stretched so far away:

no miracles had happened overnight.

 

Some fifty miles of fencing-wire lay tangled on the ground,

the horses huddled near the house-cow’s shed.

Three hundred head of Herefords were nowhere to be found.

They’d seen the open gates and, wisely, fled.

 

The native birds had flown away, the kangaroos had left.

The bloodwoods and the gums were deeply charred.

Scorched fruit trees in Mum’s orchard had her feeling quite bereft:

she’d nurtured them when times were very hard.

 

Mum worked the place for many years. Oh, how that woman tried

to prove that she could manage on her own.

She lived out all the dreams she’d shared with Dad until he died:

she lived the life they’d planned, but all alone.

 

Mum gazed at blackened, empty fields, and seemed so frail and small,

her former love of life no longer there:

her shoulders bowed down underneath the heavy weight of all

the extra burdens that she had to bear.

 

Although Mum always seemed to take each challenge on the chin,

the task of bringing home her precious herd

had caused a constant worry that she always held within.

She did not share, with me, a single word.

 

Through day and night, Mum fretted for her house cow, Smokey Jane.

She’d pampered her old pet for many years,

and though she tried so hard to make a secret of her pain,

I often saw a sudden flow of tears.

 

Some eight months after bushfire day, clouds built up in the East,

the dark and churning kind that signals rain.

A heavy clap of thunder crashed to tell both man and beast

our world would soon be set to rights again.

 

I sensed the mixed emotions that my mother tried to hide:

the long-feared muster would be no mean feat.

Oh, yes! That made her anxious, but she felt enormous pride –

the fencing restoration was complete.

 

Where would we find the cattle and how could we bring them back

down timbered gullies, steep and overgrown,

through miles of unfenced country, all without a single track?

Two women had to do it on their own.

 

I listened to the welcome noise of heavy rain, all night,

and thought about the round-up days ahead.

I heard the strangest noises as I waited for the light:

they added to my growing sense of dread.

 

I peered out through a window, saw the faintest golden sheen

to signify the coming break-of-day,

and heard a measured shuffling, sensed slight movement yet unseen,

saw shadows shifting not too far away.

 

I heard impatient lowing and then, all at once, I knew

that Smokey Jane was waiting by the fence.

The darkness lifted slightly, and the herd came into view!

I’ve never felt elation more intense.

 

My mother was delighted and, until her dying day,

she loved to share her special ‘dairy tale’ –

how Smokey Jane brought home the herd by leading all the way,

then led her month-old heifer to the bail.

 

Each new day brings such promise to the people on the land –

for them, hard work and hope are much the same

The pristine glow of dawn revives their faith in all they’ve planned,

and gives them strength to play life’s complex game.

Forgotten Heroes by Kay Gorring (Highly Commended)

Fishing for a Gucci by Tom McIlveen (Highly Commended)

The Mask by John Roberts (Highly Commended)

Dining with the Devil by John Roberts (Highly Commended)

Freddy 'K' by Tom McIlveen (Highly Commended)

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