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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)

Forgotten Heroes by Kay Gorring (Highly Commended)

Fishing for a Gucci by Tom McIlveen (Highly Commended)

Have you ever had a day that started out in total bliss,

and then suddenly it turned to bad and worse?

I will wager that you’ve never had a day as bad as this –

it was though I’d been afflicted by a curse.

 

It had started out so splendidly, remarkably in fact,

on the sunny shores of Sydney’s Woolmoo’loo,

and although it sounds incredible and somewhat inexact,

I will swear that every word of it is true.

 

I was visiting the city and was keen to have a go

at acquiring half a dozen local bream.

Having come from Cootamundra for the Royal Easter Show,

I had bought a new Shimano on a whim.

 

They were meant to be the ultimate in fishing rods today,

though the cost had left my mortgage in arreais. .

They supposedly were suitable for river, surf or bay,

and were guaranteed to last a hundred years.

 

It was fitted with the very latest Multiplier Reel

and a hundred feet of eighteen kilo line.

They had even tossed some tackle in to sweeten up the deal,

and a bottle of McWilliam’s finest wine.

 

So I chose a lure from somewhere deep inside the tackle box

and I gave the bottle’s cork a gentle tweak.

I had learnt the art of fishing, catching yabbies from the rocks

on the muddy banks of Cootamundra Creek.

 

I was keen to show these city boys a bit of country style,

though I’d never used a rod or lure before.

So I picked it up and gave the lads a reassuring smile,

as i plodded down the rocks towards the shore.

 

But no sooner had I cast it, than the mongrel thing got stuck

in the weedy patch where no one else had gone…

so I pulled it and I jerked it, and I cursed my rotten luck –

to be snagged with half of Sydney looking on.

 

When the lure was finally exhumed and shaken loose and freed,

it had shot up like a shiny bat from hell.

It resembled Haley’s comet with a tail of dripping weed,

as it landed down behind the Crest Hotel.

 

So I gave the rod a gentle nudge and felt it catch and grab

onto something that was flexible but firm.

It was moving slowly westward like a Cootamundra cab,

and my fancy reel began to squeak and squirm.

 

Then ! saw the line and lure attached to something hanging down

from the shoulder of a lady dressed in red.

It appeared to be a leather bag to match her fancy gown

and the ribbon tied around her pretty head.

 

So I gave the rod a mighty tug and felt the bag come free,

and it flew across the boulevard to land

in that mongrel patch of seaweed drifting slowly out to sea,

with the only thing now visible – the brand!

 

It was written in Italian and I’d recognised the font

from a poster I’d seen hanging in the street.

It was advertised that Gucci was the label women want,

when they’re mixing with society’s elite.

 

Now the lady dressed in red assumed her bag had just been snatched

and began to tremble, holler, fret and screech.

She had seemingly been unaware her Gucci was attached

to the fishing line now drifting out of reach.

 

I had learnt the art of swimming back in Cootamundra Creek,

so I figured it was time to take a dip.

So I shed my duds and singlet to reveal my fine physique,

which was symmetry from shoulder down to hip.

 

As I waded in I felt my vital organs start to shrink,

while the crowd around the pier began to grow.

But the Gucci bag had finally begun to slowly sink…

so I dived into the chilly depths below.

 

It had drifted back and lay there smack bang underneath the pier,

so I grabbed it and I freed it from the snag…

and no sooner had I surfaced, than the crowd began to cheer,

when they saw I’d found the lady’s stolen bag.

 

I was shivering and standing there, completely in the nude,

with my daks still hanging by the jetty wall…

when the lady dressed in red emerged to show her gratitude,

and to wrap me in a fancy woollen shawl.

 

Now I never caught a fish that day, and heaven knows I tried –

but I guess some things were never meant to be.

And because the thief has never truly been identified…

the reward she said was payable to me!

 

I declined of course preferring to be tactful and discreet,

and I wined and dined and courted her instead.

I am uptown now and I have joined society’s elite –

and I’m married to the lady dressed in red!

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