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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)

I often saw a frail old man while on my morning walk,

he’d sit and feed the pigeons but I never stopped to talk.

He knew each bird that came to him and gave them each a name.

I’d hear him call out softly – Windy, Storm and Hurricane.

 

Most people took no notice but complaints were sometimes made.

“He says he’ll stop” the ranger said, “but when his debt’s repaid.”

and no one thought to question, or to ask the old man why,

he went on feeding pigeons and the people passed him by.

 

How fast the days were rushing past, each time I came around,

the old man growing weaker, fewer pigeons on the ground.

I think I felt a fading in the seasons of that year

and so it was one autumn day I stopped and ventured near.

 

I smiled and introduced myself and shook his time-worn hand

then sat upon the bench with him and watched the pigeons land.

“Why do you feed the pigeons sir, I’d really like to know?

Most people think of them as pests and wished that they would go.”

 

The old man straightened up his back, he held his head with pride

and told me of a brutal war where many good men died.

He spoke of nineteen forty-five before the end of war

and how an army boat had floundered off New Guinea’s shore.

 

She carried men and cargo that were destined for Madang

but ran aground in Huon Gulf when savage storms began.

The radio was useless, it was damaged in the fray,

but luckily a pigeon road along with them that day.

 

The little bird with message held was set against the gale.

He circled twice above their boat but then began to flail

and when the men lost sight of him amidst the driving rain

they all had thought the bird was downed and would not fly again.

 

But as their thoughts turned back to home and where they’d never be

the pigeon flew on through the storm and crossed the open sea.

He landed on the shore at last with battered, broken wings,

his little body scraped and bruised from storm related things.

 

His message was delivered, all the crew and cargo saved.

The pigeon earned a medal for the hurricane he braved.

And yet, explained the man, the bird had never had a name,

just issued with a number, and then treated as the same.

 

For though the birds saved countless lives they never made it home

the army wouldn’t run the risk and let diseases roam.

So, then he started coming here, to thank them every day

until the ranger’s forced to act and chases them away.

 

The tears rose in my eyes to know the reasons why he came

to feed these feral birds and to give each of them a name.

I sat with him upon the bench and learnt about the war

until by winter’s end he wasn’t coming anymore.

 

I guess its signs of changing times, that endless rise and fall,

when what was once a hero, now’s forgotten by us all.

So now I feed the pigeons and I know them each by name

and you can hear me call them – windy, storm and hurricane.

 

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