WINNING POEMS 2017
Kindergarten to Yr 2
I am by Molly Wallace
Years 3 to 6
Shadows Dance by Ruby Wilson
Years 7 to 9
A Tree’s Life by Sam Bragg
Years 10 to 12
A Man in the Land by Rosie Meares
ADULT – Local
On Retirement by Ted Webber
ADULT – Open
Dinner with Family by Claire Baker
A Farewell by Lawry Herron
by Molly Wallace
I am the breeze that ruffles the leaves,
I am the leaves that feed the trees,
I am the trees that shelter the birds,
I am the birds that swoop through the sky,
I am the clouds that cover the sky,
I am the rain that falls to the ground,
I am the water that makes the river,
I am the butterfly that drinks from the river,
I am the river that bubbles to the ocean,
I am the ocean that rocks to the moon,
I am the moon that makes us sleepy,
I am the sun that brings light and fun.
by Ruby Wilson
Shadows dance into the night
But where there is happiness they scamper in fright
Shadows dance where there is sorrow
But they run when the sun rises with the hope of tomorrow
Shadows dance to the beat of war
But soon disappear when there is a promise of law
Shadows dance on the lonely sea
But disappear when the sails are set free
Shadows dance in tune with sadness
But run when people open hearts to gladness
Shadows dance under bright moon beams
Shadows dance into my dreams
Shadows vanish when the moon is hiding
Ready to dance as the sun is rising
A Tree’s Life
by Sam Bragg
Plop goes the little seedling as it hits the ground
And makes itself a comfy little home.
Smiling to itself in its tiny little mound,
Watching all the animals roam
From its small base,
Saw them walking with much grace.
Plop goes the raindrop
As it hits the ground
And the tree thinks “soon I will be at the top!”
For great things the seedling is bound
And it grows and grows
As the light wind blows.
The tree is now taller, taller than you.
Looks down at the trees that are smaller
And then comes the koala,” Hey I’m not to chew!”
“Shoo!” said the tree to the creepy crawler.
Up rose the tree, up, up
Until he couldn’t see just one buttercup.
And then the tree stops growing…
And stands and thinks
With the breeze again blowing
And thinks and blinks
I am now the biggest
And I have seen everything a tree could’ve witnessed.
The tree lived a happy live until he passed away,
Sadly, in a bushfire
On that fateful day.
Dying, by the firetrucks of the shire
Burning, burning, gone…
But it did drop a seed, and life went on.
A Man in the Land
by Rosie Meares
His features are nestled in the great valleys of his face,
A sunburnt strip running through.
Wispy tussocks of hair clumped on his bare head,
Bowing to the wind, although few.
His skin is tanned and dry from time and the sun,
Rough, yet comforting and true.
He works each day, unfazed by wind or rain,
At night he watches the stars.
He is unpredictable, savage and ruthless at times,
With a temperament made out of glass.
But when he smiles with content or sighs as he sleeps,
He is handsome despite his scars.
I will miss his peace and his calm when I go,
His presence, so majestic and grand.
If he could speak, I would listen to his tales for hours,
If he could walk, I would hold his hand.
For some people see a man in the moon,
But I know a man in the land.
by Ted Webber
When I left my place of learning I felt inside me burning
excitement, and a pleasure, at the thought of things to come.
No thought of birthdays flowing to the beat of life span slowing
now suddenly I’m hearing retirement’s kettle-drum.
But isn’t it so strange, that time just seems to change
and looking back the years fly by at rushing pace.
The past like yesterday yet the future far away,
just as if Eternity still stares me in the face.
I am in my office dreaming, as through open gates are streaming
a tide of fact’ry workers on their daily inward flow.
From behind me comes a clatter, blending with good morning chatter,
which fades away to nothing as the start work whistles blow.
Then the crump of heavy presses, thumping rhythmic background stresses
underscore the cadence of convener belted drives.
A repetitious grind, numbing hearts and numbing minds
in the seeming endless sameness of my daily nine to fives.
A compelling discord song, telling me I don’t belong,
it taunts me with its presence like a scourge.
I must leave it soon and flee, lest it takes a hold on me,
and I am caught forever, surrounded by its dirge.
My computer screen is blinking, but I sit there still thinking
of the many other places that I would rather be.
Of the open road that beckons, and the minutes and the seconds
that must tick off on the clock-face before I can be free.
Only five more days to go, the hours move so slow
and every nerve within me aches to move along.
For my wanderlust is calling me and I must heed its plea
and answer to that distant voice that sings it’s song.
So I’m trying hard to deal, with mixed feelings so surreal,
as anticipation quivers with the pang of doubts and fears.
Yet there is no need for mourning, a new life stage is dawning,
as my working life is ending swallowed up by passing years
Dinner with Family
by Claire Baker
She wields the scalpel in a relaxed but still commanding manner
and draws it down the taut skin of remembrance
fleshing out those tiny nuggets of ill-feeling
past/present swirling in an oil/vinegar infusion
flavouring each mouthful of conversation
with age-old hurts
memories of long-dead parents
lassoed into archives and boxed into submission
one-upmanship on who know what about when and how
memories in flux
as neural strands flex to breaking point
spaghetti twirled around forks and dipped into sauce
the synchronised opening of mouths accepting nourishment
ears flapping teeth chattering eyes flashing hearts pounding
wineglasses raised in a toast to us all
ancestor-worship [or is it ancestor worthless?]
fact fiction something-in-between
last night’s dinner party dissected
– For Iraqi Mandaeans
Come my daughters, we must go with our vagrant souls
Leave the evil of this city, seek the light, if light there be beyond this darkness
that enshrouds us, dark as the shroud of your father,
sad as the funeral wrappings of your brothers,
dark as the charred reeds of our marshes
funereal as night without light, without stars, without knowledge.
Bathe yourselves daughters, be cleansed for the journey.
We are the water folk, people of Noah the profit our father,
people of ibn Zakaraiyya, Yahya the Baptist, John Baptist our teacher –
we of the Book and Ancient of Days in this land of the Rivers,
the Rivers where we have had home, hearth and nurture –
no longer our succour, our refuge or homeland.
In sorrow we leave all our kindred and kinship,
those few that remain when so many are gone;
gone to the planets and stars are their souls for redemption
en route with the guidance of spirits,
saviour spirits who lead them returning to cities of light.
So much slaughter, my daughters, such sorrow such sadness:
executioners’ bullets we paid for in gold just to get back their bodies,
just to bury your father, my husband, your brothers,
just to have a last reverence, to weep our goodbyes.
And your bodies, my daughters, a sullid by rapists:
Wash yourselves for the journey, cleanse yourselves of the past.
The border awaits us – we shall cross into Jordan.
In the dark of the desert we shall pass with the smugglers
with our ill-gotten passports and what’s left of our treasure
hoping-praying for safety in a new land of peace.
Never more by the Rivers that we thought were our birthright
shall we Mandaeans fruitfully dwell.
Here’s the border, my daughters:
bid your homeland farewell.