The winning entry is followed by the judge's report.
By Seisia Luxford, Ingham State School
The grey graves exudes thousand-old memories
in an infinite parallel of tales.
The names on the graves are epochs,
epochs of a life once vibrant,
vibrant of the existences of many.
The cane bends with a beautiful grace,
imprisons, the dead essence
in a square of ageing memories.
Grass, fresh and young, barely hides the truth
of this place. The flora stating otherwise.
Trees’ branches cascade over the remnants of many,
locks them in a shadowy cocoon.
In a paddock short distances away,
cattle overlook this place as sentinels for the resting.
Who knows how many requiems they have forseen?
I stand amongst the graves and catacombs
Two of my ancestors slumber here.
Familiar yet distant faces grin to me
they succumb to the abyss of existence.
Aroma of countless wildflowers a soft tune in the
background. Cattle never daring to infringe the waft
of fragrance. Mother Wind dehydrates the flora, yet
the scent lingers, livening the memories of the dead.
Slow wind ruffles the trees, tickles your hearing vessels
with a harmonial thrust. Cows cry in the meadows, a low
peaceful call. The wind against the headstones transform
a mournful whistling of those past, like angels weaving
transparent satin through the atmosphere, dropping
onto restful men as a silky melody.
The sight of the dead can rip at the essence with an impossible
strength, even the strong of heart feel the nip of its hunger.
Hunger for the tears that caress down the face, the stomach
weakens even a grown man will dread, the black in your memory
like a fresh bucket of paint over white sheets on a clothesline.
The disappearance of any gaiety that comforted your life.
The soft soakiness of the green grass,
the tingling of your fingers running across the granite
And the dryness of wilted flowers.
The smooth concrete slabs that sit atop the graves,
a square of senses in a quiet place.
This year’s entries were a delight to read from our budding young poets. A vast array of themes were explored from the tragedies of war, our natural world, relationships, hobbies, happiness, and animals. Many of the poems were descriptive and attempted to employ poetic devices to engage and capture the attention of the reader. The prize winning poems all had one thing in common in that their poems gave the impression the poet had a strong connection with the places and situations described in their writing. If any advice could be offered it would be to encourage students to select topics they have a connection or deep understanding of. The winning entries displayed these qualities as their images and language choices were more developed and engaging for the reader. Whilst there can only be one overall winner the efforts of all who entered should be commended.
PRIZE WINNING ENTRIES
1st Prize: The Cemetery
This poem is a mature piece of writing that demonstrates a strong sense of place and conveys to the reader a deep connection with the subject matter. The reader is engaged by stanza’s packed full of imagery and subtle use of poetic devices; as well as managing to engage the five senses throughout. Overall an engaging piece of writing.
2nd Prize: Forget Me Not
3rd Prize: Five Mile Creek
HIGHLY COMMENDED ENTRIES
1st HC: Woman of the Future
2nd HC: Crystal Creek
3rd HC: Deserted
4th HC: The Tricks of Time