Section 1: “Someone Who Inspired Me” – Poetry
First Place – Peter Mackinlay – AUSOM Inc. Melbourne
© Ode to Faine – (JON FAINE OF ABC RADIO 774 MELBOURNE)
Dear Mister Faine, you like to sustain a programme most fervently punny
But occasionally folk, sometimes chick, sometimes bloke, complain this is not at all funny.
Don’t listen to them, full of bile, full of phlegm. Don’t let them get under your skin!
“The sun…” (cry some) “shines out of your bum!” but how the hell does it get in?
Your radio fans, both womans and mans, believe you are without blemish
So stay as you are, our shining bright star, and bugger those folk who are phlegmish.
For three-and-a-half hours, employ your word powers, and our ears continue to pun-ish,
And bring us delight, each morn (not at night), with quips not off-colour or Hunnish.
Your co-hosts and guests, with their nous and their jests, really are quite awesome;
Messieurs Wright and Moon on PCs end too soon, and David Whiting is positively law-some.
Terry Lane takes the pith (sometimes hit, sometimes myth), Ms Singer I can take or forgo,
But I must prudently state (say?), that Gabriel Gaté (Gatay?) is not always my piece of gateau.
Be glad, Mister Faine, that during your reign, your listeners both old and quite youngish
Are balanced of mind and far too refined to give you a serve, sharp of tongue-ish.
We like to enjoy (each birl and each goy), good humour and wits that astonish;
Not for us the nerd that hangs on each word, awaiting their chance to admonish.
Now I am not fain to on your parade rain, nor your fame to unduly embellish,
But am pleased to relate that each thirty-past-eight, I tune in with absolute relish.
For our popular host I propose a toast — “get a life” — to those who are shrewish!
But gee what a thrill that you’re Jon and not Bill, for who likes a bill that is due-ish?
Second Place – David Evans – U3A Nepean Blue Mountains
© A Voice in the Tanglewood
His speech was slow, so very slow:
riddles and answers.
He would ask his question then pause,
and look at me for so long that I wondered
whether to offer an opinion of my own.
When he was ready he would squint one eye,
smile in his confidential way,
then himself provide the answer
and wait for some acknowledgement,
as though his words contained wisdom.
Often they did.
“Not many people come this way,” he said,
waving a hand toward the tangled bloodwoods.
“They’re just not interested any more.”
He shook his head sadly for the uninterested ones
who, not seeing what he saw, were unaware of their loss.
“Look at this!” There was excitement in his voice,
the quiet excitement of a secret shared,
as he pointed out a Huon pine
growing in Queensland’s sandy coastal soil.
“It shouldn’t be here, but it is,” he said.
His world was a world of miracles, of wonders, of nature,
that in centuries past he would have peopled with spirits
and fuelled with magic.
He understood the seasons and could predict their strength
by the behaviour of the birds;
he knew the weather signs in the trees and the earth;
the glittering winter stars that warned of morning frost
were his confidants.
He was one with the land
and his aging, ageless face grew puzzled
at the difficulty experienced by visitors to his world
in perceiving what was obvious to him.
“I’m a voice in the tanglewood,” he said,
“but everybody’s looking the other way.”
Third Place – Peg Mortimer – Berri Seniors Citizans Computer Club
© My Dad
When I was young and very small
I saw my Dad as ten foot tall.
Hadn’t he been a soldier brave
And fought the whole wide world to save?
If I had bad dreams in the night
He’d come right in and hold me tight,
And when I had splinters or hurt my knee
He’d fix things up and comfort me.
When to my ‘teens at length I grew
I was surprised how little Dad knew.
He didn’t understand at all
About life’s problems, large or small.
He was such a muddler, and always late.
All his opinions were out of date.
On religion and politics discussion ranged
And though I was right he just wouldn’t change.
Then later I married and grandchildren three
Soon happily clustered around his knee
And I smiled to myself as I heard him tell
The tales of old that I knew so well.
And I knew that his wisdom far surpassed
Anything I had believed in the past.
He was grey-haired by then and stooped from a fall,
But to me once again Dad stood ten foot tall.
Special Mention – Pamela Taig – Computer Pals for Seniors Epping
© Father John Fowles from Thurgoona – A MAN WHO INSPIRED ME
Father John Fowles CCS
Is the Parish Priest of Thurgoona.
For children, distressed, in East Timor,
He needs money now, if not sooner
His fund raising schemes are ambitious.
His parishioners, Tom, Dick and Kevin,
Ran Fetes to raise a new church,
Ran two raffles, called ‘Highway to Heaven’.
Having provided his parish with buildings,
Now was the time to raise more.
That’s when he conceived his new notion
To raise funds for kids in East Timor.
He elevated his eyes and looked to the skies.
‘What we must build now is an aircraft.’
When he told his parishioners his crafty ambition,
They responded, ‘Good Lord, Father, you’re daft.’
A Fly-a-thon was the name he gave to his scheme.
But there’s one thing a Fly-a-thon needs.
The plane, his scheme so obviously lacked.
Father John began saying his beads.
An anonymous gift unexpected
Was delivered in March 2004,
A Jabiru J400 airplane kit
Had been delivered to his front door.
In the garage with several parishioners,
Each Monday, you’d find Father John
Pondering plans spread over the floor,
Creating the plane for his Fly-a-thon.
After constructing a mammoth church complex
Building a plane’d be a walk in the park.
He soon became sorry for Noah,
And his problems while building the Ark.
After surmounting each problem,
The plane is now ready to fly.
Awaiting her final inspection,
She’s ready to take to the sky.
“Angel Wings” is the plane’s appellation,
An appropriate name, Father John.
I pray your venture’s successful,
And will raise money for your Fly-a-thon