We are pleased to announce Steve Armstrong as the 2015 Bruce Dawe Prize winner. See a recital of Steve's winning poem, watch an interview with him and read his blog 'The art of losing to win.' for more inspiration.
A Cracked and Weathered Prayer
Stretched canvas, a backwater
enamel black in the half-light. Blacker still, the swans.
Every morning I get out early;
it's the hour before dawn,
the middle of my life and I've moved back with my parents.
Domestic entrails lie where they
fall, white goods dumped
around this brackish lagoon. The surface of still water: pour
myself upon it; heightened
by all that's commonplace
here. Bitou bush, lies like a veil over sand hills flattened
by miners, who sucked the fat
from the belly, from the face,
from beneath the crested forelock of this titanium littered
coast. Everywhere, disowned
things splinter and crack.
They bear the weather's salty notations, manifold
patterns of memory's decay.
a narrow path through deep
banks of melaleuca; a crumbling line of WW2 tank barriers
wait. The Japanese will come
from the north. Alone, among
abandoned cars with toothy grins, it's possible to imagine
the comfort of a woman;
to make my innocent plea.
A bream leaps. Nothing else moves. A pale wash of light falls
as though the sky were walled
with paper screens. Soon
the sun will light the spare tops of casuarinas; for now, they're
women at the water's edge.