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Special Mention

This special mention is made for the entry that the judges felt best captured the spirit of the memory of Bruce Dawe's contribution to poetry in this year of his passing.

A gladness for all times

by Gary Zadkovich

Oh Bruce, I just read the news,
in a text message of all bloody things.
Eyes moist in the memory of your flame,
I looked it up on the net.

April Fool’s Day. Your last witticism on the way out
of this upheaved world in this one-in-a-hundred year,
bending a smile from lips gripped
in the sadness of your shuffle.

I eased your best known from the bookcase,
walked to the window with the backyard view,
stared past grey branches, through the blue,
to you…

Still. Like the lizard in the green
on the book in my hand.
Thinking how that time with you sticks,
nourishing as Toowoomba red mud.

Turning to the facing page,
the curves of your hand in black ink,
your signature, my graduation year,
blurred with tears.

Like faint autumn rain on the range,
white mist in the Queens Park camphor laurels,
liquid ambers dripping red, orange, brown,
remembrance falls and flows…

A gladness in the grief,
for how you opened the door
and left without closing
on any of us.