Deakin University Library


National Year of Reading - Poetry competition

2012-11-14 13:08:05

The Library recently ran a student poetry competition, as part of the National Year of Reading.

We were impressed with the number and calibre of entries we received and we know our academic judges had a tough job selecting our winners.

Congratulations to our two winners - we hope you enjoy reading their poems as much as we did!

WINNER first prize - Dave Harris for his poem “Aquamemoria”.

WINNER second prize - Pete Mawhinney for his poem “My own worst enemy”.




A wafer thin gull dives in vain

Surfacing with no more than a glare


I mutter a cold shanty to her;

of graveyards of crooked coral teeth

standing sentinel over un-shoaled channels


of heavy anchored piles of

cetacean ribs swaying relentlessly:

the lost arches of some great white unmade bridge


of a body flowing constantly back into itself

licking at its gathering wounds

as we cut swathes,


wrench open liquid space

sink our sins into this deep though limitable main

‘til sun-creased sailors sing out ‘she can bear no more’.


Steering west, skating over the surface,

Sun dying off the prow, songs behind us

Sea-mist gathers red on the brim of my sou’wester.


My own worst enemy

defeated before
    the battle begins

nearest and dearest
    collateral cost

amongst things that are lost
    to my mind

    my psyche
and nothing
    turned on

but anxiety
    no variety
my mind in matte.


    on edge a
        collapsible ledge
i could fall in a breeze

stuck in the sludge
struck in the gut
i can't breathe or wheeze

forced to fight
    or face
        the finish

ego no more
false strength
    i relent
a defence must i

the couch where i speak
    the unspeakable

rummage and peek
    i seek
        dark corners
        with soft spots

exposed nerves
    are disturbed
for purging and cleansing


i emerge