Winning Entry- FAWQ Poetry Competition 2012

This is my winning poem, so excited!!


A Place  

Where the back garden was actually a side garden,

a hide-away

where I could play,

and still see the comings and goings on the street.


Where I was the only one,

a single child

within soft fences and green hedges

where hedgehogs crept through at night

when they thought nobody was looking

to eat potato peelings we left out.


Where Dad painted window frames

telling me not to touch the sills-;

little fingerprints crimped the surface.

He forgave me quickly

wiping my fingers with a cloth

and turps.

The strong pungent smell

made me think it would remove my finger tips.


Where a little pink field mouse got into the house

and we tried to catch it.

I hid in the lounge room,

knelt with my little plastic kettle

at the base of the door

ready to catch it if it ran under.

Dad must have caught it and put it out again.


Where Grandpa lived in the same cul-de-sac

two doors down, waiting for me.

We sat on his deckchair

he moved around the lawn;

pulling up weeds,

handing out memories.

I was at kindy when he died


at their kitchen table

with his head down

as if he were asleep.


Where I was Grandpa’s shadow

and life was simple:

playing with Dolly

hedgehogs in the grass

catching mice in a kettle,

and the unexpectedness of life.




About juliehyndman

Writing, poetry, art and life in general
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31 Responses to Winning Entry- FAWQ Poetry Competition 2012

  1. Oh, that is so precious Julie. What a wonderful snapshot of life. No wonder you won. I’m covered in goosebumps, and there are tears in my eyes. xxx

    • Amanda Foy says:

      Me too Krishna… such simple elegance in conveying so much.

    • allpoetryandcreativewriting says:

      Thanks Krishna, YOUR words mean such alot to me!! Its all true! And I dont remember a thing about him, I think it broke my heart so badly when he was suddenly gone, I have tears now!!!

  2. Amanda Foy says:

    Oh!! That’s beautiful!! What a stunning piece of writing Julie. No wonder you won. Well done xx

  3. EllaDee says:

    Congratulations. I love the poem so much I had to re-read it several times. A special place 🙂

    • allpoetryandcreativewriting says:

      Thanks EllDee- it was written straight from the heart, he was a special man, and I was actually his shadow. I dont remember him, but the emotion is very strong!!

  4. Unplugged says:

    Julie that is the most beautiful, serene and elegant poem I have read in years. So deserving of a prize!


    • allpoetryandcreativewriting says:

      Thanks Alison- wow, your words are stunning!!! The poem seemed to write itself!!!

      • Unplugged says:

        That is reminiscent of a question Wayne Dyer posed, do we breathe in the universe or does the universe breathe us?

        Could I re-post your poem?

      • allpoetryandcreativewriting says:

        Hi Alison, yes, big questions and they make interesting writing. Yes, I think thats fine to repost- I think as long as we say who wrote it or put a link to it, we can repost anything, it follows the blogging ‘etiquette’. I appreciate you asking, and that you like the poem! Or you a writer, what do you write?

  5. yellowlancer says:

    Congratulations, Julie! A worthy winner 🙂

    • allpoetryandcreativewriting says:

      Thanks so much Sandra- wow, if you keep writing it really can happen hey??

      • yellowlancer says:

        It’s a wonderful feeling, isn’t it? And when you think of how many entries there must be…WOW!

      • allpoetryandcreativewriting says:

        Hi Sandra, its an amazing feeling, yes!! I know- a whole years worth of poetry and writers from all over, and I won!!! Yipppeeee!! Ok, its verging on the bragging now…That same poem has been out to other competitions and I’ve never heard anything back. It comes down to the personal choice and taste of the individual judges and what they see as ‘good’ writing, I think.
        But it also shows you shouldn’t give up, keep writing, and sending them out into the big wide world and you never know what might happen. I’ve had a few people re post this blog post, on their page and on their websites too, so you never know where it might lead!!!
        I’m so pleased I didn’t give up! Wow!!

  6. Liane Barker says:

    Gorgeous poem Julie – well done – congratulations

  7. Flora Fascinata says:

    Beautiful poem, love the lines, pulling up weeds ……handing out memories xx

    • allpoetryandcreativewriting says:

      Hi Flora, thank you- it was one of those moments, when the poem takes you away, and the words flow from the pen. Wish they happened more often!! Bum glue, thats the secret, glue yourself to the chair and WRITE!!

  8. Congratulations Julie. I love your poem. Very inspiring. By the way, what did you win?

    • allpoetryandcreativewriting says:

      Thank you so much, its been very exciting, to know your work counts!! I receive a certificate and a cheque- we should be sending our work out there to earn money for us!! That was my goal this year, to send them out to MORE competitions.
      Are you a writer? What do you write?

      • That’s great. Good idea to enter your writing in a number of different comps as it certainly depends on who reads it and what they like. I only started writing the middle of last year and quickly became addicted! I have entered quite a few short story competitions. I also like entering the positive words magazine mini-comps. Three of my mini-stories have been shortlisted so that was exciting for me! I’ve also been writing children’s picture books and have sent four off to different publishers and also entered them in some competitions I recently found on the internet. I haven’t yet tried poetry but after reading your poem I’d like to give it a go. I’m thinking of submitting a poem to the Ipswich Poetry Competition and have also started jotting down some notes for the positive words magazine “My Town” poem/story. I have also emailed some funny little stories to New Idea’s Children’s world and they have published 3 so far! Just a bit of fun!

      • allpoetryandcreativewriting says:

        Fantastic!! You’ve got to get them out there for them to work for you- can’t have them collecting dust!
        Well done, you’ve had some published, thats great!
        I’d love to read some of your poems, send them into Positive Words x

  9. allpoetryandcreativewriting says:

    Yes, you’ve got to get them out there working for you- no good letting them collect dust!!!
    Great to hear you’ve been published, well done you!!
    I’d love to read some of your poetry, if you ‘can’ share?
    Just write it, dont ‘try to write’ poetry, let it flow from your pen, start a new line where it feels right and keep going!!

    • I have taken your advice about letting the words flow and starting a new line where it feels right and it’s working! Thanks.
      My two poems for Positive Words are nearly ready to send in. So much fun. I can’t help but read them over and over again, trying to make improvements! Have you been sending your poems into Positive Words?
      Have a great time at your presentation on Saturday night. Will look forward to hearing all about it on your blog next week.

      • allpoetryandcreativewriting says:

        Great to hear your writing!!!!!! And thats its flowing…you’ve sent some in!!!! My ‘Whats On Your Bedside Table’ should be in the next issue, I hope??!!
        I look forward to reading your work!!

  10. I forgot to ask if there are any specific rules to follow when writing poems? I have noticed that some poems start each new line with a capital letter and some, like yours, start a new line with a lower case letter. Thanks.

    • allpoetryandcreativewriting says:

      No specific rules for free verse poetry. If its a Haiku, or sonat or those with specific rhyming but these tend to restrict the flow of thoughts into words at this stage, I think.
      The capitals-if the line before ended witha full stop then start with a capital, if not keep it lower case.
      If you like you could email me a copy of a poem so I can show you? (do you feel brave?) I know how it feels to be letting others read it at this stage but I will keep it confidential.

      • rachel says:

        Thanks Julie. That would be great if you could read over one of my poems. I just have to add a few finishing touches and then I will email it through sometime next week. Will I find your email address somewhere on your blog?

      • allpoetryandcreativewriting says:

        Rachel, my email is, it would be an honour, I dont have all the answers but sometimes a fresh set of eyes is a help 🙂

  11. It’s just beautiful xxxx

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