By Publicity Officer

A topical poem about the threat of world terrorism infiltrating even countries as remote from war zones as Australia, has taken out this year’s Nandewar poetry competition.

Brenda Joy, the author of the winning poem Roots, is a prolific writer who has won many awards for her Australian rhyming verse including the 2014 Nandewar competition.

Brenda is one of a band of performers, which includes Narrabri’s Max Pringle OAM and Jacqui Warnock.

These dedicated ‘troubadours’ travel the length and breadth of Australia keeping audiences entertained and keeping the unique Aussie cultural tradition of bush poetry about issues past and present, alive.

On behalf of all the entrants, Brenda extends thanks to the Narrabri and District Historical Society and to all concerned with the running and funding of this long standing, well respected, written award which, according to co-ordinator Max, this year attracted a record number of high-quality entries.

Second place was awarded to Robyn Sykes for ‘To Trash the Terrors’ and third placegetter was Catherine Lee for ‘Lost’.

‘Roots’ by Brenda Joy

He conjures up the visions love can stir
and puffs the scents of oranges and myrrh
He doesn’t know why turmoil wracks the youth
He’s lost in his cocoon where even truth
cannot demoralise.
He found it hard to leave his native shore
but he had yearned to give his off-spring more
Migrating to find harmony and peace
he’d prayed Australian life would mean release
from centuries of lies.
Dementia’s infiltrated years of age
He’s out of tune with history’s harsh stage
An elder still with dreams of native land
creates illusions, fails to understand
a generation cries.
Denied mainstream belonging boy-hood craves…
entrapped in cloistered enclaves faith engraves…
susceptible to propaganda’s curse…
impressionable, easy to coerce…
it shows within their eyes.
Their eyes don’t match their passports stamped by birth;
their blood-thirst flows from far across the earth
where turbulence and devastation reign
to reconcile a nation’s karmic stain
from conflicts brutal ties.
Their souls are full of hatred. Knives of steel
are thrust with depths that adolescents feel.
Conviction has convinced them they are right.
Their anguish is compelling them to fight
beneath war ravaged skies.
While anger fuels the fires of greed and lust
old man, new-world dreams turn to dust
When Armageddon threatens and enslaves
and blood is spattered on ancestral graves

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