2019 Greg Judkins Prize for Reflective Poetry winners

30 July 2019

The Greg Judkins Prize for Reflective Poetry encourages registrars to use poetry to reflect on their practice. The theme for the 2019 competition was ‘surprised.’

The winners of the 2019 competition were announced at the annual GPEP and Distinguished Fellows’ Breakfast (pictured right), held as part of the 2019 Conference for General Practice in Dunedin. 

Two prizes were awarded: one for a Haiku and one for a longer poem.

Long poem prize winner

‘Surprise’ by Victoria Switzer Taylor

Is normally 
Shouted by friends jumping from behind furniture and walls and laughter
Lurid hats and balloons.
“Surprise!” Shouts Screeching Party Poppers
that can’t drown out the
Delighted grin that lights up
Even the most introverted of face’s.

Today’s surprise is just as unexpected                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
But much less welcome.

The fluid we thought was just an afterthought, a part of a pneumonia, a Frustrating but fleeting complication
Was in fact the Bearer of Bad News.

Not just any cancer, no polite-knocking-at-the-door-but-not-opening-it-yet-thank-you-very-much cancer.
This cancer had rudely, completely uninvited, opened the door, taken off its shoes and made itself at home, with a silence and stealth that shocked you in to Questioning your own perception of reality.

There was no easy way to lessen the burden of the surprise.
You and your husband were together.  
After the news your face crumpled, almost out of your control, but just for a second, a microsecond perhaps, and then 
you placed Strength there, and held it firm, to ask the 
What and Why and Where-to-next
Until your husband broke down in to sobs
And then, you too, dissolved, until the two of you huddled together 
Floating as if in a stormy sea, clinging
In an intimacy I felt like an intruder to observe.

Haiku Prize Winner

‘Untitled’ by Callum Fowler                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

In for a head cold 
“You know about dad, don’t you?”
Sixth and last attempt