Port Moresby air connection established to Jakarta
Adventures in futility: How I offered PNG my services

A soliloquy of soil

MICHAEL DOM

Soil“What is the nature of soil?” I wondered.
“Soil is filthy and weak”, a rock sneered at the earth around it.
In a ploughed field I saw rocks crumbled to dust, where my workers were hand tilling, and many more were piled along the foot deep drains and at the head of each of a score of forty metre long furrows.
“Now we can plant”, I said.
This is the nature of soil.

“What is the value of soil?” I mused.
“Crops need top soil, but we grow anywhere”, jeered some weeds, rooted in deeply.
At noon my workers and I rested under the Tulip shade, where we ate lunch and drank our fill of water, while enjoying the cool wind that made the piles of cleared debris burn more ferociously on our field.
“Return the ashes to the earth”, I said.
 This is the value of soil.

“What is the need of soil?” I thought.
“In ‘Rainy Lae’, almost anything can grow”, echoed my bedroom walls.
That night I dreamt of my mum’s small backyard garden at Fort Banner, where together we toiled, and how we shared our harvest with neighbours, through the fence or over the wall bordering our houses.
“This land is too dry, hard to dig and full of stones, but you make magic Mrs Dom”, they said.
This is the need of soil.

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