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Doreen Bauloni wins first Rivers award with poem that “says it all”


Dalai Lama on peaceTHE K750 INAUGURAL RIVERS Peace & Harmony Writing Prize has been won by Milne Bay poet Doreen Bauloni with a poem that proposes a positive pathway for a more peaceful and harmonious Papua New Guinea.

The Prize was established this year by Val Rivers, a onetime school teacher in Papua New Guinea and former senior examiner in the South Australian Education Department.

“All writers should be congratulated for their work,” said Val Rivers of the 17 entrants who included some of PNG’s leading poets and essayists.

“They are all brilliant and deserve accolades,” said another judge, Peter Kranz. “All the authors should feel proud.”

Among the writers who were highly assessed by the judges were Jeff Febi, Dominica Are, Michael Dom, Leonard Fong Roka and Tanya Zeriga Alone. But unfortunately there is only one first prize.

“The writing had to reflect the two ideals of peace and harmony,” said Val Rivers. “Some good writing identified only one issue and so limited to context of the topic.”

Commenting generally on evaluating poetry in a broad literary context, Peter Kranz said: “A poem is difficult to judge. It must be emotionally powerful, carefully crafted, and speak from the soul, which is where all great poetry originates.

And Val Rivers has not finished work on this year’s project. “A collection of many of the salient points made by writers would make a wonderful contribution for publication,” she commented.

I have invited Val to start work on this, and we’ll keep you informed through PNG Attitude.

So the results of the first Rivers Prize….

Doreen Bauloni – Contributing to a peaceful PNG (poem)

Runners up (in order):
Jeffrey Mane Febi – Roam Alone: A new perspective & a new lease of life (essay)

Tanya Zeriga-Alone – Can the Melanesian way guarantee a good life for the people (essay)
Michael Dom – Sonnet 6 (poem)
Dominica Are – Stop! (poem)
Leonard Fong Roka – One way to peace & prosperity in PNG (essay)


Contributing to a peaceful PNG


Pass a flavoured smilePass a peppermint Colgate smile
Stretch a copper stained grin
Give it to a stranger without one
Wave your hands to a traveller
Say hello to a passer-by
Shake the hand of someone you meet
Call one another as wantoks
Regardless of the language you speak

Sound the conch of gathering
The feast of friendship be herald
Slaughter the disputes past
Melt the arrows of revenge
In a bonfire of forgiveness
Prepare a banquet of caring
Lay it on a table of sharing
Uniting all race in one accord

Let education not raise the foolish
Who trampled selflessness underfoot
Knowledge be embraced by the wise
Directing each man his path
Let status not shorten the sight
Letting glutton fill able bellies
Overlooks a neighbour’s dire need
The worth of their toil and penny

Chop down the trees of injustice
Clear the scrubs of partiality
Reduce to ashes selfishness
And ignorance be carried no more
Plant the seeds of equality
Let fairness sprout galore
In the fields of every path
That takes one to the humble roots

Park that fifth element
Gather the sixth sense
Walk down the seventh street
The people at the far corner
Be aliens to one no more
We are neighbours astride
Regardless of ethnic origins
In peace and harmony we strive


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Steve W Labuan

Congratulations to Doreen Bauloni and thankyou - her poem is a practical guide for creating peace in PNG.

I like the voice of the poem. This is carried in the choice of its words. The voice is naturally friendly and peaceful and has the charm to convict and move people to action in an ordinary day today life.

There's an aura of wamth that is shared generally by readers for this poem, and this aura in turn naturally reminds readers to consciously, yet easefully perform the basic actions of friendship in manners beyond responsibility; rather like people becoming conscious of the goodness of being friendly and the the need to be appreciative of each other;- people wanting to give out of love than of taking out of anticiption.

I am sure this aura is a shared practical element for beauty among readers, and is problably the most significant factor for the poem's outright selection as the most outstanding work on its prescribed theme.

It should easily rank with "Niugini Panorama" (Kumalau Tawali) and with Steven Edmund Winduo's current mural poem that's on the wall of the student union building at the University of PNG (Can't remember the title now), but together these would be some of the bests of instructional poems from PNG.

"A Guide to Peace" is a great instructional poem. Congratulations also to the runners-up as well, and to all those who had competed this year for the 'crocodile prize': you have all made this blog more interesting for us readers.

Above all Congratulations and thankyou to Keith Jackson - the anchor of this blog, to Peter & Rose Kranz, Philip Fitzpatrick and all the other sub-anchors for blog: thankyou for contributing creativelly to the administrative & finanacial successes of the 2013 Crocodile competition and to PNG Attitude in general for this year.

Michael Dom

Congratulations Doreen and all.

Thank you Val Rivers for this wonderful new initiative. I look forward to seeing more entries in the years to come.

A hearty congratulations to Angra Sil Bolkin on his book publication. One of many to come I don't doubt.

And it is fantastic to see such a quick start to The 2014 Crocodile Prize.

Colleagues with Attitude, we are going from strength to strength in promoting PNG literature. Keep writing.

As for Keith and Phil, I take the liberty of bestowing you both with the 'Muruk Award'.

Yu tupela man bilong kalapim ol sampela kain banis tu ya, eh laka.

Steven Ilave (Snr)

This is a deserving first prize. I am pleased to note that in addition to the winning entry, a number of poems made to the final list of five.

As a poet, I am particularly proud that we can say it with poetry. Congratulations Doreen !

Phil Fitzpatrick

Congratulations Doreen.

The writing talent coming out of PNG continues to amaze me.

I'm off to Canberra today to attend a book launch for another PNG writer, Sil Bolkin, at the PNG High Commission on Wednesday. It's at 4.00 if anyone is interested in coming along. There will also be a display of PNG books and a Highlands photographic exhibition.

Perhaps you can tell us a bit more about yourself and what inspires you.

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