The tears of an orphan
From the Kundiawa News – 50 years ago today

Gavman I stap we?


An entry in The Crocodile Prize
Kina Securities Award for Poetry

Ol I tokim mi gavman I laik senis
“Na wanem samting bai mi mekim?”

Mi harim long redio wan Memba I laik go hait
“Bilong wanem? Sapos em I lida em bai sanap na pait!

Ol polis na soldia I buruk I go narapla
“Na ol I no han bilong gavman?

Mi go long gaden, kambek long abinun
Na ritim long pepa; ol samting I no gut

“Mi no tingting tumas long gavman
Long wanem, mi holim giraun long han”

“Gavman I no kam givim mi rais na tinpis
Olsem na mi stap lukluk tasol inap ol samting I pinis”

“Maski, bai mi stap wet tasol na harim
Inap taim ol samting bai I orait”

Ol I askim mi ken sapos gavman I orait tete
Na mi tok, “gavman bilong yupela I stap we?

Where  is our Government?

Translation by Keith Jackson

They say they’d like to change the government
“And what do you think of that?”

I heard on the radio that a Member wants to hide
“Why? If he’s a leader he’ll stand and fight!”

The police and soldiers are split and divided
“Uh, aren’t they arms of the government?”

I go to my garden and come back each afternoon
I read in the paper that things aren’t so good

“I don’t think much about the government
Why? I have the earth in my hands

“The government hasn’t given me rice or tinned fish
I’m only interested in things that are achieved”

“Forget about hanging around and listening
A lot of the time things turn out all right”

Everyone asks me if the government’s all right today
And I say, “Where is our government?”


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