Flogged in the village square for not bearing children
Now on sale: The inside story of a tumultuous 10 years

Street Alphabet

Volcano Town Service StationWARDLEY D BARRY-IGIVISA

An entry in the 2016 Crocodile Prize

To ol bata na susa blo Rabaul Town

A is for Ah Tam, a bata's paradise:
                where good guys become bad boys in a blitz,

                where raw rebels revel with blood-red eyes.

B brews four, five, six, seven eight-hour bakets,
                and gets you nine packets of cigarettes.

C takes you anytime to classic nightclubs:
                Zoo Club, Darkmoon and Hamamas Hotel,
                where strumpets milk big-shots through luscious rubs.

D that sly, smart, slick, slock veteran dealer
                who built a palace just down the corner.

E little Ellice who eloped at eighteen,
                celebrated her nineteenth somewhere else,
                and came back home thinking she's still sixteen.

F is the mungaii who finds a futsu,
                and ditched his common, faithful wakuku.

G those lil' pathetic gangsta wannabes
                who are still gurgling their mamas' warm milk
                while grabbily sniffing wet cannabis.

H can swiftly take you halfway to heaven,
                and let you drop down to Mambu Tavern

I went to school, learned ABC's when it's day
                but at night, forgot all my teachers said;
                save graffiti, they mean zilch anyway.

J is the bata who just came out of jail,
                now he wants cats, cold cash and a cocktail.

K do you remember that chubby kongkong
                who works for Eddy at the tucker-shop?

                he chewed betel nut and became a bong.

L still pissed at those lover-boys and kekus
                that we smashed after bouts of lokim brus.

M is for all those good bataistic music
                that naturally flows when batas click;
                and that laudable maid in meri-blouse
                who, accept for church, rarely leaves the house.

N remember those rare dust-free, cop-free nights Mangi Rabaul
                when we make big circles beside the road
                passing joints, playing cards under streetlights?

O they've all gone now! we don't want them somehow
                and put them out with stones lest snitchers crow.

P is the paps with a lot of beer and cash,
                and an equally money-clad young wife,
                at whose house we can party wild and crash.

Q and there are those qwarphy queans in our streets
                who can shake rumbas when we play our beats.

R respect, hats off to the resa-mamas
                who, with winks and wiggles, can make faithful

                papas forget vows, wives and tumbunas.

S pause for batas who now sleep in silence.
                the nangunan's shots gave them little chance.

T give it up to the times when they were here
                when they made the calls, called the shots, led up
                front. with them around, we hardly knew fear.

U just put on a cut-jean and a round-neck
                shirt, and KT — we're bringing fashion back!

V is the vavi on whom we waste whistles
                who, nonetheless, commends our cheap efforts
                with cute, wry smiles and nonchalant giggles.

W you wake up from hangovers on Wen'sday
                beaming, for just down the bend is Friday.

X when we talk of PNG politics,
                and vowed not to give anyone an "X"
                for we think we know all their stupid tricks.

Y is for me and you (others like us too)
                awrie batastrets and the faithful few.

Z enough said, let's stroll over to Zoo Bar,
                and drink this tribute with SP Lager.
                besides, what good's a paper filled with dots?
                we're broken pencils. let booze chill our thoughts.


awrie                                     awesome and original (PNG Pidgin/Slang)

baket                                    homebrew (PNG Pidgin/Slang)

bata                                       friend, esp., brotherhood form in the streets (PNG Pidgin/Slang)

bataistic                               of or relating to bata

batastrets                           genuine, best batas forever (PNG Pidgin/Slang)

bong                                      stupid (Kuanua)

futsu                                     girlfriend, esp., one who is very beautiful (PNG Pidgin/Slang)

keku                                      a sissy (PNG Pidgin/Slang)

kongkong                            an Asian (PNG Pidgin)

lokim brus                           puffing tobacco (PNG Pidgin)

mungaii                                a very handsome bata (PNG Pidgin/Slang)

nangunan                            an auxiliary policeman (Kuanua/PNG Pidgin/Slang)

paps                                      papa (PNG Pidgin/Slang)

qwarphy                              beautiful and bodacious

resa-mama                         sugar mummy (PNG Pidgin/Slang)

slock                                      slow and sluggish (PNG Pidgin/Slang)

vavi                                        woman or madam (Kuanua)

wakuku                                a  not-so-attractive futsu (Kuanua/PNG Pidgin/Slang)


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Raymond Sigimet

Thank you Wardley for capturing the ABCs of life from the other side of the Bismarck Sea. Bring back old memories.

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