A contribution to ‘My Walk to Equality’, the first anthology of PNG women’s writing, which will be published on International Women’s Day on 8 March next year
I originally wrote this poem reflecting the lifestyle in Port Moresby but now feel it speaks of the working class in Papua New Guinea, raising issues about the challenges to development and the role of women in this process. It paints thane image of women's role still not being identifiable in positive national change so much as within the household.
Oh, the tide of the golden sun
Where streams once flowed in shimmering light forming backdrops
Of a nation's dawn.
Where curtains of hope fluttered with promises and bridges high
And visions shone of the futures of which our forefathers told
and in which time suburban dreams began.
Now streets are deep holding back alleys where once tracks ran
Behind the busy traffic flows, little hamlets of shanty huts loom,
People of diverse ethnicity live by rules of class and greed, hunger pangs drive survival
Each person acting to his or her need.
Pocket of trust are hushed, dignity is the price we pay today.
Divided by weed, pills and booze; what is pride in another man's shoes?
City jungles with secret codes of survival, street talk, local lords
Party hordes to muck and shame; there's no pride in a no win game.
City chase in gunfire
Broad daylight rush
Whose husband to be picked up tonight?
Clean bill calls the shots
Pulls strings under the table
Foots the bill for them big boys.
Dirty games on double dips
White collar crime
How do we define such acts?
Where is decency in society where doll girls flaunt in hotel foyer?
Money man fortnight rush. In sweet lies where pillows dance.
These silent thoughts left unanswered till dawn
where the dust of reality shakes off unto the future
and the twilight streaks of the breaking day sets forth.
Money divides and classifies
Yet we all share the same view
Toward the golden sun.