The long conversation: I miss it Kurt, & I miss you my friend
ADB grants K635 million loan to support PNG health programs

We Have Shredded Our Feathers

Huli child drinking Coca-ColaWARD BARRY

We have shredded our feathers for leather.
We have coloured our skins with yellow ink,
but we can’t face the ferocious weather.

We have thrown ourselves headlong to the brink
of the Earth. We are now dangling mid-air,
groping frantically for hope as we sink.

We’ve set up camps and built houses somewhere
between Nowhere and Anywhere, while our
children are scattered about Everywhere.

We have converted our seasons to hours;
the months we reserve for women, and take
turns farewelling each other every hour.

We have let our beautiful daughters shake
off their innocence just to please foreign guests;
as they leave, they cheer, they smile, they take

everything leaving our birds without nests.
We have shredded our feathers for leather.
Now we scramble desperately for rest,
for we can’t face the ferocious weather.


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Ward Barry

Thanks Daniel. More than anything else, I think our country is better known for its educated wantoks getting rich at the expense of the illiterate.

Daniel Kumbon

PNG today as it is, in a nutshell, Ward.

I am drawn to the photo which must have been taken in the 1960s. Many women were dressed in much the same way as this mother who is certainly illiterate. She doesn't know which is best for her child - the Coke or the breast milk.

In the current PNG context - our leaders and top bureaucrats are all educated. They know what they are doing - deliberately feeding PNG with Coke and keep or siphon the nourishing milk to destinations beyond our shores.

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