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What a Life

Unemployed man  Port Moresby (Al Jazeera)JOSEPH TAMBURE 

Born and grown up in city, a city child
Schooled and idle in city, a street child
Struggle to meet daily needs, a survivor
Jobless on streets of city, a beggar

Do I have a land of my own to plant?
Do I have a creek to drink from free?
Do I have a jungle to hunt or waters to fish?
Do I have relatives to share and care?

I'm lost in words and wonder and fear
Why was I born, what's my purpose in life
Will I achieve anything as a man?
Don't want to be a vagrant till death

My soul searches for a good solution
High, low, deep, wide fruitless search
Can't comprehend what's wrong with me
Don't know my destiny, don’t know who’s me
There’s no end to my search and dream


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Philip Fitzpatrick

It never occurred to me that city squatters might be at the forefront of a nationalist movement in PNG Robert but you might be right.

Giant agricultural monopolies are shaping up as the future of mankind. With the majority of the population living in the cities they will end up in thrall to these mega-farmers.

Doesn't bode well for the future of the planet.

Robert Forster

I like this poem Joseph. About five years ago the world reached a tipping point when 50% of its population began to live in cities - which of course meant their ties with land and ancestry became thin and in some cases were lost forever.

The current figure is 54% and by 2030 it is predicted to be 68% - and some of those adding to this weight will be Papua New Guineans.

Within PNG this may offer an opportunity to encourage a block of people to adopt a national, not tribal/clan, identity.

And this in turn may create city based identities as is the case in the UK where people from Newcastle are "Geordies", those from Liverpool "Scouses" and those from Birmingham "Brummies".

The agriculturalist in me wonders what the effect of this migration from rural to urban will have on the maintenance of regular urban food supply and the civil stability that comes with it.

City people have to get food from somewhere which means well organized supply chains and large scale, even corporate, effort having to be made to acquire the land and the organisation able to deliver food in the high volume required on a daily basis.

What will this mean for PNG's villagers and their gardens?

Bernard Corden

Great work Joseph reminiscent of Albert Camus and absurdism

Joe Herman

Excellent piece Joseph. Keep writing.

Michael Dom

Good material, Joseph. Worth exploring.

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