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Brink of despair


| An entry in the Crocodile Prize Poetry Award

Sitting quietly at the cove
The cool sea breeze blowing in her hair
Staring at once a treasure trove
Heading towards the brink of despair

Woman, mothers and grandmothers lamenting
Many moons since they last heard of resettlement
Now fifteen years and counting
Still talks continue of government investment

So much political jargon
Talked of good bargains
Now the laughingstock of MSM!

When will this façade end?
All these talks of Andarum
Will this be a common trend?
To be frowned on as care centre scum

She looked to the right
No move yet!
Then she turned to the left
Just in time to be caught in a net!

She felt as if submerged
Like her volcanic island slowly sinking
With the horizon merged
Caught in the net sulking

Wailing heard from a nearby house
As a mother dies in childbirth
Adding another lonely spouse
Still another return to earth

She screamed at the ocean
Only silence heard around
She shouted to the mountain
But her yell went unheard

Is there someone who cares?
Will someone come to her aid?
How long till her burden is shared?
Or will she remain a refugee in her own land?

Andarum - The area designated for the resettlement of volcano-displaced Manam Islanders in the Yawar area of Bogia District in Madang Province
MOA – Memorandum of Agreement
MOU – Memorandum of Understanding
MRA – Mutual Recognition Agreement
MSM – Mainstream Media


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Michael Dom

A worthwhile issue to write about Lorraine, and one that requires much thought and empathy for the suffering of local refugees.

Are living conditions better or worse off than squatter settlements?

The care centers are a newly created way of life in PNG, with at least a couple of generational waves emanating from them.

How will these Papua New Guineans view life?

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