Radio Days: Hello Sydney!
Nicholas’s solution to election violence



Secrets in my head
Scars in my heart
Fear in my bones
I want to explode
Each time I’m provoked
To remember what happened

Desperate to make things right
But the situation’s too tight
Should I choose dad?
Should I choose uncles?
Love and hate them all
in equal measure
I’m stuck in the middle

Used to being neglected
Can’t accept being abandoned
Time heals, I was told
But memories open wounds
That don’t want to be healed

I aimed for the stars
But landed in misery
Had my head held high
But despair overwhelmed me
Drowning in my own tears
And no one understands

My heart is frowning
But my face’s still smiling
I’ve become too good at it
Everyone’s become so used to it

Laugh like there’s no choice,
Live like there’s no chance
That’s all there is to it
This relentless hell I’m living


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Lindsay F Bond

Dear Stephanie, this is not of contraction or apostrophe, even if prefaced with ‘Tis your bright and tiny spark', which is a line in a stanza from 200 years ago.

If you were to read a line like, “crinkle wrinkle brittle czar”, chances are thoughts might dwell on leader, leadership broadly, leader particular to a northern nation, even hint of political style. But then too, resonance of rhythm will fetch a lyrical link.

Quote: “Rhymes for the Nursery” by sisters Jane and Ann Taylor [was] published in London, including Jane's "The Star" ("Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star") 1806.


As well as a lead of lyric, maybe the energy shown in the life of that author can encourage writers in PNG.

Stephanie Alois

Hi Lindsay, Thank you for sharing your experience and yes I'm grateful for Michael's generosity in explaining about "contraction". Your comments will be my motivation.

Lindsay F Bond

As you see, Stephanie, an examination and explanation by Michael is quite a celebration, far from any slight or exposé.

Sharing with you, I was surprised and delighted at Michael's generosity.

Like you, I take heed, truly.

Reason for me was (is) his crisp quip on 'contraction'.

English is my first language, so in my era of engagement, mastering apostrophes was par for the course.

Seems I have rarely thought much the word 'contraction' but ever readily 'eclipsed' a letter or two (or word) in automated movement of hand.

Review now of my comment (24/5/2020) has brought to me the word 'determiner'.

All of which is a long winded lead-up to my slip of any noun at 'many's', which may well be my very first occasion of such use (that is, not many, not any). Yet that contraction at determiner was deliberate. Noun there is none.

For writers, focus ought be on receptivity, at which I ain't done learning.

Stephanie Alois

Hi Garry, Thank you for your feedback and motivation.

Indeed expressing myself brings self-understanding. I also find it liberating.

Stephanie Alois

Thank you Michael Dom for your feedback. I will be careful when using inappropriate or informal words like "face's" in the future.

Garry Roche

Stephanie, your poem is thought-provoking. I can envisage a smiling face but one with no glint in the eyes because your heart is frowning. Keep writing. Expressing yourself brings self-understanding.

Michael Dom

You're welcome Stephanie Alois. It was your good effort which earned the compliment.

One edit: second line of second last stanza, undo the contraction 'face's' (face is).

Advice: contractions like 'that's', 'it's', 'what's' etc are most useful for mimicking everyday speech. Contractions provide a sense of informality. But may or 'mayn't' always express well what 'you are' trying to say.

Often we use the full term which may be contracted and in this case it would sound much better to say, 'But my face is still smiling'.

'I'm' not sure if 'you'd' or 'I'd' actually use 'faces's' to say what our faces are up to.

I like the way you have juxtaposed the image of a smiling face with the sense of a frowning heart.

Em tasol.

Stephanie Alois

Oh thank you so much Michael Dom. Getting a wonderful comment like this from you ...I'm speechless. Thank you so much Keith Jackson and Lindsay too.

Lindsay F Bond

Choosings and chancings, Stephanie is amidst many's relentless wonderings.

Michael Dom

What an explosive start, "Secrets in my head / Scars in my heart / Fear in my bones / I want to explode".

And pyroclastic phrases follow after in every verse:

"Love and hate them all / in equal measure / I'm stuck in the middle." Harsh reality.

"Time heals I was told / But memories open wounds / That don't want to be healed." Real pain.

"I aimed for the stars / But landed in misery." True story.

"Laugh like there's no choice / Live like there's no chance." Sounds like a quote.

There is very good manipulation of some common references which if applied with less tact and delicacy would produce a clichéd result.

This is no fanciful prance nor frivolous prose.

This is the powerful naïve poem.

The force of nature.

The explosion that vents the catastrophe.

This is a Crocodile Prize winner (to me).

Congratulations Stephanie.

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