Zero for months; now PNG overwhelmed
Canberra’s approach to PNG seems hapless

An original poem in Tok Pisin & English

Mathias Kauage - Independence celebration 4
Mathias Kauage - Independence celebration 4,  1975  (National Gallery of Australia)

MICHAEL DOM

Bik nem lidasip 

Papa bilong yu 
Emi gat bikpela nem turu
Long olgeta hap ples mi raun
Mi ken i harim ol manmeri 
Litimapim nem bilong em
Taim oli toktok long ol kainkain wok 
Emi bin mekim long en

Iau bilong mi pairap
Ai na maus bilong mi op
Bai mi tok wanem long em
Emi bikpela man tumas

Ol samting em i mekim 
Long taim bilong em
I winim mak we mipela nau
Ino inap mekim long em

2.

Lida bilong yumi
Oli gat kainkain bikpela nem
Long olgeta hap ples mi raun
Ol manmeri save tokaut 
Kamautim ol pasin pekato 
Toksave wanem samting oli baim
Em liklik toktok istap ples kilia

Iau bilong yumi pairap
Ai na maus bilong yumi op
Bai yumi tok wanem long em
Emi bikpela man tumas

Ol samting ol lida i mekim
Emi stap long save blong ol
Giaman bilong ol i abrusim mak
Na mipela ol pipol istap longlong

3.

Unkol-papa bilong mi
Em tu emi rait lidaman tumas
Em tasol bai karim nem bilong ples
Igo long bikpela gavman haus 
Na kisim kaikai bilong em ikam bek
Tupela taim mipela salim em igo
Na mipela weit istap iet

Iau bilong mipela pairap
Ai na maus bilong mipela op
Bai mipela tok wanem long em
Emi bikpela man tumas

Ol samting kamap long Haus Tambaran
Em mipela ol manmeri nogat save
Igat kainkain pepa na lo na tok 
Isave paulim tingting blong yumi

4.

Mi iet mi tu bai kamap lidaman
Ol manmeri nating i tok taim ol i lukim mi
Em nau em sans bai mi kisim
Bikpela posisen pastaim long opis
Na mekim sampela sait wok tu
Olsem helpim politisen na Sainaman
Em wanpela wei bilong igo insait

Iau bilong yu pairap
Ai na maus bilong yu op
Bai yu tok wanem long mi
Mi bikpela man tumas

Ol samting mi mekim long em
Yu nogat save tu long toktok
Em taim bilong mi tu long kamap
Na yu iken stap tasol na litimapim nem

 

Big name leadership 

1.

Your father 
He truly has the Big Name
In all the places I visit
I hear all the folks  
Praising his name
When they speak of all his works
The things he has done

My ears pop
Eyes and mouth open
What can I say about him
His is a real big man

The things he has done
During his time
Is more than we have done
And we can't match his mark 

2.

Our leader
Has many different big names
In all the places I visit
There are folk who talk 
And reveal all his misdeeds
Report on all the things he has bought 
All those hidden stories are told

Yours and my ears pop
Our eyes and mouth open
What can we say about him
His is a real big man

The things our leaders do
Are all done in their own knowledge 
Their lies have gone beyond limits 
And we their own folk remain ignorant 

3.

My own Uncle-father
He too is the right leader
He alone will carry our village big name  
Into the big government houses
And bring the fruits back to us
Twice we have sent him already 
And we are still waiting 

Our ears pop
Our eyes and mouth open
What can we say about him
His is a real big man

Whatever happens in Parliament House
We folks have no knowledge 
There's all sorts of papers, laws and talk
That always confuses our thoughts 

4.

I too will also become a leader man
Simple folk say this when they see me
Right now is my chance to take 
This big position in office first
Then do some side deals as well
Like helping politicians and Chinamen
That's one way to get inside  

Your ears pop
Your eyes and mouth open
What can you say about me
I am a real big man

Whatever I do 
You have no knowledge to speak of
It's my time now to rise
And you can stay the same and praise my name

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