An important lesson from Sir Michael
A monument to the Grand Chief

Sing me a sad song

SomareISO YAWI
| Poetry and Prose

Sing me a sad song
With a slow and soft kundu beat
Let no bird fly across the sky
Let no dog bark
Let no wind blow
Let no sun shine
I want only rain in day
And clouds at night
Let the Sepik river lie in sadness

Cry, you mountains
Mourn, you oceans
Weep, you forests
Sing your weeping songs
In eight hundred tongues
Paint your face with dirt
Let earth drink your tears
Eh, my heart bleeds

My old man is no more
Who will tell me
tumbuna stories around bonfires?
Who will teach me
songs of unity of a thousand tribes?
I want to sing a sad song now
But I can’t anymore
My tear drops speak all I want to say
No more Papa

Sing me a sad song
About Papa’s hunting trips
Songs Mama will only sing in tears
Can someone tell me
Where is my Papa?
My heart is more than fragile
My soul is a spilled drink on earth
I am nothing without Papa

My heart collapsed when the news reached me of the death of Grand Chief Michael Thomas Somare.

 I could neither eat nor drink anything as my appetite was dull. I felt my tongue numb and I could not speak a word.

My larynx was weak as if yoked with heavy gulp of stones.

My sorrowful emotions overpowered my weak soul. I felt numb like never before.

For the first time in my adult life I could not take control of my tears, and let them flow publicly.

I folded the sleeve of my shirt to wipe away the tears but they kept coming and rolled down my cheeks and touched my lips. My tears tasted like sea water.

I never cared whether anyone was watching. I cried openly letting out the tears.

I felt as if my heart was smashed by a hard rock. My soul also deeply crushed.

I understood what the founding father did. He was a pillar of this great nation. A man of manifold God-given wisdom.

It was on Saturday the 27th when the news reached the nation of Papua New Guinea that the founding father of this great nation had passed on.

The whole country, including Nature came to a state of great mourning. Trees, mountains, birds, animals, sky and clouds wept in sadness.

There was a huge downfall of rain in Wewak, the Grand Chief’s home town.

It was a sad day and will go down to the history books of Papua New Guinea.

The passing of this great man has captured the hearts of the citizens of this country.

So many people have shown deep expressions of sadness.

Many people have told stories of how this great nation came to gain independence without bloodshed through the leadership of the Grand Chief Sir Michael and many others.

Although, I was born in the 1990s; I only heard the stories of my eldest uncles and grandfathers who came from East Sepik to labour in the gold fields in Wau and Bulolo of Morobe Province.

I heard my late grandfather tell stories of a whiteman named ‘Master Lorry’ who forced them to work the mines in the colonial era.

Although my late grandfather had no photos of ‘Masta Lorry’ he spoke of him as a harsh man who punished local natives.

“Many Papua New Guineans ancestors undertook hard labour during the colonial era. We were told of Japanese soldiers cutting off the breasts of women during the war. Many of our forefathers were beaten and experienced other inhumane treatment.

It was the voice of Sir Michael along with many unnamed and faceless men and women who brought freedom without bloodshed.

Many of these stories were spoken while the rest have died with history.

Once Independence was declared in 1975, there was great joy and a sense of relief to our forefathers. The impact of this great man of Papua New Guinea has touched many lives and, in our way, this rich unwritten history has been passed to us.

With the death of the founding father of this country, a huge and rich history goes with him but a strong rich legacy is left behind.

My heart was crushed to see the nation mourn this great man. Many tribes and tongues the length and breadth of this country had their own story to tell about who Sir Michael Somare was to them and their ancestors.

It was so painful, but who will stop the course of nature?

Many of the faceless, nameless people who fought hard to bring this country to Independence have passed on.

It was his turn now, only with God’s timing. He left to be with his friends in the ancestors’ world.

All I had to do was just to accept what happened and weep tears of sorrow.

My eyes turned red with my hand bleeds to pen this piece as I write.

It is now that we all have seen and witnessed the passing of this great man, the Late Grand Chief Sir Michael Thomas Somare, and to understand the huge legacy he has left behind.

Rest in Eternal Peace, Sir. I now rest my pen.

Comments

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AG Satori

Wow, Iso, thank you.

I could not go past the 4th stanza. You said it all in them. Beautiful.

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