Crocodile Prize 2014 Feed

The two types of PNG landowner: the legitimate & the fake

Assembling logs in the Baram valleyFELIX BARAKA

PAPUA New Guinea is among the few nations in the world where ordinary people by virtue of birth can claim to secure access land.

Land in PNG directly supports about 80% of the population, the vast majority of whom live in rural areas.

It is impossible to imagine how PNG could provide for its rural population if villagers had no land. People's attachment to the land is intimately tied to their notions of independence, identity and security.

When the state intrudes on land to exploit natural resources in the name of greater national self-sufficiency, and therefore greater national independence, village people may see it as a new form of colonisation.

Continue reading "The two types of PNG landowner: the legitimate & the fake" »


Taking a different look at corruption: bribery or luksave

Corruption control in PNGTIMOTHY PIRINDUO

An entry in the Crocodile Prize
PNG Chamber of Mines & Petroleum
Award for Essays & Journalism

“The optimist sees opportunity in every danger; the pessimist sees danger in every opportunity”  -  Winston Churchill

LUKSAVE - a Tok Pisin word that means to acknowledge those people that you know.

Luksave is commonly expressed in Papua New Guinea to mean that one is obliged to recognise those who have helped the process of making a claim by paying certain tips or commission.

Continue reading "Taking a different look at corruption: bribery or luksave" »


An Old Man’s Death

PAUL WAUGLA WII

An entry in The Crocodile Prize
Kina Securities Award for Poetry

He stares at the beckoning wall of nothingness.
It is here and here alone
On his death bed
That the entire scheme of life
What has been, is now, and would ever be
Is put in absolute perspective.
The nothingness before him
Is an intertwining maze of blackness
That  emerges and merges into a million interlocking threads.

Continue reading "An Old Man’s Death" »


The origin of the human race in Watut mythology

Watut RiverGODWIN J AIAWA

An entry in The Crocodile Prize
Cleland Family Award for Heritage Writing

The Bible teaches in the book of Genesis that God created man from dust and all things both living and non-living. Science teaches that man evolved over time from a single celled molecule into fish, tadpole, monkey and eventually into humans beings through the theory of evolution inspired by Charles Darwin.

My people from the Upper Watut of Awatengo sub-clan have their own version of how man came into existence. My father told me this story when I was a little child. He explained how and why there are people with various skin colours, unique languages and cultures that we have today. This is the legend I wish to share.

LONG, long time ago there lived a man and his two wives, who were sisters. The husband’s name was Pawoyawo, and the two wives names were Maikuni and Naboai.

They were the only humans who lived alone in a house deep within the forest. They had no children. Their house was constructed from wood, tree barks, dried grass and was circular in shape, resting on the earth floor, also covered with dried grass and leaves.

Continue reading "The origin of the human race in Watut mythology" »


The two best friends, Mekeo & Roro

Oaeke - Best friends (pic)PHILOMENA OAEKE

An entry in The Crocodile Prize
People’s Award for Short Stories

This is a fictional story based on a real life situation in Bereina District, Central Province, where the barter system still exists. The main characters are two best friends, Mekeo and Roro, who try everything to change the mindsets of the local people to do better than just chewing  betelnut or selling it to other people. In this story, betelnut is referred to as mafe and toea is Papua New Guinea’ coin currency.

MEKEO and Roro were very good friends. Roro was a good fisherman and Mekeo was a good gardener.

Roro caught many fish and prawns while Mekeo planted many bananas, tomatoes, beans, corn and tulip leaves to feed his family.Whenever Roro ran out of garden food he would run to Mekeo in exchange for garden produce.

Continue reading "The two best friends, Mekeo & Roro" »


friday six pm

HibiscusPAULINE RIMAN

An entry in The Crocodile Prize
Kina Securities Award for Poetry

violet crimson magenta wilting hibiscus
baby warm six pm jasmine scent noni oil
coconut kernel clouds ripe underside mangoes
chopping sticky aibika frying fatty corned beef
browning heliconia sugar loving ants
opaque louvers wag tail eating dust moth
rice hot boil burst thick percussion symphony
glass cups slipping sliding dishwater
mobile phones cold dark silent sentry
geckoes locking tales son reciting timetables
private beauty miniscule drama
You’re not here to share it with me.
You have gone to be with another.


Nokondi

NokondiMICHEL MEL

An entry in The Crocodile Prize
Kina Securities Award for Poetry

One of each
Limb and bone
Half a man
Half a ghost

The forest shrieks
In his wake
Tremors warn
Of wanderers’ fate

For his heart is one
With all the land
His spear and bow
Clutched in hand

The ancestors sang
Without resound
Nokondi, nokondi
Em papa graun!


Not leaving it up to chance

Members of the Seeds Theatre Group performing a drama to end violence against womenTANYA ZERIGA-ALONE

An entry in The Crocodile Prize
People's Award for Short Stories

IN a flash, the back of his hand connected with my cheek. The force caused my 10-year frame to turn 360 degrees on the spot. Stars erupted in my eyes, and my brain sloshed inside the cavern of my head.

It was hot, fiery hot, and the tears evaporated from my eyes as I struggled to choke back my heart which had leapt out of my chest from the shock.

As the room recoiled with the slamming of the door behind his retreating back, the heart wrenching sobs from the direction of the bedroom made me realize that what I had just experienced was just the aftermath of the storm which had raged in the bedroom for the past half hour.

“Mum,” I screamed as I threw myself against the bedroom door, forgetting my searing hot face.  I screamed louder as I fumbled with the knob. The door was locked from the inside.

Continue reading "Not leaving it up to chance" »


You Speak Me!

IMELDA YABARA

An entry in The Crocodile Prize
Kina Securities Award for Poetry

You know what I want to say
but can’t
You get why sometimes
a little is too much
or that sometimes a lot is not enough
You speak silence
You get why it’s never too late
never too far to go
You know when it’s okay to be here
and when it’s not
You get that sometimes it’s a ME thing,
and you know when it’s an US thing
You know its work
and you still show up
you still stick around
You speak me.
Thank God for you!


Is Papua New Guinea truly prepared for the death penalty?

NooseGODWIN J AIAWA

An entry in The Crocodile Prize
PNG Chamber of Mines & Petroleum
Award for Essays & Journalism

IN recent years Papua New Guinea experienced an upsurge of violent crimes where many people were killed and murdered, especially those most vulnerable in society including women, girls and children.

Cities and towns were gradually becoming unsafe as well as sprouting hotspots for criminals, hooligans and ‘raskols’ who plied their trade amidst a backdrop of ever-deteriorating law and order.

Constantly hitting national and international media headlines was an awful litany of murders committed under the pretext of sorcery, tribal feuds and the rape and killing of innocent women and girls.

Continue reading "Is Papua New Guinea truly prepared for the death penalty?" »


That’s Me

GEORGE KAGL

An entry in The Crocodile Prize
Kina Securities Award for Poetry

Hello, my name is Gee
I’m male and a little over twenty-three
I’m dark and slim but not as tall as a tree
From me
A well-groomed body is all you expect to see
My bones are even stronger, maybe
But my well toned muscles will surely give you a key
For me, I love tea!
And would never miss out on a drinking spree
When my favourite show’s on TV
I never miss that spot where I could be
But I would normally have the big screen out and have people to watch for free
So much like in a magnificent 3-D
My neighbours always refer to me, ‘the good man is he’
And that’s me!

Continue reading "That’s Me" »


Guma culture is not what it means to be Papua New Guinean

Model hermit crabFRANCIS SALIAU

An entry in The Crocodile Prize
Cleland Family Award for Heritage Writing

PAPUA New Guinea will soon be celebrating 39 years of independence. We’ve gone from caves to skyscrapers, and we’ve changed in so many ways. Including the way we dress. That’s what I’d like to talk about.

Most of these changes took place simply because of copy-paste.

We copy somebody else’s culture of clothing ourselves and pretend it’s ours. But in fact it is not the real us but a guma.

Guma is Tok Pisin for the hermit crab, which uses the abandoned shells of dead creatures as its own.

Continue reading "Guma culture is not what it means to be Papua New Guinean" »


From where I stand: A poets’ world

Quill_penDAVID KASEI WAPAR

 An entry in The Crocodile Prize
Kina Securities Award for Poetry

From where I stand, I see the world like you don’t
From where I stand, the pen is mightier than the sword
It’s a world so full of life, all set out in interesting forms

From where I stand, I see all corners of the world
From where I stand, everything matters in every word
This world comes to life when my fingers get to work

With eyes as sharp as those of a golden eagle
I note everything including those who, at my sight quiver
And even those we despise, in my world they shall linger

Continue reading "From where I stand: A poets’ world" »


City Spirit

PAULINE RIMAN

An entry in The Crocodile Prize
People’s Award for Short Stories

Port_MoresbyFROM deep within the Sogeri forests I come forth signalling the end of another day, carrying the rays of my grandfather – the Sun, thanking him as he sets across his sleeping wife.

In his fading light I curl up among the boulders at the base of Paga Hill whispering messages to the plants and animals from those along the inland rivers, falling asleep as their chatter slowly turned into a hush.

Deep in the night I awake startled at the sound of a young prostitute weeping and tearing red rivulets into her wrists.

I hummed into her ashen face a song I heard a mother singing often to comfort her child a thousand years ago as she tended to her gardens and baked her clay pots.

Continue reading "City Spirit" »


Shadow Millionaire

Handful of kinaHINAFUMI ONAFIMO

An entry in The Crocodile Prize
Kina Securities Award for Poetry

Money, as you can see
is not an issue for me,
Take one cigar here, and everywhere
Take a bite of betel nut
And paint the air red.

We are good: For today
Keep the change,

The coins are a burden.
In my pockets,
There is no more space
for rusty coins

I only deal with notes.
For today


Free education, cargo cults & the handout mentality

CargoplaneTIMOTHY PIRINDUO

An entry in The Crocodile Prize
PNG Chamber of Mines & Petroleum
Award for Essays & Journalism

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for the day, teach him how to fish and you feed him for a life time” - common Chinese proverb

OUR commentary cannot be expressed any better than in the Chinese proverb. And it directs us to the Papua New Guinea government’s current policy of ‘free-education’.

This policy is cultivating a cargo cult and a free handout mentality that will have adverse implications in many respects.

Continue reading "Free education, cargo cults & the handout mentality" »


You Speak Me!

IMELDA YABARA

An entry in The Crocodile Prize
Kina Securities Award for Poetry

You know what I want to say
but can’t
You get why sometimes
a little is too much
or that sometimes a lot is not enough
You speak silence
You get why it’s never too late
never too far to go
You know when it’s okay to be here
and when it’s not
You get that sometimes it’s a ME thing,
and you know when it’s an US thing
You know its work
and you still show up
you still stick around
You speak me.
Thank God for you!


A remarkable woman who shared in a young man’s dream

PAUL WAUGLA WII

An entry in The Crocodile Prize
People’s Award for Short Stories

THE glimmer from a lantern lamp was the only source of light inside the room. She sat quietly on a bamboo platform inside the dimly lit room and began to take out an assortment of items in her bilum which was lying on her lap.

She was carefully checking each item under the light from the lampwhich was suspended on a wire just above her head. She picked up something – amongst the odds and ends- which looked like a folded plastic bag.

It was indeed a plastic bag, an empty one kilogram Trukai rice packet. It was not unusual for mothers in the village to keep an empty plastic bag in their bilum for they might use it in a myriad of ways to store or carry things in it.

Lucy was a typical village woman at heart and therefore she was not far removed from this reality. What she was holding under the flicker of the lantern lamp was somewhat unusual and odd in that it was neatly folded in to a tight rectangular shape the size of a man’s thumb.

Continue reading "A remarkable woman who shared in a young man’s dream" »


Seeking advantage: PNG’s new trend of political nepotism

Election billboard (USAID)DAVID KASEI WAPAR

An entry in The Crocodile Prize
PNG Chamber of Mines & Petroleum
Award for Essays & Journalism

EVERY five years, we hear of new trends in election manipulation. Whether it’s selling and buying votes, the use of ghost names, various forms of threats and bribery and other foul play.

A new trend now seems to be in the making and it has reached certain parts of Papua New Guinea already. This new tendency is not so much election-oriented but more in the ‘nepotism’ category.

I guess it all started when the Somare government was overthrown in 2012 by the O’Neill-Namah regime.

Continue reading "Seeking advantage: PNG’s new trend of political nepotism" »


The Story of Lakes Yaundo and Pinde

Lakes Yaundo and PindeDAMBE KAWAGE

An entry in The Crocodile Prize
Buk bilong Pikinini
Award for Writing for Children

A long time ago lived an old couple in a village near the foot of Mt Wilhelm called Womatne. The man‘s name was Yaundo and his wife was called Pinde.

They lived together for many years but they did not have any children. They thought of having one but they could not.

Yaundo was the angry man in his village. When the village people gossiped about him and his wife, he fought them.

Everybody in the village hated him and his wife.  The people did not allow them  to take part in any of the village activities.

Continue reading "The Story of Lakes Yaundo and Pinde" »


My adorable brother, Emmanuel Dunnen Are

Emmanuel AreDOMINICA ARE

An entry in The Crocodile Prize
PNG Chamber of Mines & Petroleum
Award for Essays & Journalism

‘I feel that writing about him is a wonderful way of honouring him and celebrating his life’

IT was a beautiful Wednesday night and quite peaceful at the hospital. His condition was listed as critical but stable. Although he was in a lot of pain, he tried to be strong as he always was.

Sitting next to him were his beloved cousin brother, mother, younger sisters, girlfriend and myself. We sat around him and assured him that everything is going to be alright, but it turned out the other way.

At age 21, he passed away at Goroka General Hospital at 8pm on 7 May 2014. It was painful to lose him to such devastating and unexpected circumstances. He died of chemical intoxication.

Continue reading "My adorable brother, Emmanuel Dunnen Are" »


Gone

CAROLINE EVARI

An entry in The Crocodile Prize
Kina Securities Award for Poetry

We sit and stare at each other
Seconds and minutes go by
My heart burdened, I watch her nervously
Her brown eyes stare directly at me
With grief deep inside
She awaits my word
And I await hers before I begin
But those sad eyes stare back at me

Continue reading "Gone" »


Soul Speak

IVY KARUE

An entry in The Crocodile Prize
Kina Securities Award for Poetry

My soul was awakened by the sound of your voice,
I responded to your call like I had no choice

and there as I gazed in your deep dark eyes,
I saw the answer to my own heart's lonesome cries...

My love I have waited my whole life for you,
in your arms time and space cease to be true

with you everything feels so right,
as natural as day comes after night.

Continue reading "Soul Speak" »


Shadrach: RaitAPP whizz kid puts PNG on world stage

Shadrach proudly displays RaitAPP on his mobile. Inset - He demonstrates one of the features of RaitAPPBENNY GETENG

An entry in The Crocodile prize
PNG Chamber of Mines & Petroleum
Award for Essays & Journalism

LIFE is filled with inspiring stories of quiet and unsung geniuses and in Papua New Guinea one such person is the man behind the development of the new Telikom smart phone application, RaitAPP, launched recently and now on the local and world markets.

RaitAPP enables phone users to check their balance, bundles, top-ups and transfer credits, and displays transactions in both English and Pidgin.

Meet designer Shadrach Jaungere, 29 years of age and an android developer with Telikom PNG.

Continue reading "Shadrach: RaitAPP whizz kid puts PNG on world stage" »


Caged

JIMMY DREKORE

An entry in The Crocodile Prize
Kina Securities Award for Poetry

I’m behind bars
Staring at the stars
you on my mind

I sit on the floor
Staring at the door
Hoping you will enter

I write your name
In the hall of fame
Engraving you in my heart

I listen to the wind outside
Peace and tranquillity subside
I miss you


Tell me something deep

IVY KARUE

An entry in The Crocodile Prize
Kina Securities Award for Poetry

Tell me something deep,
tell me something beautiful,
colour the world around us with your voice, every
tone its own shade.
Paint a picture with your words on the canvas of my heart.
Let me see all the things that your eyes share with your soul


The meaning of nationalism in post-colonial Papua New Guinea

FELIX BARAKA

An entry in The Crocodile Prize
PNG Chamber of Mines & Petroleum
Award for Essays & Journalism

WHAT does nationalism mean to the people of Papua New Guinea? In 1975, as PNG was about to attain its independence, there was excitement, anxiety and even confusion.

As Michael Somare was pushing for independence, many people opposed him in urban and rural areas alike.

As my father told once said, “We only heard from our teacher that a big celebration was going on in Port Moresby. I witnessed some of those experiences in my village and the surrounding communities.”

The word independence was new, unfamiliar and problematic for the people, and the experience was similar in many rural parts of PNG.

Continue reading "The meaning of nationalism in post-colonial Papua New Guinea" »


Imbia

CAROLINE EVARI

An entry in The Crocodile Prize
Kina Securities Award for Poetry

A poem dedicated to my mother. Imbia means mum and nai’ye means best friend

Imbia!
My Imbia!
Your beauty stands constant
Even when you wither through season
And your strength compared to none
When the sun rises in the east
And sets to bring nightfall
You work the field
And nurse our wounds
The heroes of tomorrow you carry in your womb
And the pride you give supersedes all fear
My Imbia, my Nai’ye
My Queen 


A nation of educated minds is a nation of gold

EducationJIMMY AWAGL

An entry in The Crocodile Prize
PNG Chamber of Mines & Petroleum
Award for Essays & Journalism

EDUCATION is like a seed sowed on the land that can become a valuable asset.

It is a process of someone acquiring valuable insights of something and the processes of gaining knowledge through the five senses.

How well and how much knowledge one acquires depends on the ability of the informant and the receiver.

Continue reading "A nation of educated minds is a nation of gold" »


Tapa & Tattoo Festival: A glimpse of the rich Oro culture

Tapa cloth and tattoos in Oro ProvinceEURALIA PAINE

An entry in The Crocodile Prize
Cleland Family Award for Heritage Writing

AT nightfall, a silvery moon slithers its way across the starry sky casting its glow over the ocean like diamonds on a sheet of glass. That’s when the maidens come out to dance the kere.

Dressed in tapa cloth, coconut shell armbands and scented leaves, their bodies glisten in the moonlight. The maidens have gathered on the beach to serenade young men.

Their seductive melodies waft through the night air accompanied by the swish-swish of the tapa. The kere beckons the young men to leave their fishing canoes, lay down their hunting spears and join the maidens on the beach for a playful rendezvous.

It is a dance I learnt as a school girl. It is a dance that was performed by the mothers and daughters of Killerton village at the inaugural Tapa & Tattoo Festival held in Popondetta, Oro Province in November last year.

The event was officially opened with the national anthem sung magnificently in the Orokaiva language by school children and the festival stage was set for a truly unique experience.

Oro Governor Gary Juffa did not mince words when he reminded the 4,000 or so people who gathered on the first morning that they were once proud warriors who should maintain their unique culture.

Continue reading "Tapa & Tattoo Festival: A glimpse of the rich Oro culture" »


The tears of an orphan

MARLENE DEE GRAY POTOURA

An entry in The Crocodile Prize
Buk bilong Pikini Award for Children’s Writing

“Do not judge others. God is our only judge”

WHEN Nehemiah’s parents died, uncle Billy and aunty Kaulasi adopted him. It was sad that they were barren and it was just unfair indeed that uncle Billy was blind and aunty Kaulasi had a deformed right hand. They were very poor, but were kind, wise and humble people.

Nehemiah’s clothes were ‘thrown away garbs’, that  he collected stuck between the stones in the river Pauhu, where he went goggle fishing .He dried them on the rocks and wore them for weeks, until the clothes rot and fell away.  

The village boys snickered past him when he held his uncle’s hand and guided him down to the river. When he carried firewood with his aunty, the boys rudely imitated ‘how his aunty walked,’ and laughed rudely.  They wrinkled their noses when he went to school in his tattered trousers. Henry and Joel always kicked his skinny legs, instead of the soccer ball. No matter, how badly everyone treated him; Nehemiah was always good natured, friendly, kind and honest.   

Continue reading "The tears of an orphan" »


PNG a victim of flawed nurturing – an historical commentary

Kiap, luluais and tultulsMATHIAS KIN

An entry in The Crocodile Prize
PNG Chamber of Mines & Petroleum
Award for Essays & Journalism

PAPUA New Guineans today watch in awe as men fly through the heavens towards the stars. We envy nations of the world as they develop mighty economies and obtain great scientific, military, infrastructure, arts and sports achievements.

On a development spectrum, Japan is positioned at one end and PNG at the other. On the eve of our 39th celebration of independence, it seems that reaching Japan is impossible.

After nearly four decades of sovereignty, our skilled workforce is as good as that of any country and PNG has earned billions of kina from minerals, hydrocarbons, fishing, agriculture and forestry.

Continue reading "PNG a victim of flawed nurturing – an historical commentary" »


Bougainville civil war: The battle of Koromira Catholic Mission

Koromira BattleLEONARD FONG ROKA

PAPUA New Guinea’s motivation to re-take Bougainville in the civil war of the 1990s is and was economic.

The closure of the Panguna copper and gold mine by Bougainvilleans was hurting the PNG economy. And thus it went to war with Bougainvilleans.

But as the PNG military action continued, Bougainvilleans were learning the art of guerrilla warfare. And, from a historical perspective, the Battle of Koromira Catholic Mission was a significant Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA) success against PNG troops.

Koromira Catholic Mission was taken by PNG forces in 1996 as part of their task of flushing out the BRA from Central Bougainville, given the title Operation High Speed II.

Continue reading "Bougainville civil war: The battle of Koromira Catholic Mission" »


The everlasting pain

Gout cartoonARNOLD MUNDUA

An entry in The Crocodile Prize
Kina Securities Award for Poetry

I wrote this poem while recuperating from the affliction of gouty arthritis and it is dedicated to all victims of this disease....

Ooooff…the pain is burning
It’s pulsating
It’s excruciating
It’s agonizing

The toe aches
The ankle aches
The knee aches
I can’t walk

The finger swells
The wrist swells
The elbow swells
I can’t hold

Continue reading "The everlasting pain" »


Gag-gauamo: The baby cleansing ritual of the Upper Simbu

Arnold MunduaARNOLD MUNDUA

An entry in The Crocodile Prize
Cleland Family Award for Heritage Writing

Gag-gauamo, or baby cleansing, in Kuman dialect, was one of many obligatory rituals performed on new born babies in the Upper Simbu and other parts of Simbu Province in pre-modern times.

Gag-gauamo was performed by elderly wometo prepare the infant for healthy and trouble-free growth into adulthood. It was the first ritual performed on a new born baby immediately after birth.

The ritual used the leaves of dodon, a waterside shrub with a soft, moist sponge-like leaf, and moro-kiglaua, a deep forest piper plant with huge ovate leaves that emit a cool, sweet menthol fragrance when pressed or squashed.

In the modern context, gag-gauamo can be likened to the modern day immunisation clinic conducted by the doctors and nurses in hospitals and health centres.

Continue reading "Gag-gauamo: The baby cleansing ritual of the Upper Simbu" »


The blues

DOREEN BAULONI

An entry in The Crocodile Prize
Kina Securities Award for Poetry

Deep, deep sea
Is your colour blue
Can my eyes see     
When I look through
Is it really true
You are as blue      
As the sky above

High, high sky
Is your colour blue  
Can my eyes see   
Where your ends lie   
Is it really true    
You are as blue    
As the sea below


Chief believes O’Neill tour undermined Bougainville government

Chief TorouwaLEONARD FONG ROKA

“I am still confused why we let PNG want to direct us when we are already an autonomous region,” Chief Dickson Torouwa of Bapong Village, Panguna, told me.

“As I saw it from this O’Neill tour, our leaders need to think harder and take extra care, for there was psychological warfare to undermine our independence vote in 2015.”

In January this year, prime minister Peter O’Neill came on a so-called ‘goodwill’ visit to Bougainville. Did the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) calculate what impact this visit had on a population thinking about an independence referendum scheduled to be held between 2015 and 2020?

“From our sacred traditional cultures to our people’s bloodstained politics,” Chief Torouwa stated, “O’Neill spat on it all under our noses.”

Continue reading "Chief believes O’Neill tour undermined Bougainville government" »


PNG Paradise

PNG ParadiseDARREN A TALYAGA

An entry in The Crocodile Prize
Kina Securities Award for Poetry

At the Edge of the Great Pacific Sea
A Land among the clouds only the brave could see
Adventurers and then Christian Missionaries were thee
To Soldiers weary, a Land of Angels Fair and Fuzzy

Diverse Tribes and Cultures, their pride vested in
Sceneries from the mountains vast and green
The Coasts and scattered Islands in the tropical breeze
Through stories and legends, preserved their unique histories 

Continue reading "PNG Paradise" »


Farewell

FarewellDOMINICA ARE

An entry in The Crocodile Prize
Kina Securities Award for Poetry

Dedicated to Peter Raynes, CARE PNG Country Director, 2009-2014

Swiftly we get driven away
By our life’s journey
This time you’re packing up and leaving
Such feeling of excitement and joy to move on
But its heart wrenching
To leave behind those beautiful memories
And the people you’ve
Bonded so well with
Over the years

Continue reading "Farewell" »


Too young, too late

Too young too lateDAVID KASEI WAPAR

An entry in The Crocodile Prize
People’s award for Short Stories

I can’t find the right words to describe the feeling;  it was both sheer embarrassment and sorrow.

I was too young to understand what was going on but, from the noise and the expression on dad’s face, I guessed something important was to take place.

Kapus, my elder brother, never told me about it until I found out for myself when the din subsided in front of our house.

Peeping through the window, I could see Stella, a classmate of mine in Grade Six. “Why would she come here accompanied by her wawois (nephews) and with bowed head?” I thought.

Part of the crowd with Stella had their faces painted and held the fali falfal leaf, the Wolomu clan emblem.

Continue reading "Too young, too late" »


I Watch from the Sideline

Samoa-v-Papua-New-Guinea-Rugby-League-World-Cup-2013DAVID WAPAR

An entry in The Crocodile Prize
Kina Securities Award for Poetry

I stand on the sideline and watch them pass the ball
It’s almost full-time when fatigue will take its toll

I stand and watch from afar as they pass the buck
I can’t comprehend as they have broken the ruck

The Reds’ captain accuses while the Greens’ denies
I hope no mistakes slip away before full-time

From the sideline I watch them exchange blows
Whenever that will end, nobody but only God knows

I read the paper in anticipation to see which side won
No results yet, so they say as the game rolls on

Substitutes hi-five each other as they take the field
Minutes and seconds count down as they brandish

Politics is a game not for those who give in easily
In PNG, we swarm after the ball until the final whistle

I wonder who will accept defeat this time
I shall humbly see and hear from the sideline


Corruption

CAROLINE EVARI

An entry in The Crocodile Prize
Kina Securities Award for Poetry

The change in humanity
The filth in bureaucracy
Stolen beauty
And captive wealth
Floats in the cloud of corruption

Deteriorated infrastructure
Shortage supplies
Infesting inflation
And accelerating city crimes
Floats in the cloud of corruption

Cries of injustice
Deprived inheritance
Prolonged solutions
And impediment in balance
Floats in the cloud of corruption