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Am I A Whore Now

WhoreWARDLEY D I BARRY

Many young women are becoming victims of revenge porn. In Papua New Guinea, one nude photo is enough to turn you into a whore or porn star. The stigma sticks and it can be a traumatising experience for the women. I hope this poem can help people understand and sympathise with victims. More importantly, I hope victims know that there are people who see their worth - WDIB

Am I a whore now for loving you?
Am I a bitch, too, for trusting you?

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The Prayer

PrayerJACK KLOMES

Dedicated to those young Papua New Guinea men who will leave their homes, tough it out with friends and relatives as they hunt for a job. May you have experiences that will warm your soul and give you encouragement to succeed

MADANG - It was a beautiful day. Remember the benches under the marmar trees that lined the road? Remember sitting and looking at the greenish sugar fields and the blue mountains away in the distance, the white clouds building up around them.

Serene, almost dreamlike, as in a painting. Yes, the small township of Ramu Sugar. Gusap Downs, as it is officially known.

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Contemplating

ContemplationMARIE-ROSE SAU

There are moments in time when I wonder
if I am ever really true to myself
That’s when I look at the skies, the clouds,
the touch of the wind, the sun kissed rays
The feel of the leaves, the sound of the birds,
tasting feelings that swirl all around
Nature is the lover’s muse, if I may say so
Offering feelings so raw and explicit
Yes, wonderful and frightening
Testing, making me falter in awe
Craving and yearning with burning desire
to see more and feel more and want more
Yet, when rain falls and thunder claps and lightning strikes,
we quiver and shy away

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An actor seeks the primitive

Zac efron
Zac Efron

GREGORY BABLIS

PORT MORESBY - Riding in an old dugout canoe with a single outboard motor, Efrongawi is jokingly cautioned by his guide to keep his limbs and phalange’s well inside the confines of the vessel lest the crocodiles snap at him.

Keeping his head in the game and his limbs in the canoe, Efrongawi asks the fixer how long he has been giving tours along the Sepik River.

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Kisim bek kantri

TribalDENNIS K BELAS
| Tok Pisin poetry followed by a free translation

Mama karim bebi nogat inap marasin
Pikinini lusim skul mekim raskol pasin
Mama laik go maket rot kondisen aut
Pablik Sevent laik wok pawa black aut

Olsem wanem nau kantri blong mi PNG?
Planti  kainkain hevi nogat sevis deliveri
Graun blong yumi oil, gas na silver gol pulap
Why ol pikinini hangere taim ol memba bel solap?

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The Road Forgotten

The road
Construction workers on the Hagus to Haku section of the Buka ringroad in Bougainville that was neglected for many years until prime minister James Marape visited Bougainville recently and allocated funds to renew it

DENNIS K BELAS

The road forgotten had been found
Gone are those pot holes rest in peace
Find your place among those souls
We shall weep nor whine no more

For though we complained
We know it was not your fault,
Through good and bad times
You still took us through

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Our land so dear

Dennis
Dennis Belas - "And whilst we wait in hope and sorrow/We cannot avoid but more want to borrow/There’s nothing more to save our land/The endless trap just seems to grow"

DENNIS K BELAS

You come from nowhere to our land
And think that we don’t understand?
We are not blind we just cannot bow
For you to steal our gold and sand

Don’t tell my people we don’t know
You make promises nothing to show
You rob our land and nothing more
Leaving behind all these dirty flow

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Give back PNG

Child
"All those riches we can't take back today / So better to stop giving them away"

MICHAEL DOM

There was a young leader named Marape
Who served in O'Neill's bagarapment
But when push came to shove
And he had had more than enough
He took back PNG without foment

If the aim now is to keep taking back
I don't know why we are being so slack
Because Beijing doesn't care
And Canberra won't dare
Tell us how to be Christian, rich and Black

And where are those God fearing leaders
Who bowed and scraped for the APEC bleeders?
Seems Jehovah is least on their minds
When they sign for more logging, more mines
They keep selling us all down the river

Spur
"But Marape says take back PNG / And then hands out all the car keys"

Since the last PM taunted our laws
And sold everything behind closed doors
All those riches we can't take back today
So better to stop giving them away
And treating our people like paupers

But Marape says take back PNG
And then hands out all the car keys
For Flying Spurs and Maseratis
Look instead at what he will do
If his words and promises are empty

Warriors long taim bipo
"Ask with sincerity, who really are we? / And how is it we keep our Black history?"

Now when we say take back PNG
And cheer Independence with glee
There are difficult things we must do
Ask with sincerity, who really are we?
And how is it we keep our Black history?

Stop taking and give back PNG.


If you love her, treat her right

LovePORAP GAI

Nowadays many young people say love is old fashioned and, when bad times come, they divorce. I composed this poem after hearing a song from Lenny LeBlanc, If you love her, treat her right’ - PG

Love is not a candle that extinguishes in the rain,
Love is the everlasting that burns forever in heart,
Love it is that stays whenever strong winds blow,
And even when it hurts, you never let go.

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Rest in peace, our captain

Captain Philip Emeck
Captain Philip Emeck

PORAP GAI

I wrote this poem as a condolence message for the late captain Philips Emeck’s funeral, and also in memory of his untimely death on Friday 13 September 2019. He came from Enga, the first pilot from Laiagam to fly helicopters. He died when his aircraft crashed in a strong wind - PG

Philip was a senior captain, to fly around the world
Always in a cheerful mood, rarely did he frown
He was our genius pilot, ours and all the people’s
His ethos left behind as a legacy for the children

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Fear

FearRAYMOND SIGIMET

This unpleasantness again I fear is here
An unwelcome guest into my house 
Who stands still, quietly, at my back 
On tired floors squeaking like a mouse
Caresses me soft behind my neck 
The whispered sounds burn in my ears 
And chill the blood coursing through my heart 
Causing my eyes to look behind my skull
A fruitless search that piques no sense
Only to see and hear nothing instead
But this unwanted visitor’s presence 
Who still follows and will never part


The prison officer’s last parade

Nara - funeral paradeALEXANDER NARA

PORT MORESBY - It is now getting on for three years since that funeral one wet January afternoon in 2017.

Time was the thief he always suspected her to be; taking his friends, taking his wife; then taking him.

Sorrow crept at the corners of his mouth, dragging them down, but he held back the tears as the white hearse purred its way slowly up the narrow road leading to the Bomana prison gates.

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Missionaries with vision

Joseph Tambure
Joseph Tambure

JOSEPH TAMBURE

Missionaries with vision on a mission
People with vision on a mission
To tame and conquer from dark to light
To teach, encourage and impart
From end to end of the world

Missionaries with vision and passion
Nothing so sweet than vision fulfilled
Leaving behind comfort and luxury
Pushing through unknown to reach the goal
Missionaries with vision on a mission

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Bride Price

Bride priceSAMUEL MORI

My mother was bought,
With items traditional dearly sought,
Big fat pigs, their tusks and other shells,
Many an item from far coastal lands,
For these were things of value,
To the fathers of me and you

My wife was bought,
With items less traditionally sought,
Money and beer,
Many an item of modern-times dear,
For these are things of value,
To people like me and you

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A Crabby Old Man

Crabby old manPORAP GAI

This very old man, aged 104 years when the photograph was taken, came from Rabaul and had lived through two world wars. He shared much knowledge with me and taught me to live longer on earth. He complained that too few young men would learn from the old men

What do you see in me young man,
When you’re looking at me?
A crabby old man, not very wise
Uncertain of habit and slow to respond
Seeming not to see the things that you do

Is that all that you see?
Then open your eyes, look at me
What do you expect from a crabby old man?
Forever losing the shoes on his legs
I'm a very old man and nature is cruel

What now do I hope for?
Dark times with me and wife now dead
I think of the good old days
And the love I knew now lost
I look at the future and shudder with dread

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A Voice for West Papua

VoiceDENNIS KIKIRA BELAS

Hey, l bet you look to the West
Beyond that mountain crest
And see far beyond that ridge
Do you see across that valley?
Smoke and flames rising?
Raging upon the western skies?

Hey, I bet you stop by and think
About what lies far beyond
Our shared mountain ridges,
Reflect upon the bond we share
And you shall feel yet for sure
They pain they cannot bear

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The Fall of the Great Warrior

Vengeance is Ours (The New Yorker)SAMUEL MORI

The warrior great in his battle gear,
An axe, a bow, a mighty spear
He stood proud and bloody and tall,
For at his feet did many fall

The hausman fire burned bright that night
And they sang of the warrior’s courage and might
A beast in battle, oh that could be
That the enemy clans could clearly see

The next day dawned bright and pure,
And on the field they readied for war
The earth shook at his fierce war cry
And the enemy trembled, their end drew nigh

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A Smiling Baby

Porap Gai and his nephew Jonathan AsaPORAP GAI

When a baby smiles, it puts the world on pause and we forget all our troubles. We feel at ease and enjoy life. The picture shows me with my older brother’s son, Jonathan Asa. When I feel hopeless, Jonathan gives me hope with his smile - PG

I see it now, baby
That grin from cheek to cheek
The natural way you show yourself
Your smiling face - you meek

A bundle full of love
A bundle soft to touch
An unwritten page of purity
Your heart is shown outside

Your smile is that of beauty
showing you inward to the world
Never lose your precious gift from God
The essence what you’re about

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Abducted

AbductedA SHORT STORY BY RAYMOND SIGIMET

I was abducted early in the morning when I was on my way to school. I was grabbed from behind and wrestled to the ground, a knee pinning my neck, my face in earth soaked from the morning dew.

The attack came suddenly from a dark patch of shrubbery near the track. I was caught off guard and could not react in time to fend it off.

“Be still or you will be in grave danger,” a man’s voice warned.

I felt his stale breath on my neck. It stank of an unwashed, unclean mouth. It was nauseating.

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The Internet Forest

Internet jungleSIMON DAVIDSON

The internet is a forest,
Not a forest of teak or balsa trees,
But a forest of viral networks myriad.

The internet is a forest,
Running on mega speed cables,
Freighting megabytes of information.

The internet is a forest,
A forest of possible paths,
To link myriads of computers.

The internet is a forest,
An information super highway,
A portal to any computer anywhere.

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Airways Hotel

Airways-hotel
"dark and cool / spreading out under / an old DC3"

SIMON JACKSON

Lyrics of a tribute to one of Port Moresby’s favourite hotels, along with
another great six new Simon Jackson songs you can listen to in full here

caught the drillers plane
from Lae
bumping down onto
a white hot
Mosbi runway
still looks just the same
but no one's at the gate

didn't think I'd ever be
coming home again
I get the strangest sense 

past the wires
drooping in heat
think I remember this street
into the

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Inspector Metau tells: The crimes & non-crimes of PNG

Inspector Hari Metau 2
"If you are going after organised crime in PNG, Inspector  Metau advised, start at the top"

PHIL FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - I was talking to Inspector Hari Metau the other day. He’s retired now but he always has something interesting to say.

We had met at the Beachside Brasserie for a coffee. Hari is addicted to good highland coffee and can’t live without his daily fix.

We got to talking about crime and all the varied forms it takes and how Papua New Guinean crime sometimes tends to differ from crimes committed in other countries.

Hari has a kind of classification system for Papua New Guinean crime.

He divides it into three categories. The first is organised crime; the second is disorganised crime; and the third is what he calls ‘other’.  Of the three the last category interests him the most.

According to Hari organised crime is an illegal activity carried out by mafia-like groups.

In Papua New Guinea, he explained, organisation and coordination are not natural traits. It’s got something to do with the Melanesian mindset, he reckoned, but it’s something too complicated to explain over a couple of cups of coffee.

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A Warrior Dances with Arrows

A warrior dancesPORAP GAI

Now let us go and dance with arrows,
This thing that death to us shall bring,
Says the warrior.

The warrior's look is as a thunderous rain-cloud,
         While the arrows drop as continuous sleet,
A dance of heaven, a dance of hell.

The dance that mortals dance so well,
The warrior’s victorious with unwounded body,
So well the thickness of mail protected him.

With bow let warrior win kina, with bow to battle,
With warrior’s bow come victors after hot encounter,       
         This dance warrior dances, this dance is his own.

         There where the hero speeds hither and thither,
When warrior armed with mail, seeking the heat of battle,
May the two bow-ends, starting swift asunder, scatter.

The bow brings grief and sorrow to the foeman,
Armed with the bow may he subdue all regions,
Finally warrior knows he danced the dance of death.

The photograph shows an Engan warrior killed in the battle by arrows, one of a number from the Kandep District who died as a result of election violence between 2007 and 2017. I witnessed the tragedy of young men losing their lives - PG