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Tribal Fights

WarSTEPHANIE ALOIS

‘Twas our forefathers’ definition of fame
A cultural aspect that magnified their name
‘Twas a sport in the primitive days
A method for acquiring land rights
Still, a technique that aroused mournful cries
A taint of the nightmare that kept villagers on guard

‘Twas a custom infused into our grandfathers
Demanding submission to be a tradition of our grandmothers
Whenever the inhumane figure awakened
‘Twas a weapon that guaranteed security
Still, the means that troubled their identity
An inescapable infection that existed in the community

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The Chase

I+am+the+stormGIDEON KINDIWA

You’re chasin’ the wind
Your feet’s dancin’ thing
The ground is hot coal
Jus’ burnin’ your soul
You couldn’t stand firm
With this world’s turn

You’ve had enough
But you can’t rebuff
You just want more
Your heart’s so sore
You couldn’t look back
And say, ‘What the heck?

‘I’ve got all I need
‘I don’t need to feed
‘It’s nothin’ but greed
‘That’s mak’n me bleed’
But instead you chase
Your greed into space

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Love's Left Unsaid

LlunsaidSTEPHANIE ALOIS

             She fell for the sparkle in his eyes
                          His final smile each time he leaves
                              Blinded her vision, detained her speech
                                     Oh, such a feeling!
                                       She longed for more
                                            But he just stood
                                               The love left unsaid

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Hanging Balls – you be the judge

Baka
Author Baka Bina asks you to review his short story. I'm here to tell the judges it's a rattling good yarn, absolutely splendid - KJ

BAKA BINA

PORT MORESBY - I had submitted this story to the Commonwealth Writers Prize for 2020. Three stories from Australia and New Zealand were on the short list. None of the Pacific islands entries made it.

Like Thomas Hukahu has said, we in Papua New Guinea tell stories but not in the same way that first language English speakers wants them told, or how they want to hear them.

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The Man in the Mirror

MirrorMICHAEL DOM

One day when I opened my mouth to speak
I heard a language I did not understand
I went to the bathroom to take a peek
At my reflection in the sky-roofed mirror and
To my relief the face was my very own
So I said, "Oh it's you,
I thought for a moment you were gone"
And mirror-me smirked back through
The thin looking-glass veneer
"Yes, it's me, you know I'm no voice in your head"
So I replied with a sardonic sneer
"That's ok, come on out, I won't tell till I'm dead"
Then mirror-me smiled and looked back eye-to-eye
When he said, "Back to work boy", his lips moved, not mine.


Midnight vigil of the buai buyers

Buai tradeISO YAWI

LAE - With the clock displaying all zeros representing midnight in digital time, the buai buyers were anticipating the arrival of three 75-horsepower dinghies carrying 200 plus bags of buai at the shore next to Voco Point.

It was the third day of the coronavirus state of emergency lockdown and police officers were patrolling the four corners of Lae city looking for buai sellers and crowds of people they could disperse.

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A Pandemic Far Worse Than Covid-19

MaskWARDLEY BARRY

A man searched for someone to confide in,
to discuss the things he has heard and seen.
But all his neighbours had their gates closed and
beside the road he cannot find a friend.

This road, once the heart of daily routine,
has been left barren by Covid-19.
He dragged his suitcase along the pavement.
There was no buai. He cannot pay rent.

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ANZAC

Anzac Cove Gallipoli landing 1915  painted by Paula Benson for Manjimup RSL
Anzac Cove landing, Gallipoli, 1915,  painted by Paula Benson for Manjimup RSL, Western Australia

KEVIN SEARLE

If you have read the poem
Of the Anzac on the wall
Then he like many others
In our mind stands proud and tall

They left their home and country
And from loved ones they did go
To heed the call from o’er the sea
In a land they did not know

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George & I

SigimetRAYMOND SIGIMET

DAGUA - Today, it’s just George and I. Well, it’s been just the two of us since Thursday, that’s like five days ago.

It's been five days since missus and the girls left for Wewak because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Everyone is talking about the coronavirus thing and how it came from China after someone there decided to make bat soup, got infected with bat virus and eventually infected the whole wide world.

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A million ideas & millions gone

Simon Davidson h&s
Simon Davidson - "Then rumour seeped and spread around/Of influence applied to siphon millions/Floating swollen sums to bloated cronies"

SIMON DAVIDSON

This man was minted as a lawyer
Understanding of human rights,
Rising to prominence in politics.

With fancy partisan rhetoric;
He wooed the city’s grand elite,
To secure their political mandate.

He trumpeted to the ill-starred mass
The gullible people of suburb and slum,
The nation too, through incurious media

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Cry Me a River #3

PanBAKA BINA

PORT MORESBY - I walked in and looked at the corner where I spent last night. The couch cushions were still on the floor where I had left them in the morning. Not tidied up.

The filthy sheet was still stuck in the window pane where I’d tried to shut out the early morning chill.

I read something into that. The message was clear. I was persona non grata in my own home.

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Cry Me a River #1

Checkout ChickBAKA BINA

PORT MORESBY - I smiled at the petite cashier and she smiled back at me.

I collected my goodies and saw the cashier still wearing that beautiful smile for me. I smiled back with a glint in my eyes.

But it was over for me. I swallowed my pride and turned away from this kaksi.

I needed to get my ego adjusted over a flour ball and Coke so was halfway into it with one eye on the phone's FB page.

The messenger icon showed someone had in-boxed me.

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Wanpela dei tasol insait long Covid-19 lockdown

MaketMICHAEL DOM

English translation follows

Sampela taim mi save tingting planti tumas 
Long wanem as tru bilong ol kainkain bikpela hevi
I bagarapim sindaun bilong yumi ol man meri
Kuru bilong mi i kamap ston, na het bilong mi pen
Na sampela nait mi painim hat long silip

Long apinun mi bin wokabaut igo long strit maket 
Mi hamamas long lukim ol wanwan mama salim  banana na kumu
Wanwan man meri tu ol i raun painim kaikai
Mipela tok halo long ai tasol na igo bek gen long haus
Grisim kumu long kokonas em i kamap swit moa iet

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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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