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Uplifting poetry for those crushed by life

This book is for you who are struggling to get out of your abusive situation and escape the wounds of the past, Survive and Thrive will help disentangle you from victimhood. For you are not a victim but a survivor, a victor, a warrior

Lydia Gah
Lydia Gah - mediator, counsellor,  family law consultant, author, speaker

| Ples Singsing

Survive and Thrive: My Courageous Journey Out of Domestic Violence by Lydia Gah, Holistic Journeys, March 2020, 112 pages, paperback. ISBN-10: 1925884988. Purchase here from Amazon, $31.05

MOOROOBOOL, QLD - Don’t just survive through life – thrive in your life. In August 2020, I published Survive and Thrive, my account of surviving domestic violence.

Discover the secrets to living a life you desire – during and after your journey of abuse.

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Poetry for Peace



There’s a tremblin’ in the Kremlin,
And a rumour in the Duma,
That it‘s a serious time to definitely make a change,
For there’s those who can’t deny,
That there’s no good reason why,
Putin’s downfall's taking too long to arrange.

The Old Justice is Dead

"The old justice is dead, and lost to time / Where once in the hausman it chanted at night  / Amidst broken betel nut and waft of lime /  Spoken in a chanted glow of embers’ light"



The old justice is dead, and lost to time
Where once in the hausman it chanted at night 
Amidst broken betel nut and waft of lime 
Spoken in a chanted glow of embers’ light

Burnt and buried, the old justice of the past
Where balance and order were societal norm 
Calling upon ancestors and act not in haste 
To pass judgement from man’s earthly worm

Continue reading "The Old Justice is Dead" »

Beyond the Corridor

"The dark passage is only life's score / Let not your fear triumph in this fight / Be brave, take those steps towards the door"



There's something beyond the corridor
For the air is filled and sour with fright
But be brave, take those steps to the door

Each step squeaks and squeals along the floor
Fear abounds and races through the night
There is something beyond the corridor

The dark passage is only life's score
Let not your fear triumph in this fight
Be brave, take those steps towards the door

Take heart with each step to the door
Amidst shadows standing silent as the night
There is something beyond the corridor

And that something wants you to explore
It's not out of reach, just out of sight
Be brave, take those steps through the door

By our values, the portions are not equal

The political economy of a pig farmer’s life


Dom -pigs

1,  28 December 2012

Until you have seen your hands blistering
Until you have felt sweat break like fever
Before another new gardens planting

Until you have cleaned the piss and manure
Cut, carried and replaced sodden bedding
Until you have closed the sow with the boar

Continue reading "By our values, the portions are not equal" »

Meeting Penny

"I heard footsteps brushing against the grass and crackling the dry leaves. I looked up and was surprised to see a pretty young woman, all Afro and earrings"

Penny 2


FLASH FICTION - This is my story of Penny, someone I met unexpectedly. On a Wednesday.

Our meeting was extraordinary and it happened on this particularly insignificant Wednesday.

I got to know that Penny is a Capricorn, born in the month of January.

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Sumatin magazine opens a box of delights

“There are many writers wondering where PNG is heading and when the vicious cycles of political corruption, poor economic development and social decay will end. Papua New Guinea is a nation in denial” - Sumatin

Dom Magasin cover top


NOOSA – Sumatin magazine, published by Michael Dom and his energetic team at Ples Singsing, is billed as the ‘space for Papua New Guinean creativity’ and is a wonderful initiative that has revived the fading literary flame lit by the Crocodile Prize.

Sumatin magazine issue 2 of July 2022, which you can access here, is a free, online production featuring both original content and relevant writing drawn largely from Ples Singsing, PNG Attitude and DevPolicy Blog.

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God’s last stopping place. But what of Nutu?

“But when they came they hid you in the Book / And said you weren’t from around this place / We searched 'til we had nowhere else to look…”

A young Mengen woman, Matanakaka, bringing food back from the garden to the village (Françoise Panoff)


ORO - I wrote this sonnet as I thought about some of the ideas arising from my interviews and other observations while conducting fieldwork amongst the Mengen (or Maenge) people of Jacquinot Bay in East New Britain.

The concept of God was a principle theme of most of my interlocutors. Nutu is one of the central characters in Maenge mythology.

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My Son

I'll give you the world my little one / I'll raise you properly-even with father gone / So rock-a-bye baby / Don't you ever cry / Grow child grow, grow up and be a better man

Baby (Nick Hedges)
(Photography by Nick Hedges)


Your father disowned you and I cried
Silently in my heart and swallowed my pride
Isolated from the village and gossip of men
Pain, oh such sweet-bitter pain

Continue reading "My Son" »

An elegy for an ended war & an uneasy peace

The resplendent rugged terrain of Oro does not easily reveal the stories of those ragged bloody heroes, foreign and local alike, who trudged across this landscape 80 years ago

Bablis - beach of peace

| Ples Singsing - A PNG Writer's Blog

GORARI ORO - I wrote this poem sitting in my house in the middle of Gorari village thinking about this beautiful land that is steeped in the history of World War II as well as its own traditional history.

The title of the poem, 'Oro to This Place of War and Peace', points to Oro as knowing war and continuing to know it through its lingering effects and consequent materiality even in this time of peace.

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The Epic of Jonah and The Great Repentance

"Toss me in the sea, let it swallow me!" /  They threw Jonah into this great tempest /  "God! We're innocent and let us be free!" / And the sea grew calm amidst this great test

Ch 1

Chapter I 


The voice of the Lord God came to Jonah 

"Go now and tell Nineveh, the great city.

"Your wickedness, to Me, has climbed higher."

But Jonah fled to Tarshish, near the sea.

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What if....

'Without you, I’m as a mirror so tarnished / pushed out of sight to the back of the room / awaiting a jeweler to give me my clarity / But, now you’re here, my radiance renewed'

A Mirror


Time passes swiftly each time we talk
The world disappears when I hear your voice
Even if we both say nothing, it still feels
like the best conversation, it’s never awkward
even a vacuum filled with prolonged silence
For just hearing you breathe keeps me alive
Now I’m wondering ‘what if ‘?

Continue reading "What if...." »

Just a little walk in the dark

'I’m fed up with how my family compares me to a whale with limbs. Why in the name of my beloved ancestor did I let this bugger tag along?'



Bro, hariap ya! Plis o! Move a little faster yah.”

He kept talking and irritating me, like a betel nut stain on a wall.

I’m big for my size and quite slow. That's why.

I'm also fed up with the nagging. I truly am.

Continue reading "Just a little walk in the dark" »

What must have happened to Ma?

Baka  Daniel & Jimmy  Gembogl  2016
Baka Bina with fellow award-winning writers author Daniel Kumbon and poet Jimmy Drekore on an excursion to Gembogl from a literary convention in Kundiawa in the PNG Highlands, 2016


NOOSA – Yesterday Baka Bina was announced as one of five Pacific regional finalists in the prestigious Commonwealth short story prize, the first Papua New Guinean to be thus honoured and chosen from 6,730 entries before the international judging panel. The original story is in Tok Pisin and PNG Attitude is delighted to be able to present this English version, translated by Baka himself, for our readers - KJ

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The thin looking-glass veneer

| Ples Singsing


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"

Continue reading "The thin looking-glass veneer" »

Asking if we write is the wrong question

Dom top
Michael Dom - "Beier, Fitzpatrick and Jackson were opening up avenues for PNG writing". Dom and his associates are more likely to develop a design that will  enable it to flourish

Ples Singsing

A Tok Pisin translation of this article follows this English version

NARI STATION, MOROBE - It was my impression that one of the questions bothering Philip Fitzpatrick around 2010, as he ruminated about his once adopted Melanesian home, was that, if Papua New Guineans are writing, then where is the published evidence?

The question I raise is about the field of literary endeavour rather than the academic and workplace necessity of writing.

I refer not to that boring stuff which earns money but the thrilling stuff that returns to us nothing but self-satisfaction and relief.

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‘Christ smelled like a king….’

Graphic by Greg Rosenke


The inspiration for this poem came as Dr Unia Api,
a lecturer at Pacific Adventist University, spoke in
chapel to Sonoma Adventist College theology
students on Wednesday
16 March, 2022 - SD

At Simon’s saddest banquet feast,
a costly perfume of purest nard
was poured on the body of Christ.
The sparkling oil flowing down,
and aroma sweet filling the room;
‘Christ smelled like a king’

Continue reading "‘Christ smelled like a king….’" »

Diving unclothed into a literary venevetaka

Baka Bina - author and thinker.
"I give credit to those who write
Tok Pisin for print. It is daunting"


PORT MORESBY - Reading Dr Michael Dom's essays, ‘Vernacular Traces in the Crocodile Prize’, published in Tok Pisin and English in PNG Attitude and Ples Singsing, made me wonder if Tok Pisin or even a Tok Ples can be used in literature.

For many years, Tok Pisin has been used in the print media with Wantok Niuspepa, although the last time I bought the paper to read an article in Tok Pisin was three years ago.

Continue reading "Diving unclothed into a literary venevetaka" »

You see dried grass over rough cut logs

Village_Scene_at_KaloMICHAEL DOM

You see dried grass over rough cut logs
And the earth floor of my house
When I open my home to you
And you think to yourself how you can help me.
And yet…

I smelled the air that morning we cut the kunai grass
And I heard the children laughing as they played
On the green knoll beside us
And I tasted the sweet sour sweat
As we hewed the living trees to earth.
I felt the heat of day and the burning flames
As this house was dried and bound
By light of bright blue day above
And in the deepest dark of night.

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Vomit Flavoured Ice Cream

| Ples Singsing

In loving memory of Green Eggs & Ham by Dr Seuss

I do not like vomit flavoured ice cream
Vomit flavour is not in my dreams
And if I were to taste it I think I would scream
Please don’t count me on your vomit-flavour team

Many other people dislike it too
But I’m sure there’s someone and maybe it’s you
Who likes vomit flavoured ice cream
And maybe you dream and scream for it too

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The god of truth is dead so speak your own

TrusttruthMICHAEL DOM                                                     

The truth does not belong to you, my dear,
It lives and breathes inside us all. And what
You say is yours to speak, for which you dare
Force us to share, when a fraction of it
Does not compute the sum of nor compare
To the fullness of life, where each remits
The pain of being. If truth exists, we bear
The weight, we each, so if each one is fit
Be wary of your words, your vice declares
Itself in the nature of being. Know that.

But say the wise, just speak your truth, no fear,
We shall force the mathematics to fit.
God is dead. Truth is whatever you care,
The truth we speak need not care about that.

Father Daughter Bond


This poem is dedicated to my stepdaughter who,
against her will, was taken away from me

That faraway mountain in the east
Lazy clouds drift by it slowly
Amongst the white lime rocks
There, in a little old grey hut
My dearest little girl plays in mud
Daddy longs for you with throbbing heart

Daddy misses everything of you
Misses you waiting at the gate
Misses your hugs and little kisses
Misses waving arms of greeting and goodbye
Misses your sweet, persistent call of ‘Daddy’
Daddy misses you, his heart in shreds

Continue reading "Father Daughter Bond" »

We are one by blood


I’m black, I’m white
We’re one by blood 
Nothing separates how hard we try
I’ve same blood group as you
So we’re one forever
Dialects, circumstances, boundaries,
Standards, status don't matter here
Born same, die same, no difference
And we are one forever

See same sun; walk same earth
Breathe same air; sleep same sleep
So we are one by blood
Both feel pain, shed tears, lived life
Through life's blessings and curses
But still one by blood

Continue reading "We are one by blood" »

The story of Marcus, the firewood man

Paul Wii and friend
Paul Wii and friend


FICTION –The boy sat there under the perum tree, dusk’s fading light casting a grey shadow across a landscape now silent.

Marcus Yalgomia cried tears of pain, misery and heartache, it was if the floodgates of the gods had been thrown open.

There was no way he could hold back the tears. And there was no one around to see him cry.

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The Scientist

University of Technology  Lae (Elizha Maino)
Nightfall on the University of Technology campus, Lae (Elizha Maino)


FICTION - When I first entered university, I came with huge expectations to the University of Technology.

All that was in my mind was keeping my eyes on the books, attending lectures, passing the examinations and graduating with high grades.

That’s what I intended to do. It was in my mind and it was in my heart.

Continue reading "The Scientist" »

Malarial Death Games

Bablis - malarial death gamesGREGORY BABLIS
| Ples Singsing

I’ve battled you most of my life
In health, I am winning
But damn you give me so much strife
When your death zone I’m entering
Warmth leaves my body
Like a soul unmooring from its host
The flashes you give are hot yet chilly
I feel half human, half ghost.

Hot or cold, I cannot tell
In the night and in the day
I’m freezing my ass off in hell
No time for work or play

Continue reading "Malarial Death Games" »

Three triolets for Yahweh

Whose god are youWARDLEY BARRY


Whose God are you?
My father knows Mavoyati,
And he wasn't a Jew.
Whose God are you
To force on me a value
That defies my ancestry?
Whose God are you?
My father knows Mavoyati.


What is this holiness you sell?
My dance is not wicked.
My song is not a spell.
What is this holiness you sell,
That calls me a rebel
When I summon the dead?
What is this holiness you sell?
My dance is not wicked.

Continue reading "Three triolets for Yahweh" »

Let me tell you, Civilised man

| Kurumbi Wone

Civilised man, you make me sick with your corona and vaccine.
You keep inventing and stockpiling dangerous weapons that threaten all life on this planet.
You brought deadly ideas that divide the brotherhood amongst humanity.
You poison me with your chemicalised food and drinks.
Civilised man, you came to destroy and pillage my home.
Civilised man, you pollute waterholes and streams that give life to all sentient beings.
Civilised man, your prison walls get bigger.
Your religious doctrine divides humanity;
Your wars have sacrificed millions of innocent children of humanity.
Civilised man, your economic system has enslaved humankind.
Civilised man, your social system alienates human families into vulnerable individuals;
Your materialistic values erase the original human values;
Your education system indoctrinates innocent children to support the broken system.
Civilised man, you sell the daughters of humankind and profit from their torments and misfortunes.
Civilised man, you roam around the planet and steal from everyone to build your psychopathic projects towards a self-deluded suicidal path;
You invent laws and justice systems to defend your crimes;
You rewrite history books to legitimise your current state of madness and use it to manipulate future agendas;
You manufacture, control, and disseminate information to manipulate my perception of reality.
Civilised man, you drive all other lives on this planet to extinction in the name of development and progress.
The fate of all life on this planet is at risk because of your soulless project towards progress;
Your reckless and savage civilising mission is causing my extinction.

Continue reading "Let me tell you, Civilised man" »

Uphill & down along the Black Cat Track

Map of the Black Cat Track and surrounding landmarks
Map of the Black Cat Track and surrounding landmarks

| Ples Singsing

LAE – Morobe, November 2018, a blend of everything Papua New Guinean, from the cool mountainous ridges that step from the majestic highlands to the endless plains of the Markham and onwards to the shoreline of the Huon Peninsula.

A walk around Eriku and a visit to Lae Market remains no exception to this, fruits and vegetables of variety, faces and languages of throughout the country, all in chaotic-harmony of economic exchange.

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This cannot be what God conceived

Jenelyn Kennedy
Jenelyn Kennedy. "Tell me, Jenelyn, why must love grieve today? / Is there no mercy to grant us reprieve today?


Jenelyn Kennedy. Born, 18 March 2001. Gagged, chained, beaten & tortured by her husband for six days, 18-23 June 2020. Died of head injuries & bruised internal organs caused by blunt force, 23 June 2020, aged 19.

LAE - This is a poem I did not want to share. I am doing so because Jenelyn's story haunts me.

Just nineteen when she died, she was the same age as my baby girl. She was the mother of two infant children.

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