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The Old Man ponders his lonely life

As the sun set over the low hills of Port Moresby, the Old Man would go to the veranda to read

| Edited extracts

FICTION - While the Old Man embraced the notion that he was like the Albatross, committed to one partner for life, he was finding it hard to cope with the agony of acute depression.

He had been so dependent on Rosemary. She had provided him with all the love a man could ever need. He felt her loss immensely. It was a burden too heavy to bear on his own. Perhaps he shouldn’t have loved her too much.

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Dobasi Wandkii


Beauty is the word for you, no other can do
I found you somewhere, now I don’t know how,
Your smile, it just made that moment explode
I failed in my choice of the right words for you
Doo dobasi wandkii, oh!

Long lasting nights, full with fragrant dreams
Your countenance lighting my imagination
Your voice feels as gentle as the sweetest of petals
I goose bump all over at the sense of your touch
Ape do dobasi wandkii maa!

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Mud Woman

Mud Woman (Karen K Redding)STEPHANIE ALOIS

She smells of Goroka coffee
in the perfume she wears each morning
What a beautiful way to start a day
Made of strawberry and honey
It’s difficult to resist her charms
Hooked on her explosive personality

A taste of wine in her presence
Spending more time with her
Leads to loving her even more
It’s difficult not to laugh at her jokes
Or her wicked sense of humour
She’ll get you thinking, she never cries

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The Perpetual Tears of Hela

Tears of HelaKOIVI R BIWA

Once no cries were heard nor bitter tears shed,
This time when ancients and babes mingled calm,
Love and respect were their constant companions,
When no one stood bewildered by enmity or anger

But it happened that the tuneful war cries sounded,
Heard, known, accepted by all far and near,
Wigmen danced fluidly to the beat of the kundu,
Warrior elegance betrayed the combat ahead

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They’re blowin’ smoke up our arses


Yesterday was International Poetry Day and Papua New Guinea’s unofficial poet laureate, Michael Dom, hauled out his trusted, rusted, almost busted Olivetti typewriter to do justice to the occasion with a salute to Bob Dylan’s renowned 1962 protest song, 'Blowin’ in the Wind' - KJ

How many books may a Maserati buy
Before it rusts in a shed
How many crooks make a government bad
Before it gets through our heads
Yes, and how many times may a prime minister lie
Before we know he's a thief
Those politicians are blowin’ smoke up our arses
They're blowin’ smoke right up our arses

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God had a spear, his name was Sana

Michael Somare at Sogeri National High School  1963
Michael Somare at Sogeri National High School, 1963


PORT MORESBY - A champion of freedom. A man of his time, 50,000 years in the making. A man destined to preserve the dignity of a free people: a thousand primitive tribes.

Innocent, bright eyed; we blinked in the Stone Age and happened in the Modern Era.

Our forefathers could not have prepared us for this. How could they?

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Sana - You Shone as the Morning Star

Papua New Guinea's leaders in 1973 - Thomas Kavali, Michael Somare, Julius Chan and John Guise


Chief Mark Tonar is a former kiap from the United Nauro Gor community in the Kundiawa-Gembogl area of Simbu. He is also a former Pangu Pati Simbu branch secretary (1982-1992). He has fond memories of meeting the late Grand Chief Somare during Pangu Party conventions – Sil Bolkin

Somare son of Somare
Sana son of Sana
Shone like a morning star

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Everything changes but nothing changes

Time (Loren Zemlicka)


TUMBY BAY - Some curious things happen when you get old. Among other things, time seems to speed up.

Now that I’m well into my seventies I’ve discovered that there are only 305 days in a year instead of the usual 365.

Another interesting thing is the overwhelming sense of déjà vu that I get when I check the news.

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Sing me a sad song

| 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

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Bik bus long maunten

Awagl mountain forestMICHAEL DOM

Tok Pisin translation of Mountain Forest by Jimmy Awagl, whose original English poem follows

Bikpela bus emi tutak tumas
I silip antap long nus bilong maunten
Klaut i pasim het bilong em
Na i ron namel insait long bus
Antap long lip na han bilong diwai

Lait bilong san emi pundaun ikam
Na i traim long sutim pinga igo insait
Long simuk iron antap long bik bus
Em nau ikirapim paialait olsem gol
Na kainkain kalakala i mekim ai long pas

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Piku-Piku and Asukena – Part 3

Aishi Nokowano Gitehoma aka Papa Sii  Kotiyufa Village  Iufi-Iufa  2013
Aishi Nokowano Gitehoma aka Papa Sii,  Kotiyufa Village,  Iufi-Iufa,  2013


PORT MORESBY – Before I continue this story, I should let you know that it is an adaptation of a legend told by Papa Sii, whose image is at right

I have taken the words he told me and retold it using a contemporary overlay story of some bored village children.

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Piku-Piku and Asukena – Part 2

Piku-Piku (black grasshopper)


LEGEND - Nana-Muni held the bottle out to the three girls and Sukare took it carefully between two fingers, took a quick look and passed it to Teniso.

Teniso was a tomboy and she turned the bottle upside down and let the asukena (mole grasshopper) scramble onto Sukare’s hands.

Sukare gave a scream and a wince and dropped the bottle. The asukena scurried off into the kaukau vines.

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Piku-Piku and Asukena – Part 1

Asukena (mole cricket)
Asukena (mole cricket)


Baka Bina’s ninth book, Tales From Faif, is due for release before the end of December. It includes for extracts from the popular Cry Me a River series, two from the Pineapple series, four legends and three contemporary stories - KJ

A LEGEND - Alonaa was bored. He did not like the idea of babysitting the terror cousins –the three girls, Teniso, Sukare, Panikame, and two boys, Nana-Muni and Metty-Mahn, who were smaller than him.

The girls were terrors - more like terriers - who were too troublesome to look after.

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Garo Matana, the blue-eyed child – Part 1

Blue-eyesISO YAWI
| A fictional story in three parts

Outside the small brown vavine numana (Papuan women’s house), just beyond the civilised world, it was a cold rainy evening.

Standing 20 metres high on the plateau of Rako, the vavine numana was set some way from the village of Babaka. Within, a young pregnant woman, Tarubo, laboured in the pangs of childbirth.

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Tonight the Moon Carries Her Umbrella

| Ples Singsing

Translations: Bahasa by Sylvana Sandi; Tok Pisin by Michael Dom; Hiri Motu by Gemona Konemamata

She rises late in the afternoon
And tonight she carries her umbrella
Smoky tendrils trail behind her glittering sarung kobaya
As she strolls across my universe
Far, far away she walks, alone
Where my arms cannot reach to embrace her

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When the rains fall red


PORT MORESBY - Darn the wind!

As she stepped out of the PMV bus outside the Port Moresby town police station, Matalina immediately knew she would be in trouble.

The gale-force wind, blowing fast and furious from Ela Beach over the isthmus to Fairfax Harbour, was sweeping the debris away and replacing it with its own rubbish of torn bushes and plants.

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