Lukim Hia Displa Ol Lus Tret

24 October 2020

Tok Pisin translation by Raymond Sigimet

See Here These Loose Threads

Lukim hia dispela ol lus tret,

Lukim hau mi holim ol long han

Na hau mi tanim antap long lek tais blong mi?

Skin i tait na silek long tupela,

Ol han na lek tais blong mi,

Tasol ol i gat bun yet

Long dispela wok na arapela samting.

Ol han blong yu i malmalum na nupela,

Olsem mit lek blong yu na i gutpela.

Yu gat longpela hap long go yangpela meri,

Planti samting long lainim; Bai mi skulim yu.

Bai mi wokim bilum blong yu.

Wanpela string bilum, kain olsem mi save karim kaukau kam long gaden

Tasol yu bai no inap tru karim kaukau olsem mi.

Yet yu ken lainim long wokim dispela bilum

Bai yu tu ken lainim long stori, stori blong yumi long ol pikinini meri blong yu

Na ol bai kamap strong na i gat save olsem yu.

Wanpela de bihain taim yu sindaun long paia 

Na tanim string bilong yu yet,

Wantaim ol lapun han olsem blong mi,

Antap long ol lek i tait olsem blong mi,

Yu ken tingim olgeta gutpela samting i bin kamap.

Dispela ol lek tais Bubu blong yu i laikim tru, taim mitupela yangpela.

Yes, em laikim tru, planti, planti nait – em i gutpela tu, em trupela

Na bai yu painim man long mekim wankain long yu.

Dispela ol han kamapim famili.

Holim ol, givim kaikai long ol, paitim ol, lainim ol na laikim ol olgeta de.

Inap taim ol i go wanwan, long kamapim famili blong ol yet.

Olsem na nau dispela ol han i raunim ol lus tret long rolim ol kamap string, 

I olsem wanpela taim ol i holim pas ol pikinini blong mi long bros blong mi.

Nau, dispela ol sikin silek han i mekim mi tingim ol pikinini blong mi olsem wanwan tret.

Ol kala em ol tingting i stap insait,

Ol han wok em ol samting i bin kamap,

Ol longpela blong string kamapim wanwan stori long laip blong ol;

Taim mi tanim stori blong mi, mi lukim ol insait long lewa blong mi

Mi simelim ol wanwan, olsem simuk blong paiawut I save mekim aiwara.

Mi pilim ol wanwan, taim mi pilim ol dispela tret long han blong mi i gro strong.

Na tanim ol, string i go namel long string,

Olgeta dispela tanimtanim, bungim yumi wantaim, wanpela narapela.

Em laip blong mipela, i tanim wantaim long kamapim stori.

Tasol em bai olsem wanem, dispela stori i kamap long ol string?

Bai mi kisim go long gaden blong mi – long karim kaikai long haus;

Bai mi salim long sampela moni – long baim nupela gadenspet;

Bai mi wokim blong nupela marit meri – long soim em pasin blong mi;

Bai mi givim long pikinini meri blong mi– long mekim bilas blong em i lait;

Bai mi salim i go long tambu blong mi – husait em Bubu blong yu i save laikim tru – long soim lewa blong mi;

O ating bai mi salim i go long narapela ples we ol i no save long dispela kain laip.

Ating ol i no save long dispela strongpela lapun meri na stail yangpela pikinini meri blong em,

Na ating wanpela man nau bai lukim stori blong mi long dispela bilum na lainim long mi tu.


Tret – (thread) as used in the poem for cotton wool or string used to make bilum. The Tok Pisin “rop” is not used in the translation as it is used with rope, string or twine made traditionally from plant fibres.

String – (string) same meaning as “string” in English as used in the poem.

Lek tais or Lek – (leg/thigh) as used in the poem to refer to the upper leg or thigh(s). The Tok Pisin expression “mit blong lek” and “antap blong lek” are not used in this translation. 

  • The phrases hard to translate well for this poem include, “colours are feelings”, “textures are events”, and “every loop and hitch and tie”.
  • For all plural words, the Tok Pisin plural marker “ol” is used. Plural pronouns were translated based on the context of which they are used in the poems.

Original poem in English by Michael Dom.

Published by Ples Singsing

Ples Singsing is envisioned to be a new platform for Papua Niuginian expressions of creativity, ingenuity and originality in art and culture. We deliberately highlight these two very broad themes as they can encompass the diverse subjects, from technology, medicine and architecture to linguistics, music, fishing, gardening et cetera. Papua Niuginian ways of thinking, living, believing, communicating, dying and so on can cover the gamut of academic, journalistic or opinionated writing and we believe that unless we give ourselves a platform to talk about and discuss these things in an open, free and non-exclusively academic space that they may remain the fodder for academics, journalists and other types of writers alone. New social media platforms have given every individual a personal space to share their feelings and ideas openly, sometimes without immediate censure. The Ples Singsing writer’s blog would like to provide another more structured platform for Papua Niuginian expressions in written, visual and audio formats while also providing some regulation of the type and content of materials to be shared publicly.

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