You See Dried Grass Over Rough Cut Logs

26 October 2020



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.
I recall the evenings we ate the green-cook
That the old women brought us
(God bless pig fat!)
Because they saw our toil
And loved their grandchildren.
But I do not know and lament bitterly
How could I help you know?
So, this is what I would pray
If God would listen to me once
On one night of His majestic eternity
High above the sparks of my fire place
Give my friend peace, if you are truly god
With the blessing that only heavens knows
Because I have much to be grateful for
But so little to give.
Let my friend understand that I too know that we are here and now, each of us, alive
And we love too.

This poem first appeared on PNG Attitude on 24 August 2016 at

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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