30 October 2020
The living must honour the dead,
For they teach us the good and the bad.
Times of sorrow and strife,
Are all a part of life.
Though the world I may roam,
My mind is never far from home.
Although I travel about,
My heart will always remain in Waut.
We were certainly not the first,
And let us not be the last
To have the spiritual thirst
To commemorate the ancestral past.
Eating, sharing and giving
Is how the present should operate.
It is the role of the living
To assist those who have met their fate.
If tomorrow I should die,
I hope you will put up my haus krai.
Please keep track of all who came
To help remember and honour my name.
The present and the past,
Create the future, when they meet at last.
Dancing, singing, stomping the ground,
Whatever it takes please don’t let my name go down!
Waut – short form or nickname for Wautogik, the Arapesh village where I come from
haus krai – wake or grieving time
This poem first appeared on PNG Attitude on 27 October 2019 at https://www.pngattitude.com/2019/10/remember-me-an-ode-for-the-dead.html.