Remember Me: An Ode for the Dead

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

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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