04 NOVEMBER 2020
It was not so long ago Hardly more than a lifetime or so When our nation was so young And our history had just begun.
Then, they stood them all Forefathers tall And blessed us With an anthem song.
We forward went, hither sent Each tribe and clan, In this proud Melanesian land, Every son and daughter born; United we did stand With transient shackles shorn As a new day did dawn.
Did then we dare to dream And transcend as one? Have our ancestors been told How far we have come? What do we tell of? What praise, what glory, That children will hear As pleasant bedtime stories?
Our Guardians now indulge In self-serving histrionics While idle sons And beleaguered daughters Survive on informal economics.
Where now, the integrity of Chiefs? That they may bless us truly Where too, the vigor of youth? That will ensure a victory. How now our mothers and children Bear the brunt of brutality When we fail to act rightly? What future lies in our hands? Who will fulfill this people’s destiny?
O arise all ye sons of this land Let us sing of our joy to be free… Only yesterday we dreamed Let us sleep no more.
This poem appears in Michael Doms’ O Arise! Poems on Papua New Guinea’s Politics & Society (pp. 7-8). Purchase your hardcopy online or download free from PNG Attitude at https://asopa.typepad.com/files/o-arise-by-michael-dom-1.pdf.