Yesterday We Dreamed

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

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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