Ples Singsing is proud to bring you the winning poems of the Mini-Poetry Competition for World Environment Day 2022


First place winning poem by Fiada Kede

Fiada Kede is a youth citizen of Port Moresby and is considered one of our brightest new talents in poetry
Poem #01
Tok Pisin translation preferred by the judge
Em i wok lon draun

Olain! Olain!
Yupela i lukim ol mak nogut?
long antap tru blo Blu
igodaun lo aninit tru blo Blu
Blupela Pasifika i wok lon draun

Draun insait lo bik solo wara bilong bagarap
 hevi bilong resos extreksen i putim em i go daun
Em i go daun aninit mo na mo yet
Na em i , crai na crai mo yet
Lo ol pikinini blo em, em i  singaut 

Lo halivim, em i singaut 
Ron i cam daun lo maunten blo deforestasen, bulut bilon em i ron
tasol nogat wanpla man i luksave lo em
Mipla i wari tasol lon hevi blo mipla yet

Em i wok lo draun, Blupela Pasifika i wok lo draun
wantem planti samtin em i save karim 
wantem ol halivim em i save givim
wantem olgeta samtin em i stap insait lon em, em i wok lo draun

Sori tru ! Olain!
Lukluk gut lo ol mak nogut

Original English version
She is drowning!

Oh man! Oh man!
Have you not seen the omen?
from the highest of the Blue
to the deepest of the Blue
the Blue Pasifika is drowning 

Drowning in the ocean of pollution
Weighed down by the resources extraction 
she sinks, deep and deep
and she, weep and weep
To her heir, she is pleading

For help, she pleads 
Cascading down the mountain of deforestation, she bleeds
Yet no one takes heed
For all we care, is our need

She is drowning, the Blue Pasifika is drowning 
with the myriad that she's hosting 
with the services that she's providing
with all there is, she's drowning 

Alas! Oh man!
Take heed of the omen!

Fiada Kede is a second time winner of the mini-poetry competition for World Environment Day on Ples Singsing. She won last year’s smaller contest with her poem In that Paradise. Fiada is from Eastern Highlands Province currently residing in Port Moresby, and does not currently attend a school. She had this to say last year; “I love reading poems. What I love about poems is the way the ordinary things are expressed in an extraordinary way. When I read poems, it gives me a new sense of seeing things”.

Last year Michael Dom judged the four poem entrees and had this to say about Fiada’s poem.

“It was a pleasant surprise that the poem was short but compact when first sighted and had a very different feeling to it than the other three when read. Partly I suspect my own proclivity to verse but the prose examples made less valuable poetic level comparison on their own. They were weaker. Only Austin’s poem comes close to it in the intensity of language. Fiada’s metaphor does the work and she does not need to extend her text to decorate the page. Stepping back, as I didn’t do in the essay, I’d say In that Paradise was conceptually as different from the three preceding poems as oranges are to apples. I think Fiada knows what she’s doing and has an agenda, certainly in the feminine domain of not feminist. But the expression of her meaning and intent is not overpowering – it is well placed. The other poems were from a response to the competition, the desire for gain or glory, subjugating their creativity to the task of writing a poem. Fiada responded to her need to express what was meaningful to her poetically – in freedom.

Email communication with Wantok’s of Ples Singsing

Second place winning poem by Zelia Timan

Zelia Timan is a year 12 student at the Port Moresby National School of Excellence

Mountains up high;
Yet beneath the sky;
I could see my world, my own little world.
Papua New Guinea, a place filled with rich culture and diversity;
That gives vibes of perfect ecstasy.

We’ve reached for it, but could never achieve;
Perfect cleanliness above all deeds.
In the world’s largest ocean, and having the third largest forest;
“Mi hamamas lo tok, PNG is still the best.”
Though we are losing our value, due to global warming and pollution;
We need a solution, the danger is not an illusion.
So let’s set our heads in motion and clean our ocean;
And produce a clean world, our own clean world.

Fishes blob, and birds tweet;
We have rich lands beneath our feet;
Filled with copper and gold;
From the Highlands to the Islands;
God’s love and embrace;
Shown from sunrise till sunset’s evening grace.

Even when the sun sets and its dark times;
The moon comes up, and does its crimes;
Stealing attention and releasing tension.
While the owls hoot, I will retire;
And the cats and mosquitoes will sing out in choir.
As my world remains beautiful, my own beautiful world.

Third place winning poem by Audreyanna Manoa

Audreyanna Manoa, is a student in PNG Studies and International Relations at the Divine Word University

In this world of wonder and chaos,
We coexisted, both human and nature,
Dependent on each other, our survival and our life force.
The waters, the lands, the air, the environment,
Our life’s source, our life’s contingent.
To cherish and to destroy,
For that has always being our story.

Hardly are there any more lavish green grasslands,
Or the luxuriant of forests, and mountains, and wood lands.
For these are ravaged for shelter, food, and money.
For human nature is more greedy and cunning.
To cherish and to destroy,
For some believe life is everything given and to enjoy. 

The beautiful waters, rivers and seas, 
Now are filled with dirt and waste.
The fish and aquatic life being threaten,
Although it is what many depend on. 
To cherish and to destroy,
This livelihood is all but a void. 

The environment, our hope of life,
The most common thing we sacrifice.
Yet, back to it, we return,
We our mistakes, still unlearnt.

Worthy mention poem by Ann Kobla

Ann Kobla, is a student in PNG Studies and International Relations at the Divine Word University
Gone are the days when you held your head high

There is no house you will find yourself a safe nest
Gone are the days when you were admired at best
Oh, how you fly high with pride 
In high spirit you stride
Gliding through the rugged mountains magnificently 
Through the valley you sang majestically 
You are beautifully painted with colors of love

The black sicklebill (Epimachus fastosus) is a large member of the birds of paradise family, Paradisaeidae. This species is found throughout most of central New Guinea and the Vogelkop region to the northwest in montane forests at altitudes from 1800 to 2150 m. (Wikipedia)
Gone are the days when you held your head high
Now, you are hunted down and stripped from your beauty
As though human pride is your duty
Displaying your splendor without fear 
Now you clipped your wings in gear
For flight is your survival

Gone are the days when you sang sweetly 
Now, you gave a fearful shrill
Oh, how you danced your tail freely in the wind
Now your tail dance on their crowns 
Yet no slight hint of gratitude  
But pride and arrogance

Gone are the days when you spread your wings in the ray of sunshine
Now spear dart in your breast
And your plume ripped from you
Every blow was cold and heartless
There is no shadow of fortress to rest your wings
For you shall soar with an anguished heart through the dawn of time

This year’s competition was delivered as part of Ples Singsing’s Projek Singaut Igo Aut “Building a national literature through discussion, competition and collaboration” by a Commonwealth Foundation Pacific Islands grant.

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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