Rochelle Bokalen reminds us to love our Mama Graun

A poem entered in the Mini-Poetry 2022 Competition for World Environment Day

Image from Trans Niugini Tours “Just another day in Paradise”
Poem by Rochelle-Rhiannon Bokalen

Mama Graun

This place I live in
Is a land ever green
Blanketed with blue waters
From which many islands adrift.

From the highlands to the islands
We embrace our tropical forests
With towering trees, looming over the horizons
Home to our kapuls and kumuls, tiduks and minigulais.

Home to varied species
Of slimey, creepy, crawlies
From herbivores to carnivores
And plants as good as new.

This is where I get timber
To build myself a house
This is where I gather woods 
To cook my evening meal.

This is where I hunt for pigs
And leafy greens and wild berries
To feed my family, neighbours and you
To keep the love and care and bond.

This is where I get my medicine
To heal my sore and cold and flu
This is where it all began
Before Whiteman surfaced with dollars and cents. 

I see money, but I won't be fooled
I am to borne a heir tomorrow
He'll need the greenery
He'll need the freshness.

She'll need clean air
From which to breathe
She'll need good health
From which to bear.

Among the shrubs and bushes
The vines and trees alike
The beasts wild or tamed
This is my motherland.

I'll keep exploiters away
I'll keep loggers afar
Dispela em i bus belong mi
Em i Mama Graun belong mi.

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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