The political economy of a pig farmers life


Chapter 1, 28 December 2012

Until you have seen your hands blistering
Until you have felt sweat break like fever
Before another new gardens planting

Until you have cleaned the piss and manure
Cut, carried and replaced sodden bedding
Until you have closed the sow with the boar

Until then you only have an inkling
Of what a pig farmer does every day
For the fat pig meat that you are eating

You will never know what it means to say
To us, “agriculture is our back bone”
Until you know the sweat and costs we pay

For a simple meal, in our simple home
Sweet potatoes baked around the fire place
Cups of tea with sugar, lucky for some

And every day we hear about your race
To bring development to your people
But we know that your heart has no more space

If you will not share the gris pik with all
One day your house built from our bones will fall.

Chapter 2, 23 August 2022

You come with all your wisdom and glory
From Pom-Pom City, where the pipelines lead 
And you tell us your wonderful story

It’s on Facebook too, for the few who read
We will soon be the richest black nation
We must stand as one country, with one creed,

While our kids roam in the desolation
Brought on us by your insatiable greed
And our subsistence justification

We have kept our lands without title deeds
And our kids, who’ve had free education,
Survived poor health just to die for your needs

We slew many pigs for your election
And our slain will be likewise rewarded
With money for meat, our life equation

For those who die in battle are lauded
By big-men who own the lands where they fell.
Gas flows, gold glows, but wealth is hoarded

As those who have shared the gris pik know well,
By our values, the portions are not equal.

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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