Fire Spirit

By Sharol Taifa, Grade 8, Gorari Primary School, Kokoda LLG, Sohe District, Oro Province

This poem is about the burning fire. Every morning i wake up and make a fire to warm my body.

I stare into the burning fire

I see leaping figures,

     wildly dancing.

Their red and orange arms,

     waving, waving.

Are the spirits trying to escape

     the person?

Or the tree trunk that is burning? 

I sit and watch for hours, 

     wondering til

Finally the dancers grow tired and sink

     to the ground

Leaving a heap of ashes behind

     to mark that mysterious place

And a few charred remains

    of blackened wood.

Tok-singsing blong lusim haus krai bilong Kwin Elizabeth II

A poem for departing the house of mourning for Queen Elizabeth II

By Michael Dom

Dieu et mon droit, Elizabeth Regina

Elizabeth the Great, dieu et mon droit
Elizabeth Regina, peace not might
Your Majesty, you were our one true Queen
A queen that it was our honor to have seen
You kept your faith and so your people too
Could learn to endure and try to be true 
A life of service was what you declaimed
But will we your people dare to reclaim 
Dignity, humility and duty  
As you so valiantly had maintained
Those simple virtues which we shun today
For seventy years you had kept your word
And bequeathed us with a greater empire,
Our Commonwealth of Nations, shall aspire


The political economy of a pig farmers life

POEMS BY MICHAEL DOM

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.

Man with two wives, tributes to womenfolk who support for peace

A poem by Joseph Tambure

Man Bilong Tupla Bilum

Lukim man bilong tupla bilum
Em sanap namel long ples singsing
Nogat poret na sem no wari tu
Em kisim strong long tupla bilum bilong em
Sanap namel long hevi na birua

No laik long harem tokpait na tokbasait
Em laik soim rot long bel isi na wanbel
Givim na kisim long bel isi pasin
Tupla bilum bilong em i laikim olsem
Man i bihainim tinting blong tupla
Tupla bilum i kapsaitim kaikai,moni na pik lo sait sait blo man bilong tupla
Olsem na gat nem lida long ples
Tupla i wokim bris belong bel isi na gutpla sindaun 
Kros pait pinis na hamamas stap lo ples
Pasin bilong tupla bilum ino nogut

Tasol nau taim senis, tingting op
Manmeri ino wok bilong bel isi 
Man wantaim nogut tingting laik kamap lida
Moni na save ino kamapim gutpla lida
Nogat ,belong kros pait na hevi tasol
Kisim skul long man bilong tupla bilum

Kurai Memorial Awards Announcement

The entry period has closed and we are now collating the entries to prepare for judging.

Toksave that while we will endevour to have the entries judged before December 1 in order to get the best out of our judging process (which is all done on a voluntary basis) we may extend the delivery period to before Christmas Day.

Well done to all those writers who have submitted manuscripts for this years contest. We look forward to communicating with you and havig your work published on the blog in the new year, as well as celebrating the winning entries.

PRIZE MONEY DOUBLED AND ENTRY PERIOD EXTENDED FOR BIOGRAPHICAL SHORT-STORY COMPETITION

Ples Singsing is very glad to inform entrants in the Kurai Memorial Awards that the sponsor of the competition, businessman Cr. Paul Kurai, has advised us that he will double the cash prize money and requestes that we allow a further two months for new entries to be made.

We have naturally complied.

Writers who have already made entries may also wish to use the time to further polish up their manuscripts for resubmission.

Ples Singsing is grateful to Cr. Kurai for his generosity.

Whenever Ples Singsing Writers & Associates are meeting in Port Moresby we like to have our steaks at Ribito Grill and Restaurant

Owned by Paul Kurai, sponsor of Kurai Memorial Awards for short-biographies

Raymond Sigimet wonders where Superman went

A new poem

The Black Superman Paradox (Source: Inverse.com)
A poem by Raymond Sigimet

Superman

Where is Superman when you need him
To mend the fence when it is broken
Or lift the load when it is laden
I heard he's fat and too weak to trim

Where is Superman when I need him
To tell me it's okay in the dark
Or take me sight seeing in the park
I heard that he's lost his way and steam

Where is Superman when she needs him
To mow the lawn when the grass is tall
Or hold her hand when she's 'bout to fall
I heard he's taken with his own time

Where is Superman when he needs him
To be the man he grows up to be
Or show the world that he needs to see
I heard he's flying wild in his dream

Where is Superman when we need him
To fix the house when it is falling
Or light the lamp when it is dimming
I heard he's not up to be a team

Lorraine Kluki declaims the denaturing effect of science and embraces natures vitality

Entries in the Mini-Poetry for World Environment Day 2022

Rainforest destruction from gold mining in Peru (Source: EureckAlert!)
Two poems by Lorraine Kluki

An Invaded Home

In pursuit of science
The bosom of the Father
Fades with the wheel of time.
Fame and fortune have dethroned the son’s obligation.
To inherit, watch and yield the estate given to him, 
from his father before his father.

The breathtaking panorama 
of the marvellous canvas of natural grandeur
Now a barren valley and contaminated water. 
Aquamarine being terrorized from their haven,
Birds became immigrants,
And melancholy from trees became visible.

Tyranny of heat torture mankind
Sky mourns and erode the impoverished land.
Ocean swells and ebbs, 
Irate and cause mayhem
Nature becomes disappointed, an honourable villain,
To humanity.

Horror laced with fear of extinction,
That transcends tribes, community and region.
Men reluctant to act,
Ignoring the casualties done.
Relentless loss of nature
Leaving behind turrets of glass and cement pathways.


Anchor To The Land

This is my homeland
I pledge allegiance with my hand
To uphold integrity to the sea and respect the waterways
Foreigners ventured but I refuse to lend.

The crystal, pristine waters whispered my name,
Igniting the reluctant flame,
To explore beyond the reef
And forge unbreakable ties that is not lame.

The sweet scent of the marine I inspire,
From the neatly aligned mangroves I admire.
Wallow in the swamp searching for shells,
Until the sun goes to sleep, I will retire.

Walked a mile and meet the calling stream,
Birds tweet, insects screech and I was lost in a dream.
Unfolding in my presence is the mosaic floor of twisted vines, roots, leaves and branches,
The wonders of the supreme.

The rolling hills and majestic mountain,
Elusive beauty like the fountain.
Compel me to submit to the unveiling virgin environment,
Thus, it is my bounden.

Trees expire and the breeze caress my face,
Water ripples in a slow pace,
And the sky command me to look upward
to shapes formed when the clouds embrace.

The serenity that comes from nature,
A place for closure.
For the land is my anchor
and everywhere I venture is an adventure.

Sumatin Magazine Issue #002 July 2022

IN THIS SECOND ISSUE we look back at the start of Papua Niugini’s literary history, with retrospective articles from academic scholars and old students of the ‘father of PNG literature’, Ulrich Horst Beier. We do this in order to ‘give back to PNG what we already have’ – a rich heritage of literary work emerging during colonial, pre- and post-independence periods. We then showcase five recent books by PNG authors.

Sumatin Magazine also pays tribute to the passing away of four national leaders, three knights and a deputy prime minister, as our still young nation moves towards 50 years of independence, and the formation of our tenth national parliament this year.

Today there are many writers using blog platforms, wondering where PNG is heading and when the vicious cycles of political corruption, poor economic development and social decay will end. One young writer poses that PNG is “a nation in denial”.

We at Ples Singsing believe that it is by thinking and writing, reading and reviewing our literary, lifestyle and legislative processes, that people can be brought into a better understanding of what we value, who we are, and what we may achieve together.

One aspiration is to have written and translated works in our three national languages, English, Tok Pisin and Motu. While English may be the language of education, and not disregarding our own local languages, it is very apparent that Tok Pisin and Motu are the most commonly used means of everyday communication. We believe that using our two native oriented languages, and presenting translated works, is a practical and strategic way to open up our national conversations, by including the true diversity of Papua Niugini and allowing this to shine through. There is originality and an intrinsic value for creative works using our own idioms. We should celebrate this uniqueness.

This year author Baka Bina has led the way, being shortlisted in the Commonwealth Short Story competition for a story originally written in Tok Pisin and translated into English. Meanwhile, poetess Fiada Kede won our mini-poetry contest for a dual English and Tok Pisin poem and Michael Dom’s essay, written in Tok Pisin, asks why our languages were banned in school. Also, Caroline Evari reflects on ‘kastom wok’, a culture which all of us share, while Gregory Bablis notes that “history is not a fairy tale”.

We have much more in store for our literary growth and towards revealing who we really are, as a creative people, to the rest of the world.

We wish you pleasant reading!

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