#10: Introvert (Inspired by Alex Monckton, Introvert)

Introvert
Source: Alex Monckton, Flickr

This poem was inspired by Alex Monckton, a Cairns based photographer and poet. The image is titled Introvert, which I thought was quite fitting. As a caption to that image, Alex wrote the following “Seemingly reluctant to reveal its full beauty all at once, a flower slowly opens petal by petal”.

To think that the flower is the Introvert really illustrates alluring diatomic juxtaposition in my head. More dominant then all else, the flower and the introvert seem incompatible, but at the same time they do not have to be. Introverts can be the biggest personalities and prettiest wall flowers when they chose to be – the latter, quite importantly so. It is only when they become labelled as wall flowers and big personalities, that they are unable to perform the part. For us, it is all a facade. We are what we want to be, when we want to be, situation dictating.

Thinking along those lines inspired the poem below.

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#11 Trading my stori

This poem was inspired by a work trip to Wewak, in the East Sepik Province of Papua New Guinea. It is partly written in Tok Pisin and in English. It was written for a particular audience and a particular purpose so no attempt at translation has been made. This also marks my first attempt at writing a poem in Tok Pisin.

The constant rhythm changes in the second stanza (english) were intentional to illicit a conflicted psycho-emotional response from the reader/ audience that ‘something is not right here’. Jumping between Tok Pisin and English was used to show the two worlds I constantly find myself confronted by. I find myself being modern and western but at the same time, looking back over my shoulder to a world I cannot negate nor forget; it is non-western but complete. 

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#9 Forgetting How To Cry.

I wrote this after a week of feeling like the world was overwhelming me, dealing with change and confusion seem to be a constant theme for me at the moment. We often hear that we need to use our words when we are annoyed, but as a non-native English speaker, thinking in one language and looking for similar words to explain them in another is always a challenge.

It is harder when you don’t understand why you feel what your are feeling. I took some time to assess how I was feeling on a deeper level and realised that I was upset because I did not know how to express my feelings of defeat. A moment of intense clarity revealed to me that as children we often cried when we were upset but we often forgot or chose not to cry when we become adults, instead we fight, compounding sadness to anger.

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#7 His Story

This poem came out as a burst of creativity in one sitting at the Blackbird Espresso Bar on Grafton Street in Cairns. The inspiration behind this came from the image of the Huli Wigman (a locality in the Papua New Guinean Highlands) while I was using Pintrest in a brainstorming session.

Part of the thought behind this piece of prose was aimed at being an exploration of how the Papua New Guinean man balances his own identity between pasin kastom, in the sense of being traditional, and being modern.

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