#36 A New Turn

Hey friends,

I am almost 30, though it feels as if though I have been ‘almost 30’ for a while now, I actually have another 2 years left tied up on two projects that are going well so far.

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#32 The Good in Bugandi Secondary

This is a piece I recently got cross-published on the blog mylandmycountry. It is about Papua New Guinean’s celebrating all that is good about our country.

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Media attention awarded to Bugandi Secondary School of late, has tainted the name of this pillar of education within the Lae City community. I do not want to dwell on the events that have garnered such infamy, but it would be fair to say, there exists a sense of bitter distrust from the part of the greater Lae community.

But the nature of trust is that

it can also be earned back because bad does not necessarily mean ‘there is an absence of good’. At least that was my experience with the Bugandi Secondary School students on Friday, 6th October. An incident transpired during that day that showed hope and goodness that often goes unacknowledged about that institution.

I am not at liberty to fully disclose the details of the incident, least to say it was a hit and run and I, along with the students were first witnesses. I’ll add though that it was the quick thinking on behalf of the Bugandi students that led to the survival of the victim; the emergency ward named ‘Mr Friday Unknown’.

In a show of spirited heroism, the young men from Bugandi Secondary School gathered the seemingly lifeless pile of aged bones and soft tissue onto my ute. Without time to spare we rushed the Mr Friday Unknown to the accident and emergency ward at ANGAU Memorial Hospital.

There is always a moment of sho

ck that follows accidents so gruesome as that that reminds us humanity is nothing but skin and bones. It is the spirit that connects us to each other.

Seeing the spirit the Bugandi students showed to save a life gives me faith enough to say that the school is raising integral community members and citizens of Papua New Guinea. That lesson cannot

be overlooked. That lesson is more important then any piece of information that can be found in textbooks.

But this is not an isolated event. This act of selflessness is evidently engrained in these students. Almost a month before this incident a head on collision between two vehicles on Jawani Street (next to Bugandi) was witnessed by Bugandi Secondary School students who were unwilling first respondents to the scene, doing what they could to save the lives.

The description of the incident is not important here, but the character

demonstrated by the students is, again, testament to their strength and value as members of the greater Lae City

community.

I would like then to commend the teachers and for their commitment towards their students. For believing in the goodness in your students. To the Principle, Mr Tony Gaul and your leadership team, it takes real courage and strength to believe in your mission with limited resources and the clout of negative media – for that I applaud you and your team.

Bugandi Secondary School has quite the journey ahead of it yet I believe that in the not too distant future, the institution will give the great city of Lae reasons to look upon it with the endearing fondness that it deserves..  

#30 Poem – A letter to Mr & Mr Too-Wrist

A letter to Mr & Mr Too-Wrist


Dear Mr & Mr Too-Wrist,

I hope that you’ve enjoyed our town.
Our sights,
our smiles,
and our sound.

And for that while
you felt a ‘lil lost.
Direction, I pray,
came at no cost.

And I hope you ventured
beyond the beaten path.
To find those moments
now etched to your heart-

Mostly, I hope you found it
all without trouble.

Our forests, our rivers.
Our coffees, our beers.

So in the end
when you settle,
into your seat
on that plane,
I hope your thinking, and planning,
of your next trip
back again.

Yours,
C. Arnes

by Hans Lee

Explanation:

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#28: Poem – Breaking up with a Friend in a One Page Letter

Two things really prompted this poem. One, I have started penpal-ing again over snail mail and the other was a conversation I had with a friend of mine who was worried that I was ghosting from that friendship. I don’t think I am, but it did make me think about how I would ever end a friendship. It’s not often something we think about but how would you approach it?

I also wrote this with the intent to perform it at our Pizza and Poetry nights in Cairns, hence the breaks.

Breaking up with a Friend in a One Page Letter

My Dearest Friend,

I know we haven’t spoken in a while.

Continue reading “#28: Poem – Breaking up with a Friend in a One Page Letter”

#27: Inspired by ‘Black Coffee’?

Hi,

So I am now starting to think that coffee is codeword for something else, but we’ll leave that to your imagination. I recently recited my poem Arabica Or’Robusta at the Cairns Poetry Slam to a crowd that (I think) appreciated it. It added some variety to the show and garnered some humbling comments – surprisingly, no criticism from parents.

But moving past that, I just wanted to point to this song called ‘Black Coffee’ by Iyeoka. I am really digging this song at the moment and hope to say that this is an inspiration to the above-mentioned poem.

I’d like to say that the idea must’ve become lodged in my mind after hearing the song somewhere (maybe at Blackbird Coffee). I am not too sure, I just started paying attention to it. But if it did, I’d like to claim that to be true.

Please check out Iyeoka’s music if you are into that neo-soul-jazz-bordering-house music – my jam at the moment.

Happy Coffee Days.

– Hans

 

#25- Poem: Arabica Or’robusta

Sex sells so please read with an open mind. A poem inspired by that which inspired gods to make man and for man to make words to praise gods that made man.

Arabica’or-robusta

He asked me,

– “How do you like yours man?”

 

I like mine black.

Black.

Complex.

Delicate.

None of that milky. White. Shit.

 

Short.

Tall.

Regular.

Full bodied.

Intoxicate awake senses.

 

Sunny day, 

Rainy day, 

Cold day,

Any day.

Give me one –

to keep me awake all night.

But I don’t mind two –

to wake me up in the mornin’.

 

Night in a vessel.

Dark.

Tannin. Melanin.

Bold.

Delicate.

From a flower –

like a flower,

Bitter? Yes.

Sweet? Without question.

(pause)

 

“Ready.” 

 

Come to me

I feel your heat in my hand

Sip your body.

Taste. Wet.

Bitter and sweet. Tannin.

Breathe you in. 

Tease the senses.

In my hand.

Carnal – I. Need. You. 

A taste.

You in my mouth 

A sip from the lip

warm aqueous dark.

No. Milky. White. Shit. 

In my mouth.

Heaven.

 

In. My. Mouth.

Acquired taste.

Black juice.

Tannin spill.

Melanin resi-due.

Libation due.

Offer  pray’r.

Stay strong,

my black,

Coffee.

 

-by Hans Lee

#24: The Thoughts of a Poet without a voice

Hi everyone,

I’ve been struggling to really write lately after having been distracted with life lately. It is not to say I have been short of things to say, it was more so because the words were finding it difficult to fall on paper and take form. It wasn’t a writers block, I guess I’d explain it more like a creative block. Strangely enough, that was where I drew inspiration from to write this poem exploring my own thought process during the last couple of weeks.

Also keep in mind that this was written particularly for performance.

The Thoughts of a Poet without a voice

Let me lose.

Release me. 

Save me.

I will torment you. 

Hold you captive until you set me free.

 

The thoughts of a poet without a voice.

 

Why are these words cooped up in my mind tormenting me?!  

 

Words that mould into being conjuring thoughts from the depths of my imagination. 

Like rivers from springs in desserts flow in a torrent bringing life to the depths of my imagination

Rising through sands disappear into sands in the endless desserts of my mind.

And without seeing day light, thoughts die inside without a voice to let lyrical metaphors of rivers flow down the valleys towards your minds eye.

Thoughts die.

 

A dictionary and thesaurus of unmarked graveyards litter my mind – 

here lies a thought you will never hear nor feel.

They were all imprisoned in the highest towers 

summoned for an execution that never took place

though no one heard their last sounds

they lost their last breath 

with the undignified loss of the poets voice.

 

Thoughts that take no form could not have lived.

We only remember those who were written to life

who lived long lives, short lives, regardless, just lives lived.

 

So I confront blank pages, a sea of white to sail my thoughts on, but unheard voices and ink-less words cannot set sail when they never made it to the shore. 

And it pains me knowing that my thoughts are unaccounted for. 

Never named, whispered or brought to life on blank pages 

To carry my thoughts across white seas.

Now they taunt me ‘a poet with no voice, a poet with no voice’.

 

Without words I am an 

Orchid without flowers

Sunsets without colour

A smith without fire – 

Meaningless.

 

Admitedly, there is a wall my thoughts cannot rise above, 

I call that wall a dam because it does not give a damn.

It holds back a torrent of words so poetic it would make Jesus weep, but instead I weep.

For the river that leads no where will never reach the white sea,

virgin pages remain ink-less,

unheard voices torment me like a poet with not voice, a poet with no voice. 

They will hold me captive until I set them free.

By Hans Lee

 

#18 Failure on the Trodden Path

(Updated to include Business Insider insights on 15th August 2017)

I am always fascinated by the weight of criticism offered to those who found ways to become successful in life.  This piece of prose that lyrically explores the mentioned theme of how we swallow success when it looks different to how we imagined it to look.

Failure on the Trodden Path. 

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#16 Big Bel, Pig Bel

I believe that PNG is on the cusp of one of the biggest epidemics of our short modern history. We unknowingly wondered into the era of preventable lifestyle diseases. Eating surgery foods, having high cholesterol diets, and worse still, normalising obesity as an image of success! The saddest thing is that it is affecting our young business and aspiring political leaders. 

I will present imagery to question our own unwitting validation and seemingly present comment on a new narrative about a changing culture. You can decide what that change is but I think the hope is in what the girl says and what the kids are asked to remember.

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#14: Beware the Tropical Breeze

Destructive beauty is elegant and wild. I really love the juxtaposition of living in the tropics because we know that the beauty here is a product of the destructive nature that the tropics can unleash. One day all is peaceful and serene, then the next the winds of change arrive and change happens as natural as time in tandem.

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