#51: Prose- Empty Steel Drums Make A Lot Of Noise

In my more contemplative years, I learned of the phrase “empty drums made a lot of noise”. Deaf, I was at the time, a bit too young to understand but I still hear it now.

Continue reading “#51: Prose- Empty Steel Drums Make A Lot Of Noise”

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#47- Missing pieces of home

In the end,
we all come back
In search
of our missing pieces

– It taunts us every day.

Our bedroom mirrors
Take peace from us.
Reminding us,
That there is another world 

-Inside of us 

We are still looking.

Never quite seen.
Scattered shards
Across foreign lands.

– We are hidden,

In distant lands,
Between what you want to see
And what we let you see.

We see what we remember,
But we forget too. 

So I carry a bilas bilum
And she wears a meri blouse.
Seeking approval from the mirror
Before we head to the day:

 Maski, yu wait meri pinis.
Maski, yu wait man pinis.

Our bedroom mirrors
Are missing pieces.
Reflecting what’s missing
Inside of us.

It takes the peace from us,
Leaving us anxious
For home.

– Hans Lee

Where I wrote this….

Continue reading “#47- Missing pieces of home”

#46 Poem: Behind Steel Bars

Behind Steel Bars

Steel bars line the edge of this world.

Clad, cold, courage,
rust bearing steel bars.
Be strong.

Guard us.
Vestige reminder –
the colonial knights armour,
there is faith in steel.

Guard conscience, pray they
from perils that lay await.
Still, idle imagination loiters.
Give colour to grey steel bars.

Think.
Keep safe, this world.
Guard against, the light of night
Come what may.

Tall – stand picket.
Poke sharp, the heavens soft whites.
Reach high, the blue distant moun-tains

Or is it sky?

Picket steel bars,
stand watch.

Yet, the darkness in day
pierces the safety of this
prison.

@ Hans Lee

Where I wrote this
This piece was written in one sitting at the Airways Hotel in Port Moresby. I was looking for place to sit, read and write and this was the only (third) space that I could really work in. I highly recommend it, though I don’t know how busy it gets here – I was lucky enough to have it all to myself (and the security guard) while I wrote.

As you may have guessed it already, coffee definitely had something to do with this post. Nothing like a bit of caffeine to get the creative juices flowing.

Why I wrote it

wp-image--210183966
Dr Steven E. Winduo’s ‘The Unpainted Mask’

At the time of writing, I was reading Dr. Steven Winduo’s book, The Unpainted Mask, which had weaved through the stories these ideas of objectivity and reflection. Telling his story from the first person, he observed the irony of the residents in Port Moresby who work to be part of a life that was ironic, bordering moronic, according to him. People who work so hard to keep an image that is expensive to maintain (the masks).

It made me reflect on where I was at in that moment of writing, looking out into the distant natural landscape through steel bars designed to protect me. From what? Well that was just it, I didn’t know. Maybe it was to protect my conscience from whatever was out there. In the distant was the cloud and blue mountain (or sky) but in the foreground was the protruding steel picket fence.

I was taking refuge behind these fences to carry out the art of being this version of me. It is definitely part of this Journey Home for me. I can’t say anything because I am (unfortunately) part of this group, but I shed no regret for this lifestyle. I wouldn’t be who I am, writing what I write, if it were not for my experiences.

I’ll leave it at that.

@ Hans Lee

#44 Poem: Sorcery Related Violence in PNG

Light of the world

She, the light of the world.
He watched her rise and set.

They met at church as most do.

And then again on bus rides to school.
Then at markets. Then in shops.
On Facebook. Through text. Over phone calls.

Rising together till she fell.

But she refused his advances one day.
So he stained her cloak with fear one night.

Her sun never rose there after.
As she lived by the fear of light.

She burned her cloak, to hide the stains
When his family paid the five hundred kina.

Forgive and forget, her Pastor prayed
God punishes because we are all sinners.

And he sniffed at some white stuff.
Thought he was the right stuff.
And clenched at his heart one day.

– Myocardial Infarction
The coroners transcription.
Was all that was needed to say.

That’s when they came for her.

In the thick of her fear,
Extinguishing her light from the world.

The lawyers, the police.
The accountants, the priests.

They chanted our ancestors words.

You, the girl who witched his heart.
The doctor said “you broke his heart”.

You deserve to die, the witches way,
The girl who lived, by fear of light.

-Hans Lee

Commentary

I wrote this poem with a lot of hate and disgust at a part of Papua New Guinean society that I can’t reconcile with who we are as a modern nation. For all we strive to be – holding on to our culture and customs and celebrating it – we are also still held back by the fear and deeply entrenched superstition that we harbour in the undertow of our conversations. I don’t mind being controversial here because someone has to be.

Something is seriously munted as shit if superstition is being treated as grounds for a criminal offence. Continue reading “#44 Poem: Sorcery Related Violence in PNG”