#65 Poem- Empty Streets

Empty streets,

When a tower rises.

Empty Streets

Where towers rise.

Cast tall shadow

Upon tall shadows.

Hiding reasons from

Reasons being.

Taking space;

Making of empty.

Void of place.

The streets are empty.

-Hans Lee

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#48 – Music- Homebrew Crew Sundae Sessions

I first came across  the members of the Homebrew Crew jamming at some random bar in Auckland’s Queen Street many (many) moons ago when they had another concept ensemble called @peace (seriously dope sound). Naturally, the music and their flow appealed to me and has left an impression ever since. Close to a decade later, I still find myself scavenging through the halls of Youtube to pick out their sounds.

This is one particular session I come back to time and time again. A live recording at the Red Bull Studios in Auckland called the ‘Sundae Sessions’. The lyrics are loaded but it goes well hand in hand with a beer on a Sunday afternoon.

Enjoy the listening.

 

Just for the record – I highly rate underground Kiwi Hip Hop. I don’t rate underground Australian Hip Hop sound though, I’ve always found the annoyingly too accent heavy. Not that there is anything wrong with that, it’s just a personal preference.

 

 

#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”

#45 Memories of a city in the Far North

I watch dusk descending
before a mountainous silhouette
casting shadow upon shadows-
a reprieve from summer sweat.

A city flickers on.
In tune – a deft chorus.
Homes light up. Car lights on.
Street lights up. Guide lights on.
And lights
illuminating
the rust-stained sky,
glimmer into the evening
under a sea full of stars.

Or more like cane fields alit
Emanating too much heat.
Twinkling ambers into the dark-
nest-ling the now auburn sky.
But this is the wrong time of the year
in the city in the far north.

And I,
Am feeling soo hot
Like I need water.
Like aquarius in January.
Unable to bear
35 degrees
85 per cent
humidity.

Empathising with
the low
glancing over
coral seas.
Another southbound traveller’s passing nod.
As if warned:
“Avoid the summers in the north”.

These are memories of a city in the Far North.

And I am fanning
trickling sweat
breaking between
temp’l and brow.

Awaiting an evening concert.
No sudden moves.
No thought.
Begin.

In my
slow
swaying hammock
a broken metronome
forgets time.
The rhythm
to a cacophonous evening choir in legato.

Flying fox screaches
to-ambient mosquito hums
interject cicada cries
to cane toad drums.
A slither in the grass
sounds a curlew panic.
A flutter in the branches
Takes off into the darkness.

The soundtrack of
summer nights flickering
from my verandah.
And it is still hot.

This is the city in the Far North.
Waiting for the winds to change,
for long summers to end.
For days below 25 degrees.

For palms to bristle
in the breeze.

To cool the space
between temp’l and brow.

To give me reason to rise
from the sway of my hammock.

For right now,
It is early evening
It is the mid of summer
It is the city in the Far North.

 

-by 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”