#73 Poetry – Disparate

Man, meri, pikinini
waite man, black man, olgeta lain.

Passerby’s pass on by
in quick strides,
shunned, avert eyes,
seeing what can’t be unseen

– Lukim em,
em sanap na lukim

She squints to look.
There, beyond the glass of safety
laid barren hope, dreams, ruined.

Despair, etched deep into frail wrinkles
like the cracked path they led,

leading them down here to where the crumbling mortar, hanging from moss ridden bricks was their clothes in tethers, pealing from their damp skins.

Pasim ai, karamapim nus, sakim het.

The putrid stench of failure,
hopelessness seeks desperation,
rising from the viscous substance
crawling to makeshift drains
tunnelling beneath her feet,

moving.

Saitim ai, inap lo’ luk luk,
wokabaut igo.

Her pace harkens for quick strides,
her squint disappears behind dark shades.
Her phone had seen enough.

-Hans Lee

#72 Poetry – For her.

When you awake from the slumbers of sleeps silky caress,
Let the creaking door remind you that not all is made to be perfect,
Let the dull light of twilight creeping in remind you that the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ is not simply a metaphor,
Let the silence before the hum of day remind you that you still have your voice,
And let the voice of others, familiar and no so, remind you that yours is never alone.

But be patient. Don’t look for fast feet too soon. The head knows where it needs to be.

If shudders should ripple under cloudiness of thought, it is your mind casting lines into rough waters seeking a memory. Be patient. Remember that storms sometimes live in tea cups and tea cups can be deep wells you keep going back to draw from. It will be there when you forget.

And if you should fall into that dark place of your mind, I hope you find the walls of solitude lined with cobwebs, filtering your thoughts. May it help you find clarity as surly as the drip, drip, dripping is the last sound before the storm ends. You will always find your way out.

So when you close your eyes and feel the monotonous pulse of beeping contraptions, let it alas remind you that life has it’s own rhythm that need not to be tamed but nurtured.

It may not make sense to you right now, but remember that in the best of all possible worlds, we are often never where we want to be but always where we are meant to be.

by Hans Lee

Brain blargh

Continue reading “#72 Poetry – For her.”

#70: (Rain)Drops of Anxiety

Pitter-patter,
on roof tops.
Rain drops,
in down pipes.

Pitters of patters
slipping, falling.
Violent in motion,
rushing, gushing,
into alleyways
– be banks, on streets.

Carry raindrops,
to drain pipes.
Labourious is torrent
– be rivers, like Styx.

Keep tame,
my wild heart.
The memory of pitters of patters.
The violence of wild water,
when rain drops go
pitter-patter.

by Hans Lee, 2019

Brain Dump

Continue reading “#70: (Rain)Drops of Anxiety”

#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.
I am Aquarius in January
Though unable to bear
35 degrees
85 per cent
humidity.

Empathising with
the low
glancing over
coral seas.
Another southbound traveler’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.
Stillness.
Listen.

In my
slow
swaying ham’mock
a broken met’ronome
forgets time.
The rhythm to a
cacophonous evening choir in the bushes.

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.

But 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”