#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”

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#43 Nau mai rā

– I feel a June chill sting my bones.

I meet a strange land in the stillness of the night:

I find my bones longing for the damp, cold, chill.
The kind that lasts through grey endless months of dreaded wet weather.
You know.
– where long white clouds give way to dark grey skies.

I find my heart warm to endless summer days,
The kind that lasts a whole day.
You know.
– where long white clouds adorn blue skies.

Silly moments harbour memories.

I miss wet socks
I miss damp jumpers
I miss sitting in the warmth of coffee shops
I miss having something in common with the other half of the city

– The city.
I miss the city.
It’s noise
It’s sights.
It’s smell.
It’s taste.

Drifting into the still chimes after midnight,
I find myself reciting Dave Dobbyn
Yes tonight I am feeling you under the state a strange land,
And I hear the voice of a woman with her hands trembling

Haere Mai
Nau mai rā

Come
Welcome home

@ Hans Lee

 

 

#40 My Poetry in 2017: Caffeinated Sex, PNG and Cairns

I want to end this year with a look back on my writings and musings throughout the year, marking the first year that I spent understanding how best to ‘tell ones story’, as it is often the hardest thing to do.

Though I have tries exploring different forms of writing, I have enjoyed the voice of poetry as a medium for story telling so here are some of the poems from this year.

Performing Sex Poetry
Continue reading “#40 My Poetry in 2017: Caffeinated Sex, PNG and Cairns”

#39 A Journey Back Home (Poem)

I wondered
Into the day
To find where I belonged,
Leaving time and space before me,
Feet after feet
– A growing distance.

In front,
I was drawn into eyes,
Shimmering beneath blistering sunsets.
Each time wondering,
Whether sunrise would bring me back over the horizon.

And I held my breath.
Each time,
In belief that dawns beauty
Would steal my breath away.

– Each time,
It almost did.
But each time,
I found my feet,
And caught my breath,
Each and every time

– Grasping on tight
To that part of me;
Still wrestling wild,
For a missing
Part of me.

At noon,
It came in cups of smiles
On plates of tears,
That asked me to stay.

Each time,
I almost did,
But each time,
I caught my breath,
And found my feet,
Each and every time

– Searching for the next step.

Only this time,
I stepped back.
And saw me standing there,
In the shadow of a silhouette,
who had lost its way.

And so I turned,
To find my feet,
Leading me home,
To where I never left.

I feel a June chill stinging my bones.

@Hans Lee

#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.
The last time we did, all I left remembering was the
dark
silent
void
that lingered like the echoes of laughter we used to share at the bottom of our empty coffee cups.

Yours was full.
The inside joke that I hated computer technology and spelt it out in a six letter F word F.U.C.K.I.T.
“Ah fuck it!”.

Those were the days. Do you remember?
I call you friend. I haven’t found another word to replace you. How a six letter F word could keep me laughing – F.R.I.E.N.D.
Now you remind me of who I no longer am. A six letter F word that I want to F.O.R.G.E.T.
But reading comprehension was never your best suite. You liked Chemistry and Music, which only a friend would know.

So I’ll have to
break
it
down
for
you.

Our friendship was like gold. It was worth a lot.
Past tense.
I used to like heavy metal.
So I fade away. Into black.
Insert Metallica reference – Fade to Black.
Or from Black to White and moonwalk out of this.
I like Michael Jackson. R.I.P to this.

Now,
pointless conversations mean little, like the one about being lost at sea.
Like I’m drowning in this. Not drifting anymore. Drifting apart, unlike before.
‘Tis time. ‘Tis me. Not you. ‘Tis change. It is life.
“Ah fuck it.”
I am being vague as I get to the end of this page.  And I guess I just can’t find the words to say what it is I need to
say right now.
But until then,
until I do.
I guess I remain.

Your dearest friend,

Hans Lee