Papua New Guinean Poem |
Perspiration beads my beleaguered brow,
running in rivulets down cheeks aglow.
A hazy miasma the air does plough,
electric energy begins to flow.
Distant rumblings, crowned palm trees start to shake,
gorgeously lush green fronds partner their dance.
Waves rippling the ground harbinger earthquake,
eerie silence, then lightning’s jagged lance.
An earth shrieking crescendo tears dark skies,
a tsunami of sound deafens each mind.
Birds of Paradise scream with fearful cries,
as two tectonic plates viciously grind.
Silence resumes, a young friend lifts his head,
widened eyes white within a dusky den.
I speak, “See brother we live we’re not dead,
dispela wantok bilong Jackson Ken.”
I lived in Papua New Guinea for four years in the 1990’s.
The earthquake was 6.5 on the Richter scale, epicentre within 50 mile away.
Jackson Ken is a young Papua New Guinean man whom I befriended and who ended
up working for the company that I was managing.
The last line is Pidgin English, widely spoken in P.N.G., its root bases are German,
Dutch and ‘modified’ English. It basically means that this fellow/man (dispela, which
is me) is a cousin brother (wantok, usually associated with another member of your
own village) belonging (bilong) to Jackson Ken.
Copyright © Chris Cameron | Year Posted 2010