West Sepik villageWhen I was working in Kabore, a remote outpost in Sandaun (West Sepik) Province, Papua New Guinea, there was not a great deal to do in the evening and I found myself scribbling some amateurish rhymes. I am happy to share one of them here with any undiscriminating readers who are not too sensitive about ‘poetry’.


Sunrise in Kabore

Moon walked across the grass with dripping feet last night,

Now beaded webs hang from the leaves to dry.

Mist lingers, running fingers through the blue-green hills

Where, stretching from her sleep, Sun touches Sky.


Mosquitoes rise from where they’ve hidden in the dark

To feast upon the blood of those who doze,

While raucous birds wreak havoc, screeching in the trees,

And ghekkos watch in still and silent pose.


Thin dogs, returned from hunting in the bush till dawn,

Lie sleeping in the dust too tired to fight.

The limbum* bends and creaks beneath my stumbling tread

Towards the creek to wash in dawn’s pale light.


* Palm wood used in construction of bush houses.

But if the imagery here appeals to you, you would enjoy Inside the Crocodile: The Papua New Guinea Journals.


Sunrise in Kabore