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12 June 2017


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I'm not quite sure how to respond to that Garry except perhaps to note that our poetic talents seem to be on a par. I wouldn't be game to publish any of my pathetic efforts so you have beaten me on that score. I reckon it's best to leave it to the Michael Doms of the world.

I rather enjoy being criticised for what I write and I was a bit perturbed when Baka deemed it necessary to step back a bit and explain that he wasn't having a go at me personally. He comes up with some surprising takes on issues and I wish he'd write more of them.

The reason I don't mind being criticised is because when it happens I quite often learn something new and can adjust my outlook accordingly.

We all live in our little preconceived worlds and I think it is healthy to be jarred out of them occasionally.


There once was a priest named Roche, Garry by name
Who helped where he could with no hope of gain
A big white beard like the ghost of Ross
Embracing all - for the rich and elite he gave not a toss ....

There once was a man named Fitzpatrick, Phil,
Who by writing and writing his spare time would fill.
Extensively curious, well read, and forthright,
He would argue his case in a way erudite.

He could discourse about Papua, Daru and Lae,
And not be put off by those who cried ‘Nay!’
His well proven knowledge of Highlands and Coast,
Provided a platform from which he could boast.

He is not afraid to be critical too,
Of those who always sought help in a pew.
When he perceived crime, he called it by name.
He would not be part of a ‘cover-up’ game.

One might not always agree with his views,
To disagree you could freely choose.
And now and then you felt that he spoke,
Primarily in order just to provoke.

Always interesting, polite, yet no prude,
Phil is still to be found in PNG Attitude.

May he continue to be ever valiant,
As the gods bless him with god-given talent!

Thanks Phil, mi tok tasol o. Nogat bel hevi long yu o wonem yu rait. Sampela taim, mi bilip kain rait bilong yu i olsem wanpela sut marasin. Em i mekim mi wanbel long rait planti.

Tenk yu long stap sambai long kirapim wok rait long hia.

Wanbel stap.

I like to think that I'm cynical rather than sarcastic Baka. Not that I don't think sarcasm has its useful purposes. One of these is provocation. Sometimes people have to be provoked to get them to think about things.

I would also never advise anyone to give up writing. History is replete with poverty stricken writers who went unnoticed while they were alive but were lauded when they were dead. I think writing for posterity is worthwhile, even when there is no gain or recognition at the time.

There is also a subtlety at work in writing that is worth bearing in mind. While you can write with recognition and reward in mind you can also write simply for the love of it and the joy and enlightenment you bring to a few people who read what you have written. The distinction is between profitable writing and pure writing. These can hopefully operate as one in the same thing of course.

As I said at the time, your long novel, 'Man of Calibre', is a classic. I hope to one day read another one and maybe one after that too.

This morning at four am I looked at my latest project manuscript. I have not written anything in it for more than four months. I had reached a blank wall.

I threw the whole workbook out. I could not give a damn. Nobody's downloaded my books on the e-books. Nobody's said anything more about our PNG authored books on PNG Attitude except by the regulars who continue to give each other the necessary dose of adrenaline.

Then I come in this morning to the office to read this piece by Phil. Thanks for the sanity dose. Coca Cola can have the fizzies, I daresay PNG writers have Phil.

I do sometime not like what Phil writes and he can be sarcastic at times but this gem of writing is my morning cup of caffeine.

I hold out that 'somewhere over the sea, the moon is shining'.

Just only wish that we had something like the 70 million dollars to buy and distribute PNG authored books to all PNG schools. I should have checked myself into Manus. It could be had for nothing.

Yes, I agree with the title of this article, Phil...'It takes more to succeed'

You're right of course Chips.

The Crocodile Prize is way above the Booker or Pulitzer.

The Crocodile Prize is not in the same league at the Booker Prize or the Pulitzer Prise Phil, but it does get promising PNG writers published. In this context it gives them a boost into the literary world and who knows, some, one day, may become famous. So for those who make it into the Crocodile Prize, I hope they do not give up in defeat.

The Coca Cola Prize for Literature.

To win the work must exhibit prodigious quantities of fizz and froth but otherwise be vacuous.

I have some nominations already.

Dear Phil,

Did Peter Fitzsimons invent Coca Cola?

The 16th century English essayist, statesman and poet Joseph Addison said: ‘Authors have established it as a rule that man ought to be dull sometimes.’

And the 18th century American humorous author and playwright George Ade said; ‘After being turned down by numerous publishers, he decided to write for posterity.’

I plan to keep on writing and publish books hoping upon hope that PNG will one day be inhabited by a literate population who will be interested to read what I write today.

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