RAYMOND KOMIS GIRANA
Ray Girana has just completed the manuscript for his first collection of verse and it will soon be off to the editors for them to do their work. On this Easter weekend, PNG Attitude is delighted to introduce readers to the book's Prologue and also to one of Ray’s favourite poems from the collection.
BUKA - Bougainville has embarked on a great adventure. It is an autonomous province of Papua New Guinea and will hold a referendum on independence on 15 June 2019.
The moment leading to the referendum is so critical. Bougainville needs great awareness and understanding among its people and an enlightenment that will empower citizens to be active agents of change and development.
The referendum involves choices and decisions from eligible citizens who will cast votes to determine the future political status of Bougainville. This volume of Referendum Poems aims to remind the people of Bougainville of the importance and necessity of making the correct decisions for a peaceful and loving community.
In one way, Referendum Poems is a wake-up call for a redesign of the face of Bougainville.
This will only happen through people making a choice based on their free will. In Greek, metanoia means a change of heart and a change of mind – and for us this will govern our decision about which path to follow.
On this note, Referendum Poems strives to promote peace and harmony in Bougainville in all aspects of life and development through thoughtful reflection and discernment on the future of our province.
I have asked myself why Bougainville has always wanted to be free and why we fight for our political independence. While trying to find the essence of the ten-year conflict of the civil war in the late 20th century, I have come to think that Bougainville’s fight for freedom is really a fight for peace. The fight for the best possible kind of life Bougainville deserves as a political community.
Referendum Poems carries with it this hope for Bougainvilleans to take control of their own lives and take responsibility for their own destiny.
On the other hand, Referendum Poems is a reflection of the political journey of Bougainville. This is spelled out in the collection which resonates with the music of peace, renewal and self-determination.
It is my hope that Referendum Poems will contribute to good and lasting peace on Bougainville and that it will inspire Bougainvilleans in making the right choices.
I send you this in the hope that we will share it in the name of Bougainville for our children and their children.
Here is one of my favourite poems from the collection.
Raymond Komis Girana
When you look in the eyes of a newborn baby
You shall see peace rising over the valleys
You see a promise that war will totally cease
And in Bougainville, there shall be peace
You see the dawn of a new day over the horizon
Birds’ melodies welcome your day for a reason
To teach a new peace song for a new season
Sweet for an ear that can visualize a vision
When you see the beaming smile on her face
It is a revelation of a distinct and important phase
And when you listen to his innocent cries at night
It is an appeal for a nation to end all the fight
The smile and the cries is a call to give your love
To share your spirit in simplicity and humility like a dove
So to embrace and protect his innocence in a new world
To experience the joy and the happiness in just a word
A word from a baby that means peace
A new word to be whispered in a caressing kiss
To motivate happiness to increase
In a world that wants to see war decrease
When she is pinched by the cold of this world
It is a reminder that we also felt this same cold
Say this word to keep her warm as they did to you
Tell her you love her and would make her life true
When she is old enough she would make friends
She will also share the same words to all the ends
So that we get together and learn to get along
So that we stop blaming others for being wrong
Take a good look in the eyes of a newborn baby
You shall see peace and love from your enemy
You shall hear a soft voice calling out for unity
A voice of hope to those who want a destiny
This is your word from a tiny little baby
See her eyes; they not only mean beauty
They tell of what is beyond mere duty
To be cherished and embraced in unity