Posts Categorized: Literature, writing, books & publishing

Searching for Peace

By Ishmael Palipal

160 - Ishmael Palipal

Peace, Peace, Peace

If peace is on the worlds’ stock markets
I can rob all the money in the world just to buy more
If peace is gain through killing people
I would sign up to kill every human race on earth
If peace can be found by travelling the world
I would travel the world restlessly for more

If peace can be found in corruption
I would be the worst corrupter in the world
If peace can be found in the sun
I would travel to the sun
If peace is found in sexual immorality
I could be a sex machine

But if peace can be found in honesty
Can I be the honest person in the world?
If peace is found in respecting others
Can I be the respectful man on earth?
If peace is found in love
Can I be the one whose love covers the sea?

If peace is earn by giving
Can I give to those who are needy?
If peace is found in unity
Can I break up my boundaries to unite?
If peace is found in equality
Can I distribute things equally?

If peace is found in truth
Can I be an honest guy ever lived?
And if peace is found in God
Can I be one to be called his son
Or where can I find that thing called


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Deuro Never Lies

Leonard Fong Roka

154-deuro-palipal View from Deuro Mountain. Picture by Ishmael Palipal.

Standing on the Deuro Range gap in Buin, South Bougainville makes a Bougainvillean shed tears for the truth that his Bougainville is truly a Solomon Island. Looking towards the Tonolei Harbour our hearts ache for Bougainville crisis was there well before the Panguna mine.


Deuro never lies

So she is ravishing, steep and imposing

Sometimes foggy and chilling

To the weary rider

Of the Arawa-Buin road;

I see her from Laluai,

And she stares me still at the dusty Buin Town


Deuro never lies

She carefully caresses me with her ridge palm

As I scan her greenish virgin spine into the depths

Of the silent and snoring Tonolei Harbor

Where Solomon Sea sleeps for the Malaitan

Traders’ splashing Saturdays


Deuro never lies

She watches Choiseul and her children; Treasury and her sisters;

Shortland and her siblings, lip

And lip my Bougainville forever

As the Olava fisherman paddles crisscross

To Rove, Rove Kiki, Fauro, Asie, Ovau, Ballale, Illina, Oema to lunch

After a sweating day of fishing


Deuro never lies

She rains to flood Choiseul

Her winds sweep Shortlands and Treasury Islands anew

As I wonder and wonder why

I am locked on this side of my islands

By the alien laws


Deuro never lies!

154 - Deuro Gap



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601-shamefacedBy Jennifer Nkui

This poem was written in 2007 as a reflection on the traditional cultural values of society after the author went through one of life’s hardest experiences.

The embarrassment and pain cuts me size down every day
I’m scared to laugh or even have fun
I look people in the eye no more
The hurt is there and can never be erased

Gossips here, gossips there
People talk about me
And it sure hurts like hell
Coz my family has lost all hope in me

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A cry for my tribe

By Ellah Oiramu

As my eyes devour

And rise over the hill

In to a high power

You reveal thyself real


The pain I fear is nigh

But yet we shout loud aye

To the vanity of the future’s heel

Under them noses the days will pass like eel

Yet we sing and dance and laze


The women wear their finest lace

With passion and compassion

Ours is the shared portion

Together we rise in trice and heal

Late as the date it is we ate the veal


We hope and work and again

Hoping for the pain to be not in vain

Mine was, is now ours

Hind was, is now within hours


For like our forefathers after

We shall ease in the joy of laughter

We thus then celebrate

For our heart is passionate.

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Just a dream

By Alice Peter

I long to see you one day,

Just as I had seen you ages ago.

But it is taking forever for this one day,

As the days go on.


I long to be in the cascading rivers,

The thick dense but fresh and cool forests,

Where abundance of fruits and food is endless,

That my soul relinquishes.


Oh my beautiful, beautiful island,

My island of love and joy,

My beautiful island of Bougainville,

You’re only a dream away.

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A cry for my homeland

By Ellah Oiramu

Photo courtesy of Joel Coleman.

They said time heals everything

Seemed to me there was nothing

On the other side

To walk to nor aid or hide


The beauty unseen by the eye

Ripped and taken from I

Yet bleeding, I fight

For I am mighty when I am bait

Dragged through the inhumane


I have known deeds in rugged depths

The fear in me as black as a starless night

As darkness fall nigh

For I am only human

And my only light is the hope

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BV24 contributor wins Crocodile Prize Book of the Year award


A frequent contributor to Bougainville Copper Limited’s (BCL) blog, Bougainville 24, has won the Ok Tedi Mining Award for Book of the Year in the Crocodile Prize, the national literary awards of Papua New Guinea.

Leonard Fong Roka won the award for Brokenville, a memoir of his experiences as a youth in Central Bougainville during the crisis years. The book tells the tale of a boy who is thrust into manhood by the escalating violence and chaos around him.

Bougainville 24 was launched in October 2013 and features articles about Bougainville, news on BCL activities and writing by Bougainvilleans.

“2014 is the happiest moment of my writing since more Bougainvilleans have come out, especially with the BCL backed Bougainville 24,” Leonard Roka said on Twitter.

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Agnes Maineke wins Crocodile Prize for Short Stories

By Keith Jackson


Siwai woman, Agnes Maineke, has won the People’s Award for Short Stories in the 2014 Crocodile Prize, the national literary awards of Papua New Guinea.

Maineke, 57, knows real struggle. Indeed, in the south of Bougainville where she lives, telecommunications are still very difficult and it took us some days to notify her of the award.

Agnes was born in the Siwai area of south Bougainville and now teaches at Turiboiru Primary School in the nearby Buin District.

She told me she started writing during the ten years of the Bougainville crisis. “I used to write diaries,” Agnes said. “But unfortunately all got lost.”

The winning story is a harrowing first person of account of the circumstances in which Agnes gave birth to her son, Barnabas, in 1992, on a mountain track and fearing for her life in the middle of guerrilla hostilities.

“I’m actually computer illiterate,” said Agnes, “and it was my daughter Eleanor (Bougainville 24 contributor) who knew about the Crocodile Prize and asked me to write a short story for entry into the competition.”

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Book-Gain-Ville boosts access to literature with e-reader project

By Leonard Fong Roka


An Australian man, so affected by a trip to bring e-readers to students in a remote Panguna village, has launched an initiative to improve literacy throughout Bougainville.

Colin Cowell started the Book-Gain-Ville project in Australia with the support and guidance of the Indigenous Reading Project.

Cowell’s original visit with 20 kindles was to the Narinai Elementary School in the Panguna District, the home of former Bougainville president Mr. James Tanis. Here the Book-Gain-Ville project was launched and welcomed to the community with dancing, singing, speeches and slaughtering of two pigs to mark the importance of the occasion.

“Travelling around I saw broader need across the whole island, so we have added ten more sites for trial of the Book-Gain-Ville initiative,” Mr Cowell said.

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Roka drives literature forward

By Timothy Poroda


Leonard Fong Roka, Bougainville’s leading writer, hails from Panguna District in the heart of the island, born to parents from Bougainville and West New Britain.

Roka started his formal education since 1986 in Central Bougainville but, like many of his contemporaries, it was cut short by the crisis and the Papua New Guinea Defence Force blockade of the island.

It was 1990 when Roka’s education was interrupted, he had yet to complete grade four at Kaperia Community School in Arawa.

In 1994, after four years in the Kupe Mountains, Roka was able to return to school. This was made possible by the peace process spearheaded by the Bougainville Transitional Government and its leader, the late Premier Theodore Miriung, which re-established schools at Arawa.

After completion of his primary education in 1996, he entered Arawa High School in 1997 and it was there that he was encouraged by his English teacher, an Eastern Highlander by the name of William Mania, to write stories and poetry about Bougainville.

“Mr Mania told me to write about Bougainville and promote my identity and dignity, which was under threat from external domination and influence,” Mr Roka recalled.

“However he only told me to write without giving literary tools to guide me.”

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