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Volunteering in PNG - Fifty Years On (A Poem)

Updated on January 23, 2013
BlossomSB profile image

Bronwen was a teacher for over forty years. Degrees include School Librarianship, Psycholinguistics and Theology, and Applied Linguistics.

Anticipation

Sentinel dreaming and guarding the way;

Brilliance of reef and of somnolent day

Uniting to welcome as years flee away.

Beauty created the Creator display,

Brighter than memory, more poignant than gay:

Half a century has fled since I first passed this way.

Tiny Island in the passage between Fergusson and Normanby Islands
Tiny Island in the passage between Fergusson and Normanby Islands | Source

Arrival

The same and not the same:

The wharf is still there, but needing repair,

The bush has receded, track fixing's needed,

Loved faces are gone, but warm welcome goes on

Filling the spaces as my heart retraces

Familiar haunts along the track, looking back.

Next morning, what joy! A High School boy

Hits well the same old war-bomb bell

And as it reverberates 'round hills and playground

A kingfisher of brilliant hue fills my view.

For the past, a tear, but now as volunteer

I hasten to prayer, as local leaders there

Begin the day in the very best way,

I must not shirk, so now to work.

Early morning visitor
Early morning visitor | Source

Looking Around

One evening, and tropical evenings are brief,

When work was over, yet the lights not on,

I climbed a steep hill, at the top, found relief:

A gentle light breeze; green mountains led on

To beautiful Dobu and islands around

While below in the valleys dark jungle I found

But an old rough cross leaned closer at hand

And I stood and thanked God for this beautiful land.


Row of volcanic plugs behind Salamo, Fergusson Island in the D'Entrecasteaux
Row of volcanic plugs behind Salamo, Fergusson Island in the D'Entrecasteaux | Source

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    • Rosemay50 profile image

      Rosemary Sadler 5 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

      A beautiful poem for a beautiful country.

      My 10 years there is certainly something I would not have missed for the world.

      Thank you for finding me and it will be a pleasure to follow you too.

    • BlossomSB profile image
      Author

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Before we went there we were told that the first overseas place we visited was likely to remain forever in our memory. We were only there for three years, but it will always have a place in my heart. Thank you for your comments.

    • writer20 profile image

      Joyce Haragsim 5 years ago from Southern Nevada

      Wonderful tribute for your country. Voted up and interesting.

    • BlossomSB profile image
      Author

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      It's not really my country, my home is in Australia, but yes, it is a country that is engraved on my heart. Thank you for the vote.

    • BeyondMax profile image

      BeyondMax 4 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      What a beautiful journey! Fascinating poetry, I feel like I've been there myself =) Amazing!

    • BlossomSB profile image
      Author

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 4 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Beyond Max: Thank you, it was a wonderful privilege to be able to return there, catch up with friends and do something constructive to help.

    • bulama2 profile image

      Vivianne Kanawi 4 years ago

      Hi BlossomSB,

      Great poem.. it is people like you that make a big difference in PNG. And good to know that you still treasure the place.

    • BlossomSB profile image
      Author

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 4 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Thank you. I do indeed treasure the place and the lovely people there.

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