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Four Poems
by Presley Yekanamialye Kokwaiye

Kala Falls, Papua New Guinea

Presley Yekanamialye Kokwaiye comes from the rainforest of Papua New Guinea, where this waterfall is. Preseley loves nature, especially the forest and the seascape, and his poems are inspired by his homeland. This waterfall, Kala Falls, or Kalapialye, is also Presley's tribal name. He says it is a magical place.

My Union with Kalapialye

As I walked towards Kalapiya sauku’ule (Kala Falls)
Wearing a red sport wear and a red scarp
I blend into the sauku’la (fall)
The torrent of the fall initiates me

As the blistering torrent hits my head and skin
I relax my muscles and drink in some of the water
This experience like me going back into my mother’s womb
This union becomes so special in my life.

As I continue to stand under the mighty fall of Kalapiya sauku’ule
The fall intensity increases as the spirits that control the waterfall give it a stir
All my senses begins to become more conscious of the world that I am in
The fall becomes stronger, heavier and heart melting
Copyright ©2003 Presley Yekanamialye Kokwaiye


Sea's Serenity
Poem composed in Alotau, Milne Bay Province

As I sat on a beach, looking across the sweet and salty sea
The south-easterly winds blow blessings upon my head
Filling me with the love for the ocean and the life therein.
Sea’s serenity serenades my being

As the smell of the sea sooths my nostrils
My mind goes out to the ocean floor wondering how the fish play
Wishing I was a fish to share the fun
Sea’s serenity looks so sweet and tender

As the evening rays reflect on the sleeping sea
Beauty of the evening engulfs me with a sense of loneliness
Colours of the evening skies splendidly display
Sea’s serenity surrounds my spirit and soul
Copyright ©June 2004 Presley Yekanamialye Kokwaiye

Gave it all to the Yenas (fish)

Dedicated to Pilot Community-Based Fisheries project in the Trobriands

On sunny September seven 2001
I was sent to the Trobriand Islands
Islands of yams and yenas (fish).

This was a new beginning for me in my career
I had a new task to accomplish on this island
A task to facilitate community action process

This was something new on the island
I was seriously in love with this job
I assured my heart to give it all.

As the days turned into weeks and into months
I could feel the yearnings of yenas (fish)
They all wanting me to give them a future.

With eagle's eyes and an endless energy
I gave all that I have within me to the yenas
Now the yenas can hope for a better future.
Copyright ©2003 Presley Yekanamialye Kokwaiye


No more cool canopy and rainbows

Population pressure in Wild West Morobe has cause tall trees to fall

Branches of tall trees created a cool canopy
Under the trees canopy, the me would stand
Feeling in love with the tall trees.

Breathing in the purest of oxygen
Me, rightly belonging to the tall trees
And the tall trees rightly belonging to me.

The me would stand in summer rains under
the canopy of the tall trees
Gazing always into the colours of rainbow
An experience accorded well to my childhood

Now my heart dearly misses the tall trees
Natural canopy of love has been misplaced
Rainbow colours to raise my eyebrows is no
longer there.
Copyright ©2003 Presley Yekanamialye Kokwaiye


Presley Yekanamialye Kokwaiye is currently a master's degree student at the Australian Maritime College in Tasmania examining fisheries' co-management of the declining sea cucumber (beche-de-mer) in the Trobriand Islands of PNG. His native regalia in the photo above is made from Bird of Paradise feathers. The symbol on his chest represent the red yellow and black, reflective of the colours of the Papua New Guinea environment.

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