This is a poem about those who steal from the public purse, go away and squander the money, then return to steal again; not even considering the impacts of their actions. Their are many out there.

Leeches! O leeches!
How they appear so placid;
Such smooth and idle things.

How they lay in wait, then
Spring upon them that wantonly walk,
Then coldly embrace.

Then suck! O they suck!
How they suck the life – the life!
And suck! And suck!

Full! they fade into seeming oblivion,
Then again how they appear innocent.
Such smooth and idle things.

They hear not cries, nor see tears,
But suck! O suck is all they know.

And when cries reach the sky above,
Would they hear and retreat?
These smooth and idles things!

Again they suck! such smooth
And idle things. How they
Appear so placid!



Leeches! O leeches!
How they appear so placid;
Such smooth and idle things.

How they lay in wait, then
Spring upon them that wantonly walk,
Then coldly embrace.

Then suck! O they suck!
How they suck the life – the life!
And suck! And suck!

Full! they fade into seeming oblivion,
Then again how they appear innocent.
Such smooth and idle things.

They hear not cries, nor see tears,
But suck! O suck is all they know.

And when cries reach the sky above,
Would they hear and retreat?
These smooth and idles things!

Again they suck! such smooth
And idle things. How they
Appear so placid!

Sir Michael: Rumour mongering is disrespectful and an act of desperation


I write this not because I support Sir Michael, but I think he deserves my respect regardless of what I think of him.

Of late a rumour on the death of Sir Michael has been widely circulated in PNG and overseas. Whoever is responsible for this is hard to determine.

Many of Sir Michael’s sympathizers are fuming over this and have gone out to prove the rumour is what it is – a rumour and does not contain any truth.

I would like to think that many of his political opponents are not happy such a rumour is spreading all over PNG, basically because it is disrespectful and could potentially paint a bad picture of them.

I did not for once think that it was a mere disrespectful gesture towards Sir Michael; rather, it was an act of desperation by the originator(s) of this rumour.

Why is it an act of desperation?

Prior to PNG’s independence Sir Michael won his political fight in East Sepik’s political ring. Then successfully led PNG to independence by holding together a thousand tribes in his web of charismatic leadership; brewed from the mysterious Haus Tambaran.

Ever since he has been the champion of East Sepik and has captured the PNG title several times. Who in PNG has achieved such feat? He is PNG’s current political champion – king of the ring!

If anyone wants him out, Sir Michael must be defeated in the ring and not outside. Inside the ring is where the champion must be dignifiedly defeated so that his opponents can celebrate a meaningful celebration.

When Sir Michael cannot be defeated due to his opponents’ lack of skills and credibility; rumour mongering becomes an easy way out. It is an act that fills the rumour monger(s) with jealous satisfaction over what is essentially a waste of time.

The fact of the matter is Sir Michael’s gigantic and somewhat (recently) disfigured persona continues to haunt his opponents and many find this unbearable.

It is an illusion to believe this rumour will hurt Sir Michael’s chances to regain his rightful place as PNG’s chief executive.

Rumour mongering is an act of desperation because the rumour monger cannot with all he got defeat Sir Michael where it matters most.

If his opponents want him out, they must defeat him in the ring. It is presumably the only place to defeat Sir Michael that can bring about genuine and real satisfaction.


I stood with a rugged brow.
Here my seat, my place, my home!
Not much o’ a sight to reckon with.
Me & my kind, we stood glances apart,
Since time immemorial.

Rusty nails!, thorny shrubs!
Unblinking glares! & deathly ridicules!
Defiled my restless soul.
Evil blood too! stained me deep
From the cup of Roman justice.

Then a day! like no other
Of great commotion & agitation;
A gentleman of finest purity,
Upon him the weight of the cosmos!
Cruelly on me was raised.

O how the wounds of love cried!
Not of pain, or anger or defeat.
An ocean of bleeding love flooded!
In which hopelessness drowned;
O how hopefulness vanquished!

How here I stood even taller!
And how love intoxicated.
How the heavens envied!
And how my kind wished
They were the Skull Mountain

By: Jeffrey Febi 16 Oct 2010

Overwhelmed by corruption

I saw the best minds I met at university destroyed by corruption. I smell corruption in the breath of those I meet on the streets to share a buai (betel nut) with. And I sense the ever lurking presence of corruption hovering over my dreams.

The public service machinery, a huge formless and shapeless sculpture of corruption continues to cast a huge dark shadow over PNG. State corporations embrace corruption in its most deceptive forms. Many individuals brag openly about their adventures of theft from and con deals with certain government departments. Pastors and church elders, who overwhelmed by corruption’s mystique, have opted to trade their sanities for its charms. Even women folks sell their hearts to this insanity.

Many make a decent living from it and think and talk about it almost every day – it is their way of life, it is their culture. The same joyously ridicule those who could not steal to live decent lives and call them names such as ‘pipia’ or ‘rabis’ (rubbish).

Corruption’s unhindered growth and consequent incorporation into our way of life mocks our very own Melanesian culture we so proudly hold up for the world to see. It had effortlessly strolled on our streets, entered homes and into kitchens and bedrooms; cloth and feed innocent children, paid for school fees, compensations, bride prices and for guns used in tribal fights and other evil deeds.

I could not see a hill or a valley not covered by darkening clouds. It is difficult to see clearly! It is hard to breathe easily! O how we languish in the shadow of corruption while we turn and twist restlessly in its filth!

Is there still any place untouched by corruption? How many are out there, who have not yet caught the corruption fever? Who can redeem us? Tell me, any brave one! Sing it out loud before all hope is lost.

Corruption is truly entrenched in our way of life; it appears many generations will have to pass before its suffocating tentacles are burnt to ashes in the bond fires of PNG’s faithful sons and daughters.

A night to forget

Every organ inside shook! His heart was knocking loudly. The lungs were gasping for air, and he opened his mouth. Air rushed in.

‘Aaargh!’ jets of violent pain streaked up his back. He quickly got up but something strong forced him back onto his back.

‘Silip! Silip!’ a harsh and determined voice ordered.

He couldn’t see a face but a huge dark figure was leaning over his slim body. A pair of bulging red eyes and a strong odour that smelled like a failed brewing experiment immediately rang alarm bells. He knew then what he had got himself into.

A cold rough hand began checking his pockets and emptied their contents, then the dark figure left and all was quiet. Except for the knocking – knocking behind his chest.

Stunned! He didn’t quite know what had hit him. Its force was strong enough to have sent him crashing to the ground.

He looked around with hazy eyes. The street was dark under an overcast sky and certainly deserted. An old street-lamp that has survived the harassments of night-dwellers beamed a pale yellow light distantly. He watched the dark figure moved leisurely into the light; a high-pitched whistle rang out, and two more figures emerged then all disappeared into the night.

‘Aaaaargh!’ The pain, it was awful. He turned slowly on the ground and caressed his back, and then got up. His head started spinning, and he fell back to the ground. There he remained, motionless. After some time moved his legs about. The pain was subsiding.

I’ve fallen on something hard, he thought. He pushed his hand underneath and felt around for something solid. He couldn’t find any, and pushed further, ‘aaaaaaargh!’ he pulled his hand out at once. Then supporting his body from the back with his arms, he carefully raised his upper body to sitting position, and rested.

‘Shit! I should have known better’, he hissed through clenched teeth.

Then something warm started dripping down his nose; he wiped it, and it started flowing and dripped down his shirt; ‘damnit!’ He couldn’t see clearly in the dark but he was certain it was blood. He turned his head to the side, away from his body and blood fell to the ground.

He touched his nose gently; an awkward curved hump confirmed his fears. ‘Oh nooo!’ In desperation, he pulled his nose. Moved it from side to side. And pulled! He had seen somebody done it before. He knew he could do it. He tried hard despite discomforting pain. And moved his nose to its original position; at least he thought so.

Speechless and exhausted, an empty gut feeling engulfed him and dried up his throat. Then tears gathered and rolled down his cheeks. He wiped his eyes gently and fought back more tears, but self-pitying didn’t help.

He was hurt, alone in a dark street, and misses his child’s sweet voice.

“Daa-dyy! Daa-dyy!” and ran into Ram’s wide opened arms; in warm embrace, kissed his child on the forehead then touched the tiny beaming nose and kissed it too, and …

‘Ram!’ a loud urgent voice interrupted. He heard dampened footsteps rapping out a fast tempo and he looked up; ‘yye-e!’ he cleared his throat and swallowed. ‘Is that you, Tamata?’

The moon started shinning through thin clouds, casting a dull glow and weak shadows. Tamata saw Ram sprawled on the ground. He slowed down and approached Ram anxiously, then froze at the sight of blood.

Earlier, Tamata had asked Ram to accompany him to a fundraiser at a certain night club. Ram didn’t like the idea but he didn’t want to upset his good friend. After making Tamata promised that they’d be there for only two hours, they took a shortcut through the dark street.

Tamata squatted in front and studied Ram’s face worryingly; his laboured breathing, thundering into Ram’s ears and the smell of thick fresh sweat mercilessly harassing his nostrils.

Ram sustained a broken nose where the bone and cartilage meet on the bridge of his nose; the resulting bend skewed the lower part of his nose leftward.

Ram looked different. When more light revealed swelling and blackening eyes, Tamata realized how bad Ram’s face had changed.

Tamata slipped into a long worried silence. After what seemed like eternity, Tamata expressed his utmost regret and disgust, and started cursing.

A slight breeze started blowing and cold diffused across Ram’s face. Litter nearby moved. Oblivious to Tamata’s talk, Ram watched litter shuffle and scrap, then, one by one rolled, and sumersaulted lazily into the dark.

His thoughts had rolled away too: watching his son sleeping on his little bed as his bosom heaved up and down in a pleasant rhythm.

Then Ram’s cheeks shivered mildly. He rubbed his hands and gently pressed them against his cold face. It felt good. He moved his legs from side to side, and rotated his ankles in a circular motion.

“…two determined thugs wielding iron rods chased me down the street, but gave up when I out ran them.” Ram heard Tamata finished.

Ram struggled to get up. Tamata held out his hands, but Ram pushed them away, and almost tumbled forward. He regained his balance and stepped forward, and began walking slowly up the street whence they came.

Tamata followed from behind, silently pondering. What must I do to appease my friend? Maybe I’ll take him to the hospital. Maybe I’ll pay his taxi fare.

They reached the main street and Ram stole a quick glance.

There was much light. It was swarming with people. Cars with loud music filed past, bumpers end-to-end. Horns honking impatiently shrieked louder. And indiscernible voices of loud talking drunkards on the sidewalk further fuelled his anxiety.

This unpleasant cacophony didn’t help. Ram set off immediately in the direction of his home; robbed, bloodied and cold.

By: Jeffrey Febi


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