Dom, Michael

Papua New Guinea, (b. 1977)

The political economy of a pig farmer’s life

  1. Until you have seen your hands blistering
  2. Until you have felt sweat break like fever
  3. Before another new gardens planting
  4.  
  5. Until you have cleaned the piss and manure
  6. Cut, carried and replaced sodden bedding
  7. Until you have closed the sow with the boar
  8.  
  9. Until then you only have an inkling
  10. Of what a pig farmer does every day
  11. For the fat pig meat that you are eating
  12.  
  13. You will never know what it means to say
  14. To us, “agriculture is our back bone”
  15. Until you know the sweat and costs we pay
  16.  
  17. For a simple meal, in our simple home
  18. Sweet potatoes baked around the fire place
  19. Cups of tea with sugar, lucky for some
  20.  
  21. And every day we hear about your race
  22. To bring development to your people
  23. But we know that your heart has no more space
  24.  
  25. If you will not share the gris pik* with all
  26. One day your house built from our bones will fall.
  27.  
  28. * pig fat
  29.  

Editor’s Note:

The poem above is a terza rima in iambic pentameter.

 Michael Theophilus Dom. O Arise! – poems on Papua New Guinea’s politics & society. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (2015).

Sonnet 3: I met a pig farmer the other day

  1. At the foot of Mount Giluwe we met
  2. A place where they say ice falls from the sky
  3. We spoke of pork and the lack of good vets
  4. As we toil’d in his village piggery
  5. Each planning how his stock would reach market
  6. Did we both share a wish that pigs could fly?
  7. Agriculture is our backbone we say
  8. (Rhetorical ruse on farmers always)
  9. Yet in our grand plans for development
  10. We have forgotten what that really meant
  11. From the highlands to the coastal islands
  12. The struggle to feed ourselves never ends
  13. If you met those who’s unheard voices cry
  14. You too would join me in questioning, why?

 Michael Theophilus Dom. O Arise! – poems on Papua New Guinea’s politics & society. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (2015).

About the Poet:

Michael Theophilus Dom (aka: Icarus), Papua New Guinea, (b. 1977) is a poet and a postgraduate researcher at University of Adelaide after earlier degree from the Papua New Guinea National Agriculture Research Institute. Dom is doing science & technology research for developing Papua New Guinea’s smallholder agriculture & livestock sector.

In 2012, Dom won the Poetry Award of PNG’s national literary competition, The Crocodile Prize, for his sonnet (above) ‘I met a pig farmer the other day’.

His first collection of poetry, At another Crossroads, was published by the UPNG Press in 2013. Michael’s second collection, The Musing of an Assistant Pig Keeper, and two chapbooks, O Arise! and Send words as gifts, were published on the CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform in 2015 and 2016 respectively. [DES-11/17]

Editor’s Note:

Although Papua New Guinea is a separate and independent country from Australia or New Zealand, they share many common goals and problems with the other western Pacific rim countries of eastern Asia and the islands of the western Pacific.

I have decided to include Michael Dom in this Australia/New Zealand Anthology even though Dom is a proud citizen of Papua New Guinea. My call… I just felt Dom’s work seemed to fit in here very well.

Additional information:

A random image of a pig, hog, boar or swine from the collection at Porkopolis.