Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas


Sunday, December 09, 2007

Enduring Passion

a splash of colour
in antipodean garden…
summer lovin’

your sunny
smile now dances its way
into my
soul; unlocking the pearly
gates of desire

a redhead
with lustful eyes…
crowded house

we melt into
one gentle flow of emotion
this fateful day…
nurturing the pink flower
of the soul

sweet memory
of you - a room painted
with your kisses

you, the frisky
muse, pour great passion
into the red
heart of summer…
endless joy

the blooming rose…
yearning for the gentle touch
of the golden rays

and, then, your
joy runs into ecstasy
the golden heritage
of rhythm and warmth

the butterfly
in her element; flash dancing
in the wind

© Lawrence T. Udo-Ekpo

Friday, December 07, 2007

African Football Club

Africa United Allstars Football Club has recently launched a new website.

The club has a registered membership of 40 players from various communities in South Australia.

For more information, please visit: http://africaunited.com.au

Monday, November 19, 2007

On the Wings of Destiny

up with
the sparrows in Findon…
golden dawn

on the
wings of Destiny…
i crossed
the secret river
of time

i sat in absolute
silence, immersed in the inner
glow of your being

now, you walk
along my dreams with
lustful eyes
charmingly dressed
in vivid pink

a long kiss
in the garden of Desire…
tasting your nectar

in ceaseless motion…
the mystical flower
of youth

© Lawrence T. Udo-Ekpo

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The African Family Forum

The African Family Forum was, recently, held in Adelaide city under the auspices of the South Australian Multicultural and Ethnic Affairs Commission (SAMEAC).

The Lt. Governor of South Australia, Hieu Van Le, opened the forum with a passionate (and timely) speech about the African contribution to the Australian society.

During the forum, the African community leaders highlighted the enormous challenges facing the new arrivals in raising families in Australia due to the significant differences in child-rearing practices between cultures.

There were also some concerns about the negative impact of government policies on the African family life and cultural survival.

These issues were discussed at length during the forum but effective solutions were difficult to come by.

Specific concerns were expressed about the uncertain consequences of using physical punishment to discipline children - an emotional issue for the new arrivals; and one in which there’s no immediate solution.

Another critical issue of concern to the African community in South Australia is the impact (on family life) of the direct Centrelink payments to young people. (Centrelink is an Australian Government Statutory Agency charged with the responsibility of supporting those in need.)

The controversial issue of payment to young people was aired at the forum without any firm proposal for action.

Nevertheless, the discussion of this issue was one of the most significant achievements of the forum.

Here, it should be noted that the forum was organized by SAMEAC to bring together African community leaders and service providers from various government agencies.

In attendance were the senior government officials from the Centrelink and the Department of Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, as well as delegates from the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations

Members of the powerful Multicultural Education Committee (MEC) in South Australia also attended this important forum.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

The Tender Heart of Spring

the first
sensation of spring…
exquisite blooms

buds in fancy
deep thoughts
of you

the colorful butterfly…
flash dancing
in the wind

the sumptuous plume
of an egret…
sowing the seeds
of spring with gusto

your infectious smile
sublime… warming the fertile
crescent of my soul

the mystic poem
stir great lust…
in the tender heart
of spring

the son rises
in the garden of desire…
immense fecundity

in her element…
dressed in rainbow

you soar
like an egret on heat…
oh giggling beauty

bees in the spring
the rapturous sound
of creation unfold

© Lawrence T. Udo-Ekpo

Monday, October 08, 2007

Being an Australian

Manyok Yaak, aged 26, knows a thing or two about what it means to be an Australian and how to survive the trauma of transition in the post-migration period.

He arrived Australia as a refugee from the Sudan 8 years ago and has never looked back.

In fact, he loves his adopted country and adores its values. He now wants to be known simply as an Australian, not Sudanese, according to The Australian newspaper report.

“I do not want to live in a country where people call me Sudanese, I think of myself as an Australian”, so says Manyok, as he does the daily battle for survival with great dreams and ambitions running through his veins.

In fact, his work ethic is the envy of all. Come to think of it, he works overnight in a factory, from 10pm to 6am, then goes to sleep. In the afternoon, he goes to the University to further his education before returning to the factory.

A living work-horse from way back, young Manyok is determined to do what it takes to improve himself and to succeed where others fail – the recent Government decision to lower the intake of Sudanese refugees notwithstanding.

Friday, October 05, 2007

The Beauty of Dreams

The hours drifted
Quickly from each other
As you talked
Your way into my life…
Spinning dreams

The dazzling image of you
On a white
Sea-horse… a woman
Of substance

The secret
River runs
Ever so deeply…
Like the red blood
In my veins

The spectrum of light…
My heart thunders
With desire on the road
To Lagos

The colourful
Butterfly embraced
The smiling daisy…
Sensitive tongues locked
In silence

A delightful
Night of rhythm and poetry
In old Calabar…
Tantalizing aroma of soul
Food tickles my fancy

You, Virgo, stole
My heart in the golden
Dawn of time…
And, yet, I’m still dreaming
Of your essence

We walked
Hand in hand into Nirvana
One glorious night…
The majestic beauty
Of a dream fulfilled

© Lawrence T. Udo-Ekpo

Monday, September 24, 2007

The Whisper of Spring

the honeysuckle
blossoms near the mighty
fountain of delight…
the gentle whisper
of spring

of cosmic poems foretold…
the mesmerizing
sound of a different

e-mails from
the naked poet of Oz…
of the lonely

your magic
smile ignites the flame
whose energizing
force brings tears of joy
to my eyes

tempting me
with the forbidden fruit…
sound of heartbeat

you share
your laughter with me
this golden dawn…
a garden full
of dreams

with love, you embrace
the light…
dancing on my shadow
with passion

dining with
the goddess of the moon…
joyful lips

the rainbow with a handful
of dreams…
the nectar of the first
flower of spring

© Lawrence T. Udo-Ekpo

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Spring Flower

My quest
Leads me to the inner
Sanctum of your
Being, the epicentre
Of great joy

At last, the golden
Treasure unveiled

Deep inside
The heart of Virtue…
Love blossoms
Like the first flower
Of spring

Is the free spirit
That sails…
Gently along the secret
Rivers of time

The dome of pleasure…
Rising from
The lively veins
Of the soul

To me, lyrebird,
The beautiful
Songs of the waxing
Moon of Oz

Hold me
In your gentle arms
Oh Sweet Violet…
The spring flower
Of my dreams

Ah, the cool
Image of the spring flower…
Dancing in the wind

© Lawrence T. Udo-Ekpo

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Travel Grant

Tony Oyet has been declared the overall winner of the travel grant to attend the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’ non-governmental consultations in Geneva this month.

These consultations provide an opportunity for representatives from the refugee sector and the refugees themselves to share their views with the UNHCR on questions of international concern for refugee policy and advocacy.

The travel grant, which is jointly sponsored by the Refugee Council of Australia and Oxfam Australia, covers return flights to Geneva, accommodation and associated expenses for the duration of the UNHCR consultations.

It should be noted that Mr. Oyet is a capable community leader who has worked tirelessly with the new arrivals, on health and resettlement issues, in the emerging communities in South Australia.

His close involvement with the Sudanese community, in particular, has grown rapidly in recent years. And, as the founding member of the Acholi Community Association, he is acutely aware of the significant problems of adaptation and resettlement facing the new generation of African refugees in the Australian society today.

For Mr. Oyet though, it has been a long and difficult journey from the remote community of Juba in Southern Sudan to the city of Adelaide. Tony has also lived in Uganda and was in the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya for a couple of years before coming to Australia in 2003.

He leaves Adelaide for Geneva on the 23rd September 2007.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Temple of Desire

The clatter
Of high heels down
The hallway…
And the sudden end
Of winter

Of the larrikin sun of Oz…
Great excitement
In the secret temple
Of desire

A row of pretty
Flowers at the pearly
Gate of life…
The mysterious shades
Of pink abound

Like the dreamtime
Bride, you danced
On my shadow
This golden dawn…artistry
Of the generous heart

You lighten
The mood with the flash
Of your magic smile…
And the earth moves under
The gentle august wind

You showered
Me with your love
And warmth
In perfect style…
Oh limpid eyes

You touched my
Heart with the sweet sound
Of your inner poem…
A soulful stanza of five
Lines sublime

The majestic
Footprints of the cosmic girl
An emotional journey
Of love divine

© Lawrence T. Udo-Ekpo

Monday, August 20, 2007

Reduction in African Refugee Numbers

The Australian Immigration Minister, Kevin Andrews, has recently announced a significant shift in the country’s refugee and humanitarian program for the 2007-08 financial year.

Consequently, Australia’s refugee intake from the African region will fall from 50 per cent in the last financial year to 30 per cent.

This is partly due to the official concern that African refugees have failed to integrate into the Australian society - although this point is debatable.

Meanwhile, 35 per cent of the new intake will come from Asia. And 35 per cent of places will be reserved for the resettlement of Iraqi Christians.

The Minister acknowledged that African refugees have faced particularly traumatic experiences for prolonged periods of time. And this will make successful settlement and integration difficult.


Thursday, July 26, 2007

The Passage of Dreams

You found the passage
Of dreams and turned your
Back on Eden…
A cloud without a shred
Of silver lining

As the tide
Turned, he seized
The magic moment…
Just in time to witness
The birth of Destiny

The image of a restless
Soul; chasing…
The rainbow lorikeet
With tender foot

Ah, the magic possum…
Painting my dreams pink
With a handful of poems

Fear not, fondest one,
There’s a lyrical new voice
In the ‘hood
Revealing the secrets
Of the lost love

The seed
Of doubt disappears
In the golden
Dawn…a land
Full of surprises

Amidst the silence
Of the endless sea
The eagle
Found its wings
In the nick of time

And in the garden
Of the earthly delight…
Fortune’s lair

© Lawrence T. Udo-Ekpo

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Winter Fragrance

The red kangaroo
Wading through the dreamtime…
Sprouting winter

Light my fire
With gusto…
The sound of winter

Birth of ambition…
The bright chaos of the night

The blaze
Of light in the dark
Heart of winter…
Scent of the pink
Flower foretold

Sing to me, Gemini,
A deep and dazzling
Song of joy

In the inner glow
Of winter, the lost boy sows
The seed of wonder…
Drawing the magic words from
The sensitive tongue of Desire

© Lawrence
T. Udo-Ekpo

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Refugee Boot Bank

The Australian Refugee Association is seeking donations of football (soccer) boots to help young refugees get involved in the sport.

About 1500 refugees settle in South Australia each year, with half of those being young people.

Many are keen to get involved in football (soccer) - providing benefits to themselves, their clubs and the wider community.

However, the cost of participation can be a barrier, as they struggle to meet the cost of fees, uniforms and boots, while trying to live on a limited income.

The Office for Recreation and Sport provides funding to the Migrant Resource Centre of South Australia to help new arrivals participate in sporting activities, but the demand far outweighs the resources available.

The Australian Refugee Association is setting up a Boot Bank and is seeking deposits from anyone who has a spare pair of football (soccer) boots that they no longer need or use. All sizes are welcome (they just need to have another season of wear left in them).

Boot donations for the Boot Bank can be dropped off at Multicultural SA, 24 Flinders Street, Adelaide, or directly to the Australian Refugee Association, 304 Henley Beach Road, Underdale, South Australia before the end of June.

The Office for Recreation and Sport is committed to ensuring that all people, regardless of age, gender, cultural background and ability, have equal access to sport and recreation opportunities.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Golden Wattle

The autumn
Rain brings fresh hope
Of life in the
Sun-burnt country...
The golden wattle blooms

The neophyte
Captures the gentle muse
In the sacred
Dew of the glorious morn…
The dream is still alive

With her mane
Of auburn hair shining
In the sun
She wrote the first stanza…
Tickling the inner beauty

Dance of the maidens…
The mesmerizing rhythm
Of the
Tanka poem under
The rainbow

A promise
Fulfilled, it’s time to…
Smell the roses

The wise
Owl on the prowl, this
Sensitive soul…
Stirring lust out of the golden
Heart of autumn

© Lawrence T. Udo-Ekpo

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Africa Day 2007

It's a very special day in the annals of South Australian history. In fact,
it's a day like no other, as the African migrants and refugees celebrated
Africa Day for the second year running.

The civic reception was at the Adelaide Town Hall.

The Lord Mayor of Adelaide, the Right Honourable Michael Harbison spoke
eloquently about the fruits of multiculturalism and the African contribution
to Australian society, to the absolute delight of the invited guests.

The event was proudly supported by the Adelaide City Council and the African
Chamber of Commerce SA Inc (AFRICOMSA).

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Coming to Australia

A fantastic world premier of Coming to Australia took Adelaide city by storm this week, as the young Africans shared their personal stories.

It’s an epic story of the African refugees in song, dance and drama – a journey into the mind of the new arrivals.

They came in dribs and drabs from the refugee camps in Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia and the Sudan to make a new life for themselves in the land Down Under.

Performed at St. Mary’s School, Franklin Street, Coming to Australia is a truly engaging musical extravaganza. It’s a show like no other; featuring young people from Africa’s long wars.

Shedrick Yarkpai provided the music, lyrics and choreography.

The cast of Coming to Australia included young dancers and singers such as Rebecca Freeman, Tina Kamara, Precious Norman, Tutu Gbala, Princess Dunn, George Moore, and Nimiro Unzi.

This ambitious project was directed by Rob Crosser and David Roach. The colourful production revealed interesting stories, fantastic music, and exhilarating dance of the new arrivals.

The show left a lasting effect on the audience as the young refugees combined their talents to deliver the total entertainment package; singing songs of freedom.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Field of Dreams

The great
Moments of life abound…
Where the rainbow
Lorikeet sings, the secret
Flower blooms

The sun
Shines through my
Heart in the
Field of dreams as Eve
Whispers to my shadow

The gentle
Spirit rules the day with
Fun and laughter…
Blissful memory of the past
Trapped in the present

The frisky
Muse walks along my dreams
Under the autumn moon
I chase the dazzling goddess
With tender foot

On the
Sumptuous wings of desire
I navigate the
Golden heart of love under
The watchful eyes of Eros

© Lawrence T. Udo-Ekpo

Friday, March 30, 2007

Honeysuckle Blossom

Behold the
The eternal beauty of the
Her precious flower glistering
In the antipodean sun

Feed me
With your precious nectar
Oh honeysuckle…
The sacred loaves and fishes
Of the realm sublime

You melted
The heart of stone, one
Autumn day
Stirring insatiable lust out
Of the jaws of anger

Even the
Shooting star from the
Receding galaxy
Can’t keep pace with your
Arrow of desire

The fat cats
On the prowl; licking the
Nectar divine…
The dreamtime elixir of
Youth foretold

© Lawrence T. Udo-Ekpo

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Flight of the Golden Leaves

The maiden
Flight of the golden leaves…
The sound of autumn

Out of the depths
Of happiness, the autumn
Zephyr blows

How graceful
Is your gentle flight
Oh golden leaf?

Behold the
Naked trees of Findon…
Autumn folly

© Lawrence T. Udo-Ekpo

Sunday, March 18, 2007

On Suicide

Suicide continues to be a major public health issue in Australia, in recent years. Although death by suicide is a relatively uncommon event, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the human and economic costs are substantial.

Suicide can be defined as the deliberate taking of one’s life. Thus, to be classified as suicide, a death must be recognised as being due to factors other than natural causes.

There were 2,101 deaths from suicide registered in Australia in 2005, similar to the number registered in the previous year. Nearly 80% of these were deaths of males.

Nevertheless, in 2005, the age-standardised suicide rate for males was 16.4 per 100,000 people; while the corresponding rate for females was 4.3 per 100,000, according to the ABS data.

The most common method of suicide was hanging (including strangulation and suffocation) which was used in 51% of all suicide cases.

Firearms accounted for 7% of suicide deaths, poisoning by drugs 12%, poisoning by other methods 16%, and drowning and other methods 14% of the suicide deaths (ABS).

In fact, from 1995-2005, the male suicide death rate was approximately four times higher than the corresponding female rate during this period.


Monday, March 12, 2007

The Autumn Flower

The great excitement
In the erogenous zone foretold…
Autumn flower blooms

Sing to me, cricket,
The secret songs of the
Antipodean autumn

© Lawrence T. Udo-Ekpo

Sunday, March 11, 2007

African Artists and the Music Festival

This year’s World Music Festival opens in Adelaide, South Australia, with African artists taking centre stage – along with more than 300 artists from all over the globe.

The highlight of the festival is the presence of the Mahotella Queens, the funky grandmas from South Africa, who are as entertaining as ever. Their mesmerizing rhythm has continued to keep the crowd on their feet.

And with Salif Keita on stage, the golden voice of Africa could be heard, loud and clear, in this year’s World Music Festival Down Under.

In fact, Salif Keita and the Mahotella Queens deliver an African musical experience that keeps the World Music Festival alive and well in Australia.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

The Hypochondriac

She walks like an
Angel under the stars; thinking…
Every pimple is cancer
And every headache a brain tumour
Frisky hypochondriac

© Lawrence T. Udo-Ekpo

Thursday, March 01, 2007

The Neophyte

Behold the
Neophyte with attitude
The dreamtime melody
Of pure delight

© Lawrence T. Udo-Ekpo

Saturday, February 24, 2007

The Frangipani

The luscious
Frangipani blooms in earnest;
Oozing desire...
I watch the star of the summer
Garden with lustful eyes

© Lawrence T. Udo-Ekpo

Sunday, February 18, 2007

The Lost Boy and the Owl

Love with the heart
And open arms, so says
The owl to the
Lost boy as he emerges
From the shadows

He talks,
Briefly, with the wise one
On the island
Of destiny surrounded
By dreams

With vibes of love
And passion, he finds himself
In the city of light
Chasing the vanishing dream
With a smile

Still doing
The daily battle for survival,
Poor soul, but crossing
The Sacred River on the edge
Is not for the faint-hearted

© Lawrence T. Udo-Ekpo

Saturday, February 17, 2007

The Eagle and the Woodpecker

Where were
You, woodpecker, when
The eagle was
Flying high; serving justice
With a silver spoon?

© Lawrence T. Udo-Ekpo

Thursday, February 15, 2007

The Secret Life

The secret life
Of the gentle poet revealed
In the nick of time
Craving for the forbidden fruit
In the antipodean garden

© Lawrence T. Udo-Ekpo

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Adrift in the World of Loneliness

Staring blankly into
The distance, the neophyte finds
Himself adrift; withdrawing
From the society into a world
Of private thoughts and beauty

He stood
In absolute silence, like
A solitary flower
In a shrinking pond; waiting
For the golden dawn

After years of solitude
And melancholy, the spirit
Liberates his memory
Giving him a new life in
The suburb of dreams

© Lawrence T. Udo-Ekpo

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Jupiter's Poem


Wrote his first stanza
Cruising through
The happy jungle of stars
In the dawn of time


He breathed
New life into the galaxy by
Feeding and grooming the
Budding stars in the Milky Way
Sprouting the rainbow


Then, he undertook a
New cosmic adventure along the
River of dreams…
Nourishing the red dwarf with
Sweet memories of his first love


He found his voice
In the years of the great
Cosmic upheaval
His first offering was a thriller
A golden poem with attitude


Jupiter’s poem was
Born in pain & deprivation…
Each stanza an
Embodiment of perfection
Over-flowing with love divine


After many years
Of grief and solitude, he
Embraced the new light
With great passion, as the wild
Rose continued to bloom

© Lawrence T. Udo-Ekpo

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Wandering Moon

The wandering
Moon in my visual field
Her beautiful smile
Over my shadow

© Lawrence T. Udo-Ekpo

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Dealing with Uncertainty

A spirited soul
Deals with uncertainty in the
Crack of dawn...
Stoking the fires of
Opportunity with gusto

He flies into the school
Of hard knocks, oblivious to
The impending storm
Forging the spirit of survival
With tender eyes on the future

Rise up and
Shine, oh lost boy, when the
Opportunity knocks…
Put the wheels in motion
For a winner

© Lawrence T. Udo-Ekpo

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Songs of Compassion

Songs of
Compassion on a warm
Summer’s night…
The matriarch of Tamworth
Feeds the hungry child

I see a thousand
Angels, with wings of light,
With the refugees in the mean
Streets of Tamworth

The long quest
For future in the landscape
Of beauty & joy
The hidden river of tears
Under the rainbow

In the
Shadow of dismay, they
Wait, in vain,
For signs of hope under
The Tamworth moon

Of the lost boy in the
Sun-burnt country…
The sweet sound of a
Different drum

A ray of hope
In the horizon, this
Year of the pig…
The golden wattle blooms
In the garden of dreams

© Lawrence T. Udo-Ekpo

Thursday, January 18, 2007

The Good People of Tamworth

The Australian country music town of Tamworth has, finally, succumbed to public pressure to allow just five penniless Sudanese families to settle in the area.

In a very special way, Tamworth has finally seen the light. Thanks, largely, to the effort of Mr. Robert Schofield, the town's eminent councillor and publican who took up the Sudanese cause in the council chambers. And won an amazing victory!

Not to be forgotten is the good work of Ken Fenton, the Anglican priest, who collected 1500 signatures in support of the refugees.

The Sudanese refugees are here to stay and the good people of Tamworth are right behind them - caring for their needs; supporting the resettlement effort.

For more stories on this topic, please visit: http://africanmigrants.blogspot.com

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Sweet Breeze


Breeze on my face, after

The summer snow

The hibiscus flower


© Lawrence T.Udo-Ekpo

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The Wise Dog

The wise dog
Of Findon digs in for
A fight over the
Bones of Christmas past…
The dream is still alive!

He learnt how
To catch the flying fox
By the wing
Who says you can’t teach an
Old dog some new tricks?

Dreaming of
Burying his bones on the moon
One summer night…
The naked ambition of the
Wise dog revealed

© Lawrence T. Udo-Ekpo

Thursday, January 04, 2007

The Golden Dawn

The New Year
In fancy clothes
Golden dawn

Like a blushing
Bride from the heavens
The New Year
Arrives with a bang…
The sound of silence

Of the new age…
A year
Full of laughter
And music

The secrets
Of love and passion
This funny year
Of the pig

Gone are the
Years of solitude…
The last
Flurry of the
Summer snow

With a sunny
Smile and nimble feet
The Nubian
Finds his own rhythm in
The ancient land of OZ

© Lawrence T. Udo-Ekpo

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Settlement Support for Children

The Refugee Services based at the Netley Commercial Park, in South Australia, provides case management services for refugee children under the age of 18 years.

The settlement support includes direct access to local services such as housing, health, education, transport, and information; assisting in the development of social connections within the wider Australian society.

For further information, please contact: www.dfc.sa.gov.au

Monday, January 01, 2007

New Year Poem

New Year
In the city of light...
The sound of hope

In the ‘hood, this
New Year Eve
The enduring legacy
Of the epicurean past

Looking at the
The New Year with
Lustful eyes…
She found the golden
Heart of love divine

The old year
Goes off with a bang
The heart sings

The lost boy tells
His own story of survival
Year after year...
The golden wattle

Inspired by
The cosmic birth of time
The naked poet
Sat on the rock
Writing his first tanka

Aussie New Year takes
The dreamtime city by storm
Sumptuous wind

And comedians in
High spirits…
A gala ball at the
Dawn of time

© Lawrence T. Udo-Ekpo