2020 will be remembered for the COVID-19 pandemic and how it affects the livelihoods of many, mine included. It restricted me from going to school like normal, meeting my friends, expressing and listening to stories and thoughts, and having that comfort of closure and connections. However, this quarantine also has its perks. I love how it can give us time to pursue our passions, experiment with crafts we love, and the chance to explore new things. In challenging times like this, art can be a great inspiration. It allows us to tap into our creativity while helping us to heal by expressing unsaid voices inside ourselves. By sharing these voices with others, we can also inspire and help others heal. Art is powerful, and it depends on us what we do with that power.
To me, I choose poetry and writing as my medium of expression. Here are two poems of mine that I wrote in Khmer. I submitted these to a poetry competition in the theme of resilience in the pandemic. The first one was selected as one of the 3 that will be exhibited to the public, and I am so honored to have this power to share what I love to inspire and comfort others.
This first one is titled ឧបសគ្គនិងសុទិដ្ឋិនិយម (Obstacles and Optimism). Through this poem, I want to give some sparks of hope and positivity to the readers by encouraging them to be optimistic by emphasizing how optimism can be our weapons in turmoil to combat the challenges it brings to our hearts. Another important message of this poem is how spreading love and hope to other people have the power to strengthen the resilience of a community and help everyone to stay strong together.
The nature of life is uncertainty,
There will be the typical storms and rains,
Diseases and illnesses in every life,
Wherever we go, we can’t escape them.
Like the start of this 20s decade,
Every country in the world,
Suffer from a huge tragic which we can’t escape from,
Every girl and boy needs to endure this misery.
The contagious coronavirus,
Viciously attacks all of us,
Restricting connection and conversations,
Needed to be apart to be safe.
However, all of my friends,
We do not need to swallow only the pain,
Let’s stand up and go forth,
Be strong and resilient to fight back.
We can pass on hope,
Share the smiles without hints of sorrow,
We can profit only when we share love,
We should show support.
Although everything is truly painful,
We should think about the positivities,
Believe that the future will be bright,
We need to continue this hope.
The second poem talks about how differences in us don’t matter. No matter who you are, you can’t escape from this pandemic. Therefore, we all should help to put a stop to this contagious disease by taking actions and helping each other to continue to be strong no matter what.
ទោះមានឬក្រ ទោះខ្មៅឬស សុទ្ធតែដូចគ្នា
ពេលមានជម្ងឺ តែងរងវេទនា វីរុសផ្តន្ទា
បើដូច្នេះហើយ ចូរកុំបណ្តោយ រីរាឲ្យសោះ
ត្រូវប្រុងប្រយ័ត្ន អនាម័យឥតខ្ចោះ កុំមានចន្លោះ
ទាំងយើងទាំងគេ ជៀសមិនបានទេ ត្រូវប្រឹងសម្អាត
កុំធ្វេសប្រហែស នោះធ្វើឲ្យខាត ចូរកុំប្រមាថ
យើងគ្រួសារមួយ គួរតែលើកស្ទួយ ជួយគ្នាមូលមិត្ត
ជួយថែជួយទាំ ជួយលើកទឹកចិត្ត នោះក្តីសុខពិត
Whether you are rich or poor, black or white, we are all the same.
When encountered by diseases, we would suffer from this misery.
The virus punishes all of us.
If this is so, we shouldn’t be careless.
Always be cautious and hygienic.
Leave no space for the virus to spread.
Us and Others, we all can’t escape from this.
So we should all try to take action.
Don’t be careless, that would be a loss.
Never ever doubt the priceless value of life.
We are all in this one family,
We should empower and help one another,
We should take care of one another,
We should cheer each other up,
Only then, we can be truly happy together.