Strengthening Youth Leadership

Transforms Communities


By Thea Som  (2005, Walk With Me)

Tremble sky, roar of thunder, rival lions
that filled the aura with only violence.
Hold in silence is the anger that feels.
With no control,
nothing to hold hands that fold
into a clutching fist, swollen veins.
Chewed up tongue, angry grin
untamed knuckles allay in strain.
Drifting soul in flood of pain
thunderstorm hurricane
drops of rain plunging hail
Strikes that bleed flowing pale.




By Thea Som (2005, Walk With Me)

I’ve heard it all.
Through the words of my mother, I’ve seen him fall.
My brother tied at his arms, down on his knees.
The Khmer Rouge wrapped a handkerchief around his head
that covered his eyes. I couldn’t believe my eyes
what my mind had in picture.
She cried as the trauma came back into her life.
Her thoughts choked as the past tried to speak.
I could see that it is prodding her that I’ve asked.
She took a deep sigh and lay back on her chair to relax.
She never mentioned I had another older brother,
back then he was my age now.
Somehow I could envision him going down by a single gunshot.
My mother weak in the knees, soaked with tears,
as my brother was kicked to the ground face first body laid in the dirt.
I could feel the shivering words coming from her.
It hurts seeing my brother killed in front of her.
She wanted to bury him but she had another son to look after.
Now she is pregnant, carrying me, traveling through the killing field.
There were dead bodies everywhere,
some from bullet wounds and some from land mines.
The time is 1979.
My family had to leave everything behind
and the Thai border seems impossible to find.




By Thea Som (2004)

It took generation of blood to animate this flesh and soul.
Eyes of elders stare at me with a blot disappointment.
I am no longer welcome in their house.
I don’t want to live life so restless
Or die without a meaning.
I look at the stars
And wonder what story they have to tell