Savai'i student wins poetry contest

Felisha Vaa, of Vaiola College in Savai'i, was named the winner for the Live It Nation poetry contest for November 2020. 

The poetry contest reflects the belief of Live It Nation’s founder, Fred Young, that literacy is fundamental to the success of Samoa’s youth. 

Ms Va’a, is a Year 10 student of Vaiola College and is the daughter of Tala and Nafiata Vaa and hails from the village of Tuasivi. 

“Felisha’s poem is a remarkable take on what is happening in the world today. The Poem’s relevance to our health and environment is evident in her description of social justice movements, the global pandemic climate and powerful verses on our resilience through trials and tribulations,” Mr. Young said in a statement. 

Live It Nation’s founder, Fred Young, said the vision behind the contest is to inspire students to be interested in literature. 

 “It is my hope that the Live Nation Poetry contest inspires students to read and write more, use their imagination to express themselves in creative and extraordinary ways, and have fun competing with other secondary students around the nation,” Mr. Young said.

Ms Va’a is the second winner of the three-round contest. The final winner will be announced on 4 December. Each winner will receive $1000 Tala,

Live It Nation, Inc is a non-profit organisation that supports communities across the Pacific by funding small projects and initiatives.

Last month the organisation’s founder said the response the competition received from the youth of Samoa was inspiring. 

“We hope to partner with stakeholders across Samoa in the future," he said.

The contest is open only to secondary school students residing in Samoa. 

Poems must incorporate one of the following themes: sports, culture, education, health or environment. 

Ms Va’a’s winning poem is reprinted below.  

Our Killing 2020

Boom goes the dynamite, shrapnel flying freely.

Windows cracked, bodies bleeding, right below the ceiling.

If I were blamed for this, my apologies would be at your door.

But I’m not the kind of person that would start another war.

Though none of it happened, Imagination to nothing.

Think once, think twice, about this all night,

still nothing horrible happened.

A miracle, a blessing, something quite unique.

Could’ve just been luck, for us human beings so weak.

A disease continued on within you, killing quietly, softly, yet deadly.

High speed like a cheetah or two, devouring on the lives of many.

Is it corona or COVID 19, whatever, who cares,

it’s not a new thing. We go through this, all the time.

The lives of the dead, can’t be paid with a dime.

Next episode comes up, still nothing quite new.

It’s happening again, what we all thought was due.

Saying their names, supporting their race, 

Protesting, protecting, the tears on their face.

Black lives matter, is what we’re doing.

Gunshots and blood, the cops still moving.

Bombing of cities are on again, grenades louder than before.

We dream for it to be a game, though it isn’t anymore.

This is all too much, for us to know.

Like through a dark tunnel, with no boat to row. 

But mistakes happen, temptations arise.

Emotions mixing deeply inside.

We all choose wrong, we all choose right.

Every day and every night. Depression, anxiety, 

they come in attacks. If we were able, 

we’d trap them in sacks.

Dearest 2020, you made us stronger.

But I wish you came, before I was born.

The things you brought, I can’t take no longer.

The disguises they wore, the roses with thorns. 

But your signs are from God, the things He said would happen,

Going through life like a rod, with blessings in Christmas wrappings. 

Though if you still choose, choose to stay. 

We wouldn’t want you here, so please go away. 

Tell the other killing years, to please do the same.

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