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Poem - I am a youth of a Small Island

A selected entry from the Pacific - “I am a Youth of a Small Island” international competition
Name: Vinzealhar Ainjo Kwangin Nen
Age: 23
Country: Papua New Guinea

I am a youth of a Small Island

800 and more languages
A land of a thousand tribes
From the mountains, to the valleys and over the Pacific Ocean,
I am a youth of a small island
A land with a biodiversity so large,
Yet we are known for burning women accused of sorcery,
The leaders we elect too, are known for bending the laws,
Rules made to bring peace to our land,
They twist them to make it work for them and not for us,
The very people who vote them into power

I am a youth of a small island,
In my land my voice is one of the many not heard,
My land rich but my people still live in poverty,
I sit by the ocean and I close my eyes and I see smoke,
I hear women and children crying,
I felt my heart shatter because my father died due to poor health services,
I see young men filling up our cells because life has become so difficult,

I am a youth of a small island,
I have no job, for I lack experience,
But how can I have five years of experience minimum when I had just graduated?
I am a youth of a small island,
When in a global community most of everyone do not know where I am,
And what hurts the most is that I know where they all are,

I am a youth of a small island,
Whenever I strike a conversation with a child of another land,
I am asked of my relations to cannibals,
It is over a century since my ancestors ate anyone for lunch,

I am a youth of a small island,
At night I look up to the nights skies and see stars twinkling,
Stars which represent an era of dreamers and the doers,
Dreams of those like me,
Visions of a better tomorrow all brightening up the night sky,
Waiting to dazzle the land from which I come from,

I am a youth of a small island,
Although unheard today,
Despite being disregarded,
I have faith in my tomorrow and I know that my land will be delivered,
Delivered from all that’s held my people captive,
I am a youth of a small island,
I am a youth from Papua New Guinea,
And I know the change that will follow me into tomorrow,
Is far more promising than the ruins I sit amongst today.

Kindly Note: The content is not to be republished without written permission from the author and the competition organizing partners