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An Old Book


Books on the shelf are in categories,

Well kept and arranged in order,

While one lies elsewhere,

Is covered in thick dust.


Kept but never cared for,

Tossed into a corner,

An outcast from the new shelved books,

Fearful it may destroy the shelf’s proper upkeep.


The book in the corner feels left out.

No one even notices it.

Dust chokes it, making it full of self-doubts.

Only the new books are handsomely good.


Tomorrow he must do some research.

He searches through all the books.

There are so many of them,

But none is the right, relevant one.


The book with the old cover, however,

He overlooks

Although it may be very helpful to his research.

The neglected one is his best kept secret.


Translated by Terri Shaffer Yamada and Nhem Soknea

( Nou Hach Literary Association)


The Sound of Tro


The raw sound of the strings breaks through the silence

Slowly drifting into the open window

The sound vibrates and echoes to fill up my room

Oh, the melancholic melody.

I rushed to search for the source

My eyes fell on a young Chao guiding his Ta

Ta trails behind Chao, strumming tunes after tunes

With a sad gaze, Chao cups a plastic bowl in his hands.