Cecilia - Guam's Indigenous Poet & writer
Poem - "Strange Surroundings"

Agana Guam Tronkon Mames
Few surviving Tronkon Mames
Dec 1997 in Agana Wetlands.
morning Agana Swamp
Agana Swamp Morning Apr 1998
Fog from Nimitz Hill Fires

Strange Surroundings
Copyrighted © Nov 1997

There is an unfamiliarity
of my surroundings
on my island home
where I was born,
where I have lived,
where I will die.

I hang on
for a familiar tomorrow.
My eyes burn with tears
that overflow
to my heart
that drowns
in this pain.

I seek the one
who walks on water ¹
to rise above tide,
past raging current.

I am lost in a wilderness
not of my making,
wrenched in my sorrow.

I seek the one
who walks on water
to pull me from
this brackish waste
and cloak me
in the finest wet air
of our deepest hålom tåno ².
our deepest jungle,
to find the graces of
the Ones Who Walked Before. ³

About the poem "Strange Surroundings"

Some places on Guam have been developed beyond
recognition even to lifetime residents of the
island. People were once able to walk through
villages, family ranches, beaches and jungle
areas to find respite in familiar verdant
surroundings and the free harvest of betelnut
and pupulu (pepper leaves chewed with betelnut),
fruit, fish, game, wood, flowers, and leaves;
and a moment of meditation.

Today's Guam leaves little jungle for retreat
and rejuvenation. So, we find ourselves in our
daily personal struggles praying to a Christian
God to lead us to the healing powers only found
in guam's deepest jungles. The "Ones Who Walked
Before" are the keepers of the land -- the


1. Reference to Jesus Christ.

2. Jungle forest.

3. Reference to Taotaomo'na, Chamoru ancestors.


|Official Guam Webpage| Previous Page| Cecilia Home Page|