WHERE THE FLAME TREES BLOOM
In the recesses of my mind
Are reels of images and scenes
Of the bygone days of childhood
Running like a movie on a screen.
The landscape is gloriously beautiful,
The flame trees are in bloom
Gone from this picturesque scene
Are all shadows of night and gloom.
We, children, are carefree and happy
Sometimes engaged in work or play;
Our parents are never worried
That harm and danger will come our way.
Using the stamens of the flame tree buds
We spend hours playing "cock fights";
We try to break the neck of the other's cock,
Without a head, the losing cock is a pitiful sight.
There are no wild, ferocious animals
Nor are there snakes around
In sizes small, medium, and large
Or in colors red, green, and brown.*
Under the canopy of flame tree blooms
Graduation exercises are performed;
At other times stick dancing is skillfully done
Showing off beauty, grace, and form.
The older students do stick dancing
With rhythm, care, and precision;
This dance is an art and teaches a lesson
In eye-and-hand coordination.
Then, there's the bamboo pole dancing
That uses the skip-a-rope principle;
Your timing and rhythm have to be flawless
Else you find the poles hitting your ankle.
In this paradise the people love to eat,
They have fandangos and fiestas
Where all kinds of foods are served,
Then it's time for siestas.
Coconut milk is used in cooking,
It's added to just about everything--
From meat, fish, and taro leaves
To cakes, pastries, and puddings.
My Mother is the herbalist in town
People come from miles around
Looking for something to heal them of
Ailments that often come unannounced.
My Dad is a hard-working man
He works from sunrise to sunset
Toiling under the hot tropical sun,
Shirt and trousers soaked with sweat.
Taking short breaks from labor
He rests in the shade of the flame trees;
My older brothers help, the younger kids
Climb the trees and shoot the breeze.
Our people love the good old USA
And are incredibly very patriotic;
We sing of God, country, and freedom,
Peace, honor and blessings to the Republic.
A good portion of the local people
By nature are very religious;
They go to church regularly and know
When something is or isn't superstitious.
They believe in supernatural beings
Known as duendes and taotaomona;
These are spirits that fall in the same class
With the characters and magic of Narnia.
It's believed duendes and taotaomona
Live under banyan trees and near latte stones;
You try not to go where these are found else
You'd see things that would chill your bones.
Should you ever find yourself trespassing
The places of their encampment;
You need to ask permission or you'd
Be cursed with some grievous ailment.
Latte stones are pillars of ancient homes
According to what I read in the story;
They are in a park for the brave and fearless
To see lest they forget their past history.
Here's more: One day a man was driving his car,
It was 4 a.m. and the rain was pouring hard;
A woman was walking, a towel over her head,
Being compassionate he stopped to give her a ride.
She ignored him and kept on walking.
He wanted to keep her from getting too wet;
He stopped his car right beside her and pleaded,
When she turned to him he saw she had no head.
This is a phenomenal, incredible story, I know,
It cannot be explained scientifically;
We just have to believe the scriptures
That God did speak of the Devil specifically.
When Lucifer rebelled against God in heaven,
He was cast down to the earth, to his doom;
Only thru Jesus Christ can we keep this evil away
From the island where the flame trees bloom.
Copyrighted © Lydia Haga 2004
Related topics: Battle for the Mind
Wind Beneath My Wings
Memories of the Past
Back when I was growing up, there were no brown tree snakes. Now they're saying that these mildly-poisonous snakes are prevalent and have eradicated the bird population in the island, caused power outages, and even entered people's homes through the sewage system.
It's believed that these snakes were inadvertently introduced into the island through shipments from the Philippines during the 1940's and 50's era. I left Guam in 1972, and I could say that I had never seen a snake while living there.
He Lives on High Midi