Welcome to the Guam IRA Anthology!

If you would like the opportunity to have your poetry/stories published in our inaugural Guam IRA online anthology, there’s still time! However, you must be a current IRA member and have attended at least two general membership meetings to have your work considered for inclusion in our online anthology. Please be sure to see the IRA Membership Chair or e-mail iraguam@gmail.com. Si Yu'os Ma'ase'!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Flip Flops

Living on an island 
You think you would own a pair 
of flip-flops for every wear. 

I have seen flip flops so worn down 
That toes were touching the ground. 

I have seen other flip flops so torn 
That you swore they were over worn. 

I have tried to wear a pair of my own flip-flops 
But I felt so unprepared. 

My first pair made my toes so sore that I swear. 
Flip-flops have made me slip and trip. 
That is why I don't wear 
Nor care or dare 
To wear flip flops anywhere!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

My Plate Is Me!

Chagi!  Chagi!
Red rice yan
Bunelos dagu
Yan Ginataan.

Boka culture
Yan family bonds.
Boka respect
Yan Guahan.

Try!  Try!
Red rice and
Dagu donuts
And Ginataan.

Consume culture
And family bonds.
Take in respect
And the island of Guam.

Half Chamorro
Half Filipino
And entirely English —
Can’t you see!
Proud of my life!
Proud of my voice!
Proud of my culture!
My plate is me!


My Life as a White Person: Growing Up Inside of Literature

In Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys, and Encyclopedia Brown —
I lived as white children that used logic and intelligence
To solve crimes and save the day.

On Guam, I am a normal brown boy
From an island that most people haven’t even heard about.

In the Babysitters Club —
Are you there God?
It’s me, Margaret, and Ameilia Bedelia.
I was white, black, Spanish, Jewish, and even French.

I lived life being a little different
Finding out that it was okay to be 
White, black, Spanish, Jewish, French, and even weird.

On Guam, I am a normal brown boy
From an island that most people haven’t even heard about.
But —
Sometimes I am experiencing the same experiences as everyone else.
But —
I’m from an island.

In the Marvel and DC comics, 
I am white, black, brown, Jewish, Asian, Muslim, Indian, Martian, French, Canadian, Mexican, elven, dwarf, hobbit, and —
Saving the planet from others that would seek to destroy it.

On Guam, I am a normal brown boy 
From an island that most people haven’t even heard about.
I cannot save the planet —
I’m from an island.

In the movies,
On video games,
In TV shows —
I am white, black, Spanish, Mexican, Asian, Indian, alien, elf, dwarf, gnome —
Doing fantastic things
As far as the eye can see —
On Guam, 
I am a normal brown boy 
From an island that most people haven’t even heard about.  
I have chores to do —
But wait!
Look at the islanders showing up in books and movies!

I can finally be in books, TV, and movies
As long as I wear Hawaiian print shirts and shorts or a wrap and be shirtless.
I can finally be Hawaiian or Samoan —
But I’m Chamorro —
I wear t-shirts and jeans.
I guess I just have to wait for someone to write about me.



Watching the water above me change from blue to gray —
Does anyone care to clean all the beaches and the bays?

I crawl from life to death while all the fish may swim —
Please take care of the coral,
So I don’t lose another limb.

My life as a starfish might be coming to an end —
Please save the coral reefs for you, for me, 
And for all of our friends.


The Most Beautiful Mango

Goldilocks has nothing on our little brown girls 

Some people pick the ripest mango for its juiciness and sweetness.

Some people pick the younger, green mangos for their sourness and crunchiness.

This little brown girl picks the Holy Grail of mangos called “to’a” in our native tongue.

To’a mangos aren’t ripe or sour —
To’a mangos have the satisfying crunch of youth,
And the hint of sweetness from age.

To’a mangos may seem like the ignored fruit on the branch, 
Because of their lack of constant sunshine or shade.

To’a mangos are discolored and freckled on the outside.
No two are the same.
The golden treasure of perfect balance lies within 
For the little brown girls to unlock.


Saturday, December 24, 2016

Neni, Here You Go

Neni, here you go
Into this jungle
Where you’ll grow.

Bonita you are
With your long dark hair.

With a smile (Chalek)
Innocent and rare.

Be met got yan respect
For that’s who we are.
With love for one another
Which extends quite far.

Hu guaiya hao, neni
It’s time for me to let you go.