Self Guamination

In 1668 silence sailed from Spain

and invaded the shores of Guam

The Spanish hushed the Chamorro culture with rifles

and the sounds of extinction were deafening

They justified genocide with bibles

Burnt down huts, destroyed villages,

and called it…Catholicism

they forced us to our knees to praise a foreign GOD

as if chanting to our ancestors was anything less,, than spiritual

The Spanish brought disease, soldiers, and missionaries to our island

colonization was their mission

silence was an order

and fighting back, meant us clinging to our culture

They stripped us of our true identity

and banned our language,

snatching our native tongues out of our mouths

and forcing Spanish down our throats

until we choked on their clumsy syllables

changing hatsa, hugua, tulu

 

to uno, dos, tres,

colonizing us was carried out in 3 simple steps:

ONE: destroy the native language so the savages couldn’t communicate

TWO: confiscate land in the name of GOD while resisters were executed

THREE: inter-marry, rape, and procreate until indigenous bloodlines were diluted

but they did not realize WE were warriors.

Standing six feet tall, strapped with natural body armor and

with chests so wide, one Chamorro chief exhaled the breath of his entire village

Chiseled abs cut so deep they reached their spines

make no mistake our bloodlines had backbone weaved into a double helix

machinery and technology were irrelevant

hands like the sea, simultaneously gentle and deadly we fed our people by harvesting

the ocean sustainably

what was once a beach that provided all our necessities’

became a port for Spanish military

we calmed unnecessary currents with tactics that were as unpredictable as an undertow

because we were able to see genocide glide with the tide

weather high or low

it just goes to show that our people stayed true to themselves

with hearts like a coral reef we set a barrier around our way of life

we were

and still are

one of the oldest civilizations in the pacific

I tao tao tano “the people of the land”

..the indigenous

are being swept out to sea like a plea in a bottle

from our shores to yours

we carried this message over 5,803 miles of deep blue

because although we speak true

this attempt to teach you may get lost in migration

Not by choice, but by force

And of course, we’ve won many battles

But mortal wounds left immortal scars on our true identity

reminders that our oral history is the remedy to break free from this tyranny

It is the foundation of strength we have to keep the Chamoru culture living and breathing

for too long, we have watched the past form rain clouds over us

Reigning silence as the new king

but we were never given a chance to sit on that thrown,

which sits on the land that we rightfully own

and once again our voices red, white, and blue away when americans stormed our beaches

we were rich in heritage but treated like peasants

because in a capitalist system, Cash Rules Everything Around Me

CREAM! Get the money, native language killed ya’ll

but with the strength we inherit from our ancestors

We will engage in this war to preserve our past

Using our vocal chords as slings and our vocal tones as stones

 

they are thrown, not to break bones, but to break the silence of our people

to all of you this is just a poem,

but to us, it’s the chance to bring justice to our home

we carried this message in our hearts

to a nation that still considers us 2nd class citizens

we enlist more soldiers per capita

to fight and die for the freedoms we are not privileged to

the freedom of the speech,

the freedom to speak AND be heard

With these words, we proclaim that though our oppressors may try to arrest our development,

Let it be known, that Guahan has waived its right to remain silent!

 

This poem is about: 
My country

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