Squirrels

Squirrel The leaves and branches of the oak
Flutter and spring,
I wonder why as there is no breeze,
The rainy morning has becalmed.

Then gray squirrels
Descend from the tree,
One, two, three.
They scamper away
Each in a different direction.

Only to return and leap
Up the trunk and out
Onto the ends of the branches,
Bouncing and swaying
Like children playing and swinging.

Now I see them biting off
Acorns and pouching them,
Working to acquire tasty nuts,
Before running back into the woods
To hide their treasures.

I never knew squirrels
Picked acorns,
Before, I had only seen them
Gathering from the ground.

Something new to me,
Delighted at the discovery
I filed this incident under ‘Squirrels’,
And sat still on the porch,
One quiet morning in October.

Cerita M. Hewett
October 23, 2015

Polished Sandhill Crane

sand hill craneA polished sandhill crane
Stands on the table of my room,
White Tail-feathers nearly brush the ground,
Slender feet sustain it carefully,
As though ‘twould walk quite soon,
Beneath the long and gracious neck,
Shines out an oval spot of brown.

Her beak,
Like an ivory needle gently drawn high,
Attracts my eyelids upward from the earth,
Stretching gladly toward the pale blue sky.
My spirit seems to soar with a new birth.

The one who carved you
From that discarded horn,
Made you to match his lofty thought,
Through his delightful toil,
Your life was born,
By his sincerity
A thing of beauty wrought.

You stand there doing nothing,
Bending not a knee,
Still in your shaping
A heart gave,
Now looking
Uplifts me.

Cerita Marie Moore
January 4, 1966

Gaurdians

               Stray Dogs

                 The dogs in our neighborhood
                 Take very seriously their jobs.
                 Perhaps it is because there seems
                 To be so few of them in Guayaquil.

                  We rarely see them in the daytime,
                  And only hear them as we lie in bed,
                  On nights when our minds are over active,
                  Wishing for the sweet refreshment of sound sleep.
                  Then it seems the chorus begins.

                  Woof, woof!
                  Oooo, oooo!
                  Arf, arf, arf!
                  Rrrrr, rrrr!
                  Owoo, Owoo, Owoo!
                  Close and distant they holler.

                  I wonder,   “Are they talking to each other?
                  Is a rat running across their patio?
                  Perhaps a cat slurks along the top of a nearby wall?
                  Has a well known thief entered the garden?
                  Is some old dog ill?
                  Has there been a death in the community?
                  Did their retirement fund collapse?
                  Or are they debating some compelling political question?” 

                  At last their conversation ceases.
                  Perhaps the danger passes,
                  Possibly their pain or sorrow is soothed,
                  Perchance a truce or concession comes to pass.
                  At last night-quiet peace reigns supreme once more. 

                  We remain awake, alas awake,
                  Quiet, yet awake,
                  Musing over all the possibilities.

                                                                                      Cerita M. Hewett
                                                                                      April 29, 2009
                                                                                      (revised 2014)

Contradictions

Ecuador, Ethnic Latin Woman

                 Ocean, rivers, desert,
                       Verdant mountains, volcanic rock,
                                    Tropical jungle,
                  Whales – millipedes.
                           Humming birds – great parrots,
                  Changing surfaces – changing people.

 

                  Large cities – tiny villages,
                           Supermarkets – open markets,
                                    Stairwell shops – modern malls,
                  Sidewalk cafes – food courts,
                           Street venders – department stores
                  Flower gardens – dirt yards.

 

                  Painted and unpainted homes dot the land
                           Mansions, high-rise apartments,
                                    Cinderblock, adobe, cardboard dwellings and huts,
                  Painted gray and black by the earth,
                           Or by cheerful people
                  Green, pink, orange, or blue.

 

                  Cement highways – dirt streets – narrow pathways,
                           People riding in cars, airplanes, buses,
                                    Trains, vans, pickups,
                  Ships, boats, dugouts,
                           Or on burros and horses,
                  Some walking, walking, walking.

 

                  Agile young soccer players competing on dirt,
                           Cement, or sparse yellow grass surfaces,
                                    And on sandy beaches,
                  Professionals playing in giant
                           Manicured stadiums,
                 Cripples with canes, crutches, wheelchairs.

 

                  People spread across the land
                           Smiling young faces with sparkling white teeth,
                                    Sober, wrinkled, toothless, faces.
                  Crying babies, shouting venders, whispering breezes,
                           Brass bands – classical orchestras,

 

                  Traditions of home learning,
                           Training from the fathers and ancients,
                  Schools of private or public education.

 

                  Men, women, and children working the land,
                  Terraced corn, beans, and potato patches,
                                    Spacious rice paddies – Cane fields,
                  Banana plantations.

 

                  People filling shops and offices,
                           Wearing jeans, suits, or native dress.
                                    Living off the land,
                                             Living off the streets,
                  Clean and dirty.

 

                  Tourists looking on,
                           Old people looking back,
                                    Young people looking forward!

 

                  Ecuador, a land of contradictions,
                           Ecuador, a land in flux,
                                    A place to live, love, and serve.

 

                                                                       Epilogue

 
                  Traveling we experienced something of this land’s
                           Ugliness and beauty,
                                    Sound and silence,
                  Perfume and odor.

 

                  Then we returned to the peace,
                           The studied formal gardens,
                                    The refuge of the temple grounds,
                  Here we found the same peace
                           That the people of this land find as
                                    They come one by one
                                             Family by family,
                   To worship in our Father’s house!

                                                            Cerita M. Hewett
                                                            August 16, 2009
                                                            (revised Oct. 2014)

Cows in Summer

A pretty bovine hanging out in a green pasture

                        The wide eyed brown and white cows,
                        With their heads bowed down,
                        Drink from the little irrigation ditch.

                        Switch their tails skillfully
                        To dislodge biting black flies.

                        Extrude long strings of slobber,
                        Which look like fishing line.

                        The wisps are wafted away
                        As the summer breeze
                        Catches hold of them.

                        It hangs the silver strands on
                        Tall browning Indian tobacco weed,
                        At the edge of the water.

                        Creating a sparkling summer Christmas tree.

                                                                             Cerita M. Hewett                                                                                         July 2002 (revised 2014)

Robins

A flock of robins

Invaded our woods today.

They must be on their way North

As we don’t see them

Here in the summer.

They went straight to work

Gleaning and cleaning the forest floor.

 

I couldn’t hear their chattering

From my upstairs window,

But I could see their hunger

As they pecked, pecked, pecked.

Heads down pecking

Heads up watching

Exposing their burnt orange

Breasts to cloud muted light,

Bringing the hope of Spring on a

Cold rainy day.

 

                                                 Cerita M. Hewett

                                                 February 2015

 

Thanks and Gobblers

(Thanks)

For butterfly wings and fluffy clouds,

                                    For sweet rose scent and tangy pickle juice,

                                                      For craggy rocks and soft warm sand,

                           For children’s hands.

                                    I thank thee Lord!

                                                                                    Cerita M. Hewett

                                                                                    (revised 2014)

 

(Gobblers)

 The great turkey gobbler makes a noise!

                           He gobbles at the girls.

                           He gobbles at the boys.

 

                           Though we run away from all that squabble,

                           We laugh until we nearly wobble,

                           Cause soon we’ll be the ones that gobbles!

                                                                                                                        Cerita M. Moore

                                                                                                                        About 1961

Wild Pasture Dance

                                    The dry brown leaves

                                    Raced across the pasture this morning,

                                    They leaped, skipped, and flew

                                    All the way to the fence.

 

                                    Then they piled on top of each other,

                                    Laughing, tickling, and jostling.

                                    Whispering joy in their

                                    Wild pasture dance.

 

                                    Their sprint exposed

                                    The tender new green grass

                                    To the sun,

                                    To the rain,

                                    And to the hungry goats.

                                                                                                           Cerita M. Hewett

                                                                                                            February 20, 2014

Composting

                                       Ed’s little family can
                                       Eat half a watermelon
                                       In nothing flat!

                                       They chew all the pink off the rind,
                                       Leaving just a little white
                                       Next to the dark green shell.

                                       What Applejacks the pony gets is pitiful,
                                       Still he eagerly gobbles the leavings and
                                       The chickens snatch anything he misses.
                                                                                                Cerita M. Hewett

                                                                                                August 2011