The week’s show features the poetry of Lia Barcinas and Aiko Yamashiro plus a musical playlist curated by the authors themselves.
LIA BARCINAS grew up in the village of Malesso’ on the island of Guahan. Her work is rooted in the teachings of her grandparents and the plants they love. She is currently a student of Pacific Islands Studies, at UH Mānoa. AIKO YAMASHIRO was raised in Kāneʻohe, Oʻahu. She is a student and teacher of decolonial literature of the Pacific, at UH Mānoa. She is proud to work with organizations that teach her about community organizing, social change, and the work of making connections and building peace across Moana Nui–organizations like Hawaiʻi People’s Fund, Women’s Voices Women Speak, HOA (Hawaii-Okinawa Alliance), and Oceania Rising.
This piece is adapted from our collaborative blog post “Gathered by Plants: Some Decolonial Love Letters” published on Ke Kaʻupu Hehi ʻAle. In our blog post we wrote: “We wanted to further explore our families and histories in Guåhan, Okinawa, Hawai’i, but in a different way. We didn’t want to connect over our stories of trauma, colonization, militarization, yet again. Instead, we wanted to remember and explore our islands’ interconnections through the plants we share and love. What can plants teach us? How can plants carry us through our struggles?” When we asked the plants to guide us, we found we could express so much–love, pain, vulnerability, gratitude, hope, laughter, living. We found so much connection, determination, and strength. These letters are an experiment in weaving. We share these letters with you in hopes that they open good memories and new-old stories about the plants you love.
Lia and Aiko chose these pieces because they remind them that resistance and revolution is powered by love for your ʻāina and people.
- SONG: “Pugua” is an original song by Chamorro singers and songwriters Jesse Bias and Ruby Santos, from their album Take Me Back
- SONG: “Turaju Ondo,” performed by Norman Kaneshiro sensei, of Ukwanshin Kabudan, an Oʻahu-based group revitalizing Okinawan culture, arts, and language in Hawaiʻi and Okinawa.
- POETRY: “Decolonial Love Letters”
- “Kuʻu Lau, Kuʻu Niu: A Love Song for a Coconut Leaf” written and performed by Simon Seisho Tajiri, from Lānaʻi, was inspired by our shared stories and passion for our beloved plant teachers.