"because we have chosen each other"

by Aiko
for Women's Voices Women Speak February retreat
for Ellen, for Christine A, for Caitlin, for Kim, for Grace, for Dori, for Christine L., for Aunty Terri, for Daniella, for Kelsey, for Eloise, for Kasha, for Reyna, for Shelley, and for our ancestors and loves

Because Audre Lorde once wrote:
we have chosen each other
and the edge of each otherʻs battles
the war is the same
if we lose
one day womenʻs blood will congeal
upon a dead planet
if we win
there is no telling
we seek beyond history
for a new and more possible meeting.

Violence in their families
fighting for the rice fields
every grain of rice
sighs, tears, and laughter
stars and wind
because Kāneʻohe taught me how to love
adopting countries
adopting single mothers
keeping families together
the truth-tellers
healing larger stories
healing family stories

Our families have been infiltrated
our families carry violence
our families carry love
our families carry resistance

Tears pass from face to face

to continue what my ancestors started
to keep me sane
here is this shell that love brought
across the ocean
to see how everything's connected
so the women gathered
made commitments to each other
brought it home

Defend the ice cream shops
the sweet memories of our elders
called to be medicine for sugar
medicine for military bases
medicine for privilege.
how sons mirror grandfathers
how we need time to mourn
to document

People pass from face to face
people weʻve never met
revolutionary farmers
inheriting land as a thank-you
how do we care for these stories

How do we bring all the daughters back to us
how do we care for Kahoʻolawe
how do we weave the rope of resistance

We need to go ourselves
so we can believe
our mothers
until we canʻt un-see
our connections
how to fight for
not against.

Let our lives be prayers
because we choose the unclear path
because we choose the work of hope
because we choose our entire selves
because we choose each other


WVWS held a retreat on February 26, 2017, to continue building relationships and connections across our peoples, and our lands. 

The poem above is a record of stories shared, about why we do this work. 

The picture above is the place of Maunalua, where we were. We learned the mo'olelo of Kohelepelepe, that mountain, the vulva of the Goddess who threw her woman part to disorient an aggressor.

There is something about identifying as she/her when doing this work. We see generations past, and generations ahead of us.

We must practice the sacredness of our bodies and our life energies, so that we can continue the long-term work of protecting and restoring our lands and our communities from generations of militarization.

The picture of these words are visions from the group for the communities we live in. 


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