The flow of words, so many in 2023, I ask my higher self and my basic self to collaborate, on how to best organize this.

Jose Jeremiah Cotrina


It is one more loss the elder laments

this genocide of the indigenous who know the ancient ways

wounds that carry forward for generations


a reckoning

a healing


33 makahiki had he

the wounds too heavy says his wahine

he wasnʻt coping well


ʻohana conflict

fresh outta jail dah brudda

help him me

I give him work

back on streets momma 

roaming the homeless camps she

sucker punch

a broken cheekbone

fentanyl, “just to help me sleep”

protect my little boy


and he is gone, too soon, too fast, too far

the one with the courage to go into the wilderness

and fast and pray and come back and tell his siblings

it is time for us to return to our indigenous ways

he learns this, sitting alone in the desert, with kona makuahine sitiing with him

in the flavor of the māmalu Peruvian 

steeped down to kī


ka mahina, he, his sister, ka lā

this they are to one another with nightly calls

together they look for hawk, red tailed hawk

and touch the connection of elder brother and brother Michael

the self-professed kahuna that tended 

the healing of the land

in his way

the way the gods that traverse here and there do

wrapped in reverence, awe, humility, wonder

he teaches this writer to return the pōhaku 

taken from Waimea, back to Waimea

(no wonder that flight was so turbulent)

 mālama ʻāina younger sister

mālama kou kino

with aloha


ʻAue, ʻAue, ʻAue


Fly in joy little ʻio, for this is who you truly are

with the guidance of the hānai hawk

red tailed hawk

gifted by the Chumash

of the rainbow bridge

of Mokupuni Limuw

knowing of our ʻohana genocide wounds

and caring for us

in those wilds of Goleta

as one keiki of the ʻāina


Fly in joy


The ancestral pahu beat

the pathway opens

the middle sister sits in the ancestral cave


inviting the elder sister to come sit, and be part of the teachings

of this transition


the songs of the ancestral bones

whistle and lament

with the coming of the mist

with the coming of the pink and gold of this dawn

the rainbow that announces 

the flight of this little ʻio


Higher, and higher, sheddiing feathers, shedding skin, bone denied a burial 

and given as an offering to the element of fire


This elder sees you, with the ancient ones

standing bright in your soul

draped in the colors of the mist

the colors of the rainbow

refusing to cross the bridge through the light

until we hear your message


we hear your message

through the seer in circle

because the elder that sees grief is to great

and another journeys on this elderʻs behalf

to help the ʻohana, the tending of the passing of spirits


Jose asks


how could you let this happen?


protect the children

protect the children

protect the children


a reverberation across the canyon


we see your passage 

in our waking dreams

drawing those that remain into a circle

huddling, shoulder to shoulder

we learn once again to breath in this breathing

the Hawaiian way


for we are Hawaiians



we are Hawaiians




we are Hawaiians




and the lie dissipates

one elder that remains dares to whisper


I am not an American

I am a Hawaiian


the indigenous genocide that 

stole land

stole soul

implanted foreign religions, tongues, belief systems, values


it is all spat out


and Pele as a portent speaks






and from the fresh burn

the lehua returns

free from this disease


fly little ʻio

fly little red tailed hawk




to the level of heaven of your destiny

for you have given the Hawaiian people a great gift


by being aware of your ancestral pain

by setting the intention to raise you son

free from harm


to end the cycle of harm

to say no to the impact of indigenous genocide

rolling forward


expressing itself as 

family conflict



soul loss and wounding


things labeled as “mental illness”


early death

inability to work

inability to communicate

inability to resolve conflict


we sit in your ash

and weep in the comfort of ʻohana


it is the message sent from the kumu hula

who lives in the region where our ancestors live


that gives this writer the balm that soothes the most


“931  Kūpouli Kānehoa i ka hele a Kauka‘ōpua.

Kānehoa is darkened by the departure of Kauka‘ōpua.


Said of dark grief at the departure of a loved one.”

mai ka inoa piha o koʻu hānau ʻia, Annette Marie Puʻu

but still, I walk, in Aunty ʻAʻohe Ona Inoa, until I see tangible signs, of restitution for the people, my social/political/creative protest name

There is so much writing, so much, and it doesnʻt always end up here, so i am rethinking.