To: 100 educators at the first National Connected Superintendent Summit to expand technology in the classroom at the White House summit.


Won’t you please pack the following poem in your head on your way to Washington? Remember, once we lose the humanity, we lose it all.


To Children of the 21st Century


How do you keep your fingers so free of dirt?

How do you come in from play without

Mud on your feet, your clothes, your cheeks?

How do you not even sweat?


How do you live without giving eye contact

To the person sitting in front of you?

How do you spend time with your friend

Without conversation?


Oh Children of the 21st Century,

Why is there silence in a room filled

With family on this holiday?

How did you become so mute?


Do you know how rain feels

Soaking your shirt to your skin?

The smell of sea salt in your hair

After a dip in the sea?


Have you watched a little seed

Pushing its first breath

Out of soil you’ve patted down

A few weeks ago?


Can you see a cardinal, a mynah,

A crow, with your eyes closed, listening

To their signature songs they sing out to you

In your own back yard?


Do you know the feel of your grandpa’s grip

Warm and strong in your hand?

The story behind that long scar that runs

The length of his arm?


Do you ever count clouds, lying

On soft green grass, laughing

Over silly stuff shared with a friend?

Do you ever cry over a child starving


In Africa or in your neighborhood?

Feel upset over trees being cut

For freeways and shopping malls,

Fancy sports arenas?


Have you ever used the eraser

At the end of a pencil,

Writing a poem, a song, a story.

A thank you note?


Do you know the feel of crisp

New pages of a book, as they unfold

Moving plots, faster than your impatient

Fingers can follow your eyes?


Oh, Children of the 21st Century,

Forgive us, for what we have done.


© Frances Kakugawa





If these rivers ran over my face

Would you pause, too, in awe…

And call it  nature’s beauty?


At my Modesto workshop, some ladies asked me if I would consider taping my presentations and selling them so that their friends and family who couldn’t attend the session would be able to see and hear me. I have to talk to my publisher about it, but if you are interested in seeing me “at work” or sharing a part of one of my sessions with your family, here is a video segment from ‘Ōlelo Community Media. They came to one of my Honolulu presentations and interviewed me and recorded the presentation. This 10-minute segment from their “Kūpuna Power” program is cued up to the part with me:

This is not my whole presentation, but combined with the interview portions, you can see what my new book I Am Somebody covers. You see, I Am Somebody is a new book, but it has been many years in the making. All the best parts—and more—from my presentations are in it. All the topics I was asked about for this “Kūupuna Power” program—for example, family dynamics, the Two Worlds, how becoming a Poet-Caregiver is transformational—are all chapters in I Am Somebody.




Whether among weeds

Or close up, O’Keefe style,  I

Am still morning glory.


frances aveI was in Modesto this morning to give my “I Am Somebody” session to a room filled with the most caring caregivers, post and present, and I’m so tempted to tell you I am so famous in Modesto that the mayor changed a street sign in my honor, but if I said this, my nose would grow longer than Pinocchio’s.

frances on frances ave

This Wednesday, I have my Modesto workshop for the Alzheimer’s Association (see info here).

Next week, I will be doing two workshops for Kimochi, one in San Mateo and one in San Francisco. The San Francisco session will be bilingual, in both English and Japanese.

Kimochi-flyerSan Mateo Session, presented by Kimochi and Family Caregiver Alliance
Monday, November 17, 1:30-3pm (Pacific Time)

San Mateo Public Library
55 W 3rd Ave.
San Mateo, CA 94402
To register, please call (415) 931-2294.

San Francisco Bilingual Session, presented by Kimochi and Family Caregiver Alliance
Tuesday, November 18, 10:30am-noon (Pacific Time)

Kimochi Office
1715 Buchanan St.
San Francisco, CA 94115
To register, please call (415) 931-2294. This session will be bilingual, in English and Japanese.


Pahoa Eruption

My grandmother’s house was the first to be destroyed by Pele’s lava flow in Kapoho. Today, another family’s house was the first to be covered in Pahoa. So many of us relocated to Pahoa. On my last visit to Hawaii, I visited all our neighbors from Kapoho  who now reside in Pahoa. How are we? What can we be except philosophers when it comes to the power of Fire Goddess Pele whom we respect and fear.  My heart goes out to everyone. The sun is shining out here but I feel the dark clouds and smell  sulphur in the air from memory.


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