Feeds:
Posts
Comments

In the midst of chaos

Be still, be still.

Shhhh.

What will poets do

Without the first bloom of Spring

Waltzing in the wind?

What will children do

Without slimy green frogs

Slipping through fingers?

What will Basho have seen

Without the leap of the frog

Splash! Then stillness again?

What will you do

Without the sound of stillness

In the morning dew?

What will I do

Without hummingbird wings

Whirring in sync?

Hush hush,

Be still, be still

Listen.

(Written after turning off the radio.)

Still unable to post poetry in poetic stanza….grrrrrr…..

          Under the rising sun

          The enemy came

          Wearing my face.

After Pearl Harbor, I became the enemy

After 9/11, another enemy.

After Covid-19, another Asian enemy.

Again, another enemy who wears Putin’s face.

 Cow 1 is not Cow 2.*

Putin brutalizes Ukraine

Your Russian neighbor is not Putin.

Careful, careful, Cow 1 is not Cow 2.

My ancestors bombed Pearl Harbor,

I became Cow 1. Yet, Cow 1 is not cow 2.

Such a simple, uncomplicated rule.

* Semanticist S.I. Hayakawa wrote this on the blackboard when I was a young student at his feet. He explained: You are driving along and see a cow. Driving along the road, you see another cow. That cow is not the first cow you saw.

Hey Putin

My new blog is posted below this. Can’t figure out why. grrrrrr.

Hey  Putin

Sit back a week or two

With your Russian predecessors  

Etched in the world with admiration and honor

Unlike tyrants, murderers, war criminals

Covered with ashes and human blood,

On dusty back shelves of Russian history.

***

Listen to Tchaikovsky’s symphonies –

Spend an evening with Swan Lake –

Get on your yacht with Leo Tolstoy

And War and Peace.

***

You  wish to be the most feared?

The most statued figure in all of Russia?

Be among the true greats of your history books?

Pick up your pen, Putin.

***

Poets were feared more than the KGB

During days of famine and war.

Pick up your pen, Putin,

Write a poem or two or more.

****

On the shelves of  891.71, between
Tsvetaeva and Pushkin
There is space for you.

***

A statue of Putin

In St. Petersburg and Leningard

Poet of Peace.

To Florida

Dear Boys and Girls,

The Governor signed a law that forbids us to say “Gay” in our  classroom.

Beginning today, except in one instance, you will not say “Gay. Don’t look sad, you can still say “Gay” with synonyms. Come up to the board and write another word for “Gay.”

  1. Joyful
  2. Happy
  3. Gleeful
  4. Cheerful
  5. Jolly
  6. Jovial
  7. Merry
  8. Chirpy
  9. Glad
  10. Devil-may-care

Good work, class. Keep adding to our happy list.

Now, it’s story time. I’m reading a book that has been censored. Not to worry, you are going to hear this book, not read it, so I’m sure you won’t be arrested for reading.

Your teacher,

Miss Gay

To Florida

Dear Boys and Girls,

The Governor signed a law that forbids us to say “Gay” in our  classroom.

Beginning today, except in one instance, you will not say “Gay. Don’t look sad, we can still say “Gay” with synonyms. Come up to the board and write another word for “Gay.”

  1. Joyful
  2. Happy
  3. Gleeful
  4. Cheerful
  5. Jolly
  6. Jovial
  7. Merry
  8. Chirpy
  9. Glad
  10. Devil-may-care

Good work, class. Keep adding to our happy list.

Now, it’s story time. I’m reading a book that has been censored. Not to worry, you are going to hear this book, not read it, so I’m sure you won’t be arrested for reading.

Your teacher,

Miss Gay

A Poet-Dad

A Poet/Dad and his Poet/Son

We turned into poets in all of my classes, grades K-6 during my teaching career. Robert Webster was a sixth grader at Nimitz Elem in Hawaii. One day, I watched him write the last line to a poem. Beads of perspiration rolled down his nose. He dropped his pen and I heard him whisper, “ I’m all poemed out.”

Here’s an excerpt from one of his poems.

“Writing is wonderful.

It is a thing that can make the dumb speak,

The deaf to hear, and the blind to see.

Writing can bring out true emotions

That we usually don’t see,

And it brings out our true selves…”

The rest of this poem appears in my book, Teacher, You Look Like a Horse. Robert helped to write the last chapter with a few other students. They were all adults then, but still listened to their teacher when I asked them for help. Robert never left. After sixth grade, he stayed in touch through high school and college and now as a father to three sons with wife Erica.

I have lunched with Robert and his family in New York City twice and the poetry man is still there. How wonderful to have a poetry man for a dad.

Here are three poems from the next generation of Websters, written by son Samuel when he was eight years old.

Me and My Cat

Tommy loves it

When I scratch him under

His chin.

You can sleep in my bed,

Tommy.

Do you want to read with me,

Tommy?

Now this is relaxing!

Sunny Day

Today I woke up

On a sunny day.

I went to my friend’s house

On that sunny day.

I played throw and catch

At my friend’s house

Until it was dark

On that sunny day.

Monkey

Crazy, cute

Running, climbing, swinging

Eating, jumping, sleeping

Bananas, trees, vines

Hairy, agile

©Samuel Charles Webster

8 years old

Guilderland, New York

 War

            Pearl Harbor

Under the rising sun

The enemy came

Wearing my face.

            Hiroshima

We sliced the chrysanthemum

Off its stalk

And left it naked in the sun

            Victory

Over the ashes of Hiroshima

Our victory was hailed.

Beneath, my ancestors lay buried.

Ukraine

The images from Ukraine are heart-breaking. I will continue to send hope.

Sunflower

The thunderstorm sends flashes of fire

Icy, cold stones of hail…

A sunflower seed cracks open it’s shell

Pushes, pushes, through fire and ice

 It’s first sign of life forth

Toward the promised morn…

Soon, soon, from Kyiv to Mariupol

 From Lviv to Odesa

A thousand sunflowers

Burst  into the new morn.

April

The poets, in droves

Lick their pens, salivating

Over metaphors, turning

Death into life. It must be

National Poetry Month.

******************************

Each time a poet

Puts pen to paper,

There is a sliver of hope

For Peace.

*****************

The Pen

I was but a child

When I wrote my first line of poetry

That senselessly rhymed.

I innocently thought

It would be my ticket

Out of God-forsaken Kapoho:

A ticket away from kerosene lamps,

Outhouses, battery-run radios,

And Pidgin English.

A ticket to Greenwich Village, New York City,

Paris, and Stockholm, Sweden.

Little did I know

That poetry would help me embrace

Each Ukraine standing tall

To the miniscule monstrous thief.

Putin’s Rain

Under Putin’s rain

A dove spreads its broken wing

Blackened, bent with pain.

************************

The call of a  child

“Neath the once  horizon blue

Beckons  one-winged flights.

**************************

The flapping of wings

Against Putin’s bloody rain

The one-winged dove soars.

  Frances Kakugawa 3/20/22