A big oops: I’ll be at Native Books and Barnes & Noble on August 27 instead of the 17th.


To friends on Oahu, would love to see you during my coming visit. I’ll be at Ward Warehouse:Native books on August 17 and Sept 3rd:

11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Will be reading Wordsworth, It’s in Your Pocket on Aug 17th and I Am Somebody: Bringing Dignity and Compassion to Alzheimer’s Caregiving on Sept 3rd. Will be signing books on both days.

To my Hilo friends, I’ll be reading Wordsworth, It’s in Your Pocket at Basically Books at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Sept 10th. Am looking forward to seeing some of my former students who plan to be there. Book signing, too.

Now, to my Kona friends and former students, I’ll be giving the keynote address at the Hawai’i Community Caregivers Network conference at the Sheraton Keauhou on Sept 9th.

My first teaching job was at Konawaena High and Elem School. I taught Kindergarten.

During the first week, a child brought in one of those Life Science books and knowing it was too difficult for five year olds, I showed the illustrations and ad-libbed the text. Arnold ( I still remember you, Arnold) turned to look at his classmates and explained why I was not reading the book,”Her young yet, she don’t know how to read.” Being young, I had to prove I could read so I began to read the text and soon lost all their attention. Having proven my reading abilities, I went on and had a wonderful time. I still remember their names, as I do all the students I’ve taught. Hope some of my students still live in Kona, would love to see them.


Wordsworth_Native Books posterI will be appearing at the following events on Oahu and the Big Island in August and September. (My events schedule is also posted here, but the times all show up in California time, so this is more friendly for Hawaii folks to look at.) I hope to see some of you at one of these events.

Saturday, August 27
11:00am – 12:30pm | Native Books / Na Mea Hawaii
Ward Warehouse
reading from Wordsworth, It’s in Your Pocket!, which addresses the topic of too much screen time for children, followed by book signing
2:30pm – 3:30pm | Barnes & Noble Ala Moana
book signing
sales at this event help benefit Read to Me International

IAS_Native Books posterSaturday, September 3
11:00am – 12:30pm | Native Books / Na Mea Hawaii
Ward Warehouse
presentation on how to bring dignity to the caregiving experience and use writing as a tool to manage the complex emotions and stress that come with the role of caregiver, followed by book signing

Friday, September 9 | 7:30am – 3pm
Hawaii Community Caregiver Network
“Carousel of Care” Caregiver’s Conference
Sheraton Kona Resort and Spa at Keauhou Bay
keynote speaker and workshop session
Cost to attend is $25. Visit www.hawaiicaregivers.org or call 808-322-5157 for more details and registration.

Saturday, September 10
1pm – 2pm | Basically Books | 160 Kamehameha Ave, Hilo
reading from Wordsworth, It’s in Your Pocket!, which addresses the topic of too much screen time for children, followed by book signing

Help Me Remember

A few weeks before my mother died, she came out of her dementia state and in Japanese, told the Buddhist priest:

Watashi wo wasure sadanaide. Do not let me be forgotten.

It made me think: What if all of my ancestors had said this? Both families on my parents’ side who perished 70 years ago in Hiroshima?

I have a candle lit to remember them. I hope you will spend a minute to remember all those who perished in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. If you haven’t already, do read my dear friend Charles Pellegrino’s book: To Hell and Back: The Last Train from Hiroshima. This book, for the first time, made me realize that my ancestors are not statistics but real people who lived.

Thank you for helping me remember.

A Salute to Patrick at Punchbowl Cemetery

(A Military Burial)


The soldiers stood cemented to the grassy ground

Like statues, while Buddhist sutras filled the air.

Movement would dishonor the man who once stood

In his uniform, like his comrades today.


The three – gun salute, the wailing taps,

The precision of the folding of the flag,

A salute purified by white gloves

For the presentation of the symbolic flag.


Each step of ultimate precision, a tribute to dignity,

Honor and respect for the fallen soldier,

From the country whom he had served

With love, dignity and honor.


Whatever Alzheimer’s had stolen from him,

All was returned to him today.

Whatever memories, forgotten,

The country that he loved, remembered.


A final rest in peace.


Frances H. Kakugawa

This is what a country should do  to people who have served her.

The Sea Meeting Pele

He explodes

Into a million


As her fiery tongue

Laps into

His undulating loins,

Sizzling and burning

Every ecstasy.

frances kakugawa

106 Degrees

Dead Heat


In 106 degrees temperature,

trees stand frozen,

a squirrel pauses in his run

across the street and looks at me

as if to say, “take my coat, it’s yours for free.”


I sit paralyzed, the only movement,

sweat beads down my forehead,

pass my brow, stinging

my eyes in salt baths.

frances kakugawa


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