A Tree Speaks

I took this photo during a walk around the neighborhood. That eye spoke to me …


tree bark

I  see you.

Put that saw away.

You will not use my sisters and brothers

To fill your bank account

With Real Estate towers.


I see you.

Put that saw down.

Look up at my glory,

Home to hundreds of life

More than you can accommodate

In your blue-printed home of destruction.


See me.

Before it is too late.

Frances Kakugawa 2-5-19





First Camelia


Brings gasps of joy

In Winter’s cold.

I, the third born –

What accompanied my birth?




Never laugh at the elders

Who meet at MacDonald’s in Hawaii

Never laugh at their animated conversations

On trips to Vegas and the best ramen at Hotel California.


Never laugh

Because eventually you will become them

As I have these cold winter months

After working out at the gym in early morn.


I walk across the street to La Bou

Stop by three or four tables

To exchange greetings with the regulars.

Monday through Friday, one conversation

Is a recording…

She speaks Spanish, I speak English…

We say Buenas Dias, Gracias and more Buenas Dias.

And smile without translation.


Are you that youngster at a table

Laughing at my limited vocabulary

Swearing you  will never succumb

To life of the elders

Who drink the same bitter coffee,

Morning after morning

Staring at the world that never changes

Through last month’s spider webs

Except for a tree that reminds me

The seasons of my life are alive and well.

frances kakugawa 1/22.19





Dear 21st Century Farmer,

Each time you place a seed into your soil,

What do you think about?


Do you think of fast cash

To replace your brain

For a larger, more digitized tractor?

Insect  eradication for abundant crops?

Vocabulary rested on faster, more, faster, more

Or do faces of your grandchildren, their grandchildren

Play among the images in your head?

The inheritors of your soil.


Each time you place a seed into your soil,

Do you get down on your back,

Look up at white clouds dancing, dancing –

Pesticides free, gathering raindrops

For Earth’s  purification?


Each time you place a seed into your soil,

Can  you take a fistful of soil –

Taste the taste of soil

As they were before you were courted

By “Big 6” pesticide and GMO corporations –

BASF, Bayer, Dupong, Dow Chemical Co. Monsanto, Syngenta ?


Oh, farmer of the 21st century,

Are you indignant of  these questions?

Let me hear then, your “How dare you.”

How dare you

Question the integrity of my soul.

How dare you

Before my grandchildren

And their future children.

I     am    not     a     farmer    for    sale.

Frances H Kakugawa

Frances H Kakugawa.

Happy 2019

Happy New Year

I believe in two good luck omens to foretell my coming year. Unlike

9 peas in a pod. Dolphins swimming near a ship. Meeting 3 sheep. Sneezing 3 times before breakfast. Finding a 4 leaf clover. If a dog comes near to you with a piece of old shoe in its mouth. Finding horseshoes with the open end facing your way. The entrance of snake into your house.  In Hawaii, a dream of centipedes…

My omens are simple: One, when the NY Mets win the World Series and second, when my Christmas cactus blooms. The Mets are not on sport pages anymore but Look! Look!. My cactus had one tiny blossom last year and look at it this year. So I share my Christmas cactus with all of you…We are going to have a wondrous new year, filled with good health, peace, joy, and all good things.

xmas cactus

Happy New Year


Before my mother had Alzheimer’s, we had a ritual. Every Christmas I walked into the house with a gift to myself…a new outfit, a pair of shoes or some jewelry and every year, this was our conversation:

Me: Do you want to give me this for Christmas?

Mother: Sure. How much?

Whatever price I gave, she said, “Only that much? You have a good job and you can’t even pay for your own present? “ ( I was a teacher, she packed flowers at a farm).

When I took the cash from her, ( she always had cash) she would always say, “You not shame to take money from your poor mother?”

Me: No, no shame. Thank you.

Mother chuckles.

She has been gone for 16 years now and every Christmas, I have had a Christmas gift from her. This year, she was really generous and got me my first  Dooney  and Bourke handbag! Still waiting to get reimbursement  from above.


ww on bull

How do you like my Holiday tree with so many golden balls…a natural and real tree. To all you readers who, after reading my Wordsworth! Stop the Bulldozer! book, began to use trees whose roots are still in rich healthy soil, thank you for keeping our planet green. To you, too, who have stopped cutting down trees. Wait, there’s more. See my bulldozer poem under my tree.

Ww's tree

The Bulldozer

there was place I sat and dreamed

to music played in my concert grove


branches rubbed against branches

coconuts dropped to the ground…

vines snaked and squeaked their way

seeking the hot noon sun.


frilly fronds danced the wind

lacy limbs brushed their leaves…

sparrows, mynahs spattered notes

low c’s, high c’s and in-between.


a place for cellos, violins

trombones, tubas, crashing  brass…

flutes, piccolos, clarinets ,too

a symphony of purest sound.


up and down the scale

notes played every key…

in this place I called my grove

until the monster came.


he gobbled up notes

oh, what a hungry beast…

he ate and ate, grunted and groaned

until there was nothing left

nothing at all.

from: Wordsworth! Stop the Bulldozer!