Archive for the ‘Going Green’ Category

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.

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Was I not good enough, Santa?

What happened to my wish list?

It wasn’t a long list. Maybe it got lost in the mail.

Here it is again. Maybe it’s not too late to have your elves work on this.

Dear Santa,

I notice your bag is getting heavier and heavier with stuff. It must be quite a burden on your poor back to haul all that around. And your beloved reindeer aren’t getting any younger. Dancer told me of his weak knees. My wish list has no weight. Wouldn’t it be something if we all gave you a list that weighs nothing…on scales, that is.


 Help us to live among fellow humans beings without legislative laws and rules on how to be kind, considerate, compassionate, responsible, humane.


Help us live with Peace, Love, Tolerance and Respect among all races, religions, isms.


This is a big one. Can you humanize, dignify, depoliticize Congress for the sake of each American? I hope your elves know how to bring dignity, respect, and what it means to be an American back into each man and woman in Congress by teaching them the meaning of these words.


Can you, from the North Pole, help save our planet and use your magic to take greed out of men and women who live with dollar signs instead of doing what is the right thing to do.


Santa, you don’t need to wait for next Christmas. Ummm…maybe if you showed this to Mrs. Claus, she’ll be able to work with the elves with more success.












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sunflowersI love it when there’s that special one who “listens to its own little drummer.” Note that sunflower facing away from the sun.

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Evan and seeds

Dear Tyler of Montana,

Evan here is in Hawaii and he’s planting the sunflower seeds you sent me. He told his mom that he needs to talk to the seeds to give them extra CO2. A few days later he asked his mom to yell at the seeds to help them grow. He doesn’t like to yell at people and things so would she do that for him? A few days later, the seeds all popped. He is so excited. My friend Red told him, sunflower seeds are not deaf and they can hear whispers. My sunflowers are over 5 feet high in Sacramento, Tyler.

I wrote this poem and it’s not about you or Evan. It’s about all those children who never planted a sunflower seed.  You both hold a very special place in my heart.


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 hand

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

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Earth Day

I am Earth
Protect me
Love me
Respect me
Dignify me
Heirloom me
Cherish me
Honor me
Save me

I am Earth
Do not poison me
Do not pollute me
Do not smog me
Do not drought me
Do not insecticide me
Do not tamper me
Do not Hybrid me
Do not Monsanto me
Do not rape me
Do not kill me
I am Earth
I am you.




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Poor Wordsworth.  There’s no rest for a mouse poet who writes poems to save trees. I sent him to  the Sacramento County Supervisors Office when I heard about a group going in to save the majestic oaks trees that are being destroyed to make room for swimming pools and other home improvements. I hope Wordsworth! Stop the Bulldozer! makes a difference.

WW Oak Tree

Wordsworth was thrilled to be in this photo with Mr. James Schbert, Senior Landscape Architect for the County and Mr. Howard Schmidt, Chief of Staff for Supervisor Susan Peters. Way to go, Wordsworth.

The Bulldozer


    there was a place I sat and wrote

    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.


        it was a place for violins, cellos,

        trombones, flutes, and  piccolos, too.

        Oh, what music to my ears.

        Then the monster came.






      he gobbled up notes

      oh, what a beast.

      he chomped and crushed,

      grunted and groaned,

      belched and gobbled

      everything in sight.


      oh, what a monster,

      oh what a beast

      to eat my trees.

      to eat my trees.


Wordsworth fell asleep thinking, “Gachump, Gachump.”

from Wordsworth! Stop the Bulldozer! by frances kakugawa Watermark Publishing

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Wordsworth and I made the Hawaii newspaper today:

Honolulu Star/Advertiser

February 9, 2013

“Wordsworth! Stop the Bulldozer!” by Frances H. Kakugawa (Watermark Publishing, $10.95), tells the tale of Wordsworth, a small Hawaii mouse, and a few of his friends who use poetry in their attempts save a koa tree grove.

Wordsworth is troubled when he finds a load of fallen trees on a truck bed and a bulldozer ready to plow down the last remaining tree, the one where he and his best friend, Emily, had carved their initials. As the tiny friends struggle to make a difference and preserve the forest, one of Wordsworth’s poems becomes a rallying point as two groups of adult mice debate the trees’ importance.

The friends find their “Save This Tree” poems taped to pine, mango and coconut trees. Young children might get lost in the words, but the message is endearing.

Tree in a Box kits, which can be purchased at www.bookshawaii.net for $14, include seeds to start a milo tree (a type of tree from the hibiscus family, similar to hau) along with a “Wordsworth” book.The activity of planting a tree may make the environmentally friendly message clearer for younger readers.

Colorful illustrations by Andrew J. Catanzariti bring the tale to life.

Write an ode to your favorite tree . Have a favorite tree that inspires you to write poetry? Watermark Publishing and Hawaii-born author Frances Kakugawa invite keiki in grades K-12 to participate in the “Wordsworth the Poet Poe-TREE Contest.” To enter the contest, kids are invited to follow the example of Wordsworth and write a poem that celebrates their favorite tree. Six prize packages — two per grade division: K-5, 6-8 and 9-12 — will be awarded. Each package includes a copy of the three Wordsworth series books, a child’s gardening tool kit and Koa Legacy Tree from the Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative donated by Hawaiian Legacy Hardwoods. Download the entry form at bookshawaii.net and click on News and Events. By March 1, send entries marked “ATTN: Wordsworth’s Poe-TREE Contest” via email to wordsworth@bookshawaii.net or to Watermark Publishing, 1088 Bishop St. Suite 310, Hono?lulu, HI?96813. Winners will be notified April 15.

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