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Archive for the ‘Legacy of Humanity’ Category

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.

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In today’s front page of our paper, a story of how kids from a public school here were called Asian racist names during a basketball game.
This is not the first time these girls were taunted with racial slurs…being yelled “Soy Sauce!” Go Back to Fiji!”, “Small Eyes!”, “You’re Ugly!”
A Japanese father who was there told the Bee on-line, how his grandfather was interned, his father was in the Army during WWII so their children wouldn’t
be treated with such indignities.  I wrote the following to the authors of this story. Whether they will publish or not is a ?.

Dear Ms. Locke and Mr. Lindelof
My gratitude to you for the story in the Bee this morning.

Would be you be able to direct this to Letters to the Editor?

Do you think unkindness and inhumane behavior that have been so carefully or so carelessly taught in these youngsters can be unlearned?
When I was in high school, these students drove us Japanese girls to use scotch tape to make our eyes look bigger for  that ” Caucasian  double eyes look” to avoid
taunts of “Jap”  and “Slant Eyes”. I am saddened and furious that these youngsters have not gone away and are still here in El Dorado Hills.

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group at mary's

A group of us from my Sacramento Poetry Writing support group for caregivers met for a holiday/oldies sing-a-long at caregiver Mary’s home yesterday. Yes, that’s me on the only available male lap of Bob.

raj's mother

Raj, thank you for bringing your mom. She reminded us about the beauty of dignity that still resides in our loved ones.

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This poem was written and published in my youth during the 70’s when the world was in turmoil with racism, sit-ins, war, and ignorance. Sadly, hopeful as I was then, this is still relevant today. What is wrong with us?

 

crayons

The Human Race

 

a grain of sand

lonely nights

a cup of coffee

Stokely Carmichael.

 

sizzling sunset

a lava flow

autumn leaves

valentine’s day.

 

ginger slices

scrambled eggs

the orient

a spicy scent.

 

cotton candy

crested waves

drifting snow

foggy morn.

 

chocolate fudge

firewood

Hawaiian eyes

a glass of beer.

 

Each a color in its right

Yet not a rainbow in sight

Till each stands hand in hand

Across cerulean skies.

 

From Yellow Ginger Blossom

Frances Kakugawa

 

 

 

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HI H Pahoa storyTo people of Kapoho and Pahoa, the Hawai’i Herald generously used my story on Madame Pele’s visit to both these towns as their cover story. My open letter to Pahoa, and an excerpt from my Kapoho book may be of interest to you. Thank you. Yes, that’s me on the porch in Pahoa village during my last visit in September.

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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.

frances

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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

 

 

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