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Archive for the ‘Peace’ Category

When I was in high school, Russia and Communism were taboo subjects; they were feared into silence.  One day I read where poets were the most feared in Russia and my passion for poetry empowered me and I became less and less fearful as I kept on writing. I felt the more poetry I read and wrote, I weaker the enemy became.

Poets for Peace

Each time a poet

Puts pen to paper,

There is a sliver of hope

For Peace.

from my forth coming poetry book: Dangerous Woman….

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http://sacb.ee/8EMK

Do check out my story in the Sacramento Bee that came out today in the Forum Section.

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Thank you James Lee Jobe for posting these two poems on your blog.

When Will I Know Peace?

When will I know Peace?
“She is at Peace,” you said
When my mother died.
Is that the only way I will know Peace?
When I am dead?

You gave me, briefly,
A hummingbird’s sip
On D Day in 1941.
1953 after the Korean War.
The Vietnam War: 1975

I want to taste it, lick it, swallow it
Like chocolate ice-cream in August.
Dripping down my chin, soaking my skin.
I want to hear it, I want to hear it.

What is the sound of Peace?

I want to bathe in it, feel  it wrap around me
Wet silk against skin
In three digit heat.
I don’t want  it after I’m stiff and dead.

I want Peace now.

NO! I want Peace now.
I want to see it on children’s faces
All over the world.

— Frances H Kakugawa

peacepix
Voice from the Unborn

You promised me, eons ago,
A world, free of battlefields, soldiers, children
Abandoned  in fear and hunger.
You offered me Hope, again and again.
A world, you said, where we will stand
Hand in hand, beyond  color, religion, gender, age,
One race. One humanity.

You promised me a world
Free of poison in oceans, earth and air.
“You  are the future”, you told me,
“Come and be born in this world I will
Create  for  you.”

My brothers and sisters who believed you
Are now old men and women, and they wait.
They wait.

Listen to my voice, your unborn child.

Eons ago, you sliced the chrysanthemum
Off  its stalk and left it
Naked in the sun.

Over the ashes of Hiroshima,
Our victory was hailed.
Beneath that, my ancestors lay buried.

Stop using me, your unborn child
For promises and meaningless  rhetoric.
The future is now.  I can’t wait any longer.
The future is now.  I want to be  born.
Today.

– Frances Kakugawa

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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.

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To President Obama in Hiroshima and candidates promising a better world…this is

from the children :

 

Voice from the Unborn

You promised me, eons ago,

A world, free of battlefields, soldiers, children

Abandoned  in fear and hunger.

You offered me Hope, again and again.

A world, you said, where we will stand

Hand in hand, beyond  color, religion, gender, age,

One race. One humanity.

 

You promised me a world

Free of poison in oceans, earth and air.

“You  are the future”, you told me,

“Come and be born in this world I will

Create  for  you.”

 

My brothers and sisters who believed you

Are now old men and women, and they wait.

They wait.

 

Listen to my voice, your unborn child.

 

Eons ago, you sliced the chrysanthemum

Off  its stalk and left it

Naked in the sun.

 

Over the ashes of Hiroshima,

Our victory was hailed.

Beneath that, my ancestors lay buried.

 

Stop using me, your unborn child

For promises and meaningless  rhetoric.

The future is now.  I can’t wait any longer.

The future is now.  I want to be  born.

Today.

©Frances  Kakugawa

 

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Racism: Nothing’s changed or Has It?

I was a young teacher in Jackson, Michigan in the 60’s. I lived with my high school pen pal and her family for a whole year. One weekend I drove to Mansfield, Ohio to visit the parents of my kid brother’s pen pal.

 

They had exchanged a few letters in the elementary grades but unlike me, that letter writing stopped after a few months. When the eruption began to destroy our village Kapoho, the pen pal’s mother wrote: “I saw Kapoho in Life Magazine. Will someone please get in touch with me to say you are all right. My son was a pen pal of Albert.” Her letter found us in the small plantation town where we had evacuated to and found residence.

My brother wasn’t interested so I began to correspond with her.

I spent a weekend in their home in Ohio. She invited friends and family to show me off.

Throughout the weekend, I heard the N word over and over as they discussed various parts of their city. Finally I asked, “ Why am I welcomed here when I’m not white?”

“Oh,” she explained. “You’re not black so you’re all right.”

I looked at them and felt racism would always be with us. It was in their kitchen that I realized the depth and culture of racism. I knew that if they sat me down and tried to indoctrinate me into sharing their views about color, they would fail. They would never turn me into the kind of racist they were. So in reverse, nor would I be able to change their views on racism. Both of our views were so deeply in-bedded in us,what were the chances of change?  I speak of the real change, not those imposed by law. It’s a lost cause, I said, and drove back to Jackson, never to return again.

I hope my views can be contradicted by others. Would like to hear from people who will share their own experiences to prove how wrong I was in that kitchen in Ohio.

 

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