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Archive for the ‘Sacramento Poetry Center’ Category

   This thing called life,  passion, feelings or  sexuality belongs to us, men and women of all ages.

We still see things we shouldn’t see –

We still feel things we shouldn’t feel-

We still hear things we shouldn’t hear-

We still taste grief, joy, fear,

In a world that vibrates

Through all of my senses.

We are not dead yet.

   Definition

Do not define me by age.

I am not Roosevelt, Truman,

Eisenhower, or JFK.

 

Do not define me by blue veins

bulging out on my spidery arms,

my gobbler, once a Hepburn, Audrey.

 

Do not define me by Rorschach,

On skin brushed with indelible ink.

A Pollock on the wall of MOMA.

 

Do not define me by a new dance step

Shuffling, shuffling –

My heels replaced by clogs.

 

I am

a rabbit out of a hat,

a three ring circus without net,

A whodunit without clues.

War and Peace, chapter one,

The second act.

 

I am

Without epilog.

from my Dangerous Women: Poetry for the Ageless

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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, the weaker the enemy became. Nothing has changed so we keep on writing.

Poets for Peace

Each time a poet
Puts pen to paper,
There is a sliver of hope
For Peace.

from my Dangerous Woman: Poetry for the Ageless

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During one of my poetry writing sessions with 3rd graders, this was my contribution. Not quite up to par with my students’ poetry.

 

A Poet’s Declaration

 

I am a star

In the Milky Way.

I am the crest

On emerald waves.

I am a dewdrop, crystal clear,

Capturing sunbeams in the morning mist.

 

I am that dust

On butterfly wings.

I am that song

Of a thousand strings.

I am that teardrop

You have kissed.

I am a poet!

I am! I am!

 

I am that rage

In the thunderstorm,

I am that image

Of a thousand form.

I am magic on each page.

I am a poet!

I am! I am!

 

   Frances H. Kakugawa

   From Teacher, You Look Like a Horse

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A Kapoho Christmas

 

It was Christmas without lights.

It was Christmas without indoor plumbing.

It was Christmas without carolers at the window

Muffed and warm under falling snow.

 

But there was Christmas.

 

A Christmas program at school

Where the Holy Night reenacted:

White tissue paper glued on spines of coconut  fronds

Shaped as angel wings and halos.

Long white robes, over bare feet.

 

Santa Claus with bagfuls of hard mixed candies

Ho ho hoed by the plantation manager,

His yearly holiday role in the village where he reigned.

Fathers  in Sunday best

After a hard day’s work in sugar cane fields.

Children in home-sewn dresses and shirts.

 

A fir tree from the hills,

Needles not lasting 24 hours.

Chains from construction paper,

Origami balls and strands of tin-foiled tinsel.

Kerosene  and gas lamps

Moving shadows on the walls.

 

It was not the Christmas of my dreams.

No carolers at the window,

Singing Silent Night, Holy Night.

No large presents under a real Christmas tree

No fireplaces and rooftop chimneys.

No blue-eyed  boy handing me hot chocolate.

 

For 18 years, the true Christmas

Lived in my head until Madame Pele*

Came to my rescue

And buried our kerosene lamps.

 

Finally, I said, running out fast

On unpaved roads

To the Christmas of my dreams.

* Fire of Goddess of Kilauea Volcanic Crater

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hi Everyone,

Just a reminder that Frances will be reading my poems from four of my books at Barnes & Noble on Saturday, Dec 9th at 11 a.m. I told her to read how and why I wrote these poems, too. She’ll be signing my books. ( I told Frances I need a new aloha shirt.)

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Hi Everyone,

I’ll be speaking at the National Council of Negro Women Alzheimer’s workshop on Nov 18th.

I’ll be addressing how I used poetry, language and story telling to help me turn the care of my mother into a legacy of dignity and compassion, and to know what it means to be human.

nov18

 

 

 

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3 me and eric

Thank you Eric of Barnes & Noble for the book signing yesterday for Dangerous Woman: Poetry for the Ageless. To everyone who gave up their Saturday morning: my book club members, past and present caregivers of my support group and my memoir writing group, neighbors , blog followers and cousins, my devoted hairdresser Tom, and friends who had no choice when I flashed the promo sheet in their faces, because of you  I can claim it was a great success. It feels good when book shops do not need to return unsold books. Thank you for your caring support. It meant a lot when Barbara was already reading the poem on page 12, saying how fantastic it was. Thank you Barbara. And to you who returned to purchase multiple copies, it did my heart good. Or this email I received before I returned home: “I love love love your book!!!!!! Your writing is amazing, there’s no other adjective good enough to describe!”

 

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