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Red posted the following on his FB. He’s too embarrassed to say he thoroughly enjoyed Paddington 2 and his pride won’t ask me to get Paddington 3 when it comes out.



Much as I abhor the practice of “interventions”, I was ambushed tonight by my family ( control-freak Frances and our conniving physician friend), forced metoo fashion to watch 1hour & 40min of Paddington 2. I’m loath to admit it has cured me. I’m no longer afflicted with dementia. Back to my being my old, normal self again– Red the Demented. Thanx frannie, thanx Carolyn (a perverse version of Stockholm Syndrome.) Arggggggggggh.

Directed by Paul King. With Ben Whishaw, Hugh Grant, Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins. Paddington, now happily settled with the Brown family and a popular member of the local community, picks up a series of odd jobs to buy the perfect present for his Aunt Lucy’s 100th birthday, only for the gift to be…

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The Sea Meeting Pele*


He explodes

Into a million


As her fiery tongue

Laps into

His undulating loins,

Sizzling and burning

Every ecstasy.

frances kakugawa

* Hawaiian legendary Goddess of Fire

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The on-going eruption in Hawaii brings back memories of how our village Kapoho was demolished by Kilauea Volcano. We evacuated to Pahoa  which became our second home,  and now Pahoa and it’s neighboring areas are being destroyed or threatened.  Thank you, readers, for asking about my memoir about Kapoho: Yes, Kapoho is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Watermark Publishing. My heart goes out to all the people in the Puna area. The book cover below shows the main part of our village. What was inspiring was how the villagers turned into philosophers and said, as my father did, that if Pele wants our house, she can have it. I hear this from some of the current  evacuees.  A stronger bond grew  among the people as each reached out to others. Kapoho still exists in the lives of its residents although Pele scattered us all over the country.

Kapoho cover

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Hawaii’s Eruption

We evacuated from Kapoho when the entire village was demolished by lava flows when I was 18. I have one advice to give: Tourists and those not affected by the flows, please stay out of the area. This is not the time for your cameras and your use of adjectives of how beautiful it is. Please return to your humanity. Stop climbing on people’s rooftops to take photos while the families are evacuating.
When we evacuated in Kapoho, the villagers had this code of honor where we all helped each other. The invaders came from out of Kapoho. This is happening again. Stop, please.

We also listened to the Civil Defense and the National Guards and evacuated in orderly fashion. We didn’t get political. We respected what the authorities told us to do.

( I just spoke to a friend in that area and I was so pleased to hear her say the same words my father had said: “If Pele (fire goddess) wants our house, she can have it.” )

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May Day in Hawaii

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OMG! It has happened.

I was on campus last week to speak on Haiku poetry in one of the classes.  I stopped the teacher who was accompanying me.

“Listen, “ I said. “It is soooo quiet. I don’t hear any human voices.”

We were not alone. There were students all around me but I heard no human voices. They were attached to their electronic devices, strolling toward their destination. It was like being in a zombie movie with shadows of human beings walking all around me in silence. I felt the creep.

At the coffee shop, I observed couples at a table, but couldn’t even eavesdrop to their conversations because there were none. Maybe I’m too late with this poem I’ve shared before:


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 speak 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 carry memories

Of your  grandma’s smiles

Each time you had said,

Hi Grandma. Can I help you?


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,

How did you become so dead?


From Dangerous Woman: Poetry for the Ageless by

frances h kakugawa






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ncpa award plaque

Whoever said award winners are humble people, lied.

Thank you, NCPA for the award Saturday night. It was also an honor to have been

on the program to read from Dangerous Woman..

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