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Posts Tagged ‘Poetry’

I will be presenting a session called Capturing a Haiku Moment tomorrow for the International Ikebana Society. I’m reminded of  a similar session I did some years ago. Here’s hoping for a successful afternoon even if the children won’t be there.

Scheduled to “teach” a Haiku Poetry Workshop at the Asian Pacific  Heritage Celebration at the  Foster City Library, I prepped the room by taping haiku poems by Basho, Shiki and Shosan on the walls

Imagine my jolt when I walked into the room and saw children and adults. I was expecting an adult only audience. I took a deep breath and said, “I’m going to direct the next hour to the children, so adults, I hope you’ll be able to rise to their level.”  Laughter.

It was the children who responded, disregarding the age differences in the room.  They turned into artists and described each of the images created by the poems on the wall.  “Isn’t it amazing?” I asked, “that you are able to get such clear images in your head through three lines of words, 17 syllables. ”

We wrote a group haiku so they would experience the mental and creative process of writing a haiku.

The image was the most important, not the 17 syllables. Let’s get the image down first.

The lst draft had the following syllables 4-6-4. We returned to the draft and edited until we had the 5-7-5.  We had agreed to go for the 5-7-5 form.

The children gave the lst two lines and one adult male added the 3rd.

His line read: Sound of a truck.

A youngster added, “How about changing truck to “engine.” And so the discussion began between children and adults.

I quoted Basho’s “Learn of the pine from the pine.” Everyone wrote one or more haiku.

They understood Basho…capturing the ah-ness of the moment without metaphorical language.

They understood the preservation of a haiku moment by using words without personification.

They understood how we learn of the pine from the pine.

When I left, a 9 year old boy was sitting alone, working on his 3rd haiku. An adult, whose eyes had shone like the children, plan to form a haiku group.

The workshop supported my stance on writing and reading. Why do we attach age or grade level to reading? One never hears of  a 20 year old reader.  Yet, we say, he is reading at the 4th grade level. Why do we attach age to literature? Why do we call them children’s books?

Do we speak of a book for 30 year olds?

I’m often asked about the age level of my Wordsworth books. I merely say, “I’ve signed these books for unborn children to adults.”

In that room, there was no age.

( The latest study speak of  our congressmen and women conversing at the 10th grade level. Tenth graders, ask for an apology for  this insult.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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wm ww

Dear William Wordsworth,

A friend visited your home recently and brought back photos of where you wrote your poetry. I, too, am named Wordsworth and I, too, write poetry. Not in an English home such as yours, but in my little mouse hole in Hawaii. Yes, I am a mouse poet.

The 21st century must seem unimaginable compared to your life in the 1700-1800’s.

And yet, Mr. Wordsworth, our poems cross all centuries. Your poem below still speaks of the need to preserve our natural environment, otherwise what images will poets see on a lonely walk? Concrete?

”I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils.”

Contrary to your poem, my poems speak of preserving what was so natural in your century. Mr. Wordsworth, there will be no daffodils in our world soon.

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.

 

gachump!

gachump!

gachump!

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!

It is an honor bearing your name, Mr. Wordsworth.

Aloha,

Wordsworth the mouse poet.

 

 

 

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Hi Folks,

Do let me know if you plan to join us…fhk@francesk.org

GCW flyer

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I was privileged to be on two syndicated radio shows: on the Dave Nassaney and the Neil Haley Show. The first hour long interview on poetry and caregiving with Dave Nassaney  can be heard  on April 15 at this site  at 1:00 p.m.  Thank you.

http://healthylife.net/RadioShow/archiveDTD.htm

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Men in Disguise at Book Signings

 

“Did your husband write all these books?”

He was in the audience a few minutes ago.

Yet, here he stands in his three piece designer suit

Scanning book titles with furrowed brows.

 

“Idiot,” I didn’t say, “Would I be sitting here,

Two hours on my hemorrhoids

Signing someone else’s books

With carpal tunneled fingers?”

 

At Barnes & Noble in Hawaii,

The FBI disguised in a loud Aloha shirt,

A wilted orchid  lei, a camera strapped like a gun

Interrogates me.

“You wrote these books?”

Not satisfied, he grills me over hot coals again.

“You? You wrote all these books?”

 

Ready to turn the lamp on me,

He turns to his partner.

“Martha? Martha? Come on over.

She said she wrote all these books!”

Expecting the click of handcuffs,

Water boarding or worse,

I remain silent.

 

A man in his black robe

Sits on the Court bench.

The Advertiser news  story of my poetry book

Spread across his lap.

“A Japanese woman publishing poetry…

No Japanese man” he prophesized,

Is ever going to date her.

She crossed over into the Haole ( white) world

With this poetry book.”

 

Yes, Your Honor.

Japanese. Woman. Poet.

Guilty as charged.

 

Frances Kakugawa

 

 

 

 

 

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Becoming

 

Never laugh at the elders

Who meet at MacDonald’s in Hawaii

Never laugh at their animated conversations

On trips to Vegas and the best ramen at Hotel California.

 

Never laugh

Because eventually you will become them

As I have these cold winter months

After working out at the gym in early morn.

 

I walk across the street to La Bou

Stop by three or four tables

To exchange greetings with the regulars.

Monday through Friday, one conversation

Is a recording…

She speaks Spanish, I speak English…

We say Buenas Dias, Gracias and more Buenas Dias.

And smile without translation.

 

Are you that youngster at a table

Laughing at my limited vocabulary

Swearing you  will never succumb

To life of the elders

Who drink the same bitter coffee,

Morning after morning

Staring at the world that never changes

Through last month’s spider webs

Except for a tree that reminds me

The seasons of my life are alive and well.

frances kakugawa 1/22.19

 

 

I

 

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08-2018_Caregiving A dignifed LifeDrop by to say hello if you’re near the library.

 

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