Posts Tagged ‘Sunflowers’

sunflowersI love it when there’s that special one who “listens to its own little drummer.” Note that sunflower facing away from the sun.

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Dear Tyler of Montana:

I planted those seeds you sent me and look how they’re growing. Every morning I think of you when I awake to each  plant reaching a few more inches closer to our California sun.


Dear Evan of  Hawaii:

How dost your sunflowers grow? It won’t be long before  our sunflowers will all be in bloom, Tyler’s, yours and mine..All under one hot summer sun.

Wheeeee!sunflower before bloom

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Evan and seeds

Dear Tyler of Montana,

Evan here is in Hawaii and he’s planting the sunflower seeds you sent me. He told his mom that he needs to talk to the seeds to give them extra CO2. A few days later he asked his mom to yell at the seeds to help them grow. He doesn’t like to yell at people and things so would she do that for him? A few days later, the seeds all popped. He is so excited. My friend Red told him, sunflower seeds are not deaf and they can hear whispers. My sunflowers are over 5 feet high in Sacramento, Tyler.

I wrote this poem and it’s not about you or Evan. It’s about all those children who never planted a sunflower seed.  You both hold a very special place in my heart.


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 hand

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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Conversation at Trader Joe’s, Sacramento

Woman at check out: Are you Chinese? Malaysian?

Me: Japanese

Woman put her two hands together, bowed  and said, “Ah, Arigato!

 Are you from Japan?”

Me: No, born and raised in Hawaii.

Woman: Your English is very good.

Me: Thank you.

A few days later:

A large box  postmarked Montana, arrived. Inside, three very large sunflowers, all seeded, ready for

planting. This complete stranger had read of my blog story of  my sunflowers being stolen this past summer. She

told the story to her 5 year old grandson who responded with shock that someone would steal sunflowers. He is

known as the sunflower farmer and delivers his seeded sunflowers in his wagon to neighbors, to be shared with

birds. He told his grandmother, “Will you send sunflowers to that lady in California?” He reminded her throughout

summer, “Did you send the sunflowers to that lady in California?” She finally did.


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