Frances Kakugawa (2012 Poem In Your Pocket)

Asleep at the Feet of King Kamehameha

by Capt. Jeff Shattuck

O homeless,
Asleep at the feet
of others
Asleep at the feet
of so called success
frozen in time.

What happened?
Do you wish to draw power
from the past?
To set matters right
in your life?

Would a gift of money
counterwise contribute
To your success?

The passerbys,
Have they learned of your plight?

Do they know of who you are?
my voice expelled, and yet you are
as motionless as the stone.

Your silence describes all,
What will you become tomorrow,
After the osmosis of power?

Will history give you a gift
she has not given to me?

I have worked hard all my life
And never received such.
Perhaps you will,
And thus level the field.

So perhaps,
eye to eye,
on your feet,
we will speak tomorrow.

As a creative technologist, designer, author and illustrator, Capt. Jeff has created billboards to broadcast commercials to corporate identities, formed four corporations, three of which (Creative Intelligence, Inc., Shattuck Marine, Inc., Ocean Tiger, Inc.), he takes a seat on the board of directors. An author and media outlet contributor, Jeff is pleased to be able to contribute to the body of knowledge that belongs to every person now and in the future. Mostly he loves writing and illustrating his childrens books. Visit him on


Dusk at Kauaʻi Surf

by Frances Kakugawa

A sadness falls over me

As man’s torches

Replace the sun

Beyond the red mountains.

A giant Japanese fan

Ripples out in circlets

Around a mallard

As she dips her head

Into her wings

To nibble a bug

On the quiet pond.

Quietly the fan disintegrates

To the motor boat ripples

Trailing each mallard

Across the lake to shore.


Overnight Guest

by Frances Kakugawa

i am an overnight guest
 in their brand new home,
  both girls, instead of pulling straws
   sleep with me
    on a king-sized bed
     with me sandwiched in the middle.

giggles, giggles, betwixt the sheets,
 ”go to sleep!” “stop poking me!”
  bring more giggles
   but even giggles soon get sleepy.

brandi is sound asleep on my right,
 nicole on my left slide to the edge,
  proclaiming, “I love to sleep near the edge.”

i curve one arm around nicole,
 holding her in before
  she falls like icarus
   into total darknness.

i lay awake, thinking of life,
 how some of us live near the edge
  taking risks, pursuing dreams, living
   outside of little white boxes,
    often teetering on one foot.

only in childhood do we know,
 someone’s arm is always there,
  holding us in from over the edge.

and this is how it ought to be
 when we are young and trusting
  in our parents’ home.

A local author and poet, Frances H. Kakugawa’s works include Kapoho, Mosaic Moon, and Wordsworth Dances the Waltz. She received a Ka Palapala Poʻokela Award for her keiki book Wordsworth the Poet.

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