May 14, 2019

For some strange reason I decided to clean out/consolidate my book shelves. While doing so, I found the following and decided to share it. The author is unknown.
The following poem was circulated by a man at the poor peoples rally in Old Town – Albuquerque – New Mexico, and was later printed in “El Papel”
I was hungry
   and you formed a humanities club
   and discussed my hunger. Thank you.
I was imprisoned
   and you crept off
   to your chapel in the cellar
   and prayed for my release.
I was naked and in your mind
   you debated the morality of my appearance.
I was sick
   and you knelt and thanked God for your health.
I was homeless
   and you preached to me
   of the spiritual shelter of God.
I was lonely
   and you left me alone
   to pray for me.
You seem so holy
   so close to God
But I am still hungry
    and lonely
    and cold
So where have your prayers gone?
   What have they done?
What does it profit a man
   to page through his book of prayers
   when the rest of the world is crying for his help.

April 28, 2019

Our world is broken. Not just cracked or breaking but broken. We see this in the increased shootings at places of worship. We see this when a man sworn to protect the public tazes a child. We see this when someone shoots into a car, not knowing who is inside. We see this when a driver plows into a group of people because some of them are of a different nationality. We see this when a child dies in its crib inside a house because someone shooots at the house from outside.
This realization came while watching the Merrie Monarch celebration at the end of April 2019. Watching the protocol, the respect paid to those representing the royal couple, hearing the chants, watching the hula performances honoring the land (`aina), the ancestors, the gods and goddesses. And I realized that we have, as a people, walked away from our spiritual center. As our world is broken, we are broken. We have allowed people with no compassion, no heart, no soul to rule us, to dictate to us, to lie to us and we’ve stood back and done nothing.
Now, I’m not talking about one spirituality; there are many. But collectively I believe they come from one Source, neither Christian nor Jew, Buddhist nor Hindu, Zoroastrian nor Islamic. Or any of the other spiritual practices around the world. We have let our spirituality be impacted by greed, by radicals who believe their way is the only way and everyone else should suffer for not believing in their way. We have even let these others tell us what we should and should not believe. And we listen.
The problem is there is no easy way to fix this. We have walked too far away from who we once were. Or have we? Have we the ability to look back and recover where we came from, what our ancestors taught us about living in this world? And again, I’m not talking about one race but the ancestors of our many races. Our combined humanity.
Can we repair what is so severely broken?
I don’t have the answer. It’s not that simple. But each of us in a way has part of the answer, part of the understanding that can begin the healing process.
If we would only reach inside and listen.

JANUARY 23, 2019

We are living in a time of such turmoil. Now I’m aware that others, in generations past, can and did write the same thing. Many saw it as the world coming to an end as foretold in the Bible. Others saw it as a time for reformation–I think of Martin Luther, Hiawatha, Tenskwatewa (the Shawnee Prophet, brother of Tecumseh), Wovoka, Martin Luther King Jr. All saw turmoil, either in the church, their country or their world. Some saw it in all three.
I think of this time as a time of Growth. We need to listen to these Reformers, study what they’re saying. But most of all we need to Grow from these experiences.
The issues in the White House did not happen overnight and they’re certainly keeping our country divided while injuring so many families. The economy has caused many to live from paycheck to paycheck and to fear for their very lives and the lives of their children. As someone who is retired and living on social security after the pension we counted on to help out was eaten up by medical insurance, I can understand their fears. I suspect that the food that workers have in their cupboards is rapidly diminishing if not already gone. Their savings are being eaten up (pun intended) and soon, if this shut-down doesn’t end, there will be no place to turn.
So how do we start? First, by growing our own food. A packet of seeds doesn’t cost that much and will yield much more. Many here are starting to see the necessity of this and are creating gardens in their yards or on shared vacant lots. Remember hearing about Victory Gardens?
Budget, a bad word to many but a necessary one. Learn to do without the big fancy car, dinner out every week. Shop at discount stores, farmer’s markets (which benefit you and the farmer), sharing (has your child outgrown his or her clothes; pass them on to a child who could use them–don’t sell them on facebook unless you need the money for your family).
Save. What you have at the end of the month, after growing your own food and budgeting, can be put away for emergencies. And they will come. Early in our marriage my husband’s employer went on strike and the city of Seattle basically shut down (“Will the last person to leave turn out the lights?”). We found ourselves with one small child and one on the way. Unemployment and scavenging the beach, as well as odd jobs, got us through until his company started hiring again; he was first in line.
If you’re not affected now, prepare for the day when you will be, not if but when. It will happen. Be ready.

November 21, 2018

Yesterday I shared a post on Facebook, one which refers to an incident that took place on a reservation in North Dakota, November 20, 2016. The rest of the post is as follows:

“November 20, 2016, the night water protectors came under attack with water cannon in -20 below zero weather. This was a night many water protectors were injured by the militarized Morton, Dane, Cass country sheriff along with North Dakota State police and hired mercenaries of Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) and Energy Transfer Partner. 

“This is a day which will live on forever as militarized police attacked unarmed water protectors in the United States of America in subzero (-0) weather. Many people injuries ranged from being shot with rubber bullets on the water protectors back, hands, head, eye, and arm injuries. Many of the water protectors will never have full use of their body parts as they are maimed forever by rubber bullets and gas grenade.


“The militarized dressed sheriff, state police, and mercenaries were never charged with the use of deadly force against unarmed water protectors. The procedures prescribed for the use of deadly force has policies and procedures while shooting rubber bullets against people. Policies and procedures prescribed “Do Not Aim At Head or Genital Region.” Both the head and genital region were shot by the militarized dressed sheriff, state police and mercenaries. Clearly a violation of departmental policies and procedures.

“Federal lawsuits must be filed against those who injured unarmed water protectors as well as World Court Charges against Human Right Charges.

“May we laid tobacco this evening at approximately 7 pm (CST) when this attacked started on our water protectors on that fateful evening of November 20, 2016.

We Will Never Forget!

“=->>>—- Kenny —-.>

Today I received a message from my cousin Herb, who was there when this happened. His father and mine were first cousins and Herb, his wife Allane and Eric and I have become good friends as well as family.
In response to this post, he commented, “The night when the government did everything they could to escalate it to the next level. We came with Prayer and Song and stood our ground.”
A mutual friend and family member added this: “And we carried the wounded for many hours and then went back to the bridge the next morning (7:00am) and stood at the bridge when they tried to take it.”
And my cousin asked me, “Look at the wire and the concrete barriers. Does this remind you of another place that is happening Now?”
And yes, it does. Today Trump has given our troops, hiding behind the barbed wire on our southern border, orders to shoot anyone who tries to cross. I suppose this means no exceptions, including children.
And I asked Herb, “God, what is going on with our country?” I have only one answer: Trump.
Wake up America, or DAPL might happen in your back yard too.

NOVEMBER 12, 2018

Well, the Midterms are almost over. Florida is still recounting ballots so it’s not over till it’s over. Some of the candidates I supported won; some of them lost. That’s the name of the game. I only hope the winners will do what they promised or else it will be just the same old political run-around elections seem to bring out.

And so we carry on. Kaua’i had the highest voter turn-out in the state, and for that I’m proud. We’re a small island, between 65,000 and 70,000total population but we care about what happens in our county, our state and our country. And we’re willing to stand up and be counted. We’re willing to stand on street corners in the pouring rain to make our voices heard. I’ve done it.

Now that the politicking is over, we’re watching the dreadful fires in California and grieving for those who have lost their homes and livelihoods. Watching my neighbor’s house burn down last February and feeling their pain over pets lost and belongings destroyed, I empathize more with the residents than I used to. Every time we drive down the road I see the hole in our neighborhood that used to be a family’s home and I feel a deep sense of loss.

Then the President has the nerve to blame the California fires on poor management at the state level. There are no words. That’s like blaming my neighbors for not taking proper care of their home and causing the fire. NOT! They did everything humanly possible to keep their home safe. The homeowners in California did everything humanly possible to keep their homes safe. Brush around their houses was cleared out, fire alarms checked, propane tanks properly stored. And still the fires happened. The firefighters on Kaua`i came back long after the neighbor’s fire was out to check for hot spots, just like the firefighters in California are doing. Poor management had nothing to do with any of it.

So now that the Midterms are over it’s time to gear up for the 2020 elections. It’s time to fight for our country against those who would bring it down. Those who blame others for what is obviously their fault. It’s time to write, to speak out and let our voices be heard. We can make a difference. It’s time.

OCTOBER 30, 2018

It is so hard to know what to write when you’re living in a world turned upside-down. And that’s what I feel is going on.

I grew up being taught that when you need help, go to a policeman. But now you might be tazed if you try or if your skin is the “wrong” color shot and killed.

I was taught that the government worked in the people’s best interest and since I’m a citizen it’s working in my best interest. But I don’t think it’s in my best interest to take away freedom from those only trying to build new lives in my country, to call media reports “fake news” when they’re writing the truth.

I was taught that we live in a country where we are free to speak without fear of retribution, free to write without fear of dire consequences. Now I feel that the words I write on my computer sitting at my desk are read by those who would imprison me for writing them, that no matter where I may be I’m being watched by hidden cameras.

Paranoid? Yes, but that is what this government is causing us to become.

Fearful? Yes, but that is what’s happening when you fear gathering for worship, a concert, a shopping trip, school.

I know that good people outnumber the bad in our country. I have to believe that. I hear of Muslims taking up a collection to help a small Jewish synagogue that’s lost 11 members of its congregation to an anti-Semitic gunman. I witness people leaving their homes, their jobs, to help others who have lost their homes, their jobs to hurricanes and fires. I see people offering a hand to help others up.

But there are still those days when I think we as the human race are spinning out of control. And on those days I can only shout, “Stop the world! I want to get off!!”

AUGUST 27, 2018

Hurricane LaneThis photo by Schar Freeman shows the outer edge of Hurricane Lane as it approaches Kaua’i.

This is pretty much a rough draft but deals, in a way, with Hurricane Lane which is affecting our island. I thought it made a great title for a poem!


Hurricane Lane is a long path
And it is a short path.
It runs smooth and straight
It is filled with twists and turns.
It is gentle and calm
Until a gust of wind blows you off-course.
Challenged, you search for the path
Sometimes finding it
Stretching before you smoothly
But sometimed not,
Finding only an ending and nothing more.

You start on this path
Pushed from a dark safe place
You don’t choose which path to follow
It’s chosen for you
even so you follow it to the end
You can do nothing else.
You may trip over a rock or two,
Find the path muddy or spread with gravel
Paved or mushy and rough
But you continue on
until the path comes to its end.