By:  Kathryn Waddell Takara, Ph.D.


Hourly, daily, weekly, monthly
Yearly, through decades and centuries
The veterans remember in sickness and in health
Discipline, training, service, by land, air, and sea
Willingly offer their lives in exchange for our safety.

Hourly, daily, weekly, monthly
The veterans suffer to stand tall
in knowing their true dedication,
bravery, loyalty to our beloved great
to our fabulous families, and proud

Hourly, daily, weekly, monthly
The veterans know civilians love heroes
but don’t understand the sacrifices
the endless days and night of waiting
for the unknown
the unpredictable brutality of war and

Daily, hourly, weekly, monthly
The veterans understand true suffering
carrying heavy loads, plowing through
unfamiliar territory
through inclement weather, mud, and
enemy fire.

The remember toil, combat and death
all around

Daily, hourly, weekly, monthly
Veteran warriors gather together
to share a space and the unspoken terrors
of war
struggle with PTSD and the need to be
not appear weak and lose face in the
presence of danger
after they return home

Daily, hourly, weekly, through and
beyond time
Veterans carry the proud legacy
defenders of democracy, protectors of
lovers of freedom.

Daily, weekly, yearly we gather together
their commitment, their adventuresome
the belief in their mission
their courage and sacrifices for us
and all that we have, our way of life
Veterans, we salute you! daily, weekly,

ABC’s of Frank Marshall Davis, A Complex Man

By:  Kathryn Waddell Takara, Ph.D.

Ambitious, athletic, artistic activist, abandoned
Bold, blues, believer in Black history
Courageous, change, cultural, critic
Complex, cool, compassionate cynic
Dreamer, democratic, diverse, dynamic dare
Energetic, evocative. exposer of evil
Freedom, friendly, fearless, forward
Good, goal-oriented, gratifier
Historian, humanitarian
International, integrity, ideas, ideals
Justice, jazz
Kind, knowledgeable, kissable
Likeable lover, lips of labor, largely loyal
Mindful. meaningful, mutable music man
Noticeable, new beginnings, Nature
Open-minded, original thinker, outspoken, ostracized
Political, persevering, principled, patriotic, public
Quick, quixotic, questioning
Rare, romantic, race ruffler
Satiric, sincere, synchronicity, sports seeker
Teacher, traditional, trajectory timeless
Understanding, unconditional, unveiler
Vibrant, visible
Writer, witness, war, women, worthy
Xperience, xtraordinary
Youth, yearning for justice
Z champ!



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for Dr. Maya Angelou (1993) by:  Kathryn Waddell Takara, Ph.D.

Maya Angelou!
Like the cherished ohia tree
springs from a crack in the hard lava,
from a stringbean shrub
to a mighty and magnificent tree.
Echo, her voice.

Birthed in the harsh fires of destruction
a paradox of loveliness, a multitude of forms
surrounded in silence and wind torrents
expanding in creativity,
able to withstand nature’s extremes
through endurance, resilience, and strength.

Echo, “Life doesn’t frighten me at all.”

The ohia is polymorphouse, multifaceted,
inspirational to many.
Roots plunge deep,
entwining, stretching like a riverflow,
symbiotically connecting levels, places, environments, ancestors, people–
nutrients all.

Echo, “You can never leave home.”

The ohia, sanctified
for healing , building, beauty,
famed in legend and chant
refuses to be transplanted easily.
Song of survival moaning
in the winds currents of long ago now.

Echo, “I shall not be moved.”


Maya Angelou!
Like the grace of the red lehua flower
conspicuous in solitary beauty,
surrounded by a court of jade leaves
and cultural values.
At home in the rarified atmosphere of volcanic conditions,
at home equally in the lowlands by the sea,
Conceived by sparseness
a sacred creation amidst hardened fields of lava
nurtured by rain rivers, fire rocks, buckets of chilling mist,
cherished like a queen in a native Hawaiian forest.
From a distance,
your lacey fringes swaying in the windy rains
belie the intricate detail
of your softness.

Echo, “And we are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike.”

You blossom,
and come the birds
seeking your nectar.
The noble i`iwi, like royalty,
chooses your crown to rest, to build a nest,
chooses your sweet ambrosia of procreation
for cross pollination.
He perches attentively in red feathered regalia
with kingly black beak, wings, and piercing eyes,
open to a passionate need.

Echo, “Touch me Life, not softly.”

The lehua calls, the i`iwi responds,
fearless, claiming the sky and the virgin earth,
a vibrant silhouette on a changing horizon,
a fragrance carried out to sea on the breeze,
a presence of faith,
a celebration of hope, freedom, humanity.

Echo, “And still I rise.”

Maya Angelou,
in the dawn of her day,
opportunity was slow in coming.
But like the ohia lehua, she rises above the clouds
out of the barren lava,
and gives us blossoms of intimate words,
and hope which heals like night’s first star
or a moon nearly full
in a summer Hawaiian sky.

Poem previously published in my book:  Tourmalines:  Beyond the Ebony Portal