2012 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 10

Slept in a little this morning, but I’m ready to go now. Click here for the Day 10 thread in the forum.

Today’s prompt comes to us from Linda Hofke.

Here’s Linda’s prompt: Since we have people all over the world (myself included) why not do a “use a foreign word” in the title of your poem or in your poem. Since many English words we use originated in other languages, it shouldn’t be too hard. Examples would be commonly known words or phrases such as (in German) Guten Tag and angst, (in Italian) Arrivederci and Amore, (in French) a la carte, a la mode, au contrairea, (in Spanish) loco, siesta, or guacamole.

Robert’s attempt at a Foreign Word Poem:


I’m always a sucker for words that rhyme with you
like vous, nous, et tu. It is a beautiful view
when two young adults both woo on the avenue–
the clue is in how few folks use the word salut.


Thank you, Linda, for the prompt–c’est magnifique! Click here to learn more about Linda.

Here’s a link to the Day 10 thread in the WD Forum.


Follow me on Twitter @robertleebrewer


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114 thoughts on “2012 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 10

  1. Karen H. Phillips

    Day 10
    Prompt: Use a foreign word in poem title

    Maison des

    Sounds so much sweeter
    than “house of.”
    Mon Maison c’est grand.
    My house is grand.
    It doesn’t have the same ring.
    Better than casa,
    maison’s my name of choice for my dwelling.

  2. foodpoet

    Déjà Vu

    Watching mirror eyes
    Dopplerganger waiting
    To take my place
    I remember what never happened.
    Life in glass, reflection silent
    In the watching
    Life, ideas stir.

    I sift thought,
    Hoping for a magnum opus
    But am stuck with déjà Vu lines.

  3. Richard Fenwick

    Koshka der Wunderkat

    She trods across the open case
    of clothes, inspecting all the folds,
    the belts, slapping at the flaps
    as if they’ll run away like mice.

    She knows the pattern, that soon
    I’ll zip the case and she’ll be
    forced into the pink cat cage,

    hoping the mice in her mind
    don’t see the humility, how she
    has to crouch down, to bow
    for the ride to her sitter’s house,

    growling at them on the ride,
    like a curled up leopard, asleep
    beneath the baobab trees.

  4. Paoos69


    The pleasure of cuddling up
    In the middle of the afternoon
    While the world works
    A tradition fast losing its glory

    When the sun is high in the sky
    While the highways are busy
    Some countries carry the banner
    Of a siesta cozy

    Where I grew up it was a norm
    Of a heavy lunch preceding a nap
    I enjoyed it as a kid
    Sleeping next to my grandfather
    In the middle of the afternoon
    His lips fluttering
    Amidst the snores

    Promptly at three, tea was made
    Boiled and brewed
    Served with sugar and savory
    On the table laid

    Post siesta felt like re-birth
    Full of zeal and enthusiasm
    Some like it some not
    Just another lurking chasm

  5. po

    Teaching His Grandson Polish

    Grandpa was trying to teach his grandson Charles how to say
    “Good day, how are you?” in Polish. We were stationed in

    Virginia and the Chinn Center was the local library. I found
    out one of the “proper” librarians I admired was from

    Poland. Charles was with me and I introduced him and said he
    could say a few words in Polish. When she asked him to say

    something he stood up proudly and shouted, “Dupa!” A word
    he picked up from his Grandmother. Thankfully she laughed.

  6. JRSimmang

    MCM Whenever,

    The winter wasn’t nearly that cold that year
    as it had been the previous.
    This year, the snow melted at half-past sunrise.
    He, with his meaty fingers, and
    her, with her bony knuckles,
    woke up with the cloudy fog of
    and the slowly dying embers of the cooking fire
    set in the heart not long
    before both of them reached adulthood.
    This flame,
    these embers,
    have never tasted defeat.
    Each stone is blacker than the one before it
    and so shall it forever remain.
    They get up with the singular notion that
    coffee is the answer to all their troubles.
    And for them, it is.
    they shall be the ones who wake the rooster.
    Within a few moments, the
    dreary dawn is shaken
    from their eyes,
    and they begin their work.

    She always wondered what it was
    she was supposed to do.
    He rode out into the back 40,
    wrangled, and lifted
    all the heavy things.
    She cooked.
    In a way, that’s what she has done
    and it has made them both happy.
    They ride on together in a small
    knowing that this will last straight on into the
    MCM Whenever.

  7. Yolee

    Hablamos Espanol

    At a local high school, on Thursday Nights,
    a charity assists people by giving medical
    attention. My role is to translate Spanish
    to English, (patients) English to Spanish
    (doctors & nurses. Sometimes, I get patients
    from registration to diagnosis to check out.

    I was surprised is the warmest way
    when one lady with a non-threatening
    condition hugged me just before she vanished
    behind the door that opened to the parking lot.

    Her gratitude, in the universal embrace,
    though it was doctors and nurses with years
    of schooling, and perhaps Goliath student
    loans, whom volunteered to promote
    wellness, spoke silently, yet, at full volume.

    Language draws the voice of the heart
    to state its condition, it draws thoughts
    to mindful collaboration. I think about
    when I get a pedicure, the aestheticians
    go on and on in a foreign language.
    Sometimes laughter interrupts the hum
    of business . And I do okay not knowing
    what is being alleged in their dialect.

    It is none of my business even if they look
    my way with eyes that tease my lack
    of understanding. Theirs is a connection
    that excludes me. Sometimes that kind
    of knowing will get you a hug from a total
    stranger, who isn’t strange at all.

  8. Eleanore D. Trupkiewicz

    Foreign Word

    The first time he said those
    words to me, like lyrical
    raindrops dancing off his
    tongue and into my heart,
    I saw love measured in
    rubies and emeralds, sun-
    lit beauties in cascading
    piles, the first time he
    caught me when I slipped
    and held my elbows until
    I was steady again and
    dipped his head when I
    murmured my breathless
    thanks and whispered
    back, “Mon plaisir.”

  9. sonja j

    Mirabile Dictu

    Marvelous, it really is marvelous the way
    the tea leaves writhe in the boiling water,
    twisting and arcing, then sinking to settle
    on the bottom like teapot leviathans. She
    keeps a clear glass vessel just to view it,
    instead of the everyday earthenware pot.
    Now there is this new fancy, dried flowers
    put in with the tea, so that we can watch
    a wreath of jasmine unfurling, and sweet
    rose petal scent mixes with tangy steam.
    Calendula opens its yellow face, lavender
    buds pop up the length of their stem, one
    after the next. Last week, she invited over
    a Scottish friend, and for him a red thistle
    bloomed, in all its Caledonian glory. She
    asks if there is anything more wonderful
    than the agony of the leaves, and I find
    myself with nothing to say.

  10. Sally Jadlow

    Deja Vus

    I pull into an unfamiliar circular brick drive.
    I’ve been here before—
    in a dream.
    Instead of a bus, I’m driving a car.
    Not in Israel, but in my hometown.

    A strange feeling envelopes me.
    Why is this scene so similar?
    Why does it evoke such emotion?
    Perhaps another dream on a future day
    will explain the mystery.

  11. Mike Bayles

    Je Suis Viviant (I am Alive.)

    This appointed day I greet
    with meditation
    and the breath I keep.
    Many friends await me,
    as I await them,
    conversations and discussions
    about life and its meanings.
    I am a heartbeat
    I am a breath
    I am flesh,
    a spirit
    and more.
    While in gratitude
    I take a moment
    to contemplate the breadth
    of the life I know.

  12. Mike Bayles

    Del Sol

    light through window
    awakening day spirits
    stirring of light
    promises to keep
    friends I greet
    keep to promises
    light of stirring
    spirits day awakening
    window through light

  13. shellaysm

    “French Femme Fatale”

    The French femme fatale dressed in haute couture,
    a wild melange of eau de toilette and macramé.
    She rendezvoused with the avant-garde
    (never the bourgeoisie!)

    With carte blanche and a laissez-faire approach,
    she drove a creme de la creme auto
    Nothing blasé, just
    whatever she found to be nouveau

    One night, after circling the cul-de-sac,
    she attended a soirée,
    ate too many croissant,
    escargot hors d’oeuvres and creme brûlée.

    Sipping Pinot noir, she felt deja vu
    then overcome with sudden malaise,
    She said, “C’est la vie!”
    and rested upon a nearby chaise.

  14. Jane Shlensky

    This site has treated me like a foreign agent at its door today. Over an hour of trying to post. If they take, there are two below, then off I go to sleep.

    Eating the World

    Pasta, matzoh, caviar,
    Vodka, sushi, you’re my star,
    Shining culinary, full,
    Upon a world so edible.

    Moo goo gai pan, snitzel, flan
    you eat the worlds like kneading pa’an;
    you savor subtle turns of phrase
    while shoveling in rich cassoulets.

    Some immigrants may miss their spice-y
    Additives to all things rice-y
    But you eat cultures sweet or savory,
    my hungry Russian, moy radnoy.


    Bu Zhidao

    He comes from a small village,
    the only student among them
    to go to university to learn English.

    Blushing redder with every word,
    he finally says the words that hurt him,
    Wo bu zhidao. Wode Yinyu bu hao.
    I don’t know. My English is not good.

    Finally I can use the Chinese I’ve been learning
    in my spare time and Saturday classes.
    Hao-de. Wode Hanyu (Chinese) bu hao.

    Then he smiles and we are like baby birds
    learning to tweet in chickadee and mourning dove,
    both of us linguistic nestlings,
    longing to take wing.

  15. seingraham


    He wasn’t one of the easily profiled
    Didn’t start out harming small animals
    For instance, making the neigbourhood
    Cats disappear at random intervals
    Or worse, turn up in various states
    Of butchery, evidence of a sadistic mind
    Developing – no, the evolution of his cruelty
    Was a subtler shade, not something even
    He was aware of until well into his twenties
    When he’d begun to think he might actually
    Be a sadist but he didn’t seek out the pleasure
    Of others’ misfortune or pain – just enjoyed it
    It was a good day when he discovered
    The Germans had a word for it, “schadenfreude”
    It felt good on his tongue, sat well in his mind.

  16. Jacqueline Hallenbeck


    I say it when you sneeze
    or when making a toast.
    I pray for it ‘most every night,
    when in need, or just because.

    It’s the only thing that makes you rich.
    The ones who lack it, crave it.
    If you don’t take care of it enough…
    Hasta la vista, baby!

  17. bluerabbit47

    Arroyo Seco

    The riverbed,
    usually dry
    from a canyon
    in the
    Sierra Madre
    Its boulder-choked
    bed lies
    between bedroom
    on land
    once crossed
    by Spanish
    padres visiting
    Now, after fires,
    when floods
    race down
    scantily forested
    slopes and check
    dams fail,
    the channel
    is choked
    with roiling
    waters. That
    is the way
    of Alta
    not enough,
    and other times,
    far too much.
    If you don’t
    watch out,
    it can wash
    you away.


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