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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.

  18. Walt Wojtanik


    Brothers of misfortune,
    neither quite composed,
    one a dolt for clumsy sake,
    the other indisposed.
    Schlemiel can’t seem to
    chew gum and walk there:
    he falls on Schlemazel,
    get’s gum in his hair!

  19. julie e.


    a hundred years ago in a high school German
    class I had a teacher with one squiggy eye who
    always caught me passing notes because I could-
    n’t tell where she was looking and I don’t know if
    it’s that I was passing notes and not paying atten-
    tion but all I can really remember is the dialogue
    we learned by rote, “Gooten tog, Louisa, vee gates”
    and “ooh aye leh biblioteck” or wait that second one
    might be French because I also took a French class
    from a lady I don’t remember at all, guess she didn’t
    have a squiggy eye and all I remember from that
    class was the dialogue we learned by rote, so it all
    runs together or I don’t know maybe I was passing
    notes in that class too. At any rate, I try to avoid
    speaking foreign languages because people tend
    to laugh at the very American way I say things
    though even across the country here in America I
    can’t understand my Southern cousin on the phone
    because her English is not my English and I get
    all flustered when I try to sort out all the extra vow-
    els and syllables we don’t use here in California be-
    cause she might as well be saying “Gooten tog,
    Louisa, vee gates, ooh aye leh biblioteck?” for as
    well as I can understand her, and then there’s the
    Queen’s English my British son in-law speaks
    and really when he was first dating my daughter
    and I’d talk to him on the phone I’d just be all “uh
    huh!” and “oh?” at hopefully appropriate times be-
    cause honestly it didn’t sound like any “English”
    I’d ever heard and then I have another son-in-law
    from Mexico and he laughs when I say the names
    of the Mexican foods I eat like ONchiladas or kaysa-
    deeyas or the “con kaysah” cheese I put on my tortil-
    la chips (and don’t even get me started on the word
    ‘tortilla’) and then I learned to say “shee shee” to the
    Chinese man who gave me a massage because it
    means Thank you but then I giggled and kind of ru-
    ined the moment so mostly I stick to gesturing and
    just try to avoid the whole thing because everybody
    should just learn to speak American, shouldn’t they?

  20. Walt Wojtanik


    Oh, what a night!
    The stars slip into the background
    you have found a new vision to view.
    The glow of this brilliant evening sky
    draws you as if pulling upon the tides,
    an ebb and flow of emotions thrills.
    It stands still, painted on the black velvet night,
    this beautiful moon obsessed..
    Oh, what a night, Bella Luna!

  21. JoAnn Jordan

    I hope my phrase is grammatically correct in French. It has been over thirty years since I took French classes.

    Bons Mots Avec Mon Amis

    When there is trouble,
    When I am feeling undone,
    Good words with my friends
    Can set me back on the path
    Of true joy and happiness.

    My friends are treasure
    Given me by gracious God
    To inspire and lift
    Me from the desolate depths
    Of deepest darkest despair.

    We may be distant,
    Not knowing each other well,
    But we bridge the space
    With loving kindness, friendship,
    That suits our needs very well.

    I can often share
    Bons mots avec mon amis
    About anything
    I choose and they will answer
    Giving their good opinions,

    Jesus has been good
    Enough to grace my life with
    People who mean so
    Much to me in every way,
    Bons mots avec mon amis.

    Jo Ann J. A. Jordan
    Saturday, November 10, 2012

  22. DanielAri

    “Epsilon, Epsilon”

    What is an epsilon? Is that the E
    in Greek? Some variable in science
    that scientists all know? And what of me?
    My newfound tentative epsilon sense
    is that it’s the name of the company

    that bought my company. It’s not immense,
    but my team is now a drop in the sea—
    within the public ocean of commerce.
    There was something to being privately
    held I didn’t appreciate fully

    until now. Now it’s harder to think, “We
    do this work, steer our success, own the fruit
    of our shared daily creativity.”
    But hopefully we’ll find strength in the roots,
    cross pollination, global influence.

    Change is strange and reactions largely moot
    when forces beyond us are in cahoots.

  23. Marianv

    Febrero Loco

    Febrero, the crazy month, when the mountains
    Come to life and send shivers of deep thunder
    Through all the towns in the valley.
    A thunder dark and menacing, an ancient
    Sound. The Spaniards must have heard
    It and wished they were back in Spain
    A primeval muttering filled with threats.

    Febrero loco when its morning chills
    become sweating afternoons. A day
    like spring will produce an evening
    rain that covers the mountain peaks
    with snow. The Jacaranda blooms.
    There are still read petals left on the
    Ponsiana trees. So many flowers,
    Life is a garden, but beware –
    Change is quick, the mountains
    Shake, the earth trembles, the sky
    Is serene, tonight it is filled with stars.

  24. Domino

    Have Mercy

    “Merci,” she said, in such a clever-sounding
    French accent.


    I wished I was half so clever
    and even a quarter so beautiful.

    Her hair was short, glossy,
    chic: adorable.

    But then I took another look.

    It was not that she was
    all that pretty, really.
    But she had such an air
    about her,
    one of savoir-fair
    and confidence.

    Her makeup was minimal
    and her clothing was really
    nothing that special,
    when she spoke,
    looked up, flashed her
    smile (slightly crooked teeth),
    people changed around her.

    They saw her as beautiful
    because that is how she saw

    Her confidence was all the difference,
    and a powerful lesson
    to me.


    Diana Terrill Clark

  25. Misky

    Le Croûton

    She was known affectionately
    as Le Croûton, a crusty,
    not overly busty,
    chipper off the old loaf,
    and everywhere
    she went she flaked
    and flurried neat
    sourdough crumbs
    all around her feet.

  26. Sara McNulty

    Poetics Aside November Challenge – Day 10
    Use a foreign word in title or body of poem

    Montauk Mélange

    Motoring to Montauk Beach,
    vacation for one week, no limit
    on luggage. Kate, who has fanatic
    needs to bundle up all her treasures
    wherever she’s going, shleps
    lo scolapasta for possible
    pasta meals, paper, crayons,
    and colored pencils. We step
    into a musty cabin. `Salute,’
    Kate cries when we sneeze
    from the dust. A baby topo
    darts by; Kate is unfazed.
    I yell, `Oy,’ and jump. Nicky
    says, `aspetta, grabs a broom,
    and whisks the little guy outdoors.
    We pour some vino, raise our glasses
    for a toast. My husband says, `Slainte.’

  27. taylor graham


    Wrong way, that’s how I approached it.
    Kerry was my first puppy – German Shepherd, so naturally
    she’d speak another language. Sitz, Fuss, Bleib.
    She’d leap and spin in circles, chase her tail. In time,
    I learned some Dog: eye contact, hand signals,
    body language. In time, she learned Sit, Heel, Stay.
    But she died too young, never developed a dog’s
    humungous English vocabulary:
    Well, I guess we ought to… Where are my… Let’s go…
    Her pups grew up bilingual, second-generation
    Human. Yet none of them
    could learn to Stay more than 12 or 13
    years – never long enough.
    And I’m still trying to learn their

  28. JW Laviguer


    Not a real language
    or even a real species
    yet they teach it in universities
    and sounds like you’re spitting out feces

    As much as I love Star Trek
    and the Star Trek Universe
    I don’t have time to speak it
    or even attempt a verse

    But it’s fun to say “Hello”
    in every language there is, see
    even if its Klingonese
    and makes you feel dizzy.

  29. viv


    Driving on the pavement
    in Britain would get you arrested.
    A hood, there, would be worn on the head.
    Showing your vest would be considered vulgar
    instead of smart street wear for men.
    Derby is a Rolls Royce of a town
    and not a neat round hat.
    Even the date there is
    spoken backwards –
    two countries split
    by an ocean and
    the pitfalls of
    a common

  30. posmic


    Often when I make a mistake,
    I imagine that I am in some
    mod French movie (oh, sorry—
    film) where the action screeches
    to a halt, and over everything
    is superimposed the word
    GAFFE! It helps

    to make my mistake
    more glamorous, not an
    ugly smallness, but a gaffe,
    something worthy of notice
    by, say, a poodle or an old man
    in a striped boatneck sweater.
    (I am trafficking in stereotype
    here, but this is my fantasy.
    Am I not allowed?)

    Gaffes are not the end
    of the world if they mean
    I can retreat for a moment
    into this faux French scene
    of cafés and umbrellas
    where I am not

    the worst person
    who ever lived, but
    just another poor
    être humain

    stumbling on
    cobbled streets
    in the rain of
    my error.

  31. MeenaRose

    Mes Bêtes Noires
    By: Meena Rose

    Disenchantment is at play when
    The responsible ones
    Would rather laissez-faire
    And turn a blind’s eye

    To the many faux pas actions
    Being committed under
    Their watch as though a
    Carte blanche justified

    The atrocities that
    Have now become part
    Of our daily grind;
    Each day a déjà vu

    Of the last, numbing
    Hearts as the world
    Establishes a new normal;
    Desensitized, heartless

    Masses, too invested in
    Victor versus victor,
    Vis-à-vis headlines and
    Soundbites that are

    Repeated over and over;
    A daily mantra to navigate
    The grind, a raison d’être
    For many more.

    Then there is Yin that
    Is supposed to balance
    The Yang – what if instead
    They went tête à tête?

  32. Michael Grove


    The world is flat
    and that is final.
    Believe me, this
    is the only fact
    that matters. You
    scoff and ask
    for proof yet
    you offer none
    to the contrary.
    It wasn’t always
    this way yet this
    is how it all
    began and it is
    how it will end.
    C’est la vie laughs
    the old man who
    has been this way
    a time or two before.
    Behold the wiser
    elderly woman on
    her first journey
    who speaks to you
    without saying a word.

    By Michael Grove

  33. SharoninDallas

    Trying to catch up! Day One: Matches


    Do I match anymore?
    Do I fit. . .in?
    Do we share a similar view?

    What planet are you from?
    Did you really say that?
    Surely it’s not me; it’s you.

    When did it leave?
    Why do we scream?
    Why is there grace no more?

    I go my way.
    I’m lost in a fog.
    I am a dinosaur.

  34. Michelle Hed

    In Time of War
    (Hjem, Haus, Hame, Home – Norwegian, German, Scottish, English)

    Sounds of gun shots ricochet in my head,
    as we fight the ambush –
    focusing on the memories of hjem.

    Smoke and screams surround me,
    as we fight the ambush –
    warmth, laughter, your eyes – safe at haus.

    Blood and powder cover my vision
    as we fight the ambush –
    thoughts of hame give me strength.

    A few cries in the fogs of silence
    as the ambush ends –
    I carry home with me, always.

  35. SharoninDallas


    Entre nous, you are magnifique.
    Entre nous, I love every word you speak.
    Why is it elle that you seek?
    Why isn’t my entre with tu?
    If only you knew of my nous.

  36. PKP


    In the whirring wind
    salted sands blow
    tears to eyes
    taunting that
    former empathic self
    safe in my compassion
    for others
    “See?” the echo whispers
    whirling ceaselessly within
    I easily moved as any other
    chess piece of this cerulean
    rounded board of marble
    I was, and we all can be,
    at the whimsical flick of
    Nature’s wave or breath or simple
    shift of movement


    *displaced as an individual moved about

  37. RJ Clarken

    Lost In Translation (Sort of)

    Circular logic
    is the best logic because
    it is circular. (English)

    logique circulaire
    est la meilleure logique, car
    il est de forme circulaire. (French)

    lógica circular
    el mejor sentido, porque
    es de forma circular. (Spanish)

    zirkuläre Logik
    der beste Sinn, weil
    kreisförmig ist. (German)
    sirkulær logikk
    beste betydning fordi,
    sirkulær. (Norwegian)


    Circular logic
    Because the best feeling
    Round. (English)

    Note: I took a poem I wrote the other day and ran it through Google translator. You can see the results. ☺

  38. Connie Peters


    My dad,
    a World War II veteran,
    would more often say,
    “Arigato,” to us children
    than thank you.

    He spoke with fondness
    of his time in Japan after the war,
    how the people treated
    the American soldiers
    with gentle hospitality.

    Years later my family
    heard “arigato” often,
    from a Japanese exchange student
    we took into our home for a week.
    He spoke with kindness and respect.

    But manners became a source of amusement
    when we played Uno with him and his friends.
    When we Americans unloaded
    our cards on other players,
    we did it with glee.

    But when the Japanese students
    passed on their cards
    they would bow,
    look apologetic
    and say, “So Sawy!”

  39. RJ Clarken

    The Difference between British and American English

    I get, from reading ‘A to Zed’,
    the British are more genteel-bred.
    They call light supper their high tea.
    Elastoplast? Band-Aid to me.

    Argy-bargy means a squabble.
    Put together? British: cobble.
    Leg-pull equals hoax, you see?
    Humble pie means crow to me.

    A full stop is a period
    and mucker means a myriad
    of things like spill or spending spree.
    Give over! means Come on! to me.

    A ladder is a run in hose.
    Elevators? Lifts. (Yeah, those.)
    Good heavens! translates to Crikey!
    A fool’s dessert. (Sounds good to me.)


  40. Rorybore

    Le Sigh

    morning has broken
    and the babes unleashed;
    loosed upon my world — also everywhere
    while I muse silently
    over java brimmed favourite mug
    “can I escape this helter-skelter?”
    but alas!
    my reality is a staircase leading nowhere
    for they will be, what they are
    and what is time – even these small moments
    of maternal savourings,
    but a passing glimpse of eternity,
    held like water through my hands
    and yet a confusing contradiction
    for I find such antics amusing
    and life is too short for why, why, why
    or to live in a silent, tasteless world
    but atlas!
    it is all truth – also tiring
    to “hush”, or let them be
    coffee grows cold as the day lengthens
    le silent sigh loosed
    “it’s not so bad being doomed to a useful life:
    que sera sera

  41. Marjory MT

    [Hebrew] Cascade Form
    El Shaddai

    One true God

    God with us

    My Lord
    Exalted, arisen

    El Shaddai

  42. Andy Brackett

    Foreign Tongue

    My Mother is Finnish, My Father a Scot
    Though neither one spoke
    in native tongue a whole lot

    Both of these dialects are still foreign you see
    Though Finnish swear words
    Are common for me

    I tried learning French when I was in school
    But all I remember
    Is merci beaucoup

    Spanish is another I’ve tried to digest
    And this one Amigo,
    Has failed like the rest.

  43. DAHutchison

    Itchy Pestilence

    In so many distinct languages you go by the same name.
    The irritating buzzing of your wings all sounds the same.
    How sad a small annoyance can unite us all in dread.
    We all dubbed you “mosquito” and we all wish you were dead.
    A thousand words for love and God and peace, but this is true,
    When Babel fell, you rose from hell and just one name would do.

  44. madcapmaggie

    Nov 10: write a foreign word poem

    Politesse Poetique Anonyme

    I’m under the spell of a rhyming word curse,
    fated to churn out my silly, rhymed verse,
    in spite of best efforts, unable to stop.
    My muse is determined I’ll chime til I drop.

    Life on the rhymed lane becomes kind of lonely.
    Where are the others, or am I the only
    poor poet whose head is too, too full of rhyme?
    I’ll trade you a ream for a very thin dime.

    Sometimes I manage to write something serious.
    It leaves me so happy, I’m almost delirious.
    Then, don’t you know it, I’ll jot down a ditty
    instead of real poetry. Oh, what a pity.

    I have decided to throw in the towel
    and scribble rhymed verses until you all howl,
    thus courting a visit from poet police
    for illegal rhyming, but until then: Peace.

    Margaret Fieland

    1. DAHutchison

      Hahaha! I feel your pain. Had a professor try to explain “serious” poetry as like a shadow box with an eclectic array of eye-catching knick-knacks in it. It didn’t help me.

  45. elishevasmom

    Linda, I think I have been waiting for this prompt forever.

    A Mother’s Lament

    Oy vey! You’ve got some
    -trying to run that same
    shtik on your
    bubbe over and over,
    -just so she’ll give you a little
    -If you weren’t such a
    gonif, skimming off the top
    -you could run a nice
    kosher business. No, you
    -have to look like a
    schlepping around with one
    glitch after another,
    -out in the open for all of the
    yentes to gossip about, talking
    shmutz about you.
    -Is one
    Mazel Tov just too much to ask?
    -You make me
    Meshuga! You are such a big
    schmuck—just get your
    tush out of here.
    -Me? I’m going to
    schmeer some cream cheese on my
    lox and

    Ellen Knight

  46. Nancy Posey

    Igpay atinLay

    While language snobs will have their day,
    I’ll stick with igpay atlinlay,
    the only language I have found
    that I can wrap my tongue around.

    When I’m unsure what I should say
    and can’t convey my eaningmay,
    I speak a language so sublime
    that every inelay always rhymes.

    And no, this poem is no joke
    translated into how I spoke
    when I was six or evensay;
    all my iendsfray spoke this way.

    We never had to conjugate
    amo, amas, amat—but wait—
    While I’m at it, should I mention
    this anguagelay has no declension?

    While Classical Latin may be dead,
    long after Julius Caesar said
    his famous lines, Et tu, Brute?
    it’s still unfay to talk this way.

  47. RJ Clarken


    When in vernacular, one speaks,
    one often tries for quick techniques
    combining known words as one may
    in conversational Franglais.

    Just listen for an idiom
    which pops out like blown bubble gum.
    To sound good is the only wish
    in conversational Spanglish.

    A pocket translator can work,
    but miss the nuance? You’re a jerk.
    So pay attention, if you please
    to conversation Itanglese.

    A foreign language portmanteau
    means ‘je ne care pas’ – don’t you know?
    A neue Phänomen pastiche
    is conversational Denglisch.


    1. viv

      RJ this is brilliant. I love it. Have you ever tried to use Google Translate? The results can be hilarious – it translated “moist wound dressing” in English to “Vinaigrette” in French.

  48. Bruce Niedt


    Actually, it’s stonato -
    Italian for “out of tune”,
    “crazy” or stupid”,
    but that’s the way my wife’s family
    says it, where they’re from.

    I, the WASP, use it to describe myself
    whenever I do something absent-minded,
    bone-headed, which is too often.

    Sometimes, too, I feel like googoots -
    or cucuzza, a big squash, sitting clueless,
    useless, like when I need directions –
    so stunod trying get from here to there.

    You, so forgiving, might be annoyed,
    even a little angry, but in the end,
    you get over it, and love me for what
    I am, sputtering brain and all.

    Quanta bella, mi’ amore.

  49. Miss R.

    Je Ne Sais Pas

    Even though
    I don’t know
    The answer to your question,
    I want to prove
    I’m in the groove
    Enough that I know something,
    So I’ll express
    My ignorance
    In French. Comprenez-vous?

  50. emilydixieson

    גם זה יעבור

    This too shall pass
    And this three, too.
    Now four, it’s gonna hang
    on – a sticky mess – but
    Four will also pack up
    all the issues that caused
    your tears and go
    on its way.
    I know
    they add up as they
    make their way past
    you, one by one, sometimes
    a gang – a gaggle and you feel
    you’ll fall or break
    or cry until all you are
    is the puddle they march
    through as they pass.
    But, no.
    If you counted what has past
    already, counted your battle scars,
    you’d see
    your strength for this one
    to pass, as well.

  51. Miss R.

    Comme ci, Comme ca

    I say it because it’s true,
    No matter what the situation
    (Although some days,
    I grant you,
    There’s a little more of this
    Than of that),
    Because it sounds delicious
    As it rolls off my tongue,
    And because
    There’s a lot more of this
    Than of that
    Since you stopped
    To talk to me,
    But all you need to know
    Is that I answered
    And was too distracted
    By a lot of this
    And a little of that
    To ask the same of you.

  52. Glory

    “When he’s gone…”
    (Day 9)

    Funny how each day dawns
    through a mist of fog,
    dies when daylight disappears.

    Funny how each moment
    drifts as if there is no tomorrow
    just days full of nothingness.

    Funny, how all the world
    is void of love, yet I live on
    in this empty space
    waiting – when he’s gone.

  53. laurie kolp

    Love your prompt, Linda! I wanted to also let everyone know I’m participating, just not posting daily.

    Le Mystérieux

    An air of je ne sais quoi followed him around town
    His essence an aura, apparition quite eerie
    Le mystérieux, jinxed
    In error-

  54. RobHalpin

    Small Henneth To My Mind’s Hen

    it may
    be quite telling
    that the first language to
    pop into my ‘dol’ is based in

    **translated from Tolkien’s Sindarin elvish: henneth=window, hen=eye, dol=head

  55. jared davidavich

    Language Barrier

    They come from ships,
    They come by sea,
    From countries unknown,
    Some familiar,
    But all foreign,
    With different tongues,
    But all dry,
    All hungry-
    Ergasía parakaló_?
    “God bless you,”
    Raboty pozhaluysta?
    “Sorry, I can’t help you,”
    Those who come
    Quickly see,
    Only one language
    Spoken on these shores,
    And it’s many dialects-
    Labour and Kapital,
    Consumption and Product,
    And several ways to express
    Apology and Regret.

  56. Nancy Posey

    Je ne sais quoi

    Write what you know, I’m always told,
    but I’d rather explore my doppelganger’s life,
    go slumming on the other side of the tracks,
    or find some quiet little out-of-the-way place
    that only the locals know, a small cafe
    with that certain Je ne sais quoi, music
    playing so softly from the other room,
    I can’t quite name it, something in the sauce
    the makes me smack my lips, searching
    for the particular spice, and across the room,
    a man whose face I know but cannot place.
    I know that in my dreams, those images
    will waltz around the room inside my head,
    rearranging the furniture of my thoughts,
    then take a seat near the fire, feet up,
    and begin to introduce themselves to me.

  57. The Wired Journal

    Good Morning Beautiful world

    Why top of the morning to you my Amigo
    Danke an guten Morgen Sie auch
    oui en effet un beau matin, il est
    ο ήλιος λάμπει φωτεινό
    si veda
    Che il Signore benedica tutti voi persone meravigliose in questa bella giornata

    1. The Wired Journal

      Good morning Beautiful world
      Why top of the morning to you my Amigo (English/ Spanish)
      Good morning to you and thank you (German)
      Yes indeed a beautiful morning it is (French)
      The sun shines bright (Greek)
      see (Italian)
      May the Lord bless all of you wonderful people on this beautiful day (Italian)