Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 471

For today’s prompt, write a language poem. All poems include language, right? But this poem may include a foreign and/or coded language. Or use jargon. And there’s the opportunity to play with a language-based form like a tautogram or acrostic.

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Here’s my attempt at a Language Poem:

“A-ha”

When all’s good, she says Big Country,
but trouble becomes Men at Work.
It’s a language only we see,
because we both like Big Country
and share our hearts in Tennessee,
avoiding the creeps and the jerks.
In love with our own Big Country,
we stay away from Men at Work.

*****

Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53). He enjoys Big Country, Men at Work, and A-ha. Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.

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59 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 471

  1. De Jackson

    DragonSong

    They speak in fiery tongues
    and burning Braille breath, the

    taloned syllables of sky. Sanskrit
    scales and trails of scarlet smoke.

    We listen with our outstretched
    hands, our hearts, our will and whim

    and why, and wonder how long be
    -fore we understand we’re all broken

    pieces of the same slang. We sigh
    and sign our own names, fingers

    flying, laced with ache and the lava
    -lake spill of their echoed hum. Some

    day we’ll trace our own scars with
    hungry fingers, and know the bump

    and bruise of mourning, a calling from
    afar. The shattered languages of stars.

    ::

  2. Sara McNulty

    Language of Love

    Language of love
    is universal. Electricity
    flows in the veins of people
    in every country. Body language
    is evident. Eyes burn into
    other eyes. Lips touch,clipart heart
    hugs are warm,Language of love
    is universal. Electricity
    flows in the veins of people
    in every country. Body language
    is evident. Eyes burn into
    other eyes. Lips touch,
    hugs are warm, sweet music
    plays–all comprise the language
    of love.

  3. Tracy Davidson

    Tongue-tied (macaronic verse)

    “Aloha bella, voulez-vous coucher avec moi?”
    The sleazy monsieur asked me ce soir.
    “You can stuff your carpe diem mister,”
    I said. “Now s’il vous plait, hasta la vista!”

    He shrugged it off with a que sera sera
    And moved on further down the bar,
    To young senoritas and mademoiselles
    Who looked more inclined to jingle his bells.

    Je ne comprehend this la vida loca
    (Wouldn’t touch his cojones with a long hot poker).
    Nein sprechen the lingo of such a senor –
    A gringo, a schweinhund, a burro, a boor.

    Though the doppelganger of Tennant with Tardis,
    He’s not getting his screwdriver near my quo vadis.
    I’d rather have a stille nacht, alone in bed
    Than “ghaj nga’chuq tlhej vam ha’dibah”, as a Klingon once said.

    (Translation of Klingon = “have sex with this beast”)

  4. RJ Clarken

    Love is Love

    Unexpected, but so welcome
    are compassion, and some words of
    understanding, kindness, caring.
    Speak the language. Show your love.

    Неожиданно, но так приветствуется
    сострадание, и некоторые слова
    понимание, доброта, забота.
    Говори на языке. Покажи свою любовь.

    Inesperado, pero bienvenido
    son compasión, y algunas palabras de
    comprensión, amabilidad, cuidado.
    Hablar el idioma Muestra tu amor.

    Inattendu, mais si bienvenu
    sont la compassion, et quelques mots de
    compréhension, gentillesse, bienveillance.
    Parle la langue Montre ton amour.

    Unerwartet, aber so willkommen
    sind Mitleid und einige Worte von
    Verständnis, Freundlichkeit, Fürsorge.
    Sprich die Sprache. Zeige deine Liebe.

    ʻO ka mea i manaʻolanaʻoleʻia, akā mahaloʻia
    he aloha, a me kekahi mau’ōlelo o
    kaʻike, ka maikaʻi, ka mālama.
    E’ōlelo i ka’ōlelo. Hōʻike i kou aloha.

    בלתי צפוי, אבל כל כך רצוי
    הם חמלה, וכמה מילים של
    הבנה, חסד, אכפתיות.
    דבר את השפה. תראה את האהבה שלך.

    予想外ですが、とても歓迎されています
    思いやり、そしていくつかの言葉
    理解、優しさ、思いやり。
    言語を話しなさい。 あなたの愛を見せてください。

    ###

  5. Marie Elena

    UNSPOKEN

    She fights to connect.
    Even her thoughts are wordless,
    she says. And I nod

    as if I can grasp
    telepathically , and
    put music to it –

    noting nuances
    in tune with fluent fretting –
    non-verbal vetting

    of elusive words
    she only needs for we who
    don’t speak her spirit.

    © Marie Elena Good

      1. ppfautsch24

        TEEMING TEXT
        Tantalizing tips
        Tap, Touch
        Twitter tongues
        Twisted to talk
        Till the twilight
        Time tick, tocks
        Tormenting thoughts
        Till it stops.
        By Pamelap

    1. tripoet

      Thank you for commenting on all our poems. I always love your work. True for this poem too! A clever take on the prompt and how we can communicate in unique methods.

  6. SarahLeaSales

    Children of the Blue and the Gray

    He was a blue-blooded Yankee,
    she, a red-blooded American.
    He spoke like an Ivy Leaguer,
    specifically Yale Law
    & Harvard Business;
    she spoke in the colloquialisms
    & soft consonants of Deep South Jaw-juh.
    They just couldn’t find common ground–
    he, with his clipped Northern accent
    & she, with her Southern drawl–
    but when they got all mixed-up,
    their hearts turned to purple prose
    & they found uncommonly fertile ground.

  7. julie e.

    language

    infinitely variable when changing seats
    I am delicate as a flower at this table
    and “F”-ological re: the X while my son
    speaks in Marvel and video-game
    -agery leaving me to sit scratching
    my brain guessing at the dialectic
    -al verbosity of MULtiple INITials but
    near Second-comings I try to keep it
    couth

  8. candy

    Does Not Compute

    You try to communicate
    But I don’t understand
    You speak a language
    That is strange to me
    Words that have no meaning
    Instructions that I
    Can not follow and I become
    Frustrated by your calmness
    Maybe tomorrow you will get
    Through to me – for today
    I will just turn off my computer

  9. Daniel Paicopulos

    My Heart’s Own Language

    The only things which come easily to me are
          things I do not desire,
    except, maybe, tasty comfort food.
    Now there’s a legacy to love.
    In matters of Spirit, words get in my way, 
         feelings being the language of my soul.
    Be brave! No limits! Yes, you can!
    Yes, yes, when the time is right.
     For now, I”ll live within the Grace of a single day.

  10. taylor graham

    GREEN TONGUES

    Spring. Taxes. 2 ½ hours of cyber-maze
    & piles of old yr’s receipts, the blinding screen’s
    scrim of numbers blending 1 into another.
    All of it a foreign language.

    He’s shut down. Walks outdoors.
    Blue Oak’s leafless with its winter comforters
    of new grass growing without asking or taxing.
    Verde, vert, grün, plain English green

    without needing the word to describe
    how Black Phoebe hawks insects from garden-
    post to Live-oak, so dear to sheep’s speechless
    meditation. All underfoot, green salad –

    miner’s lettuce or Indian lettuce –
    who cares for proper names when one grounds
    oneself on good earth? He picks and eats it
    without sauce; thinks of his morning’s labor,

    a pesky bug which Sister Phoebe snatches
    midair so gracefully she blesses sky
    without a word.

  11. Walter J Wojtanik

    LA PRIMAVERA, by Walter J Wojtanik

    Le nuvole partono e il sole offre una fanfara per la grazia del mondo. Incastonati in un’alcova brillantemente illuminata, due anticipano l’arrivo di aromi e trattamenti freschi per la tavolozza, la gustosa pietanza servita nel loro nascosto santuario del prato. Bouquet dolci e entusiasmanti fragranti, biologici e terrestri. Non considerano degni di essere seduti al tavolo ma apprezzano l’invito a partecipare al suo splendore. Sautéed in bounty della terra, l’inverno a riposo e la promessa di estate nell’attesa, loro gustano le deliziose offerte della vita.

    Le stagioni vengono in vita
    Più robusto, fresco e ricco
    Sorgente di risveglio

    ***Translation (Roughly)

    PRIMAVERA, by Walter J Wojtanik

    The clouds depart and the sun offers a fanfare to grace the world. Tucked into a brilliantly lit alcove, two anticipate the arrival of fresh aromas and treats for the palette, the savory fare served in their hidden meadow sanctuary. Sweet bouquets and fragrant enticements, organic and earthy. They deem themselves not worthy to be seated at the table, but appreciate the invitation to partake in its splendor. Sautéed in earth’s bounty, winter long at rest and summer’s promise in waiting, they taste the delicious offerings of life.

    seasons come to life
    more robust, fresh and hearty
    awakening spring

    **In the Romance Language, La Primavera mean “Spring”. Yeah, I know. Wishful thinking on my part.

  12. k weber

    Tired of almost everything

    I tried lethargy, soft venom.
    I got red vinyl feathers. Tom
    had me, lost: “TV Eye” or F in Trig.
    Thirst gave me no dry life to
    startle my hot nerve, if I’d go.

    *anagram fun

  13. William

    Most stars are never seen at all,
    Some language never spoken.
    The love inside a newborn child.
    Tears from a heart that’s broken.

    The birds on treetops singing songs.
    Waters clapping in the bay.
    They are a language far too deep,
    For mere words to convey.

  14. grcran

    Hard lingo smart linguist ungar-bled.
    It bled. Pierced by pieces of marble.
    Red words lisp-ed forth.
    Both Thwedish and North.
    A thtrange Thcandinavian warble.

    gpr crane

  15. PowerUnit

    S.

    He hasn’t passed a test in two years
    at high school, he’s an outcast
    the strap mark on his right shoulder
    must explain his deaf right ear
    but they wonder if he were dropped on his head
    a child in the camps
    where they don’t like the color of your eyes
    the only one of six who remembers the desert
    holds quiet conversations in the halls
    the girls with open eyes, not understanding
    any of his five languages, he tells
    stories of his clandestine youth
    how he feels so lost here
    facing unknown enemies
    without his machine gun
    in the cold

  16. Anthony94

    Still Considering

    I dream in another language
    kill time by naming everything
    in the room but you, los estantes
    con las fotos de la familia
    but none of you

    still lurking around las esquinas
    of my mind, in the curve of her
    jaw, the curve of her nose
    the full bow of her lips making
    me remember our citas our trysts

    that day in the tony libreria
    when we met again
    twenty years later, cheek besos
    our awkward silencia forming
    puentes arching over deep waters

    the two of us standing at opposite ends
    la bandera blanca stabbed into pan dulce
    on the blue plate and you playing
    to form by asking me what was
    my real hair color how you missed
    my gasp concealed in a hot
    swallow of my café con leche

    your own more gray than brown and
    how your hand reached for mine as you asked
    if we might come to be amigos and atras los años
    how I’m still considering your question.Still Considering

    I dream in another language
    kill time by naming everything
    in the room but you, los estantes
    con las fotos de la familia
    but none of you

    still lurking around las esquinas
    of my mind, in the curve of her
    jaw, the curve of her nose
    the full bow of her lips making
    me remember our citas our trysts

    that day in the tony libreria
    when we met again
    twenty years later, cheek besos
    our awkward silencia forming
    puentes arching over deep waters

    the two of us standing at opposite ends
    la bandera blanca stabbed into pan dulce
    on the blue plate and you playing
    to form by asking me what was
    my real hair color how you missed
    my gasp concealed in a hot
    swallow of my café con leche

    your own more gray than brown and
    how your hand reached for mine as you asked
    if we might come to be amigos and atras los años
    how I’m still considering your question.

    Tried and tried to keep source formatting but failed. Anyone? would love to be able to keep itals etc here. Thx

  17. connielpeters

    Language

    L ingos linger bringing memories,
    A n idiom can confuse in these.
    N orth-eastern dialects drop the ars,
    G iving tongues a rest or pause.
    U rban vernacular may be fun to hear,
    A s well as any argot in the ear.
    G rowing jargons from group to group,
    E ncourage patois, so that’s the scoop.

  18. tripoet

    Mother of a Severely Autistic Child

    She cannot initiate speech
    She cannot initiate speech

    I don’t think you understand
    I don’t think you understand

    Her only language
    Her only language

    Is an
    Is an

    Echo
    Echo

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