featured in the poetry forum April 7, 2023  :: 0 comments

I am aware of Finland’s stand
against the Soviet Union in 1939,

the college basketball win
by Chaminade against Virginia,

Morris the Florist’s

battle against tyrannical trucking
companies in The Pushcart War,

Sir Richard Branson’s inability
to read at the age of 11

and being bounced around
between schools for low grades

until he eventually scored big time,

who Hiram
the ordinary housefly became

when he put those cool glasses on,

and what Cinderella
had to go through

to get to where she got.

So if there’s
any good advice to give

it’s to make an effort
to amass your stones

so you can be ready
when the time comes

to take on Goliath.

editors note:

Looking for giants with a pocketful. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum January 25, 2022  :: 0 comments

Watch out wen Eros
dat winged god

fills you wit desire.

Da feeling will be
so zonky

dat it will turn you
into wun monkey

wit bananas on da brain

Dats wat makes da world
smile or frown

as it spins fastah
den wun merry-go-round.

And look

da horses
have come to life too

to run even fastah.

On one steed

da mustang spirit
wants to buck

wun sudden ridah
dats holding on

to unseen reigns
in one hand

and wun plantain
in da adah.

In dis horse dash
witout wun jockey

tings can get
really interesting.

Wat does dat mean?

It means watevah
you tink it means.

Tossed onto
wun dirt road

wun dismounted chimp

is tinking about
all of dat right now.

editors note:

Thinkin’ on dis when slippin’ on dat to hold on to da adah. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum November 2, 2020  :: 0 comments

Bumbye we die

so moa bettah kanpai
and raise our glasses to da sky.

Life is rough enough

wen deah’s
too many elephants in da room

and da buggahs
stay eating all da peanuts.

No can party snack
wit da pachyderm attack

until we light some firecrackers
and scare da troublemakers away.

Watch da herd go charging out da door—

It’s just like New Year’s!

Bumbye we die

so moa bettah kanpai
and simply simplify.

It’s wun celebration
witout hesitation

wen everybody mellow out
to share da same space.

Might as well be friends
and tie up all da loose ends.

Bumbye we die

so moa bettah kanpai
foa see each adah eye to eye.

bumbye Later on.
kanpai Japanese word for “Cheers!” in a drinking toast.

editors note:

Yes! Let’s “mellow out to share the same space.” – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum May 13, 2019  :: 0 comments

Do wat you do wen you do ‘um
and try not to ovah tink too much.

No need speculate
on wat dey no can regulate

cause dat island lingo
like wun wild dingo

going continue to circulate.

Going be in books
going be on signs

going be on da streets
and inside da minds

of all da people
dat stay doing

wat dey been doing
foa long time already.

So watevah going come
going come

weadah you help it along
or not.

If you like be wun critic
den good foa you

cause people wit da kalakoa tongue
no care wat you say.

Talk da kine is everywheah

and everywheah
wen you share story and make anykine

is wun wonderful place to be.


(kalakoa – multicolored)

editors note:

Making something from nothing, unlike anything else. Yes, wonderful! (Joe has a new book published, Pidgin Eye. You can get your copy here – check it out!) – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum June 28, 2018  :: 0 comments

Brace yourself Bridget
cause da situation going really happen.

Katsutoshi Takafuji
is knocking on your door

and he’s holding wun wedding ring.

He came all da way from Tokyo
aftah being infatuated on da internet.

So now you feel guilty
about being wun casual cyber hussy

cause he got serious kine intentions
foa make you da woman of his dreams.

Somebody is getting cold feet
and suddenly like be cold turkey.

Too bad

cause he looks so handsome
in his smart business suit

even dough he’s only
5 foot 4.

Maybe if you
wished really hard

and clicked your heels

you could be sent to Kansas
to escape your predicament.

Not too long ago

international dating
wuz so exciting

wen da flirting courtship
wuz wun distant curiosity.

Now flesh and bones
is standing on your porch

and he wants moa
den just being wun pen pal.

Nobody is accusing you

of being extremely frivolous
or untinking

but you going find out real soon

if wun Japanee guy from Japan
gets just as mad as da local ones

wen he realizes

dat he wuz chasing wun wild goose
instead of wun potential romance.

editors note:

When cyber silly comes knocking, really; can’t break the connection without first breaking the heart. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum March 1, 2018  :: 0 comments

Daikon Billy
wuz wun rising star
in da music business.

Da buggah
had bigtime showmanship
and he wuz dynamic
wen he hit da stage.

He wen follow his sistah
to visit Hawaii
wen she wuz invited
to perform traditional Korean music
at da East-West Center wit wun group.
She played da danso
wun small bamboo flute.

Daikon Billy wuz talented too
but he wuz moa contemporary
so much so
dat he just had to check out
da nightclub club scene in Waikiki.

In Wonju
he had wun big following
and now
he wuz going unleash his flashy routine
on da Hawaiian neon wonderland.

He wuz wun unreal DJ
doing his catchy brand
of Asian hip hop
using turntables and electronics
to mix his unusual beats.

Wen he wen do wun guest gig
at wun popular club
on Kalakaua Avenue
he got da dance floor cranking.

He wuz also cute and sexy
so it wuzn’t dat long
until he had wun choice squeeze—

She turned out to be
wun local Japanee girl called Mona
and she wuz da one
dat wen give him his new stage name.

Scratching wun record
like wun super rooster on steroids
he became wun ovahnight island hit
and da crowd just loved him.

Daikon Billy

he stay spicing up da nights
as da latest crazy flavor
in chop suey paradise.

editors note:

Makin’ the big time in his own space-time. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum June 5, 2017  :: 0 comments

Da buggah sure can run wit dat pigskin
even dough it’s really made of cow.

Boomah Williams
is wun pretty good running back.

Da only ting is

da knots in his head
stay just as thick as his powerful legs—

Dumber den wun box of coconuts
is putting it mildly.

But foa now
he’s da bull of da campus

and he gets his pick

of all of da girls dat stay ogling
around him.

Scholastics is wun lazy mystery
to Boomah.

He’s relying on his good looks

and breakaway speed
in da open field.

Some college recruiters
stay looking at him.

Dey wondering
about his grades dough.

Boomah is tinking

dat he going skate through
to da next level

just like he did in high school.

He’s already dreaming
of da new uniform.

Even dough some universities

try to accommodate guys
wit easy passable courses

it just might be too much
foa somebody dat no like give any real effort.

I can imagine him
struggling wit such subjects

as Finger Painting 101
and Farm Animal Identification.

Boomah sure can run fast

but not fast enough
to make da intellectual cut.

Da sad ting heah

is dat he not even trying
foa expand his brain

but da buggah going find out
da hard way.

Looks like
you no can change da stripes

on wun manini.

*manini – A kind of reef fish with vertical stripes; a slang term for something small or insignificant.

editors note:

Big fish, little pond. (We welcome Joe to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of his madness on his new page – check it out.) – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum September 15, 2016  :: 0 comments

See da old man
wit da cho cho lips
and da rat bite on his head—
Aisoos! Mongoose!
da fighting chicken wen lose
and now da buggah is dead.

Pluck all da feathers
trow ‘um in da pot
everybody like kaukau.
Poho loosah
in da ring anyway
so now we going make luau.

Everybody dance
everybody sing
everybody jan ken po.
No need fight
foa desert tonight
cause we all get kulolo.

Look at da moon
up in da sky
just like wun big fish eye.
Sit on da ground
wit wun fat opu
and no even wondah why.

New kine story
same kine smell
everybody understand.
All mix up
like wun big fruit cup
heah in da hula-hula land.

So now local lingo
is just like wun jingle
holoholo good fun razz.
Kissing da ear
making everyting clear
living in da verbal kine jazz.

Hawai’i Pidgin Glossary:

aisoos – Filipino exclamation of sighing out loud and saying “darn it” or “oh no.”
buggah – A person, especially a male; the word can also refer to an animal or thing.
cho cho lips – Fat lips.
holoholo – To go out; to go out visiting.
hula-hula – Variant of hula, a native Hawaiian dance.
jan ken po – Japanese name for rock-paper-scissors game.
kaukau – To eat; food.
kulolo – Hawaiian pudding made of taro, brown sugar and coconut milk.
luau – Hawaiian feast.
opu – Stomach.
poho – No can; waste time.
rat bite – A bad haircut that shows the scalp through the hair.

editors note:

Another smidgin’ o’ Pidgin’ from Aloha Land; got a groove you can dance to. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum February 29, 2016  :: 0 comments

Let’s hear it
foa anadah candidate

to be considered
foa da Stupid Crooks Hall of Fame.

He wen post
wun selfie photo of himself

holding wun large amount of cash
on social media.

Dat wen help da authorities
to quickly zero in on him.

Da money
dat he wuz showing off wit

wuz part of $45,000 he wen steal
in four armed bank robberies.

Wun informant told da investigators
dat he wen spend some of da cash

on wun old Corvette
and wun root canal.

Da television news

focused on da work
dat wuz done on his teeth

and da viewing audience
taught it wuz kinnah amusing.

It wuzn’t too funny foa da thief
wen he wuz arrested dough.

Most likely he wuzn’t smiling eidah

wen dey wen sentence him
to 18 years in prison.

Tings going change foa him now.

He going have free food
free uniform
and free room and board.

To top it all off
da buggah going have free dental.

editors note:

When crime doesn’t pay, you get health care. (A pome in Hawaiian Islands Pidgin English, “Foa da fun of it!”) – mh clay