Thursday, December 25, 2014

Joe Balaz- Three Poems

Joe Balaz writes in Hawaiian Islands Pidgin (Hawai'i Creole English) and American-English. He edited Ho'omanoa: An Anthology of Contemporary Hawaiian Literature.
He presently lives in Ohio.


Dats da last time
dey going hiking li’dat.

Seven dummies
from ten to twenty-one

and you tink da oldah one
would have some sense.

Talk about
screwing up da game plan.

Dey wen go trekking in da valley
foa go swimming

wen bad weather wuz coming.

Call 911 on da cellphone!

Everybody going drown!

Dats why it’s called wun flash flood.

Stuck by da waterfall
clinging to da banks

dey wuz lucky
only backpacks

went rushing downstream.

Da Fire Department
had to come to da rescue.

Dey found out latah
four of da hikers wuz Boy Scouts.

So much foa da motto
“Be Prepared.”

Hammajang gang—

add ‘um to da long list

of deaf ear
and green behind da gills.

hammajang Messed up; screwed up.
li’dat Like that.
deaf ear Unattentive.


If da magic words
evah existed

he would nevah even tink
about writing dem down

cause he no like
leave wun paper trail.

Big bulai

offering bull crap
and wilted roses

while casting wun spell
wit wun empty incantation.

It’s wun lame trick
not telling da truth—

presto change-o

and see da transformation
in all da people dat no believe.

He might
have wun golden lamp in his head

but da genie
is all mouth and no action.

Big bulai

you know he stay lying
cause his lips stay moving.

bulai Liar; to lie.
stay Is; to be.


I just love dis stuff

and it’s so good to eat
wen you get da munchies.

I get all wired too
aftah chomping down on dese grinds.

Wen I do my buggy dance
foa my honey

she spread her wings
and tink I funny

and fly away
before I can attack her tree.

She no like share
da experience

of both of us
chowing down together.

But I kannot help
being how I am

cause I like to work dat hole
and crawl inside

and get to da core
of da bean—

I not kidding
I got wun big appetite.

You might tink I wun pig
or even wun pest

but I’m just wun average
boring beetle

and everybody gottah eat.

So sorry about da prices
going up in Kona

I know I stay cutting into da crop—

but maybe dose growers
ovah deah

should plant bananas
or someting else

cause all of dese coffee berries
are just everyday heaven to me.

Kona Land area on the island of Hawaii known for coffee growing.

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