Twisting words

Twisting words is for crooks,

This applies to politics and writing books.

All those synonyms, as if they were needed,

Rules of clarity go all but unheeded.

Languages as well, some are seedy,

Grammatical rules with exceptions are needy.

I learned Spanish in school,

The teachers took me for a fool:

Conjugating verbs, distorting their meaning

I wouldn’t have it, so I did some cleaning.

I got a fail on every exam,

Past perfect tense? I don’t give a damn.

That is why I’m now learning Chinese.

No conjugation, the grammar’s just a breeze.

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Oolong tea

I chipped my tooth while sipping my tea,

Seems quite unlikely? Also to me.

I checked the package, it didn’t take long.

It said on the side “Freshest oolong”.

The dictionary told me what oolong meant

It means, dark dragon, so that’s the content.

I peered into my cup, now a bit cooler,

And stared into a tiny, suspicious ocular.

A tiny tee-covered black dragon staring back,

Apparently the one that made my tooth crack.

It jumps out, and quickly flies away,

All it left behind, a tooth-ache for the day.

Barbarian eggplant vampire chutney

Some people say that limericks are the lazy person’s DIY solution to poetry. They might be correct, as I tend to be quite lazy and I wrote three just now. However, I like limericks, as the form and rhythm are beautiful, and I hope that a surprising topic choice ensures that they are something more than a bunch of clichés. Don’t pay any attention to the fact that the form is all over the place. Or to the fact that the rhymes are ham-fisted. Otherwise they’re pretty ok. Maybe.

 

I bought a car made of chutney.

The seats covers and seats, they were muttoney.

It drove fine in the cold,

But in May the blue mold,

Made it smell like an unwashed, old butt… -ney.

 

The comfy coffin of a vampire child,

Disowns all things brutal and wild.

He’s had flat screens installed

And you know he skype-called

His old-fashioned dad, now exiled.

 

A tomato, the one you eat with cheese,

Is “barbarian eggplant” in literal Chinese.

No wonder it’s red,

As it strikes its foes dead,

And steals their provisions with ease.

Hanzi practice

Languages can be fun in surprising ways.

Chinese characters made by my pen,

Maybe I’ll remember if written times ten.

Stroke to the left, I hear a scratch,

Scritch to the right, doesn’t quite match.

Up and down make different sounds,

If I close my eyes, my ears are the bounds.

Writing a sentence makes a melody,

Another, shorter one, sounds like a fruity bee.

As I drill the words many times into my brain,

The singing of my pen means I won’t strain.

Filling out a paper, graphite on the sheet,

Map of my learning, or a field of word-wheat.

Imprints on the paper, left by my hand,

Atlas of the new information I now command.

The paper now heavier, I put away,

With all the others I’ve made in my day.

Songs of the world

Cooking and cleaning, more fun if you listen closely.

 

I like the songs the world sings sometimes.

When I do whatever it chirps and it chimes.

 

I practice Chinese with pencil on paper:

Scratches float up and off they taper.

A curve this way,

A line left to right.

I close my eyes as the music takes flight.

Horse sounds the same as duck when I write

And a bit like the moon if I do it just right.

Sometimes I only remember the spelling,

After some scratches as the sound starts telling,

Me where to go and what to do next.

Talking with the tongue as it becomes text.

 

I mop the floor made of stone and wood.

Whish, whosh, whush, when it’s clean and good.

The sound is dull if there’s a small stain:

The floor telling me that I need to strain.

“Use more force, that one’s grease!”

The sound becomes clean and I know to cease.

I mop along and it’s all a clear song,

That’s how I know it won’t take too long.

 

When I cook, the omelet squeals.

The screech goes high and then it reveals

A flip is needed, a minute and it’s done.

I just need the song, timers I have none.

Just a song sung by eggs and heat.

A song way better than any recipe I meet.

Speech organs

I like phonetics.

 

We make language with the throat and the mouth.

All the R’s in Spanish or those of McLouth.

Imagine if there was a different kind of man

Different mouth, a tongue like a pan.

They would make different sounds.

They might bark like massive hounds.

They might not be able to learn

The sounds we all strive hard to earn.

Imagine still, if there was a land

Somewhere in the far north, and

It had a speech that’s in-between

With sounds that sound crisp and clean

To me and you and this different man.

Them interpreting: That’s a plan!

They could be the one connection

To bring together our two sections

In teaching us how to speak

Their own language in a week

We would have a common tongue.

Humanity ladder: Up one rung!

I do hope that this was true,

We’d have more sounds that we could spew.

There are sounds that I just like.

They make my tongue jump and hike.

Like the deegee in fridge or Russian’s all esses.

The Spanish, Finnish R and the Chinese chun.

If we had more, I’d bet they’d be fun.

There’d be more to use in a pun.

I’m just glad there are so many already.

You can keep studying till old and unsteady!