Joe Balaz


Da would be prophets are proselytizing
and false diamonds are everywheah

capturing da holy sunlight
dats streaming down from da clouds.

Da priest-slash monk-slash pastor
looks at his disingenuous gems

while he lights some incense
and sniffs it up his nose

exhaling it all moments latah
into wun great cloud of smoke

dat floats above
wun big empty room full of mirrors.

Seeing is deceiving
and believing is wun mattah of choice

in watevah hazy image
dat is reflected back at you.

It’s wun quandary no doubt
to wondah about da mission

dat wants to lead you like wun lamb

to glorious fields
of jade grass and golden olive trees.

Da skeptic inside
is beginning to stop and tink

dat he could gain wun fading soul
and yet lose da tangible world

by wasting away on da altar
of someone else’s dream.

All da while
da  counterfeit moment is glittering

and shining in da palms
of outstretched hands

offering before you
preliminary enticements

to da promise of unseen riches
in some kind of aftahlife.

Da sellers in sacred robes
are banking

dat you’ll fund
dere middle man setup

raddah den keeping da cash
foa yourself

and simply living virtuously
from day to day.


Joe Balaz writes in Hawaiian Islands Pidgin (Hawai’i Creole English) and in American English. He edited Ho’omanoa: An Anthology of Contemporary Hawaiian Literature.  Some of his recent Pidgin writing has appeared in Unlikely Stories Mark V, Otoliths, Tuck Magazine, and The Lake, among others.  Balaz is an avid supporter of Hawaiian Islands Pidgin writing in the expanding context of World Literature.  He presently lives in Cleveland, Ohio.



About sunnydunny

Poet, publisher, gardener
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