Joe Balaz

Three Hawaiian Islands Pidgin poems and a Hawaiian Islands Pidgin Visual


It’s like wen you put someting
in da microwave

wen you stay all toasted

and den forget
about wat you put in dere

and it comes out as wun big surprise.

So now wun smoke alarm
stay blaring

cause 3 minutes
wen turn into 30

aftah you wen hit wun extra digit
on da timer.

Imagine if you wuz driving wun car
and spinning out on da freeway

or running wun shredder in da backyard
and having your arm pulled in wit wun branch.

Close shaves wit wun rusty razor
eventually going catch up wit you

cause it seems
dat you got wun problem wit da brew.

Dats how it is

wen you live your life
as wun beer commercial

wen everyting is fun, sexy,
and adventuresome.

So as you come downstairs

to wun carbon dioxide cloud
in da kitchen

it’s not unusual
dat you going also forget

dat you stay running da watah
in da bathtub.

Too bad nobody is deah
wit wun camera

to catch your facial expression

right at da moment
you stay wondering

why watah
is dripping from da ceiling.

Looks like one beer too many
is one beer too much.



Wun lady needed to go back
to her car foa someting.

She told anadah woman
standing next to her,

“Hold my line, I’ll be back.”

Da adah woman chuckled and joked,

“What are you drinking?
You mean you want me to hold your space.”

Dat caused wun guy close by to say,

“I don’t know what she’s drinking,
but I’ll have some.”

A trail of small laughter echoed
down da line.

Right den
several workers from da Food Bank

came outside

to trow some empty boxes away
in wun large dumpster.

One of dem had some keys

and he was opening da lock
dat secured da lid.

Wun nearby man in line
asked da worker

why dey had to do dat.

He wuz told
dat lots of random people

wuz bringing dere trash
to quickly fill up da dumpster.

Wun adah guy
at da back of da line quickly said,

“Yeah, but if you guys
keep locking it

there will be one less place

to dump a dead body
in the neighborhood.”

Everybody roared wit moa laughter.

Da ting is

da comment gave you wun good read
on da nature of da surrounding streets

cause he might not have been entirely joking.


Universally speaking
I heard dat all of us going be unsafe

cause da Romulans
wen just break da peace treaty.

Heah on earth
I heard dat we are globally unsafe

cause da North Koreans
now have da nuclear bomb.

Nationally I heard
dat we are potentially unsafe

cause wun babooze
wuz amazingly elected as President.

Regionally I heard
dat we going be seasonally unsafe

cause moa hurricanes
going be coming to da North Pacific.

Personally I heard
dat my oldest son is unsafe

cause he no drive wit wun seatbelt
and he no moa license or insurance.

My wife tinks
dat I’m unsafe

cause I get angry
and threaten to trow da flat screen TV

through da living room window.

I tink dat I’m occasionally unsafe

cause sometimes
I no do any tinking at all.




To remove; take off; to open; to undo.

Dummy; stupid or clownish person.

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.

Balaz is an avid supporter of Hawaiian Islands Pidgin writing in the expanding context of World Literature. He presently lives in Cleveland, Ohio.
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