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Speaking The Language

Lin, a Chinese friend giggled at my feeble, say, pedestrian attempt at Cantonese, the Chinese word for butterfly or dragon even moth just vanished down the throat of one so eager yet befuddled, turning egg shell noodles under spit fire lanterns, our laughter rose and fell amid the sotto voce banter now in train. Me the woodland boffin, immersed in esoteric marshland plant life, the sort that rules the grand designs of green leaf activists. Lin, the restless late teen nomad, who had yet to sink deep roots, often dwelt in backstreet fruit and flora stalls, on occasions even flexing sylvan muscles on craggy mountain outcrops. Her flawless English honed through years of rough sea ferry ventures, on holidays abroad in trendy sunspots, at major meadow festivals where gaiety and buzz words sprout. We keep in touch through text and pen as often as we can. Meeting up is fun. I hope one day my knowledge of those mystic eastern tongues will stray beyond the basics of some tawdry travel phrase book, the one I’m prone to cart around the world but seldom use

Copyright © | Year Posted 2021

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Date: 3/27/2021 1:19:00 PM
Nice pen Howard well told indeed with good imagery too. Have a great weekend, Gordon
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Date: 3/18/2021 4:45:00 PM
What an interesting story, written beautifully. At least you tried to speak Cantonese. That says a lot about your integrity.
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Date: 3/18/2021 7:12:00 AM
I laugh, Howard, at carting around a travel phrase book that is seldom used. I once was that traveler and more than once dined on things I never thought I'd ordered. LOL Thankfully, I got smarter with age. A terrific poem of overcoming differences. Linda
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Date: 3/17/2021 12:55:00 PM
Howard, this is beautiful...absolutely beautiful. I just finish my poem "The English Language Ain't Easy" so I was pleased to see your poem here. I love your word choices, your phrases, and your interest in Cantonese. Keep at it; keep writing!
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