Poem a Day 2014: 23

Le Pouce de La Defense 

Le Pouce

Le Pouce (Photo credit: Matthew Kenwrick)


I remember Paris,

In 1992, or was it 94?

I can’t recall, but

It was the 90s

I  was young. It

Was long before I was

To become a wife,

And then a mother, it was

When I was a melancholy

Free spirit in search of

Something outside of myself

On a gray day, in Paris

Neither hot nor cold

It caught my eye

A picture on a postcard

Of a giant thumb:

“I must see this,” I said to myself

And off I set

To find it for myself,

The giant thumb at a

Place called La Defense

Along the way, on a gray day in Paris

Now blackening into evening,

On my spontaneous search of

The giant thumb,

At a place called La Defense,

I met two young men from Peru

Who were searching too

And off we set,

We three,

To find for ourselves,

The giant thumb

Rising out of the ground

At a place called La Defense

We three tourists in Paris,

Navigated the metro,

To the outskirts of the city,

In search of

The giant thumb

In a place called La Defense

We transferred from train to train

When one of the Peruvians said:

“At what time does the metro stop?”

Stop? Fuck,

I forgot the metro stops

Only in New York can one

Take the A train

At 2:00 a.m in the morning

So we hurried our steps

In our search to find,

The giant thumb

Rising out of the ground

At a place called La Defense


The gray day had turned black,

When we finished our quest,

As we rode the escalator out

Of the metro station

We saw it rise before us

One of the young men pointed,

And said, “There it is,”

I looked:  There it was, just like in the postcard,

A giant thumb

Sticking out of the ground

At a place called La Defense


We saw it. It was just there

Amid tall buildings,

In what looked like a business park,

So atypical of Paris (to my mind at least)

We ran, from the outskirts of the city,

Back up the escalator,

Into the metro station

To catch the last train

Back to the center of the city, away from

The giant thumb at a

Place called La Defense


I opted out of the prompt for today, but my little guy chose to do it. From NaPoWriMo.net

Today’s prompt (optional, as always), is an oldie-but-a-goodie: the homophonic translation. Find a poem in a language you don’t know, and translate it into English based on the look of the words and their sounds. For example, here are three lines from a poem by the Serbian poet Vasko Popa:

Posle radnog vremena
Radnici su umorni
Jedva cekaju da stignu u barake

I might translate this into English as

Post-grad eggnog, ramen noodles.
Nikki in the morning,
jacket just stuck with brakes.

That doesn’t make a lot of sense, but it does give me some new words and ideas to play with. Happy writing!

My little guy got this:

No love you, No love you

Pear say kiss  ha

enter, lets run  to the tardis

excuse me! Pee pee

From this poem:

No los veo, no los veo,
pero sé que están ahí;
entre las ramas brotadas
escucho sus PÍ PÍ PÍ.

I don’t see them, I don’t see them,
but I know they are there
among the budding branches
I hear their cheep, cheep, cheep.

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