If you do (*want to speak German), I may have some recommendations for you.

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If you type “German” into the Unsplash search bar, you’ll get a lot of German Shepherds… Well, why not? :) (Photo by Abby Boggier on Unsplash.)

As I probably mentioned before, I started learning German to test my ability to learn a foreign language from scratch as a self-guided learner, to engage with my heritage language (one of my great-grandmas was German) and to be able to argue my way out when I get into a kerfuffle on a German train which happened to me pretty much every time I was on a German train. (A half of a cup of tea for a full price from a tea-trolley-man? A local train to Duisburg instead of an international one to Amsterdam? No ticket for a dog? …

A little a day, every day — thoughts for the new month.

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Language learning can be like snacking a little every day… on healthy snacks, that is! (Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash.)

What? October tomorrow? Already? This year has been such a Blurday…Blurmonth… Bluryear… that it’s difficult to tell when weeks and months pass. September was quite hectic for me with house renovation and other stuff going on but I really didn’t want my language learning to slip. Since spring I’ve managed to build a routine but I know all too well how easy it is to let it go. It has been happening to me with various sports for the last 40 years! …

#ClearTheList in the middle of the month

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Hello in German because… why not? (Photo by rashid khreiss on Unsplash)

I don’t know where to start so I will commence somewhere in the middle.

The time has come when I decided to start sharing my language learning journey and my love for foreign languages. The #LanguageLearning community is a big thing on social media — look it up on Twitter, Instagram and YouTube if you don’t believe me. YT, in particular, seems to be a place where language learners and teachers share their ups and downs, tips and progress. I’m not a video-maker though — at least not if the video is meant to feature me. I can script, film and edit all right but being in front of the camera? …

A found poem in a language I don’t normally write in — an experiment in text and form

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My collage / found poem created during the Creative Italian class with Silvia Perrone.

Let’s just start with the obvious: I’m not a fluent Italian speaker and although I love Italy, Italians and Italian, it’s not my working language, unlike Polish and English. But with most of the world cooped up at home now, we all start doing weird things… like writing in languages we haven’t mastered by any means.

Foreign languages are my main way of coping in these strange times — learning languages is calming and provides structure. Over the years, I’ve started far too many languages but I never embraced the identity of “a dabbler” as it’s called in polyglot circles — someone who shamelessly dabbles in as many languages as possible out of curiosity, without the aim of becoming fluent. I actually feel guilty if I start learning a language and then abandon it. At the moment, I feel guilty about Russian but I know I’ll get back to it once I get my Czech back to the comfortable level (otherwise, I’ll get them mixed up all the time — it seems like my head can’t compartmentalize Slavic languages.) …

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Photo by Patrick Hendry on Unsplash

words that come and go
sweeping leaves, raindrops touching
face already wet
no one will notice / willows
whispering spells frogs bluebells

words that come and go
green moss on forgotten stones
cracked, peeled bit by bit
with fingers that reached too far
broken and crushed, still writing

words that come and go
startled sparrows fleeting / crows
waiting for the bones
to brittle, turn into one
with stones, green lush surprising

words that come and go
won’t return when called or begged
she sings them, Mother Earth

Keep reading…

Sometimes you just need to sit and wait and a story will come to you.

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A starling quietly visiting my garden in London. Photo © Gosia Rokicka 2019

It’s been many years since I started suffering from something that I can only categorise as a disorder — a nagging and relentless need to keep moving, keep searching, keep finding, keep digging, keep learning, keep breathing in a different air every day. It probably started when I was a child — a happy, privileged, carefree kid whose only worry was not to spend her whole life as the same person. I couldn’t stop fretting that my life would be extremely boring if I stay me for dozens of years. Will I always be a girl from a big city who speaks Polish? Why can’t I turn into an Inuit boy from a village one day? And then into an American or Soviet astronaut? (Those were the times when American and Soviet astronauts were still a thing.) Why can’t I be German? …

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Photo by JR Korpa on Unsplash

a tanka poem

don’t touch the skies, stars
lead you - eyes closed, mind waving
weaving between birds
slowed down by space, enveloped
in time, each step a surprise

Inspired by Deborah’s prompt “Blind.” Thank you, Deborah!

Keep reading…

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Photo by JR Korpa on Unsplash

the stone, smooth and warm under
my fingertips
a quiet reminder of the days that followed
her hasty departure.

we didn’t say goodbye, not properly
left on the rocks
waves crashing
birds singing too loud
seagulls don’t sing, she used to say.

a seagull, curious
like a preteen child
dressed all in black

or singing

maybe she had a reason
a secret
treasured, tended to,
watered and nourished

like the plants he left behind
departing even faster
no goodbye whatsoever.

withered leaves, green
emptiness, silent
like a newborn child
dressed all in white

or singing,

she picked up dried leaves
one by one
from the wooden floor, mirror-like,
untouched and…

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Photo by JR Korpa on Unsplash

a tanka poem

black veils once covered

tears hidden away, they say

time will heal or kill

the world — a soapy mist, blunt

needle through the shattered heart

Inspired by Deborah’s prompt “Loss”. Thank you, Deborah, for your beautiful words about grief vs. depression. They helped me to understand something.

Keep reading…

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Photo by Cristina Gottardi on Unsplash

Is it possible for me to publish every day? Is it for you?

On 1 September 2018, I set myself a goal to publish a poem a day on Medium and Twitter. For that purpose I created this very publication, 365 Days Of Poetry, safely assuming I wouldn’t be able to place my poetry daily in Medium’s literary publications.

For the first four months, I was showing up religiously every day. At the beginning I was publishing only here but after a couple of months, I realized I would reach more readers if I showcased my work in such publications as LitUp, Literally Literary, Chalkboard, Haiku Hub, House of Haiku and Vagabond Voices, so I wrote for them as well, taking part in poetry challenges and responding to prompts. …


Gosia Rokicka

Storyteller, word catcher, curious observer, animal lover, plant enthusiast, lifelong language learner, mistress of tsundoku.

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