WINNER of the Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

Harry Potter and Game of Thrones have nothing on our terrible poetry skills, especially not on this week’s winner.

And that is…. Trent McDonald.

Untitled piece

by Trent McDonald

Oh muse!
Do not forget your poor creature, oh muse!
I am your tool
That you must use
So let my tongue
Sparkle like I was young.
What’s that?
Not my tongue?
Uhm, my pen?
Sing like a wren?
Ah! My computer
Sing your praises
In tones of pewter
Got it

This is the story of the Anger of Skywalker
The fleet-footed
Druid talker
Hear my tale!

Anakin had anger
Apollo, in the guise of Palpatine
Sent a plague on the Skywalker family
Killing his mother with an infestation of Sand People

Like Agamemnon and Bresies before
Kanobi took Padmé
Away
Ani didn’t like that
Said I’m going to get that boy

Oh yea fates!
When you tear away our mates!
And make us Dance on a Volcano
Wait, that was a song by Genesis
A prog rock band, not a Sith
Well, damned fates
When we fight on lava
Flowing from a crater
We might get burned
And become Darth Vader

But there are five more movies
With one more in the works
And I’m out of words
But then, Homer did write the Odyssey
So I will not
Abandon all hope

Congratulations, Trent! You are the most terrible poet of the week!

Several poems were funny, followed the topic, and made me cringe. Trent’s poem had them all, plus enough of an epic poem feel to hurt even more. My favorite aspect is his Star Wars events or character references subtly dropped into what seems a decent poem. Great work!

Not that the others weren’t nearly as terrible:

The Truth

by Deb Whittam

Fingertips coated in dust,
Scouring through magic, muck and mud
Knowing for sure
We are not alone
Venturing into that danger zone
Fox’s and Scully’s do not
Exaggerate
They trust in the truth
The truth that cannot wait
We may believe that it is all
Just a show
But they know it is real
Which just really blows
X-Files they were called
But wasn’t that really the truth
Flesh was kind of optional
Here’s your proof
Turned on, then it went off
But like all addictions
It returned, just like a real bad cough

—–

Bedtime reading

by Bruce Goodman

I must admit it’s rather fright’ning
when school libraries banish Enid Blyton.
And I feel there’s not a lotta
books go out by Beatrix Potter.
These days too it’s Dr Seuss
who’s racist and loves pet abuse.
So provided I cover up the cover
I read my kids “Lady Chatterley’s Lover”.

—–

The Board with the Dings

by Dorinda Duclos

I have traveled many a mountain
Gotten lost along my merry way
Came across a pip of a board with dings
Stuck it in my pocket, among other things

Made it difficult to continue my journey
But I trolled my way along, as best I could
Stuck my hand in my pocket a few times
Kept pulling out splinters of wood

Thought about hitting up my friend, Bill
But the weather didn’t look very nice
Oh, and did I mention, I didn’t know
That there’s a fire burning in the mountain

Stumbled upon a rather bizarre little man
Globulin, or Global, or something like that
Kept trying to trick me, to get my board
I wonder if his parents know he’s a brat

And then there’s those trees, ugly are they
Beady eyes that kept staring at me
Maybe it’s because I have a piece of them
In my pocket, clinging, I won’t set it free

So much for my trek up the mountain
So much for the board in my jeans
I decided to build me a fire, I did
Sit around tootin’, yep, too many beans

—–

That Frigging Ring

by Peregrine Arc

Let’s walk to Mordor, Gandalf said.
I’ll accompany you and use my flashy staff to stave off your untimely deaths.
Gandalf has access to giant eagles
but I feel the need for more blisters on my barking beagles.

Wouldn’t it be wiser to fly above the volcano and airdrop the blasted ring?
Come, come now. If we did that, Tolkien wouldn’t have wrote a thing.
Do you want to star in this movie or not?
Get behind that orc and give him a clout.

Why didn’t we bring more wizards on this trip?
What, there’s only four? I don’t believe it.
Wait I’ve got it, there’s the eye that sees all, right?
Cast a curse of blindness and water.
And there you have it: that Sauron’s a goner.

Now let the Hobbits get back to eating and dancing
The elves to whining and adverting disaster.
The dwarves to counting gold and mining too deep
So Peter Jackson can get some sleep.

—–

not my god…

by Violet Lentz

He turned his back on his daughter,
his ‘Chavala’
to him, she is dead.
he did so, because she married Feyedka,
a Russian, not a Jew.
he did so, because his traditions dictated it.
he did so, because he believed with all of his heart it was the right thing-
the only thing to do.
he did so despite the fact
that it tore him apart
that it was inconceivable
that it made no sense.
he did so, because he honestly believed
it was required by his god to do so.

Who can logically explain to me
what god of love
of compassion
of creation
of order
would put one mans religious affiliation
so highly above another,
that he can forsake his own child?
what god would inflict this wound
upon his most cherished creation?
that which he “created in his own image”?

not my god…

—–

Untitled piece

by Ruth Scribbles

As I drink my coffee

Still in sleep mode

I want to tell you

Potter didn’t smoke pot

But his wand was hot

Flew powder is the best

Just don’t sneeze

Pleeze

Now I’m off to Hogwarts

—–

Happy Wednesday

by Larry Trasciatti

Bald Uncle Fester has a light bulb in his mouth
Grandmama can stir you up bat stew.
Pugsley can translate Cousin Itt.
And Thing can even lend a hand for you.
And everything happens on Wednesday.

Gomez and his Morticia
They are such a sweet romance
Querida Mia and her Bubbele in love.
And Aristotle Octopus is Pugsley’s favorite pet
As Lurch learns all the latest dance steps.
And there is always something new on Wednesday.

So let us snap our fingers now
And let us visit them
And let us hearken to the baying wolves
As Lurch does play the harpsichord
With all its dulcet tones
And let us wait right here each week for Wednesday.

—–

Thank you for all the amazing entries! Check out next week’s contest, tomorrow at 10 a.m. MST.

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Trent: D. Wallace Peach created this graphic that you can use (if you want) for a badge of honor as the winner:

Is Classic Literature All It’s Hyped up to Be?

Perhaps I’m odd, but I love many classic works of literature. I trust the rating that a piece is a classic, read it, appreciate what earns its title, and try to acquire a good copy for our home library. I feel that almost all are written well and/or demonstrate some extraordinary aspect that sets them above other literature.

Then again, some classics are boring.

Some are wordy.

A few have something that ruined the book as a favorite for me -and I do not speak of glaring grammatical sentences.

One of the first classics the public education system forced me to read was Silas MarnerThat one is in the Boring category, its primary failing. Even to this day, I do not know a redeeming characteristic of it. If one wants a good bite of rambling sentences, there’s James Joyce. If one needs historical literature, there are many alternatives. A treasure hunt? What about Treasure Island?

Silas Marner could also win for wordiest, but I’m more inclined to bump the phone book-sized The Three Musketeers to that position. To be fair to this assessment, I have not yet successfully gotten past the first third of the novel. Not even whilst I was on bedrest with my second pregnancy and had nothing better to do than stare at the walls and hope my previa moved was I able to get through it. Many, many classics are horribly wordy, yet the words are valuable. They are worth it. Instead of Three Musketeers, try The Count of Monte Cristo.

Last but not least is the failing category I am most interested in discussing: some thing that really bothered me in a classic. Sometimes in these cases, people hyped up the book. Others liked it; it’s acclaimed; it’s a classic. Surely it must be good, right?

One of my top entries in this grouping is The Great Gatsby. My criticism? I could not relate to any of the characters. At all. They were so unreal in behavior, thought, and action that I could never get into the story.

A second is The Screwtape Letters. I love C.S. Lewis. I wanted to love everything he wrote. As I read this famous work of his, however, I felt disappointed. I realized I expected Screwtape to be more insidious, more clever, more devious. Perhaps my experiences have been with a smarter and more subtle fiend?

A third and final classic for my chopping block is Wuthering Heights. I’m not a romance fan, in case people didn’t know, but I do read stories with romance in them. I like Jane Austen, for example. Wuthering Heights seemed far-fetched, perhaps. Mostly, like with Gatsby, I had little interest in the characters.

In retrospect, much of the reason I’ve found distaste with some classical literature is that I had to read them. That’s a bit of a chicken-and-egg problem, though, because I doubt I’d have chosen to read them on my own.

Also, disliking a classic can have its benefits. Before The Grapes of Wrath in my senior year of high school, I’d never fallen asleep whilst reading.

As always, I am curious what others think. Are you a defender of all classical works to the bitter end? Are you one to agree with me, and nit-pick a few for failings? Do you not care so long as you can watch Colin Firth dive into a pond?

As my mother says, “Inquiring minds want to know.”

library-1101164_1920

—————-

I most certainly did not get wordy this week. Here’s what I did:
Wednesday, May 22: Wrote “If You Could Be Any Mythical Creature, What Would You Be?

Thursday, May 23: Nothing.

Friday, May 24: Winner of the Weekly Terribly Poetry Contest. Congratulations, again, to Bruce Goodman!

Saturday, May 25: Announced the 27th Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. The theme is epic book or film series. PLEASE ENTER!

Sunday, May 26: “The Gatehouse,” in response to Sue Vincent‘s prompt.

Monday, May 27: Answered Peregrine Arc‘s prompt with “The Cell of Snares.

Tuesday, May 28:  Also nothing.

Wednesday, May 29: Today.

I also posted some at my motherhood site. I wrote “Mom, What Can I Do?,” and “Happily Ever After Is Possible, but It Requires an Epic Journey.”

 

Photo Credit:
Image by klimkin from Pixabay

 

© 2019 Chelsea Owens

The Cell of Snares

You received a letter from the state explaining you were chosen in a lottery to come and rescue an animal. The shelter is being closed due to the owner’s untimely death and his will instructed for his estate to be divided up randomly. Being the animal lover you are, you decide to follow up on this mystery and pop on down to look at a potential pet or two. The address typed on the back of the letter is unfamiliar to you, but your Saturday is wide open. You fill up your gas tank and head out. Why not?

Once you reach the destination, a prison complex at the literal end of the road, all outside communication is cut off and the ‘animals’ are not quite what they seem

—–

Despite my rising alarm at the lack of guards, cell phone service, working car, existence of a cassette player, gouge marks, shackled creature that shapeshifts –Okay, okay, that’s enough thinking that way. I focus, instead, on the gently swinging ivy above me. I breathe in and out. “All right, Beth,” I whisper to myself. “Think positively. What can you control?” –Not that my therapist ever suggested I’d literally be trapped like this, with potential death a mere inchesBreathe, Beth, breathe! Maybe Dr. Querk should have had me run through a few practical situations, but it’s too late to consider that now.

*Greetings, traveler and welcome to The Prison for Dangerous…* begins playing for the sixth time since I entered the creepy room. Nothing irritates me more than repetition, even a supernatural being that might be able to tear my head off. I turn to the apparition within the first cell and glare daggers at it.

“KNOCK IT OFF!” I bellow.

The being within blinks a thousand rainbow eyes at me, squawks, and disappears. I stand on my toes to see where it’s gone: into a bottom corner, rodent-like, somehow still shackled. The tape has stopped. I give the mouse thing a stern nod, in case it gets any ideas.

I let my breath out and look around again. Now fully within the room, I can see that Freaky’s box isn’t the only one with damage to the interior. Of the ten cells, only one or two seem undamaged. Box Four, near the end on the left side, has scorch marks. Number Six -or One, depending on how one wished to count- to the right is dark and molding. The last cell in the row to the right is not only scraped and dented, but the cause of the damage is clearly visible in the form of a large, glowering minotaur.

“Well, Beth, are any minotaurs not glowering?” I tease. A chittering laugh just beyond the shapeshifter draws me forward. “It’s fine. They can’t get out,” I say as I walk, though I certainly won’t go tap on #10’s glass to test my theory.

As I near the source of the laughing, I note signs attached to the outside of each cell. The first reads:

SHIFTER

Charles is the perfect companion. He not only fits most occasions, he fits any occasion or any species. Ever wanted a rabbit one day, then a pony the next? Charles is right for you!

I laugh a bit; again, echoed by Cell Two. “Are they serious?” I ask the open room. It reads just like the plaques at the animal shelter in town but, surely, I can’t literally walk out with something as incredible as a shapeshifter?

I glance at the affixed plaque of #2:

SPRITE

Honeyblossom is the light of the party or room. Besides a natural effervescent personality, she has a natural effervescence. A bit flighty, Honeyblossom would do well in an open environment without the temptation of mischief.

A tiny pair of eyes peers over the sign through the glass front. They blink and a tiny nose and grinning mouth appear as well. I smile a bit in return but immediately look away. Sprites and mischief are practically synonymous; sorry, Honeyblossom.

Mostly due to the very large, heavily-breathing presence on the end, I examine the other labels from a safe distance. They outline a Mouther, Phoenix, Satori, Boggart, Imp, Baby Dragon, Unicorn, Tokoloshe, Taniwha, and that Minotaur. I catch names like Chatterbox, Imka, and Bob.

I also see that the door of the unicorn’s cell is slightly ajar; her sign askew. Either I am not the first visitor to this strange place, or Rainbow Sparkles, III figured things out on her own… I look around, twitching this way and that. My eyes meet those of a few remaining creatures and no one else, whether that’s a comforting audience or not.

“Oh-kay,” I exhale. Before Charles stopped the recorded message, it’d said all I had to do was activate a cell with my letter. After that, the creature inside was mine. But, do I want to bring one of these home? A Satori was pretty awesome in theory; in practice, not so much. He’d likely run away or hide, knowing precisely when I meant to throw him in the tub or tell him it was time for bed. And no way would I consider bringing home something larger than my car.

Which left at least three animals I’d dreamed about since childhood. Three mythical creatures I’d pored over in storybooks and often said aloud, “Oh, I wish it was real!” Three that would be really awesome to own.

One of those, if J.K. Rowling were correct, that would make the use of an exit vehicle unnecessary.

“What the heck, Beth? The letter and the recording said to choose one.” I pull the crumpled bunch of papers from my back pocket and smooth them out. Before I can change my mind, I walk toward the smoking glass of Cell #4.

phoenix-500469_1920

—–

This was in response to Peregrine Arc’s story prompt. You can join in, too! Just click here to read her amazing introduction.

 

Photo Credit:
Image by Mystic Art Design from Pixabay

 

© 2019 Chelsea Owens

The Gatehouse

transition

“…and this, ladies and gentlemen, is where the family most oft exited the manor if they wished a stroll down the North side of their estate…”

Well-trained and well-rounded tourist faces followed their guide’s directing hand, staring out the open side door. A few, “Oohs” and phone-clicks captured the view but most eyes slid back, puppy-eyed, to the mustachioed leader. Meredith glanced up from examining the iron stove but the subservient herd completely blocked the opening. She’d look once they trundled on.

“Over here,” the guide continued, “In this alcove, one finds a few items the family may have used for such an excursion.”

*Click* *click* captured the made-in-China umbrellas and slickers hanging on IKEA hooks. Meredith rolled her eyes.

“Shall we continue on to the servants’ quarters?” Murmurs of assent answered him. The tour guide turned smartly and ducked up a narrow set of stairs. “Mind the head,” came back to them.

“And the waist,” Meredith mumbled, eyeing the first few tourists and wondering how they’d get through the space. She stopped, her garden view finally unobstructed. Some force, some memory, some power held her; staring out the opening.

I’ve been here before, she thought. She knew.

But how ridiculous. This was her first visit to England. It was her first visit overseas at all, only made possible by an impulsive coworker’s double-booking. Only Karen would be wealthy and ignorant enough to pay for two vacations in the same week. A similar impulse to now had compelled Meredith to take Karen up on her discounted offer…

Meredith stepped nearer the exit, still not quite in control of her mind or self. Was it the worn, polished stone path; the neat, trim, British grass; or the charming stone brickwork of the cottagelike gate house before her? What reminded her, drew her, pulled at her?

Her eyes flitted to the arched, weather-beaten wood door. Her feet sandaled down the path toward it. From so near the building, she could see and appreciate its age but also the original care and detail put into its workmanship. She could not imagine building the walls and windows, peaks and arch, all with a barrow-full of tools and only the hands God gave you.

Simon. Simon had built the gatehouse. He’d made the door. How she knew that, Meredith could only guess. The further she walked away from the tour group and the closer she drew to outside, the more antique memories trickled into her mind.

Father had asked Simon to build it on the East side but Mother had wished it here, atop a slight knoll before the moors began. Meredith’s pace quickened. The afternoon sunlight danced into her eyes just as she pressed her hands against the garden door and pushed.

“Meredith?” she raised a gloved hand to shade against the bright light to her left. There, beneath a tree, leaned a surprised young man in riding gear.

“Edmund,” she breathed. Recalling herself, she corrected with, “Good afternoon, Mr. Manfield.”

He stood away from the tree and strode toward her in haste. Removing his cap and taking her hand in his, he said, “But, your father said you never again desired my company.” His eyes searched her face beneath her hat brim, imploring.

Meredith could scarcely think above her rising excitement and beating heart. Father, father… She met Edmund’s gaze, blushed, looked away.

“What is it, Mere -Miss Howard?”

“Father,” she began. “‘Twas all Father’s doing. He forbade me to speak with you, but-” Here, she drew enough courage to meet his gaze once more. “I know that, if I heed his warnings, I shall be miserable the remainder of my days.”

A smile brushed against Edmund’s lips and lit his eyes more warmly still. It came again, staying this time. She’d always loved his smile.

He kneeled, right there amoungst the heather and the wet grasses. “Meredith Howard, I could never live, knowing I were the cause of a lifetime of misery.” Smiling wider, he said, “I will go and speak with your father -this very moment- with you by my side.”

Rising, he grasped her hand more firmly. She felt his strength and love through both their gloves as, together, they walked back to the arched wood door. Edmund pulled it open and she glanced at it as they passed. Simon had just stained it, and it looked nearly new.

Remembered for Sue Vincent‘s Thursday photo prompt: transition.

 

© 2019 Chelsea Owens

The Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

Welcome to the 27th Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest!

I am your hostess, Chelsea Owens. If you are unsure of how to write terrible poetry, I outlined a bit of what I look for here. This is the sort of contest one enters in order to let loose, dangle participles, overly rhyme, and stick it to that pompous English professor we’ve all had.

Here are the specifics:

  1. Our Topic, class, is a poem about an epic book, television, or movie series. -You know; like that Throne of Gaming one, or Starring Wars, or Parry Hotter.
  2. Some of those series get reallllly long (lookin’ at you, Robert Jordan), but our audience’s attention span is shorter. Keep the Length below 200 words, s’il vous plaît.
  3. Rhyming‘s an easy way to curl our toes, when used improperly. Officially, however, it’s optional.
  4. The #1 Rule is make it terrible. George R.R. Martin, J.R.R. Tolkien, George Lucas, Robert Jordan, and J.K. Rowling must want to join together, mighty morphin’ style, to kick your poem’s …meter out of this universe.
  5. Some of these popular books and such can get a bit racy, so you can up the Rating to PG-13ish or cleaner.

You have till 8:00 a.m. MST next Friday (May 31) to submit a poem.

Use the attached form for anonymity (till Friday). I’ve been getting them without complaint, so I think WordPress is mostly sending them through.

For immediate fame and attention, include your poem or a link to it in the comments.

Share, and enjoy!

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Photo credit:
Image by simisi1 from Pixabay

WINNER of the Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

I asked for engineering failures and terrible poetry, and everyone delivered. In fact, you all delivered so well that I’ve been debating the same six poems back and forth for a few hours.

Since our literary failures do not mean a literal catastrophic result, however, I’ll leave you in suspense no longer. The winner is Bruce Goodman.

Thou wert my gate

by Bruce Goodman

Thou wert my gate
in the fence of life;
a doorway in the
corridor of existence;
a hole in the
wall of being

Now you have shut the
entrance to your heart
and I am shattered into a pile of quaking reinforced concrete .
No more will I hear your euphonious voice
wafting over the plastic barrier of time;
no more will my nostrils sense the scent
of your hair on the yellow brick road of vivacity.
Oh the audacity!

You have become an engineering failure,
a total engineering failure;
in fact you are the biggest engineering failure
I have ever encountered in my life.
And you are fat.
I wish you all the Botox you can lay your hands on.
You need it.

Strumpet! Strumpet!
You have no reason to blow your own trumpet
for thou art a total engineering failure!
Thou wert my gate
in the fence of life
but now you are just a pile of rocks –
to say nothing of your choice in tasteless frocks.

Like I said, many poems were contenders at the end. I liked the short and sweet of a few; the long and rambling of the others. I like the lessons taught, the meters distraught, and the rhymes that were naught …good.

Bruce’s contribution ultimately won because it sounds very serious and poetic in many ways: word choice, alliterative references, more serious meter. Then, we’ve got the completely misplaced “And you are fat. / I wish you all the Botox you can lay your hands on. / You need it.” His final stanza returns us to the original serious poeming with the humorous element he dropped on us like an indigestible rock.

Again, not that the other poems didn’t give Bruce a run for his nonexistent money. I loved them all, and know you will too:

An Engineer’s Lament

by Deb Whittam

Oh let us lament
The failures we must confront
Oft it is not us
The engineers proclaim
It’s that other thing
Which is to blame
We see your look of doubt
But let me tell you with clout
It’s true you see
It’s the pressure valves fault, not me.

—–

Untitled piece

by Trent McDonald

They once built a bridge to a star
Oh, that’s so incredibly far
But relativity it seems
Is more than bad dreams
So the warped space time continuum over the light years, uhm, yeah, uhm, made it hard to reach by car?
yeah, that’s it, made it hard to reach by car.

—–

Untitled piece

by Trent McDonald

I once built a bridge, that is true
One to reach from me over to you
But my skill was too weak
So it fell in the creek
And now I’m terribly blue

—–

First Thing’s First

by Peregrine Arc

I built a
Boat.
At first it wouldn’t bark
Then it wouldn’t hark
To anything I said.
It swam there, tarried there
And drove me to Timbuktu
When I wanted to go to Malibu.
So I shot it
In the hull
And now the problem, I think, is solved.
Glub, glub, glub.
Oh dear. What whim.
There’s only one thing for it: Can I swim?

—–

Casey Jones

by Michael B. Fishman

Casey Jones, you big dummy.
You drove the train too fast and you crashed.
And then you died.

(Note to reader: insert head shake here)

What’s that?
This poem’s apposed to be about engineering fails
and not engineer fails?

Well color me stupid.

I can’t carry a tune in a bucket
and I guess I can’t read directions so just…

…don’t buck it.

—–

The New Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

by Larry Trasciatti

‘Twas a springtime morning out in old Lindenhurst when Tommy O’Leary decided to make him a car.
So he put on his very bestest greenest threads as he burst out with joy to all his assembled friends: ‘My Chitty Chitty Bang Bang moment awaits, I tell you!!’

The local townsfolk have sworn since then, that a raven and peacock flew by flew by, that a raven and peacock flew by.

‘Within five weeks my five step process’ , says he, ‘will yield a spectacular car, a car. It will yield a spectacular car.

To his shame he made it of light balsa wood and that didn’t bode well in a crash a crash. No that didn’t bode well in a crash.

—–

Bhopal

by H.R.R. Gorman

The December morning air smelled cool, fresh,
Coals of industry a faint background scent.
Bhopal contained an old pesticide plant
That employed locals and brought in money.

Poisonous intermediate
The methyl isocyanate
Built pressure in the old vessels,
But the aging pipes and valves failed.

They thought the meter
Failed and went on home
To leave the pressure
Building on and on.

But then
It popped
Poison
Leakage

Breath
Pain
Death
Vain

Agony of 3,787 deaths
Many more injuries, some severe

No litigation could repay this woe
But it failed to bring justice anyway.
Innocents were killed, but money was made,
Fulfilling the prophecy of profit.

—–

Untitled piece

by Ruth Scribbles

The master designer has failed
He really should be put into jail
He gave her six toes
And a long pointy nose
She now wears a long dark veil

—–

Untitled piece

by Ruth Scribbles

The DNA put in her body
Was very very naughty
It made her get sick
Turned her muscles to ick
That is the end of this story

—–

Anatomical Mars vs Venus

by Violet Lentz

purported as divine creation
supposedly perfect in every way
I have reason to believe, the plans were drafted
on the of’t disputed creators, off day.

with the parts over here
being just enough off
from the parts they’re
to connect with over there

practice and patience
are often required-
which could take till long after
the ‘use by date’ had expired

so ‘creation one’ took the problem in hand
and after a hormonal cocktail or two
one upped creation with video porn, so now we look good-
doing what we still can’t figure out, how to do.

—–

Untitled piece

by Ruth Scribbles

Epic fail I declare
The engineer used defective parts
Was he not aware
Of the pain I must bear
Or does he really not care

—–

Dear Nigel

by BereavedDad

Normally
I see the best in folk
Giving the benefit of doubt
Eagerly seeking the good
Leaving the bad to one side

F*** it in this case
A complete bellend
Raving racist
Arrogant and spiteful
Greedy and self serving
Egotistical political parasite

—–

Fail

by Joanne the Geek

This entire project was always quite cursed

There’s a crack in the dam it’s gonna burst!

As engineers go, I’m definitely the worst

They may as well have hired Fred Durst

So I’m off with my suitcase full of money

Off to the fabled land of milk and honey

In a way you could say it’s almost funny

Now I’m off to a place that’s quiet and sunny.

—–

Thanks everyone, you terrible poets you! Come back tomorrow for next week’s prompt!

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Bruce: D. Wallace Peach created this graphic that you can use (if you want) for a badge of honor as the winner:

If You Could Be Any Mythical Creature, What Would You Be?

Once upon a time, I had a boss who thought each employee on his team might benefit from sitting in on an interview. At the time I was working as a Quality Assurance Engineer for coded litigation documents. That fancy title meant I wore the most comfortable clothes possible without their being pajamas, worked in a cubicle corner that looked more and more like a cave every day, and frequently talked to my coworkers so that we didn’t start gnawing the upholstered walls out of boredom.

Quality control is mind-numbingly dull.

I was thus attired and thus mindsetted when said boss (we’ll call him Jim) alerted me to the interview and his expectation that I be there. I had no training in what to say but certainly knew I ought to have put on something fancier than jeans and a sweatshirt. At least I had shoes.

And so I went, attending my suit-clad supervisor. We met an expectant young man in the conference room. His name was(n’t) Mike. He also wore a suit. We shook hands all around and sat and organized papers and I pretended to know what I was doing.

“I see from your résumé that you worked at X…” Jim began. Fortunately, the questions and responses ran just like I’d seen in movies. I nodded at appropriate points, looked stern and interested at others, and added a (hopefully) relevant query when requested.

We were nearly finished, when Jim asked, “If you could be any mythical creature, what would you choose?”

Mike thought for a few seconds, then responded, “A ninja tiger.”

Besides the usual gamut of “Where do you see yourself in five years?,” “What experience do you feel you bring to X Company?,” and “Have you ever been in a stressful situation and how did you handle it?;” I knew some quirky interviewers pulled out a random question for fun (or, to my paranoid mind) for psychological assessment. When Mike, by all appearances a QA nerd, answered the way he did, I was surprised.

But Mike was/is a bit of an odd duck. I knew that because we hired him and I worked with him for at least a year. He enjoyed sitting at home and introvertedly watching hours of television, yet also bowled. And was quite good. He was quiet and reserved but walked the halls in a sort of sliding fashion. Yes, like a ninja. I believe he told me he had a black belt in karate despite having the physique of a toothpick.

Yes, this could very well be a post about judging people. Bad, bad Chelsea. Don’t judge.

I’m more interested in answering the same question posed to Mike: If you could be any mythical creature, what would you choose? I’m interested because of how that classifies us. People are complex beings. Sure, we relate to certain groups and often lump ourselves together with similar personalities and interests. Through a simple question about preferences, however, we can reveal a deeper aspect.

We can reveal a ninja tiger.

I’m not that cool. Most days I behave like a Grick, a “darkly colored worm or snake-like creature” that lays around caves and waits to grab things with its tentacles. Since I get to name my own preference, though, I’d love to be a phoenix or an imp or a dragon.

Flying, right? No-brainer.

How about you? What mythical creature would you choose? For bonus interview points, what do you think that might say about your personality?

Draconika

—————-

In the real world, here’s what I wrote last week:
Wednesday, May 15: Wrote “Just Another Day in the Life,” and learned that I need to stop dusting.

Thursday, May 16: “Suddenly Spring,” a poem about …well, suddenly spring.

Friday, May 17: Winner of the Weekly Terribly Poetry Contest. Congratulations to Deb Whittam!

Saturday, May 18: Announced the 26th Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. The theme is engineering failures, real or imagined. PLEASE ENTER!

Sunday, May 19: “Tree Search Exclusive Tours, Ltd.,” in response to Carrot Ranch‘s prompt.

Monday, May 20: An inspirational quote by Timothy Leary.

Tuesday, May 21:”Wilhelmina Winters, Ninety-Four.”

Wednesday, May 22: Today.

I also posted all this week at my motherhood site. I wrote “Don’t Be so Hard on Yourself,” “Special Projects Take a Lot of Time and Mess,” and “A Poem, I Think.”

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens

Wilhelmina Winters, Ninety-Four

Wil, Rob, and Jakob entered the usual silent dark of #42 more grimly than they did most Friday evenings. The zombie *hush-hush* of Cynthia’s nebulizer hummed a discordant duet with that of the rattling heating system.

Wil tiptoed to the couch in the light from the open front door. The door also welcomed a blast of chill air; Rob closed it and Jakob switched on the dim bulb over the range. All this outlined a slumbering Cynthia, complete with peaceful smile and slow rise of breathing. Her equipment, still on, lay nearby. Wil switched it off.

Wil!” Rob whisper-yelled. She looked up, blinking. He gestured to himself and she stumbled up and over to where he stood. “You start on dinner,” he continued whispering. “I’m going to change, then take over. Do you have homework?

Wil made a face.

All right. Do it while dinner’s cooking.” He stepped aside and pointed to a grocery bag on the counter, the very bag she’d acquired from her exploits earlier that evening…

Her father thumped past her as silently as he could in his work boots and headed down the hall. “Ooomph!” Wil exlaimed as Jakob followed suit; his aim had not been to travel around her. Not able to do more for lack of size and ability to noise complaints, she glared at her stepbrother. He threw her a final look of teasing humor before disappearing.

Wil turned to the plastic sack. She glanced round the dim room tomb as sifting, silent sand filtered down the cracks of peeking sunbeams. All seemed quiet, but Indiana Winters knew too well the peril of those who assumed no danger. With light-gloved touch, she moved the noisy sack-sides to retrieve its hidden treasures: a boxed meal and cans that claimed to be tuna.

She angled the box beneath the wavering electric light; she could make out pictures of pots and timers and a steaming pan at the end. “Well, well, well,” Winters said, her breath inches from the vague pictograms. “Etruscan influence, I’d say, with a smidgeon of Greek. Hmmm.” She moved her right hand to scratch beneath her favorite, battered fedora. “Now… what do they say to do first?”

Her nose near-touching the surface of print, she thought she recognized a symbol. It looked very like an object she’d encountered whilst searching. Round, shining, potable; it must be the same. She stooped with care, steel-tipped boots slipping on the polished tomb floor. With tongue gripped between set lips, she creaked open a small alcove.

She paused.

Nothing.

She searched left, right, up, down, and behind her crouched position.

Still nothing.

Reaching her free hand to within the dark depths, Winters brushed against a solid object. A solid, shiny object. She pulled it free. Eureka! She rose to standing height once more, holding her glinting prize in the half-light’s flickers.

Her exultant feeling cut short as she again glanced at the pictograms. Despite acquiring this first relic, her mission to discover The Secrets of Din might forever end there. “Where,” she whispered, “Am I to fill this with water?

 

Continued from Ninety-Three.
Keep reading to Ninety-Five.

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens

Tree Search Exclusive Tours, Ltd.

“And this…” he paused, turned, faced the group with the red sun at his back and ash clouds beneath his boots. “Is where trees once stood.”

If the group had breath to gasp between their regulated air streams, perhaps they would have gasped. At least they stood in silence. Wearing the most stylish protective suits and SCBA money could buy, they stood in silence.

He shook his head inside his own, more functional suit. What good did these exclusive tours do, anyway? Surely these people, heads of companies responsible for the radioactive waste around him, did not actually care…

chernobyl-3696221_1920

Imagined and lamented for Carrot Ranch‘s prompt: a story that goes in search of trees.

May 16, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that goes in search of trees. It can be one particular tree, a grove, woods, or forest. What makes the tree worth seeking? Go where the prompt leads!

Respond by May 21, 2019. Use the comment section below to share, read and be social. You may leave a link, pingback or story in the comments. If you want to be published in the weekly collection, please use the form.  Rules & Guidelines.

 

Photo Credit:
Image by Wendelin Jacober from Pixabay

 

© 2019 Chelsea Owens