WINNER of the Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for: The winner is everyone who entered.

You are all the most terrible poets of the week!

I am amazed, impressed a thousandfold, and speechless. I tried to think of a winner, I truly did. I tried narrowing by rules, by terribleness, by rhyming or not or rhyming not -to no avail.

I think I was simply laughing too hard.

To pick just one among such talent would be to insult the rest. I kid thee not; see for yourself:

Coffee For (In the Style of John Masefield’s “Sea Fever“)

by John S.

I must go down the street again, to the coffeehouse near the Y,
And what I need is a yogurt scone and a grande latte chai;
With a mule’s kick and a banshee song and the white milk that’s shaking,
There’s a grim look on the barista’s face, and the coffee press is breaking.
I must go down the street again, for a caffé mocha, iced.
It’s 2 pm on a Wednesday, this cannot be denied;
And here it is a promotions day with the caramel clouds flying,
And soccer moms with their matcha green, and the frappuccinos vying.
I must go down the street again, this vagrant caffeine strife,
For the blended way and the fruit juice way where the drink is a whetted knife;
And all I ask is an espresso shot that keeps me stone cold sober,
And doubly-steeped herbal mango tea or a smoothie I could go for.

—–

Stopping by woods on a snowy evening

by Bruce Goodman

Whose woods these are I have no clue.
And if truth be known, nor do you.
It’s sheltered enough for me to hop off my gig
And stretch the legs for a minute or two.

My little horse must think I’m queer
To stop with no pub in sight and no beer
With snow all over the place
In the middle of nowhere.

The woods are lovely, so to speak,
And you might think I’m some sort of creep,
But there’s miles to go before I‘ll get another chance to stop for a leak,
But there’s miles to go before I‘ll get another chance to stop for a leak.

—–

Zodiac Killer (from Chaucer’s “Canterbury Tales“)

by H.R.R. Gorman

1 One derke and tempestuous Aprill night,
2 The shirreve clutched his herte in awful fright.
3 The licour of woman’s veynes bathed walls,
4 And with blodde the Ram of spring marked the halles.
5 The shirreve sees drawen to memorie
6 Another mordre with sign of Pisces,
7 Capricornne brot a deth most treasonous,
8 And dede man drowned, sign of Aquarius.
9 He seche and he trowe evidence,
10 But the Zodiac killer’s japed him since.
11 The shirreeve made many pilgrimages
12 To question witnesses in low corages
13 And find preve of the killer’s vileynye
14 To bring him to justise thurgh agonie.
15 Nonne can descrive circumstances of deth,
16 And all cry out hevynesse through bated breeth.
17 Upon giving up and laying to snoose,
18 He at last trowed the killer was Ted Cruz.

—–

The Agent (Based on Edgar Alan Poe, “The Raven“)

by Trent P. McDonald

Once upon a midday dreary, while I pondered how to write my query
To sell my quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore
While I edited typos and participles hanging, suddenly there came a clanging
As of some one harshly banging, banging at my apartment door
“’Tis the landlord,” I sputtered, “clanking at my apartment door –
I better hide since my cash is no more.”

Ah, I wish I could remember, was it May or December?
And each separate rejected note lied crumpled on the floor
How I dreaded the marrow: – I’d have to pay back the cash I did borrow
And not selling my book caused me sorry – sorrow for “The Art of the Bore”-
For that bit of putrid fiction had that name “The Art of the Bore”-
A stupid name evermore

-a bunch of skipped verses…-

“Please don’t’ let that word be our parting, my pretend friend,” I shrieked, embarrassingly
“Please read my manuscript, it’s not a Plutonium store!
See what my black plume has transcribed, as my soul has spoken!
Don’t leave me lonely and broken – take it with you out my door!
Take this bleak writing of my heart, take the my book, no matter how poor!
Quoth the Agent “Nevermore”

—–

If” (Or When The Truth Finally Dawns)

by Geoff

If you can fly a drone yet not drone on about that skill
And capture some celebs’ nips, for your Insta feed to fill;

If you can face the surgeon’s knife and also find the wedge
To have your gender altered, adding meat and two root veg;

If you can make an online bet, and keep on loss on loss
And find some time for other games and still not give a toss;

If you can change allegiance from Arsenal to Spurs
And face the chants of ‘traitor’ and some witch’s paid-for curse;

If you can hold the notion, that your MPs moral compass
Is still intact when it’s bloody plain he’s just a cheating short-arse;

If you can read the dailies and absorb a constant diet
Of fake news and propaganda, yet still you want to buy it;

If you can be a vegan yet not let veganing be your master
Adopt a healthy lifestyle, yet let blue pills make you harder;

If you control the TV remote to the manor born
And pass your nights with sport and paid-for Scandi-porn;

If passing days in a sweaty haze of gyms and protein shakes
Let’s you think that guns and tucked in tums are all it really takes;

If you can drink your weight in beer, and finish with a curry
Wake up drunk, go to work and still not think to worry;

If you can take on a lifetime’s debt, for a poxy little degree
And never think that you’ve been had then I’m sure you will agree,

That you’ve won life’s lottery and you’ve proved that you’re a man
And really don’t you think, you dick, that it’s time that you began

To realise that the world is sick and everything that’s in it
Should now be run by women, so that maybe they can fix it.

—–

Cousin MacDuncan

by Doug

The Witches:
All hail, Duncan, Bane of Craw
Whence camest thou, worthy Prince?

From the castle I sayeth.
Pray tell, I am needeth
the spell of Puxogt, my birthright:
stir the pot to bestow the incantations
that you’d wilt the will of nature
doth have me know the words
though be it darkest magic I demand.
Giveth I say the boil, the power
as foretold in the prophesy.

Witches:
Beware the idles of auto-carraiges.
Though many knights save their seats
against rebellion and lavish treachery
speak quickly in tragedy before the second stab.

But I had not known the puzzle of the boils.
And thus in folly, all was thought well
though the traitors lurked in hatred of the Priestess.

I was to escort Her Sacredness to her doom the raff assumed
’twas twisted chicanery looming as explosive as the petard.

We’d gone in a convoy, but with a bomb
the doors of Her car were blown off

An evil twenty swarmed out
from fields of Sunflowers tall
knives redoubtable

They tied Her Sacredness to a fence
gagged her that She’d not reproach them:
their scabbards empty of their treachery

Such evil drawn out
upon the dastardly ceremony
that hides a scoundrel from a conscience

“Kill her,” I heard the tall one bade.
“Righteous tyranny of the Gods
“can NOT be malice when obeyed

“Let the least of us wound,
“the greatest stab Her in the heart,
“the fearful give the coup de grâce.”

Villains, villains, I shouted.

Halt at once this vileness,
these sneezed speeches
a phlegm of your diseased souls

A frenzied one spoke:
Her Sacredness
would fawn to the Council
and not to the Gods

She would banish our Sister
who champions the Gods

This impostor usurper
who takes the crown
would deny our true Priestess
her enfranchisement with the Gods

Let the Gods rightly
paint our true Priestess in
the light of Their Love, and
make her star brighter than
the day of this puny planet’s sun.

Hasten us all
lest we’d be interfered with
in our noble cause to
stab out the usurper

Draw now the blood of Her Falseness,
each of you in turn do act:
stab out this blotch

Sazrgk, begin!

But I crawled closer,
picked up rocks to throw

Thus I:
Sazrgk no! You of the least
do not now promote yourself to fiend

Let them have their honors.
Sazrgk, if you’d save your soul
take your mercy and go

But Sazrgk stabbed her in the shoulder.
’tis true: of weakness cold-hearted, he
did indeed plunge his dagger.

I screamed the ancient kinesis:
“T’ukmpuxogt!”

I became splattered in red screams
drowning in oceans of slaughter that
pulled me out of my mind with
a fury that engulfed the sun, and
made it set in vomit

By T’ukmpuxogt bold
the sunflowers were decapitated
in exploding shards of skull, and
headless bodies were
strewn across the road.

Thus I protect my Love
the only true Priestess.

—–

Dog, Be Not Proud (Parody of “Death be not proud” by John Donne)

by Peregrine Arc

Dog, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou are not so;
For those whom thou think’st thou dost stinky by
Die not, poor human, nor yet canst the dog’s Flatuence kill me.
From rest and sleep, which but thy doggy dreams be,
Much pleasure; then from thee much more must flow from thy waggily tail
And soonest our best men with thee do go,
Rest of their noses, and soul’s too early delivery.
Thou’art slave to smell, poo, gas, and dead things,
And dost with poison, gas, and sulphur dwell,
And skunk ‘or carcass can make us smell as well
And better than thy fumes; why smellest thou then?
One short stink past, we breathe eternally,
And doggy gas shall be no more; doggy, thou shalt go poo.

—–

Will I Sweat a Sweet Summer’s Day? (Based on Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18)

by Doug

Indeed I’d liken thee to a hot intemperate day.
Thy art work hangs on the wall by the bed:
In the heat and torrents of Summer’s bray
The painting warps ‘n tilts though glee outspreads

Though furies of heaven are too hot tempered to tame
And often the sea would rush in with scorn
A perfect day fickled with clouds that disclaim
A Nature’s bearded willow teased forlorn

But thou art hotter than the Sun
An eternal fire of thy soul consumes not;
Thy burning bush still fertile not done
Nor will death retrieve heat God wot:
One summer’s day none can tame
As there’d be forever one dame.

—–

Starlight (“Tyger” by William Blake)

by Ruth Scribbles

Starlight Starlight oh so, bright,
I wish I may, I wish I might
Actually sleep tonight?
Why the hell do you light up my room?

My wings are frail
My hands are weak
Do you dare to tweak
My heart?

You are evil, yes indeed
Your light in my eyes
Makes me need
My sunglasses at night

What are you thinking
You bright dim wit?
Shining on my terrors
So I see my errors?

The clouds the clouds
Will dim your light
And hide you and my fright
In the middle of the night

Starlight Starlight oh so, bright,
I wish I may, I wish I might
Actually sleep tonight?
Hell lights up my room?

—–

Bukowski (“Bluebird” by Charles Bukowski)

by Violet Lentz

bukowski said,,
he had a bluebird
in his heart….
he said,
he tried
to drown it
in cheap whiskey-
to smother it
in the smoke,
of a myriad
of hand rolled
cigarettes.. yet,
in the end,
he told us,
he knew,
that it was there.
and he knew-
it was a bluebird…

still i wonder,
just how deep
he had to sink
into the quagmire
of his own
scarred psyche-
how many nights
he had to lay awake
staring into
the cold, black,
eyes of self-
before he heard
that single blessed note…
before it broke thru.
before it rose above
the mire of
life’s melancholy
melody…and when it did-

when at last,
it broke thru,
his delusion distilled,
and for the first time
he held it close
late at night
in the dark
when no one else
was around-

was it then
that he realized
it was never
really a bluebird
that he was trying
to drown
in cheap whiskey
or to smother
in the fog
of yet another
hand rolled cigarette?
was it then
that he realized
it was never
really a bluebird
that he desired
to hold ever so tightly
to himself
as he drifted
off to sleep
listening to
the bittersweet song
that only he
could hear
alone, in the dark
when no one else
could see?

and if it was then,
did he weep?
i for one
believe he did….

—–

Untitled piece (also Shakespeare’s “Sonnet 18″)

by Nakedinfiniverse

You’re as hot as I get when I win a race,
You’re pretty and you’re always sober.
Gales blow petals all over the place –
it’s like, as soon’s you blink summer’s over.
One minute I’m sweatin’ like a goat,
The next the weather goes all cloudy;
You always need to take a coat
‘Cos accidents and nature make stuff dowdy.
But your beauty will always and forever stay,
And they’ll never take you from the sunshine.
You won’t even die, ‘cos you will stay
Alive thanks to this pretty rhyme;
As long as there’s still people around,
My poem will hold you on the ground.

—–

Marvelous, fantastic, amazing, marginally-terrible work! Tune in tomorrow for next week’s prompt.

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

The Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

Good day, fellow poets. May I be the first to welcome you to The Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest? You, sir or madam or sidam, are attendant to the 21st iteration of this most-anticipated event.

Now! Sit back, relax, and don those thinking caps. We also advise those participating to drop a few, stingy rules at the door. Yes, you may leave your senses of meter and form there as well. If necessary, here is a general guideline to which you may reference.

Ready? Excellent! The following are the rules for this week:

  1. The Topic is Making Sport of Classic Poetry. You, like many, have heard of creatures stirring, woods with diverging paths, gentle nights, and captains (O, Captains!). Well –nevermore!
    • Pick a popular poem, and have at it! We’re talking parody, satire, and silliness. Go where your nausea of repetition leads you.
    • As a final note, the judge and readers will follow your ramblings with slightly more understanding if you note which work you choose.
  2. The Length will depend on the poem you mock. If you choose Beowulf, however, please keep it to the first page.
    Also, please limit your number of submissions to three. Those of you who are really good at this game are making the rest of us look bad.
  3. If the one you mock rhymes, you Rhyme. Or, not. You’d be surprised how casual the judge is.
  4. Moste importantely, make it terrible. The poem’s original author must feel compelled –no- SUMMONED by the chantings of those who read your parody aloud to drag themselves from the grave (or desk, if still alive) to seek you out and haunt you every Sunday afternoon before supper.
  5. Keep things PG-13 or nicer. Sometimes my kids read over my shoulder.

You have till 8:00 a.m. MST next Friday (April 12) to submit a poem.

If you are shy, use the form. Leave me a comment saying that you did as well, just to be certain. I will be able to tell you whether I received it.

For a more social experience, include your poem or a link to it in the comments.

Have fun!

 

 

 

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If you need further inspiration, please reference “Everlore,” and the newsletter I made my family suffer through in December.

 

Photo credit:
Roman Kraft

Directions from a Druid


By Stefan Keller

 

“Just past The Swamp of Misery,” Alvin huffed. “Just past The Swamp of Misery…”

Though his whisper was barely audible in the frigid air, the man just ahead stopped and looked back. An icicle-crusted cloth obscured most of his face, yet he still managed to scowl. “I swear,” he said, his speech muffled, “If ye dunnae stop, ye’ll shortly be asking yer ANCESTORS about The Swamp of Misery!” He faced forward again and continued walking.

Alvin hadn’t even the breath to sigh. Given that, he doubted the other man’s threat had much clout behind it. They were all worn out, cold, and on edge. They’d been at this quest for the longest fortnight of any man’s life: rising in the dark, stopping after the next night’s dark, and sleeping round a sorry excuse for a campfire. And the weather was always, always cold.

If not for a small supply of bottled ale, Alvin felt sure he’d be as frozen a man as that statue up ahead.

Statue? Statue?! “STATUE!!” he yelled, stopping so suddenly he was hit from behind by the next man. Alvin fell to the ground but scrabbled up again. Snow flew from his waving arms and dusted back. “Giant! Statue! We made it!” Pointing and almost hopping, he shouted through his own mouth scarf.

His neighbors to front and back looked where he motioned in a comically slow fashion and blinked their frosted lashes. They pointed, they shouted, they turned to men near them and relayed the message. Soon a chorus of muffled male voices was crying out in disarrayed joy. Arms waved, mittened hands gestured, and petrified limbs found life.

Hope renewed, the company trudged onward with greater speed. Alvin’s feet crunched in time to the rest: Frosted. Giant. Frosted. Giant. It was just as The Druid had described -albeit much farther a walking distance than they had all anticipated from her, “…just beyond The Swamp of Misery” direction.

Up the whitefold hill they trudged; and up, and up. Alvin’s sweating breath exhaled cloudy puffs with the beat of his boots. Though still excited, the men’s synchronized hike faltered on icy rocks and the powder-coated trail. After a half day’s exertions, however, all managed to clamber to the great, gaping base of The Frosted Giant.

Alvin and his companions stared at the dragonlike mouth carved before them, traced its mouth to a pair of nostrils, followed the nostrils to the upper part of a bearded man, then ended at the sunset-glinted, shaggy head of the giant himself.

“The Frosted Giant,” Alvin whispered, and was promptly punched in the arm. “Ow!”

“Told ye I’d teach ye,” a familiar, cloth-wrapped voice said. The man behind it ambled off behind a few others, whom Alvin could see were setting up camp. He followed, rubbing at his arm. Soon the whole company of men were warming themselves around their usual, ineffective fire.

“Right,” grunted the leader, shifting his scarf to below his bearded chin and smiling. Given the frozen state of his facial hair, the friendly expression was more of a grimace. “We made it.”

Eighteen heads bearing varying levels of frost nodded ascent. A few grunted as well.

Alvin could hardly contain his excitement. Forgetting his sore arm and what caused it, he blurted, “Now, we’ve only another fortnight or so till the next destination: The Scorching Phoenix!”

 

Thanks to D. Wallace Peach, a most excellent writer, for the prompt.