WINNER of the Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

At looooong last, I’ve had time that I should have spent feeding my children and cleaning my house to spend on choosing a winner.

And that winner is: Deb Whittam.

Untitled piece

by Deb Whittam

i got you out when it
was darker than the darkest
night, when the silence
wasn’t golden, it was burnt
like toast forgotten in the
toaster, when all stared at me
not perplexed, kind of,
mean, if you know what I mean,
mean like Mexican bean beans.

it was you that brought
sunlight to my life, that made me
feel accepted and perhaps
even like liked
it was you who made others
smile, not that kind of smile
when they are placating you,
but that kind of smile when they
think what you said was actually
a little bit funny

where are you now, where could
you be hiding … in a suitcase perhaps
perhaps, then it was the best
of times, but now it is the worst
of times, for you, I miss you oh
sense of humor who stood by me when
I couldn’t think of what to say but,
now you are gone, gone as in absent, perhaps
forever, forever, ever

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

As is the norm every contest, the choosing felt brutal. I narrowed things down to about three poems; based on sounding like an elegy, losing something, and (of course) being terrible. Deb’s concoction had several bad poetry elements like repeated words that had no reason to repeat, and that it felt very much like a serious poem -but really was not.

As is also the norm every contest, the other entrants were hardly losers (winners?). Read below and see if you can keep a straight face:

An Allergy

by Bruce Goodman

Oh woe is me
For I have lost my Virginity
Somewhere between the pharmacy
And under the Linden Tree.

If you should see it running about
Give me a shout
Even if you are in doubt.
I have no idea how it got out.

It was here one minute and then gone
Quick as a flash, it didn’t take long.
Where could have I gone wrong?
I feel such a ning-nong.

I desperately want my Virginity back
To lose it is a great lack.
My mother says it’s my own fault, that’s a fact,
And anyway, she says, Virginity is a stupid name for a cat.

—–

Brain Matter

by Ruth Scribbles

Alas my brain
Was drained
through a strainer
Of multi media
Input and output.
What a pain!
It’s gone
With the wind
Wound up like a
String of yarn
Wrapped around
My phone
My brain was painfully
Drained!
Matter is spaced
It’s gone… my brains
Are gone
Pieces are sliding
I can’t catch them
Glue won’t help
My file cabinet has been
De-filed
I can’t even cry
Because my brain
Doesn’t know that–
It is gone gone gone

—–

I Miss My Phone

by Larry Trasciatti

My very heart and soul do break,
So forlorn and woebegone
When I , alone with my pajamas on
Have been begrudged my telephone.

I go to Google’s Hangouts and
Punch my number into the keys.
And hope and pray that maybe please
Its dulcet ring will soon arise.
O I suspect where it may be
Perchance in my pajama bottom
At least that’s where it was last autumn.
And just where are they when I need’em?

If it into my pants pockets was tossed
And only for a moment lost
I hope that soon our paths will have again crossed
And it will not in a machine get washed.

—–

Gone for Good, Gone for Bad

by Trent McDonald

Even keeled
In a fair wind
Keeping my balance
In all things emotional
I have lost thee!
How, oh how, could it be?

You are the one thing
That keeps me safe!
Without you
I would be beaten up
All of the time
You make me watch my mouth
my language
All of the time
I don’t insult bigger guys
Because of you
But now you are gone
To wherever such things go
No more
Gone

I see only red
I can’t find you
When the world is red!
Darn it,
I hate red!
And it is pissing me off
To no end!
The red is growing
I am trembling
I need to punch something
Because you are gone!!!!
GET BACK HERE!!!!!!!
Arrggggggghhhh!!

Ah, my temper
where can you be?
I have lost my temper once again
And the world
Will never be the same

—–

FLOWERS ON THE COFFIN

by Chirayu

May I live or die
But my love
will never die”

These words are
written on an
old maple leaf
which is still
on the coffin of the boy
who once said this
lines to his love.

Actual, this maple leaf is a valentine gift once given
by the boy to his girl
which last even after his death.

—–

Elegy For My Smartphone

by Joanne Fisher

Bitter the world becomes

when you lose your smartphone

Time and again at the days beginning

when I used to switch my phone on

to see the latest notifications

I must now mourn it’s absence

there is no one I can now

communicate to without Twitter

or Messenger

Without it how do I dare

open the doors of my heart?

When before I used to happily post away

not ever needing to guard my thoughts

but with it’s loss my world dwindles

day by day, and passes away

Where has my Facebook gone? Where is Twitter?

Where has Tumblr gone? Where the texts? Where my

player of music?

Where the Uber Eats? And where the pleasures of

my solitaire app?

Sad at heart I bind my feelings in fetters

I dream I still have my phone

then I wake and it’s absence

is more heavy on my heart

aching for it’s touch screen

and it’s comfortable place in my hand

Nothing is easy in this world when

even our phones are in the hands of fate

here tweets are fleeting, here texts are

fleeting, here Snapchat is fleeting,

without my smartphone the whole world

becomes a wilderness.

—–

By Any Other Name

by Jon

Euphemisms abound around this truth that’s hard to face;
My admission – I avoid it – staring blankly into space.
My loss has now beset me. My lament has brought me low.
Ever more do others notice. Clearly they’re no longer stowed.
Ere I pursued that line of thought, I prob’ly should have paused,
Alas too late, as now is clear, my marbles I have lost!

—–

Thar’ She Blows

by Peregrine Arc

I’ve had it up to here
My patience has disappeared.
No longer am I diplomatic;
no longer are we being quite so pragmatic.

You’ll get it done, you’ll jot it here
Two weeks later and it’s–oh dear!
It isn’t done, it isn’t well?
Well who could’ve bloody telled?

It’s no matter, I forgive
Just sign this paper here, no motive.
For my patience has gave, it is no more
For your incompetence has made me forlorn.

I’ll measure your shoulders, I’ll dig the hole
And into your coffin with prayers you’ll go.
For I’m tired of hearing you’ll do something soon
When you’d just as well promise me the moon.

—–

Elegy to My Last Pair of Glasses

by Leanna Jones

Farewell my glasses, farewell to thee,
I hope you know what you meant to me.
When you entered my life, I was delighted
But now your departure has left me short sighted.
I can’t watch EastEnders or read the news.
I can’t put on lipstick or lace up my shoes.
I now live in darkness, and perpetual blur,
With only the memories of how good things were.
Oh why did you go! Why did you flee!
I’m lost without you, quite literally.
An empty space on the side of my bed
And nothing to touch on the top of my …
Oh silly me, they’re always found there
I’ll check first next time, before I buy a new pair.

—–

Leon Hodges

by Violet Lentz

Ain’t never knowed no one like ol’ Leon Hodges. All piss, vinegar, and moonshine. Had a mouth a man shouldn’t a et with, couldn’t read a book, d’nt know a letter from a line.

He told some great tall tales tho’, ‘bout women, an wine, an song. Don’t know the truth of nar a one, ‘ccept ’bout how his first marriage up an’ done gone wrong.

Don’t know if he had any chi’drn, if he did, he never spoke a none to me, and I’d a have ta say he woulda, as I was prolly close to him, as another man could be.

When the news come of his passin’, it come down hard up on my heart- I ain’t gone lie. I’ll tell ya the truth, that mans leavin’ done tore this man apart.

All the times I shook my head and said, ‘You damn ol’ bastard liar!’, I’d give anything for one more night, with ol’ Leon, spinnin’ yarns in front o’ a good hot fire.

He was a good man, bl’eive that, cause I wouldn’t tell you no lie, was the best damn friend I ever had. Gol dang it Leon! Why’d ya up ‘n die?

—–

To Misplace is to Lose

by Michael B. Fishman

Hark thee temper, I loseth
thee
free…
quentlee.

Careless me.

Lo temper, a canker-blossom
you’re really pretty awesome
and more so even if you could come
across some
patience.

Look at that car! Says my beastly patience crassly. Oops, lost.

These lousy lines aren’t moving. Obnoxious and clumsy patience, plump and scary. Oops, lost.

He was out at home? What? That flabby umpire is blindingly blind! Oops, lost.

My lusty patience. Silly and sometimes witty. Mysteriously mysterious. And imperious. Why so serious? You joker.

Oh proud patience: my paltry pretender of a painfully prickly persistence. Would you obey me if I didn’t mislay thee?

—–

Thank you to so many entries this week! You certainly made the contest difficult to judge! Please tune in tomorrow for next week’s prompt.

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Deb: 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

Welcome to 25th Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest!

I’ve been reading about different types of poetry and am interested in pursuing an elegy. According to dictionary.com, an elegy is a content description and not a type of poem. It is written to lament a person’s death. “The purpose of this kind of poem is to express feelings rather than tell a story.” Apparently, it is a serious thing.

Very serious.

  1. Our Topic, therefore, is a regular item that we constantly misplace. Write an elegy to it.
  2. The Length depends on exactly how attached you were to those car keys, sunglasses, or third child; but please do not go longer than 200 words.
  3. Rhyming is optional. Use your powers wisely.
  4. The most important rule is Make it Terrible. After you deliver your elegy in as heartfelt a string of adjectives as our world has ever known, I want all funeral directors (the world has ever known) to kindly interrupt you by way of dropping a casket on your head.
  5. Keep the rating at PG or nicer.

You have till 8:00 a.m. MST next Friday (May 18) to submit a poem.

Use the form below if you don’t want the world to read your artistry… till next week. Leave me a comment saying that you did as well, just to be certain. I will then be able to tell you whether I received it.

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

Have fun!

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Photo credit:
Mayron Oliveira

The Choice of Three: Roll Your Initiative

Continued from Peregrine Arc’s writing prompt….

Although a heavy, musty dust chokes the corners and edges of every room in the derelict house; the silver pocket watch, gold candelabra, and string of pearls upon the dresser appear untouched. I read the note again:

You who so boldly enter this realm, lay down your tools and be away from this hell. 

But should you still keep Adam’s vain, stay awhile and forego your shame.

An object of three you see with your mortal eyes. Which one shall be your coveted prize?

My senses feel heightened as my anxiety levels rise. Who left this note? These objects? Most importantly, I wonder at who I chased. What I chased. Where did he go?

Was there a ‘someone’ at all?

Despite my worries, I can’t help but feel intrigued by the message and pristine items before me. I read the words for a third time and wonder what they mean. “Lay down (my) tools?” “This hell?” That sounds serious. What is “Adam’s vain?”

My imagination, though tickled, reverts back to teenage years spent tucked in Johnny Platt’s musty basement. The dim lamp we plugged into about three extension cords shone pewter figurine shadows across our wet-erase marker map.

“Roll your initiative,” Johnny’s friend, Dwight, said with glee. We all knew what that meant: we’d stirred up trouble, and we had to fight it.

After a terrible battle of 3,872 orcs; Paladin, Ranger, Fighter, and Thief emerged victorious. Our Mage, on the other hand, succumbed to a curse inflicted in the last encounter; Mike was busily rolling up another character as Dwight listed our prizes.

“There’re 4 healing potions, 500 gold, a jeweled dagger, and a ring.” The Dungeon Master’s eyes glittered as much as the dagger surely did.

“Are they magic?” Kevin, the thief, always wanted to know.

Dwight shrugged. “Run a check.”

Johnny gave him a look. “We can’t. Mike’s dead.”

“I know!” Kevin said. “I’ll try them out.” Addressing Dwight, he declared, “My character examines the dagger.”

As per usual, Dwight rolled a die behind his book. His face was impassive. “It looks expensive.”

“All right; I’ll keep it.” As I and the others in our group began protesting, Kevin waved a hand. “I’m gonna split the costs once I sell it!” We settled down, ever wary of the dodgy thief. “Now,” he continued, “I’m going to put on the ring.”

Another masked roll from the DM clattered on the table. He cleared his throat and we could hear the excited tone Dwight always had trouble hiding when something unexpected happened in the campaign. Something that was usually the result of a stupid decision. We were doomed. “You begin to feel rather strange… like the world has never made sense and now you see clearly. You eye each of your party members jealously; but, never fear -you’ll get what’s yours once they’re asleep….”

“Crap, man!” I said.

“What?” Kevin asked in a panic.

“Change your alignment on your sheet,” Dwight grinned. He stroked his Machiavellian chin. “You’re now Chaotic Evil…”

A small noise from a corner brings my attention back to the present. I turn but only see shadows. Perhaps a section of flooring gave way there, as well. Who knows how many panels I broke in my mad rush to this strange, spooky nursery?

As my eyes pass over the note and the items it references, my fingers twitch a bit.

Kevin ended up murdering everyone but the Paladin in our group. Johnny only survived by the divine influence of his deity, thus finishing off the little thief and his ring in the ensuing Blessing.

My fingers quiet. No, not worth it. If there’s one thing D&D taught me, it was to never take chances with a strange object.

I cast my gaze around the room as I back out of it, even stealing glances over my shoulders. I’ve seen enough scary movies to know that one ought to never not look a certain direction. That’s how you end up getting stuffed in a bathtub by a dark, long-haired ex-lover of your husband.

My return to the porch is less hasty than my leaving of it, particularly since I’d left random, haphazard holes in the hallways and had to dodge them. I look at one in passing but only see swirling, pitch-dark dust. I wonder how far I might have fallen if I’d broken through.

Not soon enough, I regain the porch and my lunch. The rain is still falling, though not in torrents. I won’t be able to finish mowing with wet grass. “Reschedule, it is,” I tell the vacant property. Stooping, I pack up my lunch and self and rise and head down the creaking porch steps. I pass the ancient lawn mower, still parked near the hawthorn bush. I push it into the bush; perhaps that will stave off some rust.

As I near my car the rain slackens and a waterlogged sun peeks out. I can’t help but look back. I see the old, old house; yellow, peeling paint muted in the recent showers. Just before I get into the driver’s seat, I catch a movement from an upstairs window.

I look back, heart racing a mile a minute, but there’s nothing. It’s only a gold candelabra, glinting in the new light.

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Photo Credit:
Rikki Austin

The Author of a Long Night

The cursor blinked from an empty screen, the only light in a night-draped house. Walls slept; world slept; he, for a moment, slept. She looked over at his backlit-shadowed features; they frowned.

She sighed and could not frown. Or smile. Expressions felt as elusive as the absent story arcs on her page.

I must write something, she thought.

Blink, answered the screen.

Anything?

Blink.

Then; through morning oatmeal mind mush, an idea came. Her fingers poised to type…

He groaned. Sat up. Named her.

She turned to his care.

The cursor sighed, yawned, and went to sleep without her.

Dedicated to Charli, for this week’s prompt at Carrot Ranch.

April 25, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes exhaustion. Who is exhausted and why? Can you make art of exhaustion? Go where the prompt leads!

Respond by April 30, 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.

THE Battle of the Sexes

That’s it. I’m throwing the gauntlet DOWN.

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I want to determine, once and for all, who has it harder: men or women.

Let’s take men first. For this purpose, I have brought in my masculine side. It’s just survived a long weekend with all four boys home from school for a holiday, worked outside in the yard, and done some manly exercises like …girl push-ups.

I say that men have the short end of the stick. Why?

  1. Men are expected to work for their entire lives. Even in a ‘woke’ society of both sexes working, or just the woman heading out in a business suit, a man is not considered a whole man unless he pulls his own weight.
  2. The male species cannot feel anything like sadness, vulnerability, or silly joy. Those are weak emotions, symptoms of an insecure or incompetent man.
  3. They have to deal with, date, and understand women (assuming, for this argument, they bend that way). And not offend any of them. And still be manly.
  4. Men must initiate relationships. They must often pay for a date. They must read what a woman (for sake of this argument) wants without asking blunt questions (see #3) and without getting accused of harassment and rape later.
  5. When a man gets sick, he gets mocked. Who cares if he literally feels at death’s door? Let’s kick his pride while it’s convalescing.
  6. Males are often stinkier. Practically everything sweats, and in large amounts. Thank goodness for deodorant, aftershave and cologne. And windows.
  7. Men are expected to be good at most things, especially where fixing stuff or sports are concerned. They are also supposed to only be interested in those topics. As before, lack in these areas is a sign of weakness.
  8. Similarly, a man must be strong. He needs to look fit and be ready to move a couch or a car with his bare hands.
  9. If a woman feels like it, she may pick on a man. She may slap him, belittle him, and accuse him. He may be strong, but man is not allowed to hit back.
  10. Even though men spend hardly any time at home (see #1) and are not supposed to get involved in decorating the house (see #7), they must figure out where their tools have been moved to and why a couch (complete with an obscene number of throw pillows) is now where their favorite recliner was.

Women think their life is difficult, but it’s a bed of roses (that match in color, and were complimented on by their hordes of friends) compared to a man’s.

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Now, in order to prepare an adequate female defense, I must think more girly. Allow me a few hours on Pinterest ….or not. I’m not the most feminine representative of the female sex, but I’ll try my best.

Women have a harder life, hands-down.

  1. Periods. Since many men do not understand this sensation: picture a sharp knife inside your lower abdomen that scrapes at your organs. Once a month-ish. Not only that, but you must endure odd hormonal effects like loss of mental capacity and car keys just before the fun starts; plus, blood.
    If all of that weren’t enough, people snidely tell you that you’re grumpy because of PMS or that you ought to just “deal with it” when crumpled over a toilet.
  2. Childbirth. It’s not much of a break from the alternative; especially since menstruation and pregnancy share symptoms like pain, forgetfulness, and grumpiness. Being pregnant is just weird, and delivery is the worst pain many have ever been in. Ever.
  3. Menopause. Imagine a relief from the #1 issue, that was designed by a drunk engineer who didn’t care how (or if) the machine functioned after it ran the full program.
  4. If the first three points didn’t win this debate for women, the judges have obviously been bribed. The women recommend that each judge pass a kidney stone before being allowed to vote. -Which leads to a real #4: more health issues because of female organs. One doctor visit for one symptom leads to an overall diagnosis of “because of womanhood.”
  5. Shopping for women’s clothing is enough headache and cost that they just might need a government-sponsored representative. Seriously. Men get measurements for everything and one name for each color. Women get inaccurate numbers by 2’s and colors like “blue with gray in it” or “gold that may be black.”
  6. In a traditional home; a woman needs to stay home, take care of the home, raise her children to not be psychopaths, and feel fulfilled doing so.
    In non-traditional homes; women need to do all of the above, plus work a job and arrange for childcare …and keep themselves sexy but not too sexy that they’re attracting coworkers.
  7. Females need to look good. If they buy into the ‘inner beauty’ and ‘be yourself’ crap, they have few dates and few friends. If they, instead; nip, tuck, makeup, inject, smile, style, and flaunt; they get a lot of positive attention.
  8. A woman is a b*tch if she’s pushy. She’s unfeminine if she (necessarily) picks up any ‘masculine’ slack. Her opinions are emotional ones, and therefore not as valid or as sound as a man’s.
  9. When a woman takes a younger man, she’s a cougar. If she sleeps around she is a slut. If she dresses attractively and flirts then she is “asking for it.”
  10. Women are expected to arrange everything around the house to buy some social cred, make friends (to admire the house), and plan fun family or couples outings. They are also expected to not overspend their budget doing this.

Men get ‘that look’ when they come home to a house full of pillows, but say they don’t want to go furniture shopping. They say they have simple needs, then demand that women look good and feel sexy after doing all the laundry. Face it: men hold the power and prestige, and women hold the garbage bag.

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In developed countries, the battlefield of the sexes is nearly even. In terms of permanent penalties, however, I feel that women will always have it worse. I’m not looking for compensation (though, some sort of temporary transferal of woman parts might be nice); I’m looking for agreement.

Do you agree? Do you not? Let’s hear your reasons. Don’t be shy; I’m a fair moderator.

—————-

While you gather your thoughts and rebuttals, look at what I posted this past week:
Wednesday, March 13: Talked about Dr. Pickell and our ignorant influences in “Do You Know Your Influences?

Thursday, March 14: “The Cure for Depression: Eat Healthy,” another suggestion in a series originally posted over at The Bipolar Writer Mental Health Blog.

Friday, March 15: Versed “Prometheus,” in response to Frank Prem‘s poem.

Saturday, March 16: Winner of the Weekly Terribly Poetry Contest. Congratulations to Bruce Almighty Goodman!
Announced the Xth Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. The theme is verbosity. I haven’t had a lot of entrants, so PLEASE ENTER!

Sunday, March 17: “Crescent Illusions,” a sci-fi response to D. Wallace Peach’s popular prompt.

Monday, March 18: “Wilhelmina Winters, Eighty-Six.”

Tuesday, March 19:  An inspirational quote by Trent Shelton.

Wednesday, March 20: Today.

I also posted all this week at my motherhood site. I wrote “Why Oh Why Must We Have The Teenage Years?,” “The Magic Clothes Washing Machine,” and “Five More Minutes” (a poem).

 

Photo Credit:
Image by VIVIANE MONCONDUIT from Pixabay
Image by Josethestoryteller from Pixabay
Image by Ryan McGuire from Pixabay

WINNER of the Fourth Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

Sheeeesh, people. Though not as close a tie this time, I still think first place was split about three ways. I had to delay the contest to allow for time to climb the highest mountain in Utah, in order to consult with The Guru of Poetic Awfulness. Going off his advice, plus past winners and slight aspects I liked more than others… the winner is:

O! Radio!

by Michael B. Fishman

The radio’s antenna is bad.
When it first broke: “Oh, egad!”
I fixed it with glue,
what else could I do?
Huh?

My head: stuffed like the brick. Oh, antenna, desist.

With frustration I pace, “Ah,” I to frustration. “Why do I tarry? Why not I make merry?”

Dash the radio. (Mary?) Hosanna! From where? From my despair do I dare to pose such a posing question?

Remove your madding thoughts. Becalm like the bluebird.

Explain, voice, my choice. Will my radio play? Will my hips again sway?

I wait sans answer.

The faucet drips leathery through my vino-filled veins. The antennaless radio’s static-buzz, like the vivific current of the vacant velvety Vermillion river vaguely venturing via Verndale home to Victoria.

(plop . . .) Oh Mary, forsake me not.

(buzz . . .) Yet I stand

(plop . . . ) like the deerskin covering the thorny tree,

(buzz . . .) forsaken.

Congratulations, Michael! You are the Most Terrible Poet of the week.

Michael’s poem almost had it all: awful meter, a tirade of alliterations, made-up lingo, and plenty to get me thoroughly lost and wishing to smack my head against a good pentameter to make it all stop.

For the almost-first-placers, great job! I had to really dig to pick a winner from amongst you.

For the not-almost-first-placers, you still write too pretty. Try breaking out of a pattern, making fun of poetic angst, or leaving readers hanging at the end of a perfectly reasonable stanza like an unresolved chord progression.

Thank you all for entering! PLEASE enter again next week. I will post a prompt tomorrow more promptly than I did today.

Here are the other fantastic (and terrible) entries, in order of submission:

Untitled piece

by Ruth Scribbles

The foundation stays broke

Doors and Floors

Sway and sag

Stick and scrape

Tilt and twirl

Well if you are a marble

You twirl from one side

Of the room to another

Then the windows

All are stuck shut

Foundations are finicky

This poem is icky

—–

Untitled piece

by D. Wallace Peach

Fie to electric appliances
A freezer of thawed burger
Lightless, coldless, and iceless
Spoiled-milk refrigerator

Woe to the washing machine
Growing microbes of mold
A soup of dank undies and socks
Mildew makes me blow my nose

A pox on the dishwasher
I weep at the caked-on guck
Plates spotted like a chicken
It won’t scrape off and that really sucks

I could go on and on forsooth
About the vacuum clogged with mutt hair
The blender, micro, crockpot, and other stuff
But my appliances are dead and don’t care

—–

WonderWoman and SuperGlue.

by Bladud Fleas

Oh, Honey!
what did you do
with the glue?
In the drawer?
Oh, heck, it
seems to be
stick-
ing!
Yes, it’s stuck!
good and true,
Hon, that one where
you put the glue.
You did what with
the glue top, Dear?
Oh.

—–

The Banshee Toilet

by Peregrine Arc

Oh woe is me, for I dearly have to pee.
But the truth is, our toilet, why, it’s a banshee.
Every time I go to attend the flow,
it gives off an unearthly bellow!
Eeeek, it cries, after I thrust the lever down.
Eeeek, it sounds, down the hall and across the town.
What is one to do, when nature calls and your knees are crossed?
When you’re hopping around downstairs, until you’re suddenly quite lost?
Grab some toilet paper, my dear
and don’t let the Banshee know your fear.
For urinary tract health is a real concern.
Never hold it, our mothers said–listen and you’ll learn.

—–

That Object That Always Breaks in My House

by Bruce Goodman

Day after day, at home, the same thing breaks;
‘tis not the dawn that breaks o’er yonder hill,
(although of course it does for goodness sake),
‘tis something else that is my bitter pill.

Perhaps my car doth brake when I come home,
but that’s a different spelling, I perceive.
The brakes of cars could break, as could a drone’s,
but that is not the break that is conceived.

The thing that almost daily breaks that’s mine
pains me to the core and can’t be glued.
It’s not the breaking eggs at breakfast time,
nor be it breaks for lunch to eat some food.

Know when you leave for work and we’re apart,
each day, and all day long, you break my heart.

—–

Untitled piece

by TanGental

When I come back as a potter
In the next like, I will stop
My nemesis that makes me utter
rude words; the curse of the china tea pot.

The lid never ends up in its groove
It just follows its own trajectory
As if it just has to prove
Its aim is it’s out to get me

into trouble. I’ve dropped it more times
than the cups it has brewed
And while I really don’t like to whine
If the tea ends up stewed then I’m screwed.

I’ve repaired the lid, I’ve even soldered the spout
When they try and stop me, I cry ‘get off me’
I just have, on my own, to sort this mess out
After all if I don’t then the alternative is we will just have to drink coffee…

—–

Optically Challenged

by Jon

Called CD player on the box,
that should have been a clue;
The gadget oughtn’t be
considered as having
the remotest thing to do
with performing any function
‘ere it went kerploo

—–

Ode to dirty house

by Ruth Scribbles

Oh house you are dirty
The dust is flirty–flurrying
Finding its way up my nose
Ahhhchoo

The crumbs are thirty or forty
Too many crumbs
The rubbish is overflowing

Where are my cleaning fairies
When I need them.
Dirty house I hate you

Please, please, please enter next week’s contest. Some of you just need to tweak your poetic taste buds down a level or two. Do not try for merely day-old leftovers; try for yesterday’s lump of green putty you found in your refrigerator one midwinter’s morning.

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The Festival of Trees, with Children

I had a brief announcement up yesterday explaining the delay in announcing the poetry contest winner. Despite some residual tiredness and inability to lift heavy objects, I honored our family’s annual tradition of attending the local children’s hospital’s fundraising event, Festival of Trees.

Donor companies, families, or entities decorate a Christmas tree, small Christmas tree, door, gingerbread house, quilt, or other item and completely donate it. Wednesday evening before the event begins, companies and extremely wealthy entities bid for purchase of the items they wish to own and display in their lobbies or front rooms.

Some trees still had their price tags. An elaborate one we saw was labeled as $3,500. All of the money goes to the hospital, to use for patients who cannot pay for hospital services.

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This first tree pictured is one donated by 1-800 Contacts and decorated by them. It was purchased anonymously; always noted as Friends of Festival. The next image is a mantel 1-800 Contacts decorated as part of the display as well.

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Sometimes, tree-creators are creative. One year we saw two made from ascending wood planks. Other designs have included marble works, an upside-down tree, and a few formed from recycled glass bottles.

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I was impressed with the idea of a tree dress, and with the execution of the idea. It made for an elegant result.

On the less-elegant side, many donations are character-themed. I liked the fun, colorful elements of this Muppets arrangement.

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And, I’m always up for literary references. Besides two ‘trees’ of stacked books, we found this Where the Wild Things Are model. It has a furry tail coming down off the side of the tree, plus a tent and sailboat.

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I’m not a personal fan of My Little Pony, but was impressed with how very, very pony this piece of …work was.

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Many, if not most, Christmas trees are donated in memory of someone. Often that someone is a family member who passed away from disease (prematurely) or old age, though some groups donate in the name of one who miraculously healed.

When I was a young Girl Scout, I volunteered for Festival of Trees. I learned that, occasionally, the story of the tree is printed and put on the back of the identifying card nearby. Gabi was a sweet, happy child who never seemed to mind the nurses coming in every day. She always loved horses and we just had to build her a galloping tree... or Dale led a life full of friends, family, and a love of skiing… or Despite a hopeful outlook, Mia lost her battle with leukemia. We will miss our little angel…

I tear up as I walk around with my children, remembering those stories and seeing the pictures and references for this year.

The following pictures are from the gingerbread houses area of the festival. I love the talent, creativity, and feeling of the whole event.

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This amazing ‘gingerbread’ tower is a bit tangled up.

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Last but not least, my children appreciated this decorated door after watching The Muppet Christmas Carol Thursday evening.

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“We’re Marley and Marley!”

I neglected to note that ticket sales also go to the hospital. In addition, there are the following for purchase: a gift shop of homemade items, fudge shoppe, chocolates counter, desserts cottage, a Santa with purchaseable picture ops, children’s area of crafts, concessions, and cinnamon rolls or scones.

 

I also realize this is a rather mind-numbing description of the whole event. Perhaps I’ll have the likes of Geoff narrate the next one.

FREE: Fourth Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

*YAWN* ‘Mornin’, ma peeps. Welcome to December and to our fourth week of The Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest.

If you’re new, welcome! Read over my advice on truly sucking at poetry, then read these rules, then enter:

  1. The topic is That Object That Always Breaks in Your House. In It’s a Wonderful Life, George Bailey keeps pulling off that darn banister knob. Chez moi, it’s a heat register originally glued under my kitchen island counter. Maybe yours is a loose bit of carpet or a lightbulb that burns out within a week.
  2. What’s the limit? Word count needs to be between 3 and 153 words. In mathematics terms, that means 3<P<153.
  3. Rhyming’s up to you. Do what you do.
  4. And, most importantly: the poem needs to be terrible. I want your mom to pause before telling you that …well, your penmanship has certainly improved in the last few years and that you know she loves you no matter what, right?
  5. Keep it PG-Rated. Mom’s going to read it, after all.

Think you can do it? You have till 8:00 a.m. MST next Friday (December 7, 2018) to submit.

Post your poem or the specific link to it in the comments.

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Hallowe’en Serial, 4th Night

Continued from #3.

Memories of uneasy feelings, eerie desk décor, and an empty car were amplified in the yawning, open, Carl-less garage. Carol put her car into Park and pushed the Door Lock button, too worried to even enter.

Any other day, she would have gone into the house alone. She would have eaten leftovers, watched some television, taken a shower, cleaned her teeth, climbed into her twin-sized bed in her own bedroom, and slept with the contentment of an overworked, underhappy 50-year-old woman.

Today was not any other day. Tonight had not been another other night. The radio station began playing Thriller.

At the opening wolf howl -Owooooooooo! ♪-, the moon released itself from graying cloud cover and shone a beam or two within Carol’s car. One reflected a glowing outline round a small, plastic-cased device resting on the passenger seat: her cell phone. She picked it up and checked for updates. Surely Carl had texted her, or left a voice mail; perhaps something was scheduled and he’d not put it on her calendar.

But, like with the orderly garage, there was nothing. “Carl C. Carter,” she said, “Of all the times to be gone….”

The night once again shrouded itself in dark mystery as the glowing moon moved aside for rapidly-approaching storm clouds. One minute Carol was sitting in her driveway contemplating her husband’s absence; and the next, bright lightning streaks and thunderous sky shouts seemed to come from just half a mile away. Surely her immature fears were not worth driving somewhere else in torrential rain, nor walking in it if she refused to park inside the garage.

What was so bad about her house, anyway? She and Carl had lived there for fifteen of the twenty-two years they’d been married. She knew the rooms, the light switches, the location of her mace. She’d be fine.

Where was Carl, though? She’d text him first, and see how late he expected to be.

*Hi, Honey. Just checking when you’ll be home. Let me know.

She stared at the cheerful message and thought to add a smiling face from her Extras menu. Thinking on Carl’s usual preferences of succinctness, she refrained. If she included one, he was also liable to suspect her phone had been hacked. She sent it off as-was, adding a silent wish for a quick response.

After ten minutes of nothing but Halloween songs to interrupt the silence, she conceded defeat. Though not a religious woman, she bowed her head and uttered a quick and direct prayer: “Whoever might be listening, tell Carl to call me; and keep me safe tonight.”

Finally, she pulled forward. Automatic lights warmed the empty space. She turned off the engine and pushed the remote to close the garage door.

Just before opening the driver’s door to exit, however, she caught an image in her rearview mirror. For the fourth time that day, her heart leapt and her breath grew rapid. No excuse like ‘too short a driver, surely,’ or ‘must have been seeing things’ could explain what she saw this time.

From just inside the recently-closed garage door, a pair of glowing, hungry eyes stared right into her own.

Continued at #5.

This Old House

Their school year had already begun when he looked around their 10-year-old house and said, “How about we move?”

His wife glanced up from grading homework, glasses perched down her nose. Eyebrows raised, lips pursed, she said, “Okay.”

And that was how they ended up in front of the 1917 farmhouse in a town of 257 people. Only the wind spoke, with an occasional canine interjection.

“It’s about half our current mortgage,” she noted, as they surveyed almost an acre of yard.

“It may need some work,” he observed, peeking around a musty, boarded-up section.

“It’s perfect,” they said, completely smitten.

 

Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction