WINNER of the Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

Alas, but thy judge hath been down and far past th’ability to think within reason; for, upon the eve past, she was blessed (or cursed!) with the foulest of head colds!

But, finally, she hath the time and mental strength to appoint a winner:

The Sonnet 73 butchering

by Gary

That time of year thou decides to do some baking and behold
Knowing the results will be that bad my shame do hang
Upon finding I forgot to turn the oven on and thy food is still cold
Bare ruined I shall burn all food until the cry PLEASE LORD NO MORE is sang
In me thou see’st the worst kitchen abominations performed anywhere in the land that day
As after sunset fadeth the Fire Engine arrives to put out the oven fires from the west
Which by and by blackend food is thrown away
Death’s icy grip can be seen in the stodgy bread as it refuses to rise as long as it do rest
In my donuts the taste of vileness and repulsiveness does such fire
That on the ashes of the badly overcooked Rhubard crumble do lie
As the death-bed do lyeth anyone who tastes the food with the use by date do expire
Consum’d is the food not by any sane man but dumped in the bin by any brave passersby
This thou has bakethed food with a nauseating odour so strong
To love the simple beauty of a frozen microwave meal I do long

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

I know I say so nearly every week, but I had such trouble choosing one winner. I laughed, in pain. I groaned on behalf of The Bard and what you all did to his name. Gary’s inched ahead by means of horribly rambling lines of no common length that I’m certain Shakespeare would never deign to consider, let alone pen.

The rest of the entrants may safely assume they won 1.5 place:

Based on Richard III

by Bruce Goodman

I had a Molly, till a Tommy killed him;
I had a Barney, till a Tommy killed him:
Thous hadst a Molly, till a Tommy killed him;
Thou hadst a Tommy, till a Tommy killed him.
She for a Molly weeps, and so do I;
I for a Chloe weep, so doth not she:
These babes for Chloe weep and so do I;
I for a Molly weep, so do not they.
I never realized until now just how many pet cats we’ve had over the years.

—–

Untitled piece

by Deb Whittam

It was a dagger to my throat,
They had departed
In the still darkness of a winter’s night
Gone, with nary a backwards glance
Whilst I supped with my comrades
Before the hearth burning bright
Angst tore my soul,
As my bloodless lips parted,
In a cry of mournful sorrow.
I recollect it well, for the first rays of light
Broke the clouds that hung darkly
For the commencement of the morrow.
I gnashed my teeth in fury,
As witches three berated me,
They had warned me of falsifying glory,
But I had ignored them in my nativity.
Whom was the portent devised
That the chocolate cake could so disappear
With one foul swoop,
Of one’s own mouth, it did so appear.

—–

Richard II’s Lament for Lost Socks

by Shaun Jex

For good gravy’s sake, let us sitteth upon the ground
And tell weepy type stories about the death of socks
Forsooth some were dropped behind the dryer and never found
Whilst some unraveled after being stuffed with pointy rocks
Some wore thin ‘til their sole was naught but a gaping hole
And thus were promptly tossed into yon dustbin to expire
Whilst other simply vanished like as though into a black hole
Still more grew to smell as though dragged through a mire
All vanished! For within the empty sock drawer
There sits naught but a few mismatched pairs
To be worn, like the raven said (oops wrong poet!) nevermore

—–

Below me (the rewrite)

by Ruth Scribbles

This below nothing:
to mine other be false,
And it canst be behind,
as the day is the night,
Thou must not then be true to any woman.

– – –
Why Did I Birth Thee??

Whoa is thee! Thou mad knave!
Gettest thee down into the cave.
Thou hast burned mine toast
Thou shouldest quake and tremble
I beyond sorrowful.
Thou art vile!!
I detest the day thee was birthed!!

—–

No More Brown Sugar Cinnamon…

by Masercot

With heavy heart I watched you go
Your five friends gone and eaten
I meant to have one but no
I ate the second like a cretin
Neither full nor hungry did I feel
From the first two frosted pastries
I resolved to eat the next two and make a meal
In a sullen fit of wastry
So, intact only two remained
The other four were spent
I, for dessert, ate the twained
And, that’s where all the Pop Tarts went

—–

Thank you all for a terrible experience. You’ve earned your rotten fruit for the week. Please return on the morrow for a new prompt.

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Gary: 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 the Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest, a tortuous tradition for 40 weeks today.

At some point, each person feels a muse-like itch to poem. Most really shouldn’t, and that is exactly the sort of rhythmic recitation we seek to write and compete with. Read my basic outline here to clear up any further confusion about expectations (there are none).

Here are the specifics for this week:

  1. I’ve thought short and shallowly about the Topic, and it shall be Shakespearean laments. If you don’t know what a Shakespearean lament is, Google is your friend. And William Shakespeare.
  2. If you wishe to truley showe offe, go ahead and maketh the Lengthe a traditional iambic pentameter couplet. If ye wisheth not, at least keep the duration to that of a reasonable amount so as not to send the masses into a Midsummer night’s dream.
  3. Since The Bard most often Rhymed or near-rhymed, ye muste as well.
  4. Above all else, ye knaves, make it terrible! Off-the-cuff Shakespearean performers must give you a standing ovation, followed by throwing the foulest fruit they’ve purchased from the nearest funnel cake food truck.
  5. Keep things PG or lower. If ye must insult or deprave, use Elizabethan curses.

You have till 8:00 a.m. MST next Friday (August 30) to submit a poem.

Use the form below if you want to be anonymous for a week.

If not, and for a more social experience, include your poem or a link to it in the comments.

Have fun!

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Photo credit:
Image by WikiImages from Pixabay

WINNER of the Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

Wow. This week’s contest was amazing! I had a terribly fun time reading through everyone’s entries …and an equally terrible time trying to pick just one winner.

But a winner there must be. And that is Deb Whittam.

An ode to a piece of driftwood

by Deb Whittam

Luke was like a piece of driftwood
He floated his way into my life
And marooned himself on my stretch
Of the beach
He lay there salient
Watchful, still
He didn’t leave
It was kind of disturbing
I considered starting a fire
I considered tossing him back in
I considered getting my dog to poop
next to him, but in the end
But being driftwood
I walked round him
Then the tide came in and
He drifted out again
Days passed
Honestly I didn’t notice he was
GONE

But that’s what driftwood is like
Forgettable
Just like Luke
SUCH IS LIFE
… (Pause here to blow a raspberry)

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

As I said earlier, there were many excellent entries. The level of awful poetry was astounding and made for a difficult decision. Great work mixing meters, muddling themes, and morphing rhymes! Deb’s over-the-top features were all those elements working so well together. Good/bad job!

And the remaining entrants were terrible in their own right. Enjoy:

Anguish of a Poet

by BibleBloggerGirl

I’m writing a poem that needs to be deep
It’s supposed to have rhythm and metrical feet
Through bang-head-here moments I moan and I weep
While googling synonyms that start with an e.

—–

The Unspeakable Tragedy of Being an Astronomer

by Charlie

Astronomers have little hope
of life outside their telescope.

They study Mars
and neutron stars
and never ride with girls in cars

And, if they do acquire a wife
they are working each night for the rest of their life.

So, if studying a black hole
is your goal
prepare for it to crush your soul.

And, spending your life trying to prove dark matter
is even satter…

—–

Open slather

by Bruce Goodman

You are so well-rounded that you could be compared to a turnip,
and indeed you have earned it.
Everything you touch seems to turn to gold;
each and every talent that you hold.
Even when you play the violin
it’s so sensual it’s almost a sin.
When you simply fry an egg
it’s ten times tastier than when it’s fried by my Aunty Peg.

With a paint brush in your hand
you make Leonardo d’Vinci less a man;
not to mention when you do arithmetic
you are better at arithmetic than Arius was at being a heretic.
There’s very little you could be taught
when it comes to sport.
Compared to you the rest of us look dumb
so there’s no reason to walk around like you’ve got a carrot stuck up your bum.

—–

The Weekly Brouhaha

by Peregrine Arc

Every week, Ms. Chelsea posts
Hey you lot, write something gross!
Do your worst and you’ll get our praise;
Do your best, you’ll get week old mayonnaise.

And so I do, and so it went
Until I gave my last two cents.
I’ve wrote about summer, literary masterpieces and the lot
I’ve won twice, and I’m besought

So tell me now and tell me true
Who is the worst poet for you?
Is it so terrible to terribly tell a little lie?
And say that perhaps it’s the great Kahunana himself, Mr. Billy Sly?

No one understands the guy who Shakes the Speares
He could be making it up after all the years
No one understands what he’s trying to say
Truly, he’s laughing from his grave and giggling all the way.

Death to Oxford Commas.
Zazzle.

—–

The Ten

by BereavedSingleDad

The ten amazing PM candidates
Needed since the dreadful May abdicates
Boris Johnson
Looking out for number one
Jeremy Hunt
No more than an embarrassing publicity stunt
Michael Gove
Slowly disappearing in all the cocaine lies you wove
Dominic Raab
Wouldn’t trust you with a kebab
Sajid Javid
You make our police so livid
Matt Hancock
Talks utter poppycock
Mark Harper
Completely incompetent usurper
Esther McVey
Only wants you to obey
Rory Stewart
The leadership qualities of a Raspberry Tart
Andrea Leadsom
Will only bring national doom
That is Britain Today
A country in complete disarray

—–

The Car Nation On A Lawn

by Doug

Eee ha, ho down horse around,
dance the rainy reign reins away.

Rains rein in the picnic nit picks
but for every weed given rein to,
there will grow a rein-Carnation
and a carnation reincarnated as a weed.

—–

So You Say

by Michael B. Fishman

If I were from the southern part of the US I’d say something like, “Jiminy Christmas” instead of swearing. When I listened to a braggart I might think “he’s all hat and no cattle” and if someone got mad at me I’d smile and tell them that they can “just get happy in the same britches they got mad in”.

But I’m not from the southern part of the US.
Goodness gracious,
Although I am sometimes loquacious

I’m from the northern part of the US where I say stuff like, “You betcha” and where snow is called “snoooow” and where we all say “Yah” a lot and follow it up with “sure”, and where, when we talk to strangers, we begin every sentence with, “Oh”.

Like –

“Oh, how ’bout those Twins?”
or
“Oh, Olivia Johnson sure does make a good casserole.”
or
“Oh, didja see. . .”

Or “So”.

Like –

“So the Twins lost yesterday, eh?”
or
“So, didja hear Jim Larson got food poisoning from Olivia Johnson’s casserole?”
or
“So what’d’ya think of. . .”

And you didn’t hear this from me, but a lot of us pronounce “third” like “turd”.

So, yah, I’m from the northern part of the US.
You betcha,
And those little red dots you sometimes get on your skin? They’re petechia.

If I were from Mars I might talk and I might not talk because no one knows how Martians sound or if they even talk at all for that matter.

—–

Sunset, Sunrise

by Nakedinfiniverse

Slumped on sofa, feeling low,
Don’t wanna shop or outside go,
Shocking din beyond window;
Apocalypse? Malignant crows?
Curtains closed, so I don’t know,
But curiosity, so

I think take a look,
Rise to feet discarding book.
Need to eat, don’t want to cook.
Kitchen no cavern – more a nook…
Is it birds or fatal fluke?
Peak between drapes like cornered crook.

Three car pile-up – bedlam there,
Poking bones, blood-mussed hair.
Look away from sickening scare,
See ribbons of colour streaking the sky and I carelessly cease to care,
Horizon highlighting rhapsody rare;
Surprising sunset, breathtaking flare.

Pity poor victims; tarmac is read,
Rubberneckers shaking heads,
Twisted bodies lately dead.
Making sandwich, ready for bed,
Scraping mould from hunk of bread;
Provocative dreams if properly fed.

Pluck off blossoming, blue-grey yeast,
Anticipating impromptu feast,
Unforeseen shock – view faces east.
Time is thieving, night-fleecing beast.
Feel like a flock of silly geese;
Sunset west, sunrise east.

Radio wakes in hollow bedroom,
Morning call; warning tune.
Sat through night, blind to gloom.
Feel foreboding, forthcoming doom.
Skin feels pocked with autumn bloom.
Off to horrid office soon.

Better slough of sleepless grime;
Supper’s off; it’s breakfast time.

—–

Roses are Red

by Peter Martuneac

Roses are red
and white and pink.
Roses can also be
orange, I think?

Violets are blue,
And uh, tulips are…yellow?
I don’t know, I’m not a botanist. Or a poet.
So the end, bite me.

—–

Terrible Poem

by Ruth Scribbles

One two three four five
Counting seven syllables
Five four three two one

—–

Unexpected Treasure

by James Babwe

I cannot accurately say how far down it was.
At the time, I had no way to measure.
I could estimate, but that would be a guess.
Besides, I’d rather explain what I saw,
how I achieved a somewhat modest goal,
and enjoyed the unusual fruit harvested
from an unusual place which rewarded me
with a somewhat modest treasure.

Shining from the east, fiery streaks of sunlight slowly peeked
through clouds to warm the sandy sandstone bluffs,
the unstable wall between
Coast Highway and our planet’s largest ocean.

The salty surface of the massive sea was still and glassy as it slept.
I paused to pose in yoga stance
and stared at the horizon.

As chilly darkness surrendered to blue sky dawn,
I shifted my physical position and left my previous posture
to the past and headed for an outhouse where I hoped
to leave the liquid remnants of my light roast coffee.

Surrounded by blue plastic walls and door,
and squinting in the midst of acrid chemicals which did not mask
or complete the task that they were manufactured for,
I did what I’ll admit I cannot resist the urge to do.

I took a look into the tank below–
down into the pit–
down into a swarm of buzzing flies
and abandoned human exhaust product.

And there is where I found it–
silent, lonely, floating
with other objects which are not usually
mistaken for candy bars or old potatoes,
I found Deepak Chopra’s wallet in an outhouse at the beach.

I used an old coat hanger to retrieve
what my human hands alone could not quite reach.

Attempts to win the lottery
have never worked for me.
The Universe has not exactly
blessed me with its blissful luck.

But on one amazing morning,
I rescued a celebrity’s accessory.

Fortunately,
I did not fall in or make a mess of me.

In fact, after ending
its encounter with the ugly muck,
I let it dry for half an hour.

Inside,
I found a couple hundred bucks.

I found Deepak Chopra’s wallet in an outhouse at the beach.
I used an old coat hanger to retrieve
what my human hands alone could not quite reach.

—–

Vernix

by Violet Lentz

you will
never know
the scent of
baby powder
transports me back
to the first moment
i held you in my arms

(inhale)
(exhale)

in an instant
i am once again
breathing in the scent
of the waxy white vernix
that protected
your fragile foetal flesh
from the waters
of my womb..

and reminded,
that you should never
have had to protect
yourself like that
from me
again..

—–

Thanks to all who entered and for sharing your amazing talents! Tomorrow at 10 a.m. starts next week’s contest!

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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, one and all, to the Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest, #29.

Some visitors may wonder, “What is terrible poetry?” Is it a good poem with a rotten subject? A potential masterpiece with a funny twist? Not really.

Way back at the beginning, I gave a basic outline. My aim is to capture the sort of every-line-rhyming poem one wrote in grade school, or a roses are red rip-off when first tormented by teenage love, or to fulfill a college assignment to create haiku based on syllables alone.

Got it? Here are the specifics for this week:

  1. The Topic is open! No, not a poem with the word “open,” but a masterpiece about any subject you feel inspired to expound upon.
  2. Just as the theme is whatever goes, the Length is also. I will warn entrants that the (sole) judge has about a 200-word attention span.
  3. Rhyming is also optional. Look at all the freedom you have!
  4. Above all, make it terrible! Make professional poets beat themselves over the head with their organic chai tea from recomposed cacao husks. Make English literature professors escape out their office windows and climb down their ivy leagues. Make your mother proud.
  5. …But keep things PG or cleaner if you can for the general audiences that read the blog.
  6. Also, please share the love. Tell your friends and followers. I think our regulars could use a bit of competition, and I always enjoy seeing new victims to the contest.

You have till 8:00 a.m. MST next Friday (June 14) to submit a poem.

If you want to be anonymous (for a week), use the form below.

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

Have FUN!

 

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Photo credit:
Frida Aguilar Estrada

A Muse, The Blues, Some Clues -AKA How to Write Poetry

Lo! What light, what cackling sun
Burns your eyes?
It laughs as you run;
Jumping, grasping, to
Catch the poem…

If you thought that was bad, you were right. I literally wrote that without any thought, direction, or meter. I took about fifteen seconds.

Don’t get me wrong -sometimes people like that crap. Sometimes the Crap Off the Cuff really isn’t bad. However, poetry is just like any other crafted item: the more practice you have at your skill, the better anything you make will be.
Translation: those who are experts can write a decent impromptu poem, and the stuff they worked longer on is even better.

So, *ahem.* Let’s stop mucking about and finally jump into A Few Steps for Writing Poetry:

1. Don’t.
Seriously, there are already a lot of good poets out there who have already written your idea in a better way. Thanks to Google, you can probably find it.
There are also a lot of terrible poets who have murdered your idea and now it’s bleeding by the side of the road begging people to stop clicking that they Like it.

2. Still determined? Good! You’ve passed the first test: that of true motivation for verse. I feel that motivation, a muse, hangover, emotional distress, late-night deadlines -whatever your name is for it- are vital to writing a poem.
Even if you don’t have a clear subject or good structure, the sheer determination to express what you feel will squeeze something out.

3. Actual Guidelines
So… there is this type of meter I poked fun at initially. It’s called free verse. Let me tell you, from my extremely limited experience, that freely versing can be a BAD idea. It’s the commando version of creative writing, and needs a brave, strong, experienced writer to handle it.
My recommendation, therefore, is to follow a meter. No, you don’t have to go full-out iambic pentameter. Only do so if you wish to be counting on your fingers and looking up rhymes for “depressed” all evening.
A good start is to come up with a few lines in your mind, then count the syllables (and pattern of stress/non-stress) and roughly follow that for the remaining lines.

4. Stress and Non-stress
Really quickly: this is where we put the emphasis on our words when we speak. I threw it in here because I mentioned it in the previous step, and you might be scratching your head over it.
Sometimes, I write a poem and there is one line that is really bugging me. Usually, it’s because I followed my syllable count, but did not follow normal speech rules of emphasis.
Because of that, the syllable count is actually off. Readers (including you) will do a mental glottal stop to be able to stress the words where we are accustomed to.

5. To Rhyme, or Not Some Thyme?
This one is up to you. I mostly rhyme for mine, every other line.
The length of each line and how often you rhyme (every single ending word, halfway through, every other, or randomly) will determine whether your poem feels like a poem, Dr. Seuss, or a rap song.
Keep in mind that even Seuss mixed things up a bit. One of my favorite stanzas in The Cat in the Hat is:

So, as fast as I could,
I went after my net.
And I said, “With my net
I can get them I bet.
I bet, with my net,
I can get those Things yet!”

Try it; it’s fun to read through.

6. Word Choice
Let’s say you want to emote about love and loss of said love. You are going to make us all feel something different than affection if you literally use the word “love” more than about three times. Sometimes, my limit is even one.
This is where your friend, Mr. Thesaurus, comes in. I mentioned this in my How to Not Suck at Writing rant as well, because it’s really important.
Let’s say you’re not that into synonyms. Too much woooorrrrkkk.
You will sound way more mysterious and intelligent if you do it. Like, “I loved and lost and lost my love” could become “Adored, then absent; Carelessly cherished.”

7. More Word Choice
Poetry is all about obscurity. Even when it’s a straightforward tale of a path diverging in the forest, everyone still says the poem is about something deeper.
So, use your new thesaural friend to obfuscate your terms, or make the simple description of your plush tiger on the shelf sound like it represents your childhood memories of being abandoned.

8. Practice and Preparedness
This goes for anything, but especially creative writing.
Read other poets, and copy their style. Keep a notebook to jot down random lines that come to you on the train. Try, try, try again. Everything you read and write will give you experience.

Now, go! Make the world a poetic place.