WINNER of the Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

Wow. I’m not certain I want to go on vacation after reading this week’s batch of terrible poetry. From ‘wish you were(n’t) here’ to ‘wish I’d vacationed alone’ to …sheep? the poems this time around truly delivered.

But we’re not only here to lament our wasted work leave. We’re here to pick a winner, and that is:

Untitled piece

by Gary

Arrived in Pluto just 459 years late.
You wouldn’t believe what they are charging on the exchange rate
Can’t open the hotel windows as the air tends to dissipate
Can eat what I want as the low gravity gives me little weight
The beaches are empty so it feels a little desolate
The trip round the 5 moons was first rate
The nightlife is great at the disco you should see the locals gyrate
Tomorrow off to one of the poles to ice skate.

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

Competition was stiff between 2-3 at the end. Gary’s won for its wonderful every-line-rhyming, mostly. I also appreciated his consistent mis-meter, topped by an interesting message that was on topic.

Do you think you’d like to receive a postcard bearing any of the following?:

Untitled piece

by Trent McDonald

Just writing from my.
Little bit of paradise.
Just taking some.
Time for a note.
Just saying that.
Vacation is going.
Well.
Just need to let you know.
That I will be out.
Of the hospital.
Soon.

—–

Greetings from Bermuda

by Peregrine Arc

I finally made it to Bermuda, my dear little one.
Everyone has shorts and triangles for sale, it’s odd.
I should be back next Tuesday, make sure you feed the cat.
The plane just needs to get us out of this isoceles, stat.

—–

Untitled piece

by Deb Whittam

Mary packed her bags
Mary had had enough
Damn the little lost sheep
They could cut their own fluff
She was going abroad
To sunshine and wine
She was going abroad
She was going to have a swell time
All was going well
But then the hotel demanded payment
Mary huffed and puffed
She was being treated like a vagrant
Mary decided to take a stand
There was more than one way to call a bluff
She went to the local zoo
To find the right stuff
Filling her room with creatures
She dared them to remove her now
Mary landed herself in jail
Damn those damn sheep
They were all going to hell

—–

A postcard to the wife

by Bruce Goodman

I wanted a hassle-free vacation
so that’s why I’m not telling you my location.
I don’t care if you’re alone;
I’m glad I left you at home.
I don’t miss you constantly talking garbage,
although I do miss having you here to carry my luggage.
When I get back home next Friday
I hope the house is nice and tidy.
So aloha from some hidden beach
that hopefully you won’t be able to reach.

—–

Vacation Limerick

by Riley4892

My family went away on vacay,
And the sun shone most every day.
Until there was rain,
It drove us insane,
And now we stay inside to play.

—–

Déjà vu

by Joanne the Geek

It’s like I’ve been here before
all the beaches I’m at, all seem the same
they all have sand and rocks and water
and bathers slowly roasting themselves in the sun
and then there are the hotels –
all offering services and rooms that all
look the same no matter where you go
and all the people are the same too
I’m not actually saying they are literally all the same people
but that they are all the same types of people, that’s
what I’m getting at
I don’t mean to sound neurotic
but sometimes I wonder if I’m in a simulation

—–

A Postcard from Finland

by Shaun Jex

Hello Dear –
I fear
You would not like it here
Helsinki
Is way way way too stinky
This time of year
But I guess it’s good to know
No matter how far and wide I roam
There is always a little something
That reminds me of our home.

—–

My Summer Vacation

by Ruth Scribbles

Various

Anxious

Catastrophic

Antics

Tempted

Indecent

Outlandish

Nonsense

On my summer vacation

A best staycation ever

The jealousy abounded

And I was hounded

Indecently

For my details

V

….A

……..C

…………A

…………….T

………………..I

……………………O

………………………..Ns

—–

Thank you to all the wonderful/terrible poets! Come on by tomorrow around 10 a.m. for next week’s prompt.

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

Why Vacation if You’re a Stick in the Mud?

I don’t get out much. Maybe you’ve noticed.

When I do escape the dishes and children and laundry, my vacation destination is …Wal-mart. Ooh! Or Costco! Frankly, I spend enough at those, and the local Smith’s Marketplace, to cover a cruise.

Bu-u-u-ut the hubs and I made a goal to family vacay every summer. Sometimes it’s been camping. Sometimes it’s a cross-country trip. Sometimes we jaunt down to California for our every-five-years-Disneyland extravaganza.

Since I began this summer on bed rest, I had to put any travel plans on hold. Since we learned I was pregnant and needed to pay for removing our sweet, little parasite; we had to put our finances on hold.

I therefore booked a quick weekend away, using some reward points from the credit card.

I therefore picked somewhere not too far away but far enough to count as ‘vacation.’

I therefore booked a really fun hotel with a water slide and planned to eat tuna sandwiches.

I therefore demanded an oath of my husband that he would not point out any practical failings, metaphorically raining on our happy parade.

Problem is, I am an analytical person. I married an analytical person. We are both fairly practical as well. And critical. And, although I’ve been riding the Jaded Coaster since about age 3, my sweet husband got on and has been uncomfortably riding for over a decade now.

We made it to the second day before fighting about how the whole thing made no financial sense and we could be doing everything we were doing if we’d simply stayed home.

Fun times.

Which has since led me to ruminating about people and their vacations. For, of course one could save money, comfort, time, and hassle by staying put. There’s no risk. No bedbugs. No missing toothbrush. No change of climate or circumstance.

I’ve wondered a few specific things:

  1. Are vacations fun?
  2. Are they worth the cost?
  3. Are they worth the work?
  4. Is a vacation a vacation?

What do you think? What has your experience been?

 

—————-

I wrote a few things this past week:
Wednesday, August 14: Shared some of my favorite funny pregnancy t-shirts in “The Funniest Pregnancy Tees.”

Thursday, August 15: Announced I’d be going off the grid for a family vacay. I haven’t really come back yet.

Friday, August 16: Winner of the Weekly Terribly Poetry Contest. Thank you so so so so so so so so so so much to Bruce for adjudicating. Congratulations to Mathew for winning!

Saturday, August 17: Announced the 39th Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. The theme is vacations. PLEASE ENTER!

Also shared “Except for the Exceptions,” from a depressed mood during vacation.

Sunday, August 18: Nothing.

Monday, August 19: Enthused about receiving Stephen’s published book, The Kirkwood Scott Chronicles: Skelly’s Square (soon to be reviewed!).

Tuesday, August 20: “A Tick A Kick.”

Wednesday, August 21: Nothing. Tra-la-la.

Thursday, August 22: Today.

I also posted all this week at my motherhood site. I wrote “Hotel For …Fun?,” “The Best Thing You Can Give Your Child,” and “There’s Nothing to Eat.”

Photo Credits:
Image by tim striker from Pixabay
Image by Daniela Dimitrova from Pixabay
Image by KRISTEN FOSTER from Pixabay

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens

Except for the Exceptions

Midnight. Same as eleven. Same as ten. Same as nine eight seven six…
Except she yawned. She blinked a few more times than earlier.

Water the plants. Water the children. Water the trees vegetables flowers weeds…
Except for every other day. Except for the vegetables; they were every day.

Socks, folded. Same as shirts. Same as pants socks pajamas undies…
Except there were no exceptions.

“You should try a vacation,” they said. “I want you to be happy,” he said.
Except for when it affects me, he thought.

Except for when her happiness interferes with everyone else’s.

The Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

Good morning, afternoon, evening, and midnight snack time! It’s time for Terrible Poetry Contest #39.

What the heck is ‘terrible poetry?’ Read our obligatory recommendations and health risks here. The Terrible Poetry Contest and Chelsea Owens will not be held accountable for any writers’ or readers’ desires to gnaw their own legs off after reading.

Interested? Here are this week’s specifics:

  1. The Topic is vacations. Were you in paradise, the envy of all your online ‘friends?’ Did you finally cross off your bucket list trip to sleep atop the grave of Edgar Allen Poe? Or, was your experience a little less than ideal?
  2. As may be expected, this means the Length is postcard parameters. Write your poem home to your parents, to your grandparents, or your pen pal you want to impress.
  3. Rhyme if it works, or if it doesn’t. The choice is yours.
  4. Make it terrible!! Don’t make me sic the camp counselors on you, right after unleashing beach sharks to photo bomb your Leaning Tower of Pisa pic.
  5. Vacations aren’t risqué. This rating can stay PG or cleaner.

You have till 8:00 a.m. MST next Friday (August 23) to submit a poem.

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

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

Have fun!

 

Washroom Stories

Oddly enough, today I wish to reminisce about bathrooms. The idea came from Irene Waters, the illustrious writer and memoirist.

Her suggestion came at the same time a friend of mine is on vacation, a friend who keeps posting ratings for the various bathrooms she’s visiting. Little did I know that this is an activity she’s indulged in for a few years, supposedly stemming from a terrible experience with one. To this, I can relate. I did not realize how crucial a good seat for relieving oneself became until my first cross-country drive in 2015.

It inspired a star-studded poem:

I’ll tour this grand old land of mine;
I’ll drive from ocean to sea.
I’ll walk where millions walked before,
But,
I’ll not sit where they all …do their business.

Unlike some of the older participants in Irene’s prompt, I haven’t lived through a drastic era of change regarding toilets. Every house I’ve lived in has had what I have now: an indoor model that flushes with the aid of plumbing that enters and leaves the house. No water closets or outhouses. I do not believe I’ve ever lived somewhere with a septic tank.

composting-1431541_1920

Yes, I’m spoiled. And young, I suppose.

I have stayed in less-posh situations. I recall a summer camp one year with limited water and sewage supplies. We were advised to follow the old poem, “If it’s yellow, let it mellow. If it’s brown, flush it down.”

My family also spent a couple of summers at a cabin in the woods with its very own outhouse. I still recall the dread of midnight nature calls, shaking my flashlight through the dark and whooshing trees on the path and out to the pit-with-a-door. Due to active imaginations, two of my children are currently afraid of using the toilet alone. They said they imagine a head poking out of the hole and biting them. I don’t know what they would have done with the outhouse in the woods…

bathroom-3712300_1920

For my part, my only childhood fear of toilets involved imagining an alligator in one. I’ve never lived in Florida nor visited beyond the airport, but had heard a news story to the effect in elementary school. I also feared for spiders and such. I think, as a female, one’s fears are more justified since one always has to sit.

The one advancement in washrooms I have experienced in my lifetime is the automation of its basic functions. Automatic toilets, sinks, soaps, and blowers make using the bathroom a breeze. They also made for many, many times of standing over a peeing child to block the sensor so he does not get flushed on before he’s ready.

In a somewhat-related experience, I recall a music trip to San Francisco in my senior year of high school. For the first time, I encountered public stores that did not offer a public restroom. Also for the first time; I was directed to a public toilet, on the street corner, that utilized two-way mirrors as walls. When inside, a visitor could view everything outside as if he were not within a building at all. My childhood experience of knowing one could see through this glass by getting close did not encourage any desire to use this facility.

I suppose, like my friend, I also note and rank vacation bathrooms. When in Rome, eh?

bathroom-453420_1280

Photo Credits:
Image by Andrew Martin from Pixabay
Image by Luciana P. from Pixabay
Image by David Rinehart from Pixabay

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens

WINNER of the Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

It’s almost time for fun in the sun (or snow)! After reading through the entries this week, I may reconsider my vacation plans…

Especially after reading the poem of the winner, Peregrine Arc.

Oi’, Summah!

by Peregrine Arc

Lemunade and sugahs
Butterflies and sands
My dear, look at my toes
They’ve been completely eaten by crabs.

Oi, get yer feet off my beach blanket
Tide, do yer worst
For I’m a sun crisped lobster
A blue eyed, Caucasian curse.

Tantamount to the joyous degrees and aspects of the tiny filigreed hairs of a baby tarantula from Spain.
But never, ever with a yellow umbrella on Tuesday, for shame.

Is how much I enjoy my summer rain.

Drip. Drip. Drip…
….
….
….
Zazzle.

Congratulations, Peregrine Arc! You are the most terrible poet of the week!

Honestly, I had three poems tied for first after my initial run-through. They were terrible, confusing but still readable, related to vacation, and had hidden messages. P’Arc’s winning elements were her deviance from a meter and her (hopefully intentional) misspellings.

Again, some of you were (hopefully intentionally) not that terrible. Bad or no, you’re all worth a read:

The perils of camping

by Bruce Goodman

We’re leaving town to go on summer vacation.
The traffic heading out is like a conflagration.
We’ve got the three kids in the back of the car.
We’re going to a lonely camping spot with no shops other than very far.

Arrive we have! now to erect the tents;
One for the kids and one, you know what is meant,
for me and the Missus.
Already she’s flooded me with kisses.

Well here we are getting down to business.
The kids are all fed and have washed up their dishes.
Oh oh… oh Honey, we’re safe in our tents
but I forgot to bring the condiments.

Chorus: Heigh ho! Heigh ho! Is it off back home we go
because Daddy forgot to bring his condiments?
Who wants stuff heated up around the camp fire
when eating a sausage without condiments is dire?
Heigh ho! Heigh ho! Is it off back home we go
because Daddy forgot to bring his condiments?

—–

The woe of winter holidays

by Deb Whittam

Holidays are upon us,
She whispers with dread
Perhaps it was time
To enforce a day in bed
The kids would be up to hijinks
The circus, the movies, the zoo
All great fun things
When it’s raining to do
What about arts and crafts
No need to get wet
The look they send you
Suggests this isn’t a safe bet
In the end you’re left with no choice
Honesty is the best they say
Go play on your computers
I’m staying in bed today.

—–

Untitled piece

by Trent McDonald

Time for the two of us
To be where we’re not
For privacy take long
treks
We’ll get all sweaty
And deliciously hot
While engaging in rigorous
Hikes

—–

I Really Wish You Were Here, Instead Of Me

by Joanne Fisher

Here I am just soaking in the brine

I really wish I was having a good time

It would be really nice if someone else was here

If only I had won a totally different tier

I am at this wonderful summer resort

All because one day I bought a torte

The prize was a holiday in the midst of winter

All I’m hoping is this isn’t going to make me bitter

I better go as I’m running out of space

I long to soon be back in an aeroplane’s carapace

By the time I get home I’ll be full of joy

but for now I should let go of this freezing buoy

—–

Summer vacation

by Violet Lentz

life has been one long endless summer vacation lost luggage canceled flights hotels with no HBO sandy beaches endless nights spent wading in hot water close calls getting caught up stopping short of letting go doing nothing so long that it finally gets boring taking off on a tear in a t-bar and bra make up and cigarettes toothbrush at the ready why hang on to dirty laundry just throw that shit out grabbing at straws as they strike at my fancy waking up wearing nothing but an old worn wild hair in hot pursuit of a synonym for i wanna get higher diving too deep in some roughneck’s water seeking someone i can drown in or maybe just drift- far away from myself.

—–

VACATION EXCITEMENT

by Ruth Scribbles

Summer vacation?

Excitement?

I hate summer in Texas

It’s blasted hot 🥵

If I leave Texas, then….

Oh Lordy, must I be wordy

Hot as hell…

How do I know?

My skin sizzles and smells

My energy disappears

I become a big wimp

Can’t even limp around

Oh wait, did you say vacation??

Woohoo! Alaska, here I come!

She said as she melted from the sun.

—–

I have so much fun reading through these every week and hope you have just as much fun writing them! Come back tomorrow at 10 for the next prompt.

vicko-mozara-324955-unsplash

Peregrine Arc: 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 28th Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest.

Buckle your safety belts, keep your arms and legs inside, and review the manual if you’re worried about how to operate a terrible poem. We encourage mis-meter, almost-rhymes, and intentional clichés on this rocket ship.

Here are the specifics for this week:

  1. Topic: The excitement of summer vacation (or winter, if you’re down South).
  2. Length: Postcard-sized. If you write rather small, you can fit more in your poem.
  3. Rhyme if you wish; grandma probably won’t be able to read your handwriting anyway.
  4. Make it terrible. Not only will granny not know if you crossed your t’s but might also misconstrue a few of your words for some she thought she heard her favorite news anchor warn about the young’uns using these days.
  5. Rating: PG or more decent. We’re having good, clean fun this summer.

You have till 8:00 a.m. MST next Friday (June 7) to submit a poem.

Use the form if’n you don’t want yours up till next week.

For immediate fame and gratification from your peers, include your poem or a link to it in the comments below.

Tell your friends, your TwoFacebook crowd, your Tweeters; whatever. Spread the word and share the love.

Most of all, have fun!

vicko-mozara-324955-unsplash

Photo credit:
Vicko Mozara

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

Sunshine Blogger Award Thingie, Again

I’m not a fan of the award thingies, mostly due to the whole chain-mail idea of them; however, I am a fan of sharing people’s sites and connecting and learning more about everyone.

So when Len over at Len’s Daily Diary mentioned my site, of course I answered …a few days a week later. He is just the sort of upright, intelligent, honest, kind, humble, and great writer you’ll want to follow, anyway. So check out his stuff.

Here are the questions he posed to me, with my answers:

1.What is your fondest memory of childhood?

As an adult, I feel my childhood images have blended into a kaleidoscope soup of random feelings and sunshine moments. Trying to pull one, fondest shard is a daunting task. I do know that I’d pick from amongst my family vacation moments.

My parents took me and my brother and sister on a vacation every year. The funny thing is that I know we were absolute jerks pretty typical children, yet I only retain the happiness I felt in new adventures and experiences shared with the people I love.

https://www.pexels.com/photo/view-of-empty-road-1537979/

If you think this looks idyllic, add at least three underage voices SCREAMING death cries to a background of loose objects being smashed against car and human body parts.

2. If you could write your obituary, what would it say?

How morbid am I that I’ve thought about this more than once and am under the age of 50? (In my defense, I seriously considered it after helping my aunt edit the one for my grandmother.)

I’m not going to write it out here, but let’s just say that it will contain a hidden message or two and at least a passing reference to HG2G -all written in verse.

sandy-millar-758468-unsplash

3. Do you prefer turbulent waters or the stillness of the desert?

I definitely prefer the desert over deep water. -Don’t get me wrong; I love turbulent things. I just have a sort of terrible thalassaphobia.

greg-rakozy-79998-unsplash

4. What is your favorite flavor of ice-cream?

I have more of a favorite brand or type than flavor, because I’ve gotten to the point where I’m picky about the depth of creamy taste and luscious thickness of quality ingredients.

So, a darned good chocolate variety works for me.

birthday-break-breakfast-461430

5. Who do you most admire from history?

Distant history? Pretty much anyone who survived all the diseases and tooth decays and no hygiene; and still lived, reproduced (gah! tooth decay!), and made himself better in the world.

I admire those who had great difficulty; they are real people to me.

 

Thanks, Len! If the rest of you are still with me, here’s my nominees/people you should go check out:

Bladud Fleas: An extremely excellent writer, superbly talented artist, and …well, I don’t really know much else about him. Go visit, though.

Wilton Sugiyama of Wiltoons: He’s a dude I met through my motherhood site who draws cartoons about life.

Thru Violet’s Lentz: An excellent writer of many genres.

Ruth Scribbles: Another excellent writer who mostly dabbles in poetry.

Bereaved: My short name for A Dad trying to cope with the loss of his Partner and becoming a single parent. Long name; hilarious and touching posts.

All y’all can answer these questions if you feel like it:

  1. How much chocolate is too much?
  2. Who would really win: Batman or Superman?
  3. Why is it always the last place you look?
  4. What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen European swallow?
  5. Where would you go to find The Meaning of Life?

 

Photo Credits
Pexels.com
Sandy Millar
Greg Rakozy
Pexels.com

The Happiest Traffic Jam on Earth

park-troopers-221399-unsplash

“When will we get dere?”

Sigh.

“It’s …uh, your turn to answer him, Dear.”

“Whe-e-e-e-en will we get de-e-e-e-ere?”

“I told you, Honey. We’ll be there soon.”

“Yeah. ‘Soon.’

“You said that a long time ago!”

“Alvy. Honey-”

“I wish you wouldn’t call him-”

“No! You said we go in duh car!”

“Yes, Sweetheart. Vroom! Vroom! Remember?”

“Not vrooming…”

“You said LITTLE ride in duh car!”

“Well, I meant-”

“You did tell him just a little ride-“

WAAAAAAAAAH!

“Dear, please. That’s not helping to side with him…”

“Are we picking sides?”

“WHEN WILL WE GET DERE?!”

“Your turn.”

Sigh.

 

Carrot Ranch Literary Society Prompt