There is Hope in the Flame of Notre Dame

Is history really that important?

In answering this query for an online assignment back in college, I decided to play Devil’s Advocate. The teacher clearly wanted everyone to affirm that history was vital; it was a history course, after all. And, like little ducks in a line, all the students did.

If there is one thing I cannot consistently stand, it is following after all the little ducks.

No, I argued, history is not important. We don’t actually need it.

  1. No one learns from the past. The proof is in the repeated mistakes.
  2. Conditioned to luxury and entitlement, we behave as Huxley predicted and always seek for what is new.
  3. History is written by the victors or their fans, and is redacted and altered by current social climates. 1984 (George Orwell) proves that.

Though I did not make the following points, I could reasonably add two more for our modern times:

  1. We have a glut of information and lack time for the general public to ingest it. So, instead, most people only follow useless, instantaneous fluff.
  2. Technology has the capacity to 3-D print what we need, thus eliminating paltry ideas like stonemason or architect skills.

The online repartée with my professor ended unfavorably, by the way. He acknowledged all comments in a general, summarizing paragraph at the end of the week. He specifically mentioned “one student” who had argued this and that against his statement, said I’d referenced 1984 erroneously because it undermined my main point (it didn’t), and suggested I ought not to argue too far out lest I “find the branch cut off behind (me).”

I’m still sore that I had no way to post a counterargument.

That aside, I do not believe that history is not important nor that we ought not to learn it. Instead, I lament that most people do not respect history. Most do not seem to know its significance or beauty or work …until it is removed. Stolen. Ripped away. Burned.

This morning I had intended to write a different post. I thought to list my hectic schedule, thereby garnering a few commiserating comments and explaining my abysmal online presence. Instead, in catching up (somewhat) on blogs I follow, I read a very-well written piece about the recent Notre Dame catastrophe. The Feathered Rose, in “To human ingenuity,” described “both the stillness and the motion in (her) thinking” as she contemplated her feelings about history.

A friend of hers suggested that Our Lady will be rebuilt and will continue on as she has. Other buildings of historical significance have undergone changes and rebuilds, right?

“My friend, speaking through the words of Douglas Adams, is correct that, once rebuilt, the Cathedral will continue to serve its purpose. Architects, historians, engineers, builders – these people will no doubt admirably restore the ideaintentiondesign, and essence of the building. Tourists will continue to flock there. The faithful will continue to pray…”

So, really, what’s the big deal? Why was the horror of destruction not sated by the consolation of repair? Fortunately, she finds and gives us an answer:

“Human ingenuity isn’t only about intangible progress. It’s also about the evidence of our past.”

That is one sentence stolen -ripped, burned- from paragraphs she wrote of beautiful reminisces of history. Reminders of what the past means and why we need it. Pasting any more of her post would require at least half a page, but I highly encourage everyone to read it.

I love the voice she gave to my own unrest. I love the poetry of her memories.

If given a chance to state my enduring and authentic hope for history today, I would counter-argue my previously-stated points:

  1. We all learn from the past, though we may take a few revisits to retain what it taught.
  2. The flashy and new appeal to the young and inexperienced. Once they run out of money or solid chairs to sit upon, they will change to old and reliable.
  3. History may be written less-accurately, but all information must be taken with a pinch of salt. Assume bias, watch for author’s flavor and preference, and remember your own colored glasses.
  4. The general population will always grab at fluff; the important and durable information will endure.
  5. A handmade work is impressive and appreciated, and even a computer needs to be ‘taught’ the skills.

Why do we walk the halls of the past? Sometimes it is merely to feel the echoing footsteps of the people who came before. Wouldn’t you wish for the same, of those who will come after?

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How has the destruction of Notre Dame touched you? Is the past important enough to retain what we may for the future?

—————-

Here is what I wrote last week. I intend to take the remainder of the week in stride, as I really am quite busy:
Wednesday, April 10: Spent a happy reminiscence discussing children’s picture books with “Picture Books Are Always in Season.

Thursday, April 11: “The Cure for Depression: Get Some Sleep!,” another suggestion in a series originally posted over at The Bipolar Writer Mental Health Blog.

Friday, April 12: Winner of the Weekly Terribly Poetry Contest. Congratulations to Everyone who entered!

Saturday, April 13: Announced the 22nd Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. The theme is an acrostic of the person you detest. PLEASE ENTER!

Sunday, April 14: “In The Beginning, There Was Distraction,” in response to Carrot Ranch‘s prompt.

Slipped in a tongue-in-cheek poem titled, “(Real) Life Advice.

Monday, April 15: A book quote from Something Wicked This Way Comes. I am slowly, very slowly getting through this one.

Tuesday, April 16: “Wilhelmina Winters, Ninety.”

Also, posted, “Mental Illness Really Sucks” over at JES’ site.

Wednesday, April 17: Today.

I also posted all this week at my motherhood site. I wrote “Religion in the Home” and a fantastic poem titled, “A House(work) at War.”

I’ve a part-time job writing stuff for Kids Are the Worst‘s blog now; and publish scintillating works like “10 Actually Easy Easter Crafts for Kids.” I intend to keep things real and funny over there.
Speaking of writing jobs, I see that one of my vacuum reviews is online and it’s not even the re-write DumbFace demanded. Funny world.

 

Photo Credit:
Maxime Naillon

The Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

WELCOME to The Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest, Week 22.

Please remove all dignified, appropriate rules about poetry and drop them behind a dumpster somewhere, read how to terribly poem, and look at the specifics below:

  1. This week, we are going to make an acrostic poem. The Topic of said poem is a person you detest.
    If his name were Bob, your poem might read:
    lessed waste of
    O rgans is
    ob
  2. For Length, your masterpiece must be no longer than the person’s name.
    Also, keep the number of people you hate and therefore wish to honor with a poetic address to three.
  3. Rhyme if you wish; don’t if you’d rather not.
  4. As always, make it terrible. The person you hate must sense, by aura of recitation alone, your loathing and aversion. He (or she) must follow the scent of vitriol to your computer and vow revenge upon your children’s children.
  5. Keep things PG-13 or nicer, if you please.

My children have Spring Break next week, which means I do not. Therefore, the deadline for this ‘weekly’ contest will be in two weeks. You have till 8:00 a.m. MST Friday (April 26) 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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Photo credit:
Pixabay

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:

Picture Books Are Always in Season

“So …have you read King Bidgood’s in the Bathtub?”

“No.”

“Hmm. What about The Stinky Cheese Man?”

A sound of polite, incredulous aversion comes from the backseat. “No….”

I’m driving my male horde home from elementary school, plus the three children of a family friend. Their children and mine share a few interests, the main one being a love of reading.

The older girl pipes up, “We don’t read picture books.”

Her sister: “Yeah; I’m reading chapter books now.”

Which is fine, of course, seeing as how she is in second grade. She is the baby of their four children and they are all precocious. The only boy has already moved up a grade and is 2-3 grades ahead in mathematics.

Still….

Our Books

“I love picture books,” I say. “There are a lot of really good ones out there, so I like to go back and read them again.”

“Yes, that’s true,” the older girl acquiesces. I often feel I’m sitting at a British tea party with her, although she’s midway through fourth grade.

My boys, meanwhile, are each immersed in reading something educational like Captain Underpants or Magic Pickle. I’m not a fan of the graphic novels, but am fine with their perusal if mixed with a range of literature. That, and graphic novels include everything from less-than-desirable illustrations and potty humor to really well-done works like The Cardboard Kingdom.

I drop the friends off. Their mother comes out for a quick chat. “Your girls say you don’t have any picture books around anymore,” I say, in a friendly way.

“Oh. Yeah.” She laughs. She’s extremely intelligent, an excellent quilter, and one who does not seem to mind being a stay-at-home mother. I’m always in awe of her. “I unintentionally donated ours to the classroom and haven’t replaced them.” She sighs a bit, which is usually her way of segue. “They don’t really seem interested, so I probably won’t.”

To each her own, of course, but a little bit of me cries inside to hear it. Like my music preferences, my reading tastes cover many genres. -Except romance. Ugh.

Besides that, my collection of books is …sizeable. When I read Fahrenheit 451 in school, I wanted to be the old lady with the enormous library. I would feel torn between saving myself or my books. I …have a bit of a problem with control whenever I shop the book department in thrift stores.

D.I. Books

After a recent thrift store trip.

Which leads me back to picture books. I love picture books. I cannot imagine not having any in my house. I read to my children from them, and then from novels as they age (time permitting).

I also enjoy reading to other children. Last year I offered to read to my son’s fourth grade class once a week, to give the teacher a few minutes of preparation time at the end of the day. What did I read? The Jolly PostmanThe Sweetest FigBark, George; and Oh, Were They Ever Happy!

I remember visiting with the teacher once after we finished up. “Thank you for coming in every week,” she said. “It gives me time to get ready and I really appreciate it.”

I smiled. “Oh, you’re welcome.” Then, I hesitated, knowing most of these kids were beyond the target age for the books I shared. “Are you okay with me reading picture books? I know they might be a little young for them.”

“Of course!” she said. “They love them! I don’t think they’re too young for them at all.”

Our Picture Books

Most of our picture book library.

You may think I will ask whether you agree or disagree, but I know you are all smarter than that. Instead, what are a few of your favorite children’s stories? They can be picture books, graphic novels, beginning chapter books, or Harry Potter-sized novels. Which do you love, and why?

—————-

After fondly reminiscing, read what I posted this past week:
Wednesday, April 3: Encouraged cathartic ranting over bad bosses in “Just Another Perk of Working.

Thursday, April 4: “The Cure for Depression: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy,” another suggestion in a series originally posted over at The Bipolar Writer Mental Health Blog.

Friday, April 5: Winner of the Weekly Terribly Poetry Contest. Congratulations to Molly Stevens!

Saturday, April 6: Announced the 21st Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. The theme is parodies of famous poems. PLEASE ENTER!

And, answered Peregrine Arc’s writing prompt with “Smells Like Reanimated Spirits.

Sunday, April 7: “Olympic Achievement,” a poem response to Carrot Ranch‘s prompt.

Monday, April 8: “Wilhelmina Winters, Eighty-Nine.”

Tuesday, April 9:  An inspirational quote by Jodi Foster.

Wednesday, April 10: Today.

I also posted all this week at my motherhood site. Highlights were “Just Don’t Buy It?,” “Moderate Momming,” and “Bedtime, a poem.”

 

Photo Credit:
Me

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

WINNER of the Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

Sorry to keep you all waiting. The winner of this week’s terribleness is Molly Stevens.

Ice Cream

by Molly Stevens

Tedious April
A blustery ice cream hops
at the perfect snow

With honorable mention to the prolific poeming of Doug. My favorite of his was:

Untitled piece

by Doug

Spring festival cry
Many at reflecting pond
See each other see

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

Poets this week, including those who referenced seasonal germs and sneezings, wrote some amusing poems. Haiku proved the best of most, however, in that almost all of the poems were too poetic. You’re too good, darn it!

-Not that Molly isn’t a wonderful poet. But she, along with two or three others, crafted a haiku of terrible proportions. I loved the nonsensical nature of hers. It pokes fun at typical spring haiku without smacking me over the head. It’s fun.

Besides being a tad too pretty, the rest of the poets weren’t half bad. Here they are:

In Your Face

by Dorinda Duclos

In your face I sneeze

Springtime, meant to spread disease

Human pestilence

—–

Vernal Haikuz

by Violet Lentz

Grace, Charm and Beauty
The three graces escape me
In mud covered boots

—–

To me, spring cleaning
Means finding out what’s taken
Root under the fridge.

—–

Giai’s hot flashes
Window panes on roller skates
Her prerogative.

—–

Shall I continue?
There are more where those came from.
I’m game if you are

—–

Ode(r) to Spring

by Trent P. McDonald

Gentle April rain
Dog fertilizing the lawn
From poo comes flowers

—–

Untitled piece

by Robbie Cheadle

Dark grey April sky
Shocking us with late snowfall
Yet they call it spring

—–

Odeums to Springums

by Peregrine Arc

The blossoms trail far
Do not tarry, dripping nose
For allergies wait.

—–

Springtime Haiku, version #1

by Härzenswort

Morning meets meadow
Gentle, glistening dewdrops
Fill wee buttercups

—–

Springtime Haiku, version #2

Morning meets meadow
Yellow, glistening dewdrops
Fill wee buttercups

—–

Springtime Haiku, version #3

Morning meets meadow
Creamy, glistening dewdrops
Fill wet buttercups

—–

Untitled piece

by Doug

Trial for heart attack
Collapsed Spring-man on marble
Rose crying on steps

—–

Untitled piece

by Doug

Our exploding Spring
Couples in weeping willows
Release spirit ashes

—–

Untitled piece

by Doug

By meowing lions
Lambs in meadow lake ripples
Spring sneezes deadly mocking

—–

Untitled piece

by Doug

Lunch time in the park
A man gushing blood on tree
Cops jumping Spring to catch him

—-

Untitled piece

by Doug

Probetag für die
kollabierender Mann trist
Frühling weint vorbei

Test day for the
collapsing man dreary
Spring is crying over

——

Untitled piece

by Doug

のテスト日
折りたたみ男
春が泣いています

No tesuto-bi
Oritatami otoko
Haru ga naite imasu

Test day of
Folding man
Spring is crying

—–

The Rose

by Bruce Goodman

Far beneath the bitter snows
Lies the seed that with the sun’s love
In the spring becomes a pumpkin.

—–

Untitled piece

by Bladud Fleas

Daylight saving time:
Getting out of bed later
Or too early, d’uh

—–

Sleeping Spring

by Anneberly Andrews

Oh the gentle breeze

And lovely blossoms of spring

Masked in cold degrees

—–

Untitled piece

by Michael B. Fishman

Springtime is here and flow,
ers will soon be blooming – brrr –
winter’s on the way.

—–

Holy Toledo

by Ruth Scribbles

Holy toledo
Spring haiku sprang to my mind
“Whatever,” she said

—–

As always, thank you to everyone for the dubious poetry. Give yourselves a private congratulation for your terrible talent.

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

Just Another Perk of Working

Waaaaay back when I worked a full-time job, I had a bit of a power struggle with one of our building’s renters. Our company leased the entire second floor of a two floor building and a few businesses leased the spaces beneath. One of those was an insurance agent.

As far as we could tell, the insurance agent did nothing. He was part of a huge umbrella company, like Allstate. He had no clients and took long lunches.

Yes, most of my team were people-watchers.

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The conflict was over parking spaces. He raised a stink with the building manager, saying that he needed x number of spaces for his clients (who were nonexistent). Our rather large body of employees quickly exceeded the bounds of the lot. A few passive-aggressive maneuvers transpired until our manager asked us to respect the whiner’s parking spaces.

One day that was also the first day of my monthly cycle, I came to work feeling terrible. I parked in a no-no spot because, frankly, I did not care. I also parked there because I was certain I’d be asking my boss for the rest of the day off based on how I felt.

Cue a message from the insurance guy, who literally had nothing better to do than spy on his spaces.

Cue my boss sending me a message about how Allstate Junior wanted me to move my car.

Cue my response: Screw the insurance guy.

I got up, moved my car, took pain medications, and worked the rest of the day. Incident forgotten -or so I thought.

Months -YES, MONTHS!- later, our boss quit. A woman named Jadis* took over, since she’d been in no position that should have been promoted but we later learned the whole team was being phased out so the head people at our company really didn’t care.

Jadis decided that she should meet with each of us. She said it was a way to get to know everyone; she probably added some tripe about team unity or whatnot. I didn’t know her very well and entered the meeting in good faith.

How little I knew.

That meeting was the worst I’ve ever had -and I’ve been fired whilst pregnant (another story, another time). Jadis proceeded to tell me that I had a terrible attitude as an employee and that I wasted time. She showed me the message I had sent to our team lead all those months ago. She explained that I would be logging every half hour each day to show I wasn’t wasting company time. She made it clear that I was on thin ice and had better shape up.

I was shocked. Yes, what I had typed about the insurance guy was immature and inappropriate. No one said anything at the time, so I thought it done and over with. Just to be sure, I tracked down our former boss and asked him. I apologized to him. No, he told me, he hadn’t been offended. Yes, he’d completely forgotten it.

Jadis, meanwhile, made my work life hell. No one had any work to do, yet I (alone) had to log my productivity. I made up things like, “verified accuracy of past files,” or “organized workspace.” I even wrote when I used the bathroom or ate lunch.

It was a double slap to the face, considering that one of the other employees had not been clocking out for lunch, had been reported by everyone, and had yet to be reprimanded or fired.

If you’re wondering where I’m going with today’s post, it is here: I think everyone has had a horrible boss or supervisor. I think you all have stories. You may have to give us the truncated version, here, but who was it? What did he or she do? Does the story have a happy ending?

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My story does, in a way, but I’ll leave that for another lengthy post. In the meantime, share your dirt. Go on: I promise I won’t make you tell me when you used the bathroom.

 

*Name changed

—————-

After the catharsis of ratting on your terrible employer, read what I did last week:
Wednesday, March 27: A bit of a mind trip in disassociation with “Where IS My Mind?

Thursday, March 28: “The Cure for Depression: Help Someone Else,” another suggestion in a series originally posted over at The Bipolar Writer Mental Health Blog.

Friday, March 29: Winner of the Weekly Terribly Poetry Contest. Congratulations to Joanne the Geek!

Saturday, March 30: Announced the 20th Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. The theme is Springtime Haiku. PLEASE ENTER!

Also posted my answers and nominations for The Mystery Blogger Award.

Sunday, March 31: “Glad Tidings of Nymble” for Carrot Ranch‘s prompt.

Monday, April 1: My answers and nominations for The Liebster Award.

Tuesday, April 2:  An inspirational quote from a piece by Violet Lentz.

Finally posted “Wilhelmina Winters, Eighty-Eight.”

Wednesday, April 3: Today.

I also posted all this week at my motherhood site. I wrote “Don’t Give In, and Stay Sane Doing So,” “The Good Old Days,” and “The Polls are In (a poem).”

 

Photo Credit:
Photo by Dmitry Ratushny on Unsplash
Image by 942987 from Pixabay

The Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

Welcome to The Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest, Episode 20.

If you’re new or need directions; read my how-to on terrible poetry. Although I sometimes choose a winner who wrote about terrible things; what I seek above all is terrible meter, satirical tropes, and other poetic clichés.

Here are the specifics for this week:

  1. This week’s Topic is Springtime Haiku. I gave a brief tutorial in haiku back at Contest #3.
  2. Since it’s haiku, you all know the Length is roughly a syllabic 5-7-5.
  3. Haiku doesn’t Rhyme. Do it, and you just might have nothing happen since this contest is about breaking rules.
  4. Our #1 Rule that is always listed at #4 is to make it terrible. Since I witness haiku getting butchered all the time, you’re not likely to have trouble making yours cringe-worthy.
    Just in case you need the motivation, however, I’d like your ode to nature to
    Force quiv’ring blossoms
    To shiver downy snowflake stuff
    In terror of you
  5. Japanese poet-masters are rarely pushing boundaries. Keep things G-rated or gentler.

You have till 8:00 a.m. MST next Friday (April 5) 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. That way, 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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Photo credit:
michael podger

WINNER of the Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

I look forward to this contest every week. I smile, laugh, feel slightly ill; then realize that I only get to choose ONE entry as winner.

Today, that winner is Joanne the Geek.

For You My Love

by joanne the geek

I love you so much, even with all my heart

but you can’t find any love for me at all

but with you I could still never bear to part

I’ll poison you and keep you stuffed in my hall

–♥–♥–♥–♥–

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

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: the competition every week is stiff. Most of the times I judge, I find myself drawn to three or four poems. After that, I have to search deep within them to suss out small details or turns of phrase that can set the poem apart and above the others.

This week; mostly everyone killed it with horrible rhymes, nailed awful story arcs, berated my poetic sensibilities with twisted romance, and left me gasping at an overall terribleness. Joanne’s poem did all that; plus I appreciated her ending. The meter and message left me hanging, wondering Wait -what? What did my love say to me? Short, sweet, pointed, terrible. Good job.

If I had a second prize to give, at least five of the following would tie for it. The rhymes, the messages, the “love…” You guys are amazing:

Take My Arm

by Trent McDonald

I really, really want to be your guy
I would rip out my heart for you
Chop of my head

Sure, an expensive gift I could buy
But parts of me are exclusive, there are few
Take too many and I’ll be dead

Well, actually I don’t want to die
Would ripping out my spleen do?
chop off a finger instead?

I hope you didn’t enjoy this poem 😉

—–

Yowza

by Peregrine Arc

Hello babe, I saw you from afar
I drove by in my shiny new Mustang car.
I smiled, flicked my bangs back just so
James Dean had nothing on me, as you know.
You smiled shyly, like the angel you are
And then your boyfriend leaned over to kiss the car.
“Here’s a twenty, thanks for bringing it around.
No scratches, I see. Safe and sound.”
I got out, handed over the keys
And scratched off a number on my valet receipt.
I could only stare as the tires went round
And hope the police would order an impound.

—–

One More Chance For The Unrequited Lover

by Bladud Fleas

So, the flowers I sent you
weren’t that fantastic
bought at a filling station
and made out of plastic
and you said plastic is bad for the planet
and I wrote on the card, “to my Jane”
when your name’s actually Janet
does it really mean I won’t get a kiss?
why should it mean you’ll give it a miss?

—–

Candy

by Doug

Why did you stand me up, my Dove,
Oh Dear Candy of June days, my Love
you misunderstood my allusion to
Ogden Nash day who used to say,
“Candy is dandy
but liquor is quicker.”

You are a diamond in the rough,
Is a diamond ring enough?

—–

Artificial Love

by Geoff

The Roses were red
Not that it mattered
Cos like my poor heart
With their rejection you shattered
Them both.

You blanked me all day
My life you are blighting
By coldly ignoring
The genuine plighting
Of my troth.

Do you think I’m too small
Could my voice be sexier
Just tell me your needs
And I’ll meet them forever
Your loving
Alexa…

—–

to lucy westenra i’m watching you

by count vlad dracula tepes

though you grew up on some farms
how could i resist your charms?

you may be only nineteen
and i five hundred thirteen

but thats fine with me you see
because im not so picky.

ill kill that doctor you love
and wear his skin like a glove.

then youll love me forever
no betrayal whatsoever.

—–

Be Bee Been Not to Be

by Doug

I’m not a “has-been”!
Love me in the now
now, now, now-ish

“har været” is a Danish,
a été is French
è stato is Italian
I’m a stallion immense
dense as a cloud now

—–

Why did you not?

by Ruth Scribbles

Oh my darlin’, oh my sweet
I loved you, yes, complete(ly)

You looked around me
Why? I beg you, gee!

My nose never dripped snot
I didn’t smell of rot

Was I too tall, ugly, or thin
What could I have done
To reign you in?

But now that we’re grown
And I’ve matured a bunch
I escaped a hell of a life
I now know that much!

Stay out of my dreams
You now make me scream
-with delight

Forever,
never yours

—–

Trying to Love You

by Michael B. Fishman

I sent you a puppy to show you my love.
You turned the poor thing into a first baseman’s glove.

I sent you a kitten to show you I care.
You shaved the poor thing so it had no more hair.

I sent you a toy, a cute Barbie doll.
You melted it by dunking her in raw alcohol.

I sent you a dove to show you my passion.
You sent me his bones after eating him with an Old Fashioned.

I walked to your door hoping for a dialogue.
You said some strange words and turned me into a frog.

I hopped on back home and got lost in St. Paul.
I called you on the phone but you didn’t answer my call.

I hopped back to your door hoping that you’d put me back.
You said more strange words and gave me a bad panic attack.

I begged you to slow down my speeding heartbeat.
You said more strange words and poof – I was a parakeet.

I flew around in circles and was chirping in tones.
You muttered something about a skull and crossbones.

I perched on your screen door feeling frustrated.
You said go away or you’ll find yourself castrated.

I asked if you’d turn me back into a human.
You said, “What’s the middle name of Harry S. Truman?”

I said, “I don’t know, may I have another question?”
You just stood there staring with an odd facial expression.

I said, “Please restore me and I’ll leave you alone.”
You said more strange words and I was in a NASA space cone.

I said, “Bring me back please and you won’t see me again.
You muttered something under your breath that sounded like, “Amen”.

I was back down on earth and I said, “Can I ask one last question?”
You said, “Only if you want to see more magical aggression.”

I thought that I didn’t so instead I just said, “Bye.”
You just looked at me harshly with one squinted eye.

I walked down her sidewalk and turned ‘round the bend.
And that’s where my story of unrequited love comes to an end.

Then I stopped and made just one quick backward glance.
You shouted, “Keep going. You don’t have a chance.”

—–

Your Love Haunts Me

by Doug

I’d die for your sultry voice,
for an answer to my last missive.

I loved you at the mountain venue:
drums and guitar on cliff in blue

I loved the oblivion in your voice, your
devouring sorrow and sudden run.

If only you could have loved me
I’d have loved you too, a bump
to have jumped with you

Come haunt me and
I will love your ghost
at the bottom of the cliff.

—–

let me in

by Violet Lentz

she lurks just
outside my window.
from the shadows
she implores,
“let me in.”
-eyes so wide,
so innocent.
she taps lightly
on the pane
and whispers,
“i’m scared.”
“let me in.”

she lurks just
outside my window.
it should be so easy
to just open it,
and let her in..
but instead,
i draw the blind
so i can’t see her
i write poems,
i paint with words,
and i pretend.

that the scared,
little child
just outside
my window
is not me-
i don’t long,
to let her in.

—–

If You Duck Love, How Will You Swim?

by Doug

Once we played ping-pong in the rain
following the arrows to Reign Park, and

I know you loved
the pitter-patter of rain
although too

Cupid’s ping pang pain of love
rolled off you like
rain off a duck’s back

I don’t walk like a duck though
and you’re a beautiful swan

—–

One Soul

by Härzenwort

Even if your silence weren’t quite so loud

If you didn’t wear it like a shroud

This pain of yours would still be mine

I counted seven, eight and nine

Ten on a scale from one to none

One soul, one life, what’s done is done

Beyond the count of time are these our fears

Under and above a show of tears

For in this sleep of life what dreams may come

Must give us pause: there’s the respect

No purpose, no cause. Yet each other we affect

One soul, one life, what’s done is done

Ten on a scale from one to none

I count to seven, eight and nine

This pain of yours is also mine

I only wish you wouldn’t wear it like a shroud

That your silence weren’t quite so loud

—–

Thanks, again, to all who entered! Tune in tomorrow for next week’s prompt.

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

Where IS My Mind?

“With your feet in the air and your head on the ground…”

Most of my day is spent in trying to avoid reality. Through the combined efforts of little sleep and little to stimulate my brain, I’ve successfully dodged true feelings and their accompanying pains for years. Through the added repressive means of modern technology and instant entertainment, I’ve created a virtual mindspace that is more alive than my physical one.

“Your head will collapse / But there’s nothing in it…”

Since entering the world of blogging; and, especially, the community of mental illness support, I’ve learned some terms for what I do: numbing, depersonalization, and (above all) disassociation.

“And you’ll ask yourself: Where is my mind?”

In the beginning, I entered the mind fog willingly. -So I thought. Depressed, repressed, lonely, and mind-numbingly bored at my day-to-day activities; I sought constant distraction.

“Try this trick and spin it…”

I thought numbing was better. In some ways, it was; it is. Because I felt nothing, I did not lash out in anger from the frustrations. Because I felt nothing, I could not feel disappointment. Because I felt nothing, I could not feel the crippling sadness.

“Where is my mind?”

Except that I still could.

“Where is my mind?”

As such, I have made various attempts to kind-of, sort-of climb out of my muddy hole. I read Brené Brown’s recommendations, followed her advice …and really offended a neighbor by being myself. I started counseling and some hormone therapy …then reverted back to old habits and dropped the hormones so that I wouldn’t accidentally birth a hermaphrodite.

Most of my days are spent in trying to avoid reality. On the rare occasions that I surface, life feels like the restaurant scene in “Sherlock Holmes” (2009). Unlike the genius that is Holmes, however; I do not note and absorb everyone’s mistresses, limps, or chalk spots. Instead, I feel overstimulated by emotions; in particular, everyone’s emotional reactions to me.

I also feel overwhelmed at the repetitive cycle of life, and the prospect of more of the same for the foreseeable future.

Do I want my mind awake? I’m not so sure. There doesn’t seem much to wake to. Hence, the continued withdrawal and disassociation.

“Where is my mind?” Somewhere inside. Probably.

Do you experience similar non-feelings? Have you, in the past, and now you do not? Is reality worth the cost?

—————-

On a happier note, here’s what I threw together this week:
Wednesday, March 20: Me and me debated who has it harder in “THE Battle of the Sexes.”

Thursday, March 21: “The Cure for Depression: Simply, Joy,” a suggestion in a series originally posted over at The Bipolar Writer Mental Health Blog.

Friday, March 22: Winner of the Weekly Terribly Poetry Contest. Congratulations to Doug!

Saturday, March 23: Announced the 19th Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. The theme is Unrequited Love. PLEASE ENTER!
I also finally wrote up an entry for The Annual Bloggers Bash Competition, “Silent but Tardy.”

Sunday, March 24: “Farmer Henry,” a flash fiction piece for Carrot Ranch’s writing prompt.

Monday, March 25: An inspirational quote by Dieter F. Uchtdorf.

Tuesday, March 26: “Wilhelmina Winters, Eighty-Seven.”

Wednesday, March 27: Today.

I also wrote stuff at my motherhood site; like “Pinterest Mom or Sane Parent?,” “A Very Unmerry Birthday to You,” and a funny quote about mothers.

 

*Credit to the Pixies’ amazing song, “Where Is My Mind?”