The A Mused Poetry Contest 10/31 – 11/06/2020

Do you love to laugh out loud? Silently snicker? Guffaw as you …gallop? You’re in the right place!

Here are the rules for this week:

  1. The Theme is road-trip disasters or vacation mishaps. Did you travel all day and into the night, only to find another person in your bed? Find a flat tire midway through Nebraska? Get chased by roos in The Never-Never? Poem about it.
  2. Length: flexible. Keep the word count between 5 and 155 words.
  3. I recommend Rhyming, but it’s up to you!
  4. Arriving in a strange town where no one speaks your language and discovering you haven’t packed spare underwear is very frustrating, so the Rating can be PG-13 or cleaner.
  5. MAKE US LAUGH. Sad as you feel/felt/will feel, capture the humor in the annoyance.

You have till 10:00 a.m. MST next Friday (November 6) to submit a poem.

Use the form, below, to remain anonymous for a week.

Otherwise, include your poem or a link to it in the comments. Drop a comment if your link-back doesn’t show up by midnight the day you create it.

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Bon voyage!

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Photo by Nubia Navarro (nubikini) on Pexels.com

©2020 Chel Owens

WINNER of the A Mused Poetry Contest 10/30/2020

In honor of Halloween (sort-of), poets needed to amuse us with verses about masks! Who did so in the funniest way?

Masquerade, by Sara of Relaxitsallwrite
All I had to go on were his eyes

Hazel, hypnotic, alluring

They summoned me from across the ballroom

He had only my eyes as well

Ice-blue, and intrigued

I maneuvered my voluptuous gown through the crowd

And met him, mask to mask

While mine encompassed the beautiful butterfly I desired to be

With stunning wings, wide-spread across my cheeks

His was a bit silly, like a court jester

With speckles, peppering a long, triangular nose

I struggled to avoid it as we danced

And dance we did

Then, he tried to kiss me, but his nose got in the way

I grew frustrated

I wanted to sink into his lips, like a butterfly drinking from a tulip

So gently, I removed his disguise and leaned in

But was immediately put off

When I realized his nose was the same shape as his mask

Congratulations, Sara! You are the funniest poet for the week! I admired your rhyme, but laughed after the great buildup to a reveal no one wants upon first meeting!

Although only one could win first place, I loved the others as well:

The Masque of the Covid Death (With apologies to Edgar Allen Poe), by Trent P. McDonald
As midnight tolled the fateful hour
A new guest appeared
Amongst the revelers
Rheumy eyes
Stared from the mask
A cough shook the frame
Prospero, angry yelled
“Halt, false fellow
For we do not
Like your Covid-like mask
Who are you
To be so bold?
Show yourself!”
The guest
Dressed as the very victim of the plague
Walked from room to room
None dared bar his way
He stopped in room Seven
The room of Black and White
Prospero raised his AR-15 rifle
“Unmask yourself now!”
But when the guest turned
Prospero fell in a coughing fit
The other guests
In their madness
Tore the mask from the new guest
To their horror
An N95 was beneath
And then they knew
There was no escape
And Darkness and Decay and the Covid Death
Held illimitable dominion over all.
(OK, the last line was borrowed from Poe, about word for word 😉 )

Untitled, by DumbestBlogger
What’s behind the mask?
Stop it, not so fast!
Wait, what’s in the cask?
Poison? Poison you say?
Too bad
If only he had been more vigilant about his mask
He wouldn’t have drunk from the cask
Oh well
Time for the coroner’s task

De-masked, by Bruce
I have no idea
why you feel the need to wear
that fabric mask with style.
You’re so naturally ugly from ear to ear
that Covid19 cowers in fear
and droplets run a mile.

Night Of The Giving Dread, by Obbverse
We’re fast approaching October thirty-first
When once again good folk shall be cursed
By that gnawing feeling of impending dread
As the spirit of Gluttony raises its ugly head.

‘Twill be the night of Halloween
When every pre-adolescent ‘tween
Unbidden, comes a’rappin’ at your door,
That ain’t the kinda rap you can ignore.

They’ll demand a trick or treat,
The trick is- give ’em all they can eat,
Dole out them candies from the bowl,
Better being poor than have an empty soul.

Dish it out and don’t dare ask
What sweet child’s hiding ‘neath that mask?
Just kindly smile while putting on your happy face
A’praying the overladen urchins don’t egg your place.

Prompt at midnight, switch off the porch light-
Witching hour is done, Children Of The Night –
All pure but poor souls, sit back and enjoy the hush,
Soon ’nuff you’ll hear some kids full-on sugar ru- flush.

Untitled, by Deb Whittam
C’mon my chums, don’t be shy
Don’t you want to take a peek?
C’mon give it a try,
It could be the start,
Of your winning streak.

Five quid to look behind,
The Mask and try your luck.
Five quid for a quick glance,
C’mon fellows,
I promise you won’t barf.

It could be an angel,
Of delight and arouse your passion,
It could be a mad man,
With a very loud voice,
In need of a good thrashing.

Perhaps it’s your great Aunt,
Or, that cute girl down the street.
Perhaps it’s that annoying niece,
C’mon mates,
Don’t you want to compete?

Stand up lads,
It’s time to try your luck,
Five quid can’t be beat,
I’ll scream now when you turn green,
I promise we’ll have time to duck.

Time to be scared, by Gary
So many years and so many Halloween’s

Desperately trying to create a scary smokescreen

Always searching for the perfect Mask

The truly frightening one which is up to the task

I’ve tried them all but they end of just being lame

Freddy Kruger was just do ridiculously tame

Dracula and Frankenstein were as scary as the lovely Joan Hickson

Jason and Michael masks made me look like the unlovely Richard Nixon

But now I’ve seen the path to the perfect scary look

Maybe I should don a Chefs hat and carry a cookbook

Maybe I should dig out my old French Can-Can costume

Maybe a morning mirror photo of me from the bathroom

Actually there is a much simpler way for me to truly scare

Me just going unmasked is the perfect psychological warfare.

What’s behind the mask?, by sudrakarma
What’s behind the mask?
You might well ask,
but as well you might not want to know.

For I have as many
as needed, nigh twenty
to choose from to wear
for the daily show

But if you dare look beneath
that care-crafted sheath
to what’s hidden
deep, down below

You may fear what you find:
Though my smile is kind,
danger lurks in my Shadow

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Photo by Ariza Chrisananda on Pexels.com

A great BIG thanks to all those who entered! Come back around tomorrow at 10 a.m. for next week’s prompt.

Sara, here’s a badge for you to use on your site. Congratulations!

©2020 The poets, and their respective works

A Masked Romance

Martha and John, two wannabe lovers
Both swiped to the right
On cell phones (and hardcovers –
But that’s a story for another write).

The point is, at pinging
Of app on their matchup
Besides some light singing
They ‘greed on a catch up:

A date! And, thank goodness,
‘Twas fashionable to
Wear a mask if you could-ness
And sext over Zoom.

…..

A bit of a bother,
Once they reached Wedding Night:
They both scared each other;
So, they turned out the light!

Photo by Gustavo Fring on Pexels.com

©2020 Chel Owens

Results for this week’s A Mused Poetry Contest coming soon! You can still sneak one in; I won’t tell.

Saint John City, Part 3

Continued from Part 2

“No, I didn’t,” Petey’s voice said, near to Ida’s stooped position. A shadow moved across the outlined light, then away. “I said I didn’t!

She leaned nearer, eyes darting and ears straining. From the dark wall before her, she heard his soft-soled footsteps walking. Stopping. Walking. Stopping. From the large store space behind her, she heard humming lights and the familiar, lecturing tone of an old woman.

“Oh, I know you want-” Petey began. His voice faded as his shoe sounds moved farther away. “Not care,” “man,” “get your money,” and “no” were the only words she could be sure of. Another frown threatened her perfect brow. The voices far behind her, meanwhile, changed to sounds of farewell. Ida started backing away; careful of boxes, mop, and display case.

Just as she reached the greeting card rack and again withdrew a Get Well Soon sample, Bob himself came into view. Relief spent an instant in his eyes, quickly chased by a suspicious scowl. She gave him time to hitch a careful smile in place before setting the card back in its spot. She smiled her own, open greeting to the wary store owner. “Jack said you told him you’d stocked some new stuff, Bob, but I could only find the usual.”

Bob coughed. “Well, I- I didn’t mean stuff in the back– When I talked to him, it was jus’ after a shipment from out o’ state, ya know what I mean, and I was hopin’ it’d be Jack ter come in so I could show ‘im the meat-slicer we got for the deli…” His face cleared. “But, now that you mention it, Nate told me all about this gadget what makes orange juice, ya know what I mean-“

Raising her hand to stop the barrage, she began, “I don’-“

“No, o’course ya don’t since you ain’t never seen one afore, but this’un takes th’oranges an’ squeezes the juice right outta them an’ you can see it right there in front o’ ya-“

“I see. That’s-“

“An’ it’s great ’cause ya don’ hafta get ’em ready ‘cepting ya gotta cut th’orange in half, ya know what I mean, so’s it’s ready for juicing…”

Ida could do nothing but nod and make the occasional sound of interest. He talked as they walked from back to front of store, stopping at the milk section, the cereal section, then standing before the bemused cashier.

“Has he been talking your ear off about his new toy?” Sue teased.

Bob turned to Sue, midway through an explanation of electricity and motors. “It’s not a toy, Sue. It’s technology! Ya see, the input from the-“

“You don’t need to tell me, Bob! I heard it fifty times back when Nate sold it to you!” Smiling indulgently, Sue turned to Ida. “I’ll ring you up so you can go home, Hon.’ I won’t let him tell you all about the ways oranges can get squished any more.”

Ida returned the smile. “Oh, that’s all right.” She inclined her head to Bob. “I’m sorry for not understanding what was new. I think the juicer sounds great and that the kids would love it. Can I show it to them?”

With a look rivaling a kid at Christmas, the proprietor rubbed him hands together. “Yeah! Great! Come on by Saturday, after it’s delivered, and you’ll be the first ones to see it run!”

Head full of secret doors, muted conversations, and oranges, she left McClintock Mercantile with her purchases. How, she wondered, Will I ever get into that back room without Bob or Sue -or Petey- catching me? Could orange juice hold the key?

Photo by PhotoMIX Company on Pexels.com

©2020 Chel Owens

FINALLY: The 10th Annual Halloweensie Writing Contest ~ aahhhrrrooooOOOOO!!!!! — Susanna Leonard Hill

I’ve yet to win when entering, but they can always use some great competition from my talented bloggers!! Think up a 100-word children’s Halloween story and enter Susanna Hill’s contest RIGHT NOW!

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdMocBbfzcKnSHFJWWlBo-miqJwxSK76HlWgSi_9Ry6rH6xEw/viewform?embedded=true

Viper fangs and dragon claws! It’s time for . . . The 10TH Annual HALLOWEENSIE CONTEST!!! ~ for children’s writers ~ The Contest: write a 100 word Halloween story appropriate for children (children here defined as 12 and under) (title not included in the 100 words), using the words skeleton, creep, and mask.  Your story […]

The 10th Annual Halloweensie Writing Contest ~ aahhhrrrooooOOOOO!!!!! — Susanna Leonard Hill

10/26/2020 of COVID-19 Home Life

Where to begin, where to begin?

I’ve actually been shopping; in person, walking through some stores, touching merchandise and credit card machines and shopping carts. When I have my phone with me, I take pictures of the COVID-19 warning signs. I marvel that, not only are things so different than they were for all my life and my parents’ lives and their parents’ …adult lives, but things are now different by the week.

When in Wal-mart, use what you have. ©2020 Chel Owens

Take shopping at Costco, for example. Waaay back in March when we were going to quarantine for two weeks, I witnessed strict distancing measures, hoarding customers, and the removal of germ-spreading elements like samples or the food court. Months later, when I returned, they’d hung partitions at the registers and signs about shortages. Weeks after that, we all needed to wear masks and only so many people could enter. Still more weeks later, the food court options returned but the tables did not. Lately, they’ve been handing out samples again.

Look, but don’t touch. Definitely do not taste. ©2020 Chel Owens

You know -sort-of.

Like a delicate flower unfurling in springtime, restrictions are being lifted as we return to the way social life was for the past 100 years or so.

At least, that is how many are behaving. I read about people renting venues for their parties if such venues try closing, about parents sending nasty e-mails if their children’s schools want to close, and about how masking children will limit their breathing and cause staph infections on their faces.

On the other side of this divisive coin; I read about how wonderfully China is doing at containing their numbers and curing their people, about what certain politicians are not doing to stop anti-maskers, and about parents nobly keeping their children home (but also complaining about how they are being forced into the role of stay-at-home-mother by MEN).

Meanwhile, Utah’s case numbers are rising rising rising. Like, up to nearly 2,000 new daily cases on October 22.

You’d think that both sides could at least agree on that, but they probably wouldn’t agree on a turquoise shoe, gold dress, or whether they hear, “Yanrel.”

*sigh*

As a moderate, I see both sides. I feel both sides. I’ve even taken to debating a few of my Twofacebook friends over some issues -namely, that China HAS TO BE LYING about their numbers, that the governor of Utah can’t do much more than ask nicely, and that masks do not block oxygen intake and kill our children.

*sigh again*

The main problem, as I see it, is too much of a good idea. Not spreading germs is good; dressing everyone in a HazMat suit is a bit far. Socializing is important to mental health; ‘dancing’ at a crowded club is an idiotic thing to do. Limiting children’s spreading germs is good; hours and hours and hours on a computer is turning my children into crabby monsters.

We’re not ready to unfurl like a delicate flower unless we are willing to house those with adverse reactions to Coronavirus in our own stubborn homes. Likewise, we’re not taking reasonable steps when we treat each other like lepers and won’t even wave when greeted. Haven’t y’all heard of a Happy Medium?

Yep; you’ve released the political in me. In terms of actual news: Utah’s case numbers are terrible. Almost all of the public schools are doing an amazing job of keeping areas clean, tracing exposure, and enforcing the laws. People are participating in sports, dance, and other extracurricular events. Many employers that run computer-based businesses are allowing workers to remain home. I see pictures on my Twofacebook page of families taking vacations and of preparations for trick-or-treating for Halloween.

Ah, Halloween… maybe we’ll leave that political discussion for another time.

Remove your hats, hoods, sunglasses, and animals. Keep the mask. ©2020 Chel Owens

How are things looking in your neck of the woods?

©2020 Chel Owens

The ‘eadless Ratt’ler’s Back

Fire black and smoke all red, the sun shone ‘gainst the West.
Glint in eye an’ tale in head, Old Jack sized up his guests.
There warn’t much to impress ‘im ’bout the two who stared ‘im back:
City-boys, all barn and raised, with city-boy rucksacks.

“Ah’m tellin’ yuh, an’ ah don’ lie,” Jack told ’em, face set stern,
“You’d best watch out when sunset’s red, when sand feels like to burn.
“The ‘eadless ratt’ler’s comin’ out –Look! Behind yuh now!”
An’ shore enough, those tenderfoots, yelped like they’d jus’ learned how.

An’ Jack, jus’ laughed.
“Ah gotcha now!”

Photo by Matheus Bertelli on Pexels.com

©2020 Chel Owens

Told ’round a campfire for Carrot Ranch‘s prompt this week:

October 22, 2020, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a spooky tale told around a campfire. It doesn’t have to include the campfire; it can be the tale. Go where the prompt leads!

Respond by October 26, 2020. Use the comment section [on the site] to share, read, and be social. You may leave a link, pingback, or story in the comments. If you want to be published in the weekly collection, please use the form.  Rules & Guidelines.

The A Mused Poetry Contest 10/24 – 10/30/2020

It’s the week before Halloween here in the United States! Let’s look to amuse with some boo’s!

Here are the spooky specifics:

  1. Our Theme is What’s behind the mask? Did two socially-distanced first-daters face a nasty surprise? Perhaps the Phantom of the Opera revealed an embarrassing birthmark? You decide, and you write a poem about it!
  2. Keep the Length manageable, at between 3 and 153 words.
  3. Rhyme if your crystal ball tells you to, but don’t if it’s not in the cards.
  4. There’s no need for tricks regarding Rating. You can scare your victims readers and keep things clean.
  5. However you choose to cast your spell, my dear, ensure your Halloween brew is brimming with humor.

You have till 10:00 a.m. MST next Friday (October 30) to submit a poem.

Use the magic form, below, to remain anonymous for a week.

Otherwise, include your spellbook poem or a link to it in the comments. Drop a comment or conjuring crystal if your link-back doesn’t show up by midnight of when you cast it.

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Happy haunting!

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Photo by Ariza Chrisananda on Pexels.com

©2020 Chel Owens

WINNER of the A Mused Poetry Contest 10/23/2020

Phew! What a challenge! This week, poets needed to compose a diamante about a diamond-seeker; a swindler; a gold-digger. When I wrote up the prompt, I didn’t consider how DIFFICULT answering it might be. So, understandably, these entries were more clever and interesting than they were humorous.

But, the winner is:

Untitled, by Teleportingweena
gold
shiny rich
dig find shout
pan stream nugget money
hop skip jump
heavy metal
miner

Congratulations, Weena! You are the funniest poet for the week! I found this poem so entertaining because you answered the prompt literally. Very funny idea.

You’d do yourself a disservice to not read all the fabulous entries. Here they are:

Untitled, by Richmond Road
Morning
Soft Sweet
Waking Shaking Beginning
Birds Bees Flowers Trees
Breathtaking Remaking Forgiving
Victorious Glorious
Day

Untitled, by Ruth Blogs Here
User
Needy, greedy
Desires, conspires, covets
Meal-ticket gold-digger
Pretends, discards, repeats
Serially, imperiously
Fake

The greedy gold-digger, by Hobbo
woman
calculating, opportunistic
searches, researches, discovers
partner, mansion, yacht, diamonds
tricked, duped, imprisoned
handsome, undercover
cop

Untitled, by D. Wallace Peach
Youth
Luxurious addictive
Fawning fooling pleasing
Days week years boredom
Reconsidered discarded replaced
Younger other
Woman

Untitled, by D. Wallace Peach
Diamonds
Brilliant dangling
Tantalize beguile enthrall
Avarice dreams luxury ease
entrapped hooked convinced
blinding, devious
paste

Untitled, by D. Wallace Peach
Dwarves
Bearded snoring
Picking shoveling boring
White laundry stitch seams
Cooks cleans dreams
Sweet deadly
Liberty

Untitled, by Willowdot
Thomas
Lythe, handsome
Pleasing, flattering, dancing
Money, diamonds, bedroom, cars.
Coaxing, grabbing, ageing
Arthritic, Madame.

Untitled, by Deb Whittam
Freedom
Dazzling, Ambitious
Cunning, Conniving, Calculating
Locks open, Doors close
Seizing, Capturing, Arresting
Helpless, Defeated
Imprisonment

Untitled, by The Bag Lady
Slick
Sneaky smooth
Dancing, prancing, prowling
Man, prince, knight, nobleman
Entice, envelop, engage
Active, alluring
Playboy

Untitled, by Teleportingweena
Janie
Flashy Schemer
Flirt Swish Smooch
Shoes Jewels Clothes Money
Twirl Smile Wink
Coquettish Digger
Gold

Everyone Owes Them?, by Larry Trasciatti
Victims
Entitled Deceptive
Blaming Expecting Resenting
Sheep Sheepdog Wolf Poison
Crying Brainwashing Rewriting Terrorizing
Insatiable Obsessed
Unhappiness

Untitled, by LSS Attitude of Gratitude
Gold-digger
Sultry, Fake
Lying, Cheating, Scheming
Seductress, Jezebel, , Partner, Confidant
Caring, Loving, Holding
Honest, Charming
Soulmate

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Photo by emre keshavarz on Pexels.com

Thanks for playing!! Return tomorrow for next week’s prompt.

TPWeena, here’s a badge for you to use on your site. Congratulations!

©2020 The poets, and their respective works