The A Mused Poetry Contest 9/19 – 9/25/2020

Welcome to the A Mused Poetry Contest! Enjoy laughing? You’re in the right place!

Here are the specifics for this week’s contest:

  1. Seasons are changing. The Theme is a funny haiku (or, more technically accurate, a senryu) about seasonal change. Spring, fall, summer, winter, autumn; whatever.
  2. From Wikipedia about senryu, regarding Length: “three lines with 17 morae (or “on”, often translated as syllables, but see the article on onji for distinctions).” We’re also fine with the ole 5-7-5.
  3. Dude; this poetry form does NOT Rhyme.
  4. I dunno what might be racy about nature, so a G-rating is preferable.
  5. Just MAKE US LAUGH. Mother Nature needs to slap your wrists with climbing roses as she holds her vinèd sides in laughter.

You have till 10:00 a.m. MST next Friday (September 25) to submit a poem.

Use the form below to stay anonymous for a week.

Otherwise, for a more social experience, include your poem or a link to it in the comments. Drop a comment if you try to link back and it doesn’t show up within a day.

Have fun!

—–

Photo by Jan Krnc on Pexels.com

©2020 Chel Owens

WINNER of the A Mused Poetry Contest 9/18/2020

Choosing a winner for this week’s prompt of warning labels was no small feat. I had several favorites; so, did the only fair thing and picked the one that tickled my funny bone most.

And that was:

Warning Labels, by Hobbo
‘Smoking kills,’ Sally read on the packet
As she bent down to pick up her litter
So engrossed, she did not hear the racket
Of the thirty ton lorry that hit her.

Hobbo won for the short, simple, abrupt, crushing humor of a poor, warning label-reader’s folly. Great work!

As I said, the others were no less humorous. Read for yourself (and learn from their tales):

Inferno, by TH Kerr
In case of fire, throw this in first.

The Forbidden Fruit, by H.R.R. Gorman
At night you’ll see me gently creeping
With mom and dad hard a sleeping
In through laundry room door.
I open the bag of forbidden snacks –
Attractive gummies, laundry packs.

Then you’ll hear my lips a smacking,
My YouTube channel gaining backing
While I eat Tide Pods galore.
My mouth – it foams with Clean Breeze
And a few civilian casualties.

The tags may say “Danger!” “Warning!”
But industry tools are boring.
As a big attention whore
I munch and crunch on banned fare,
On poison beautiful, I’m well aware.

Untitled, by DumbestBlogger
This 7¼” hand held circular saw is designed to cut 2x4s
Please do not perform surgery with it
That would be dumb
If you wish to perform a murder this tool would be excellent
We don’t condone murder
You should probably use it for 2x4s

Untitled, by Pensitivity101
A nifty thing, this kid’s stroller,
Keeps him warm and dry,
Proudly walking down the street,
I nod at passers by.
Then at home, it’s time to put
The kettle on for tea,
But first I have to take him out
And things are hard to see.
The label bears a warning here
To first remove the child
Before collapsing to put away,
Then instructions can be filed.

The new toaster, by Bruce
I don’t want to boast
But I just bought a thing that makes toast.
The instructions say: Plug in and use as one oughta.
It warns: Not to be plugged in and used under water.

Words of Warning, by Doug Jacquier
The fridge magnet letters spilled out on the table,
followed by the numbers and then a WARNING label.
‘Some more advanced children may well be prone
to spell out things you may not condone.’
Piffle, I snorted, as I added them to the door;
my kids are more adult and their taste is not poor.
What I hadn’t allowed for was their merciless wit
and their ability to give visitors an apoplectic fit.
Thus ‘HELLO BABE’ was what greeted tubby Mrs. Foster
and her balding hubby got NICE RUG. WHAT DID IT COST YER?
The Reverend was rocked by DO SHOES HAVE SOULS?
and Granny by HAVE YOU TRIED SHAVING YOUR HAIRY MOLES?
I gathered the clan and in a voice loud and ringing
said that any more pranks and their ears would be singing.
All was quiet for a while but you can’t stop temptation;
I was greeted with KIDS ARE CAUSED BY MULTIPLICATION.
Despire myself, I couldn’t stop laughing and arranged my reaction
ALL PROBLEMS CAN BE SOLVED WITH A LITTLE SUBTRACTION.
Game over but they must have the last word they decided
with the finale WE CANNOT STAND A HOUSE DIVIDED.

Untitled, by Deb Whittam
I felt it the moment they stuck it on.
Shame descended upon me right away.
I knew it for what it was,
A stigma, I swore I would make them pay.

For marked I was, I felt the others turn,
Association would only bring despair.
For we all knew since Covid-19,
That brushing off notoriety was rare.

Absently I wondered what crime I had committed,
I mean, I was a staple, I was beyond compare.
But then Larry, the wholesome muesli bar whispered,
“You contain nuts mate.” Life just wasn’t fair.

The Geriatric Behavioral Unit, by Ruth Scribbles
Granny was a pistol
She really was a rascal
And after Grandpa died last month
Her pranks became a scandal

We couldn’t keep her home alone
She loved to hide and play
We sent her to the unit
So they could make her stay

We went to visit granny
And thought all would be well
When we arrived right on time
We saw the sign and yelled

What is granny up to now
They said and wrung their hands
The help said she was determined
They tried to understand

Granny met this guy, you see
Who fell in love with her
She convinced him they should run away
The rest was all a blur
IMG_0506_Original

You Have Been Warned, by Obbverse
The small print.
Please check parcel arrives intact and complete,
Verify no packaging has been torn, tagged or ripped,
Our goods become lawfully yours upon receipt.
(Our job is done once it’s sealed and shipped.)
The fine print.
Please open package with the utmost care,
Check all contents against checklist inside,
The Company isn’t liable for loss, damage or repair
Of goods dispatched. (despite what we implied.)
The finer print.
Your satisfaction is paramount to this vendor
So should any parts be found to be lacking
Immediately return faulty goods to sender;
(We look forward to see what you sent packing.)
The finest print.
(Please see Section 86, Clause D about bad goods returns;)
If, by opening, our original box is folded, spindled or mutilated
The Company consider this raises wilful damage concerns
And therefore your Money Back Guarantee is invalidated.

(For this and further ongoing custom we thank you.
NO further correspondence will be entered into.)

Fair Warning, by Fishman
I took my radio into the bath with me
and the warning label was right.
I got a shock, a jarring jolt,
my lord it was such a fright.

I drained the tub and dried myself
my nerves were in quite a state.
I vowed right then to always heed the warnings labels words,
“You’re right, oh labels. I do oblige, I’ll do as you dictate.”

“I’ll hold the saw by the correct end,
I’ll believe that matches may cause fire.
I promise not to drive with the sun shield in place.
and I’ll believe that if I drink Clorox bleach I may, in fact, expire.”

With that all said I took a breath to try and calm my nerves.
But my heart kept racing – thump, thump, thump – it just would not agree.
I had to take a tranquilizer, not one as prescribed, but three.
The label was right ‘cuz the next thing I knew I… Zzzzzzzz…

—–

Thanks to everyone who entered. Please return tomorrow for next week’s prompt!

©2020 Chel Owens

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

©2020 The poets, and their respective works

Chuckie Bob & His Award

Chuckie Bob had one desire:
To see his name in print;
For tightrope walking on a wire,
A public office stint,
Pulling babies from a fire,
Or earning quite a mint.

Unfortunate for Chuckie Bob:
When made by Mom and Dad,
They weren’t too worried ’bout their job
And skimped on brains a tad
-Whilst also being somewhat slobs
And calling thinking, “Bad.”

Still, decided growing Chuck,
He’d up and show them all.
He’d prove he wasn’t just a schmuck;
He stood up straight and tall.
He’d show he wasn’t some lame duck;
“And I will win!” He called.

But, Chuckie Bob forgot one thing,
As he sought his reward:
That warning labels mean something
When they say, ‘Pull the cord
-But after you have cleared the wings,
Propellers, engines, board’

Now, Chuckie Bob’s been made the king
Of Darwin’s famed award.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

©2020 Chel Owens

Enter your own poem for this week’s contest, due tomorrow!

Tour of Utah: the Great Salt Lake

The Great Salt Lake is one of the most well-known features of Utah. After Arches, Mormons, and Mormons; nearly everyone associates Utah with “[t]he largest salt water lake in the Western Hemisphere” (Utah.com).

Photo by Mick Haupt on Unsplash

In elementary school, I learned that it is what’s left of an ENORMOUS Lake Bonneville that covered Utah, Nevada, and Idaho a mere 10,000 to 30,000 years ago. I also learned of its salinity (about 12%, more than the ocean) and that people used to float in it as a recreational gimmick.

I’ve been there; from biking across the causeway (Antelope Island Road) to the lake’s main attraction, Antelope Island, to touring the island’s bison reserve and trying to enjoy the island’s beach.

Photo by Erin on Unsplash

Yep; trying.

You see: the Great Salt Lake is really cool, but is home to some unpleasantness in the hotter months. I’m talking brine flies and mosquitoes. If you’re not far enough inland or far enough water-bound, they’re gonna bite ya.

The Great Salt Lake has a smell. In winter, we refer to it as “The Lake.” Catchy, I know. The light stench is a mix of moldy sea and salty brine flies.

It’s not all flies and stink, however. The lake is pretty amazing. Utah.com claims that swimmers can still float. Their website reminds us of the countless animal (mostly bird) refuges in the marshes of the lake’s edges. We Utahns enjoy amazingly beautiful vistas, whether hiking East of the lake or on Antelope Island itself.

The Great Salt Lake’s science facts are also nifty:

  • “Four rivers and numerous streams empty into the Great Salt Lake, carrying dissolved minerals. The lake has no outlet so these minerals are trapped. Continual evaporation concentrates the minerals. Several businesses extract table salt and other chemicals from the lake water” (Utah.com).
  • In winter, Utah experiences a Lake Effect similar to being near the ocean; problem is, this creates poor air quality when coupled with the Rocky and Oquirrh Mountains.
  • And, as mentioned, it is the eighth-largest terminal lake in the world, nicknamed ‘America’s Dead Sea.’

Bonus fact: because of the lake and its surroundings, Utah has the really awesome, surreal Bonneville Salt Flats nearby.

Here’s this week’s breakdown:

Wednesday, September 9: “Tour of Utah: Flaming Gorge.” Try the river-rafting.

Friday, September 11: Announced the winner of the A Mused Poetry Contest, Richmond Road.

Saturday, September 12: The second A Mused Poetry Contest! The subject is Warning Labels. Let me know if your poetry submission doesn’t work.

Another COVID-19 update. We’re all in this together.

Sunday, September 13: My entry for Carrot Ranch’s prompt, “Time in a Radio.”

Monday, September 14: Shared a quote from Linda Andersen.

And, “Science Fiction?” Is it?

©2020 Chel Owens

Science Fiction?

And remember, shoppers, wearing masks helps everyone.

Kate hardly heard the announcement as she squatted on the fissured floor. It had played five minutes before; five minutes before that; five minutes before that; five years before that.

Don’t forget to stock up on hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies.

Her breath fogged her vision; cleared; fogged. She remembered when panic first hit; when people rushed to stores for cleaners, supplies, and even frozen pizza. Crazy to think, half a decade later, of running out of sanitizer. Everyone brewed his own, fumigating what remained of the landscape.

Are you immunocompromised?

“Then you’re dead,” Kate mumbled into her mask.

Try our grocery pickup: FoodCorp prides itself on offering grocery pickup, right outside the store!

“But not delivery,” Kate sighed. Too bad, really, about delivery. It’d been nice while it lasted. Groceries, radios, cars, the mail -all of it, brought right to where you lived by someone who didn’t take it for himself. Or, someone who didn’t get killed by raiders.

Associates: it’s the top of the hour.

Kate stiffened. More time had passed than she’d realized. Throwing caution to the winds, she lay on the grubby floor and scrabbled underneath the shelving.

Please ensure your areas are neat and tidy for our customers.

Her glasses scraped and scratched. Straining, she felt an edge of curved, sealed metal. It spun at her fingertips but moved closer. She grunted; pushed; spun; strained; shoved. A dust-grimed can of chili rolled in front of her floor-laid face.

Thank you for shopping at FoodCorp!

“Thank you,” she muttered, coughing into the fabric across her mouth. She clutched the can to herself, raised herself, glanced around herself. Shoppers’ shadows walked across her memory as she retraced her steps down the empty, broken aisle. Had it really only been a few years since sunlight? Shining linoleum? Aproned workers sweeping? Smiling customers that moved their shopping carts aside to let yours through?

Please, come again.

Kate shoved a molding display shelf against the wall and climbed. After peeking beneath it, she lifted the ragged Welcome to FoodCorp! banner and crawled though a hole in the brickwork.

Photo by Clément Falize on Unsplash

©2020 Chel Owens

Duty can pack an adequate sack lunch, but love may decide to enclose a little love note inside… Obligation sends the children to bed on time, but loves tucks the covers in around their necks and passes out kisses and hugs (even to teenagers!)… Duty gets offended quickly if it isn’t appreciated, but love learns to laugh a lot and to work for the sheer joy of doing it. Obligation can pour a little glass of milk, but quite often, love adds a little chocolate.

-Linda Andersen, Love Adds a Little Chocolate

Time in a Radio

“The shadow knows…” cassette-crackles our road trip-bound car, forced upon us by ancient parents. I can’t wait for

“That was Mars, The Bringer of War…” intones the always-calm classical voice, soothing from my bedside speaker. I’ll never change to

“Help! I need somebody…” Another sort of Classic, crooning comfort. “Here comes your ghost again,” cannot be replaced by

“Video killed the radio star…” my teenage mouth moves along. Why kill art; why listen to anything but

“The shadow” bzzt “Mars” bzzt “Diamonds and rust” bzzt “Ohhhh; radio star! Radio staharar!” bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Dial broken, static cleared; I play them all.

©2020 Chel Owens

Reminisced for Carrot Ranch‘s prompt: a story that includes something heard on the radio.

September 10, 2020, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that includes something heard on the radio. It can be from any station or era. What is heard? A song, announcement, ad? Think of how radion connects people and places. Go where the prompt leads!

Respond by September 15, 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.

9/12/2020 of COVID-19 Home Life

“Do you have your lunch? Your shoes? Your water? Your mask?”

The morning routine for school is more complicated. Each Monday and Wednesday, I ensure that four boys are fully equipped. The downside is they’ve more to remember, in bringing a personal water bottle (no drinking fountain use preferred) and mask (to be worn all day, except whilst eating lunch).

On the plus side, they remember to brush their teeth on their own. It turns out that they can’t stand the smell of their own breath inside a mask when they forget…

Photo by August de Richelieu on Pexels.com

School drop-off looks a bit different as well. The children are assigned to line up on the school’s soccer field; by class, six feet apart. An aide marches each class in at the first bell. Latecomers check in through the office, as usual, but I am not allowed to walk them back to their class -a problem when anxiety rears its head.

After school, I retrieve mine from other groups of talking, eye-smiling, laughing children. The elementary students wear their masks, still; the middle schoolers do not. Once home, I make them all drop their clothes in the washer and wash their hands; again, my middle-schooler sometimes ‘forgets.’

But we’ve yet to see Coronavirus. The closest that green-mist plague has come is “possible exposure” to a neighbor’s daughter who is on a school dance team. They were told to remain home for two weeks, test or no.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

It’s odd, this Coronalife. I feel like a closet zealot in my opinions, believing that IT might come again while so many friends and neighbors doubt ITs existence or, at least, ITs potency. I can’t say I blame them, since the friends who take IT very seriously are turning a bit crazy: not answering doors even to their deliveries, washing off the same sort of groceries I immediately put away, and watching from windows as we play on scooters while their children watch iPads.

A relative of mine went off the deep end during quarantine. I never mentioned it till now. That person is fine…er now. But she/he told me that she/he had to make a choice about what was more important: sanity or security. Day by day, I’m being shown that ‘security’ isn’t that secure, so why not choose the sanity?

Sneeze-clouds and doorknob-lickings aside, I feel infection may be avoided or lessened if one uses common sense. Right? And, common sense may still be allowed outside.

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

On another note, Utah experienced a massive wind last Tuesday. Elements combined to create the perfect storm. Winds nearing or surpassing 100 mph (161 kmh) tore across the northern part of the state, ripping down trees and signs and felling semi-trucks on the interstate.

©2020 Mary Caputo

I received periodic e-mail messages from our power company. The first said 180,000 customers were without power. Another, the next day, said they’d gotten that number down to 96,000. I didn’t receive another after that, but learned that some did not have electricity for four days.

©2020 Merrily Bennett

I also read stories of neighbors helping neighbors. The National Guard cleared debris, too. In a time of need, people stepped up to the challenge.

Which is the message I wish to convey today, in the shadow of September 11. Despite what some followers may suspect, I remember 9/11. Moreover, I remember the days that followed. In the aftermath of a terrible disaster, we came together for each other. People in NYC wrote messages of hope in the ash coating firetrucks. American flags flew from buildings and homes. Complete strangers sat and talked and cried and comforted each other.

We may be living in this post-apocalyptic setting of masks, signs, and shortages for some time yet. But, if we can remember our humanity, we can get through this. Together, we can get through anything.

©2020 Chel Owens

The A Mused Poetry Contest 9/12 – 9/18/2020

Hello, hello, hello! Welcome to the second A Mused Poetry Contest! The #1 goal is a good guffaw, so think of a few laughing lines and join in!

Here are the specifics for this week’s contest:

  1. The Theme is a snappy poem about Warning Labels. I find them hilarious, because my mind immediately constructs whatever scenario led to their being written.
  2. For Length, keep it between 3-150 words. The form is up to you.
  3. Rhyming is also up to you and always a great way to jazz up some writing.
  4. Keep things on the clean side for general audiences of a more mature nature (PG).
  5. Just MAKE US LAUGH. I want the hot coffee-spiller who licked the wrong side of the velcro whilst removing the tag on her pillow to have tears streaming down her face from your attempts.

You have till 10:00 a.m. MST next Friday (September 18) to submit a poem.

Use the form below to stay anonymous for a week.

Otherwise, for a more social experience, include your poem or a link to it in the comments. Drop a comment if you try to link back and it doesn’t show up within a day.

Have fun!

—–

©2020 Chel Owens, including photograph

WINNER of the Very First A Mused Poetry Contest

Welcome, one and all, to the best source of funny poetry on the web! (If not, it very soon will be…)

We had several fine entrants on the subject of Eccentrics, and the winner is:

Untitled, by Richmond Road
An embarrassing mess was my brother
With one leg that was short. Not the other
Which made this eccentric
Walk in circles concentric
Causing constant distress to our mother

Richmond Road won for being the funniest and most limerickest. Basically, I laughed the most.

But his wasn’t the only one to elicit a few, painful snickers. Read the others and see:

Untitled, by Dumbest Blogger
There was a young boy with a poker
Who ate an extremely large porker
He burped quite a bit
And then licking his lips
He swallowed the cow in the clover

Untitled, by TanGental
To be considered a true eccentric
Don’t dye your hair or develop a tic
Forget the multi-coloured spats
And avoid wearing tweedy hats.
Keep a steady gaze and be authentic.

Untitled, by Matt Snyder
at night across the rooftops ran a kid named Matt
without a stitch of clothes on his person, he was also quite fat
Perhaps it was the thrill
of being caught by a girl
Instead he was adored by a cat

A Paean To The Patron Of Poor Poetry, by Obbverse
Now expired William Topaz McGonagall was our inspirations name,
His well-intended worthless words Will was all too wont to proclaim,
But Willy’s laboured literary constructions sat ill-fittingly,
Serious tragedies becoming comedies, albeit unwittingly,
Eternally re-nouned as the worlds poorest poet, to his undying shame.

Lug Nut, by Obbverse
His Mum remained inanely chatty and cheerful
Even as Vinnie grew quiet, depressed, then tearful,
Vin had suffering in silence down to an fine art
So Mrs Van Gogh found the the real crazy part
Was when Vinnie cut her off only to give her an earful.

Untitled, by Gary
I am English and I am most certainly very eccentric
I drive a car the shape of a teapot but don’t worry, it’s electric
I have a fine collection of pink britches with matching bowler hats
Let’s not forget I live underground with my cross dressing pampered cats
And pray tell what’s wrong shopping in a musical codpiece when it’s authentic

Here ya go!, by Ruth Scribbles
There once was an eccentric old lady
Who was said to be really quite crazy
An obnoxious artist she was
And extremely heartless because
She was left at the altar all lacy

Untitled, by Michael Fishman
Henry wanted his in-laws to leave
So he sneezed really loud in his sleeve
The in-laws, abhorred,
to the door they rushed toward.
And a sigh of joy Henry did heave.

—–

Thanks to everyone who entered. Please return on the morrow for next week’s prompt! Tell your friends! Tell your acquaintances! Tell your mom!

Hey, RR, here’s a brand-spanking new badge for you to use on your site. Congratulations!

©2020 The poets, and their respective works