The Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

Good morning (for me) and welcome to the 32nd Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest!

Most of the time, I suggest you follow the advice I give in my how-to. This is because I normally seek clichés, mis-meters, and overly rhyming.

This week, however, use the following specifications:

  1. The Topic is to write a Little Willie poem. The name comes from a way of writing poetry that was popular in the early 1900s.
    From A Treasury of Laughter*:
    “Every paper began to print ‘ruthless rhymes,’ and every contributor tried to invent a catastrophe more gory in event and more nonchalant in effect than its predecessor. The favorite ‘hero’ was Willie, and although other characters sometimes crept into the quatrains, the terse lines became known as ‘Little Willies.'”
    I included three of the tamest examples at the end of this post.
  2. The Length is about four lines, a quatrain. Some were written as limericks or a double quatrain; but most were short, clever, and darkly humorous.
  3. Rhyming is imperative. These poems usually follow an A/A/B/B pattern.
  4. As I said, this week the poems are terrible because of their message. I expect darker tones, questionable humor, and stretches into creative venues writers never knew they had. If you’re sensitive, stay away. If you’re twisted, come on in.
  5. One might be tempted to up the Rating, but this is the sort of clever writing that makes readers uncomfortable but stays in the PG range.

You have till 8:00 a.m. MST next Friday (July 5) to submit a poem.

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

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

Have fun!




Willie fell down the elevator —
Wasn’t found till six days later.
Then the neighbors sniffed, “Gee whizz!
What a spoiled child Willie is!”

Little Willie from the mirror
Sucked the mercury all off,
Thinking, in his childish error,
It would cure the whooping cough.
At the funeral his mother,
Weeping, said to Mrs. Brown:
” ‘Twas a chilly day for Willie
When the mercury went down!”

Little Willie;
Pair of skates;
Hole in the ice;
Golden gates.


*Quote and poem examples taken from A Treasury of Laughter, Simon and Schuster, New York, ©1946

Photo credit:
Image by Robert Fotograf from Pixabay

43 thoughts on “The Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

    • Chelsea Owens June 29, 2019 / 10:44 am

      Even I’m not as twisted as some got in the newspapers then. Must’ve been a reaction to war time atrocities or something…

      Liked by 1 person

  1. trentpmcd June 29, 2019 / 11:09 am

    Little Willie took a swim
    Thinking the piranhas wouldn’t eat him
    Don’t you think he was awfully silly
    To assume a fish didn’t like Willie?

    If you read that in a PG-13 (or R) rated way instead of a G rated, don’t blame me 😉

    Stuck in tar Willie waved
    To the steamroller on the road just paved
    The driver blindly sat
    As Willie was made real flat

    Liked by 2 people

      • trentpmcd July 8, 2019 / 4:05 pm

        Thanks Chelsea! I’ve been away, but saw on facebook that I had the most terrible poetry 😉 Will be over soon to check out the post.

        Liked by 1 person

          • trentpmcd July 9, 2019 / 5:32 am

            There is a facebook group that shares poetry from WordPress and someone shared the post in the group.

            Liked by 1 person

              • trentpmcd July 9, 2019 / 8:27 am

                yes I am! I’m not sure if I want to be known as a terrible poet, but I’ll take it 😉

                Liked by 1 person

                • trentpmcd July 9, 2019 / 10:33 am

                  Actually it is, and far harder to write terrible poetry than most would guess!

                  Liked by 1 person

    • Chelsea Owens June 29, 2019 / 11:47 am

      You are one I thought might enter when I wrote it up. 🙂


  2. Bruce Goodman June 29, 2019 / 3:23 pm


    The doctor’s no expert at circumcision
    Yes or no, it’s quite a decision
    To be or not to be
    Willie Willie’s willie?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chelsea Owens July 5, 2019 / 5:19 pm

      I can’t say it isn’t clever, Bruce. I can’t say it wasn’t a finalist. But, geez… 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Lisa Bradshaw June 30, 2019 / 12:03 am

    Hahaha yes.. little willy could have a different meaning for some and poetry was far from my mind.. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chelsea Owens June 30, 2019 / 1:04 am

      Hence the examples.

      …I’m choosing to ignore Bruce for awhile.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Peregrine Arc June 30, 2019 / 7:02 pm

    An idea for a future contest: the perils of a bad sunburn.

    Not influenced by actual experience. At all. Ahem.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Peregrine Arc June 30, 2019 / 8:32 pm

    Little Willie had a thought
    To play his trumpet at six o’clock
    The sun had started rising, his father fast asleep
    And now Willie can play all he wants–six feet deep.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. bereavedandbeingasingleparent July 2, 2019 / 10:51 am

    Little Willie caught an itchy infection
Tried to visit his Doctor for an inspection

    Was told no free appointments in weeks

    So Poor Willie he ended up with very red cheeks

    Liked by 1 person

  7. nakedinfiniverse July 2, 2019 / 12:47 pm

    These are my warm-ups, to prepare me for this most prestigious of contests. I hope you don’t mind me sharing them. The real deal is at the bottom.


    If I described the beat of its wings descending to the ground,
    the claws, the teeth, the flames that brought Willie down,
    I would sound like a lie, even silly,
    Alas, poor Willie.

    A Helping Hand

    Poor Willie said
    he wished he was dead.
    I wished the same
    so I took aim.

    Who, Me?

    I told him not to smoke your fags
    and why would I dip his glad-rags
    in paraffin? It wasn’t me, dad.
    Can I have Willie’s iPad?.

    Naturally, my serious entry is the one that breaks the four line rule…

    Willie’s Mayo

    Willie loved red, he dreamed of red
    and all the thoughts inside his head
    he drew on walls in crimson crayon
    (He even mixed red in with the mayon-
    Naise). While dripping red ink in a nearby well
    he tripped, and heavily, in he fell.
    As from the depths his corpse was raised,
    Willie’s bloodied skull left his mother unfazed.
    “I see he’s rejecting the red from his head
    so it’s OK to chuck out his mayo,” she said.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. nakedinfiniverse July 2, 2019 / 1:07 pm

    Typo, damnit! Third line of Dragon: It would sound like a lie, not I would sound like a lie…


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