The Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest 2/15-2/21

Good morning (or whatever) and welcome to the Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest! Today marks our 59th contest, and Half-Priced Chocolate Day!

I normally encourage entrants to follow basic rules; today, however, I’ve decided we need to bring back a type of poem that’s terrible for a reason other than cliché composition. I speak of the Little Willie poems.

Here are the specifics, copied from the last time we tried these:

  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 (February 21) to submit a poem.

Use the form below to stay anonymous for a week.

If not, and for a more social experience, include your poem or a link to it in the comments. If you use a pingback, leave a comment if it doesn’t show up within a day.

Have fun?


Last iteration‘s winners:

Untitled piece

by Trent McDonald

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?


A Helping Hand

by Nakedinfiniverse

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

And, from A Treasury of Laughter:

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 Arek Socha from Pixabay

57 thoughts on “The Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest 2/15-2/21

  1. Harvest Song

    Willie caught his boot laces in a harvester machine
    He was sucked in and minced all the way up to his spleen
    At the time they were collecting tomatoes
    So next hamburger you eat watch out for Willie’s toes.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Thanks for using mine as an example!

    Fourth of July 21 Cannon Salute

    A lively celebration, it must be said
    And poor little Willie lost his head
    Checking for a cannonball when the big gun was lit
    He had a quick peek inside of it

    The Car
    Fooling his sister Willie played a trick
    And jumped out the window, lickity-split
    I guess he reaped what he sowed
    When at 90 mph he hit the road

    Liked by 6 people

  3. New York Rat.

    Little Willie was afraid of mice;
    He laid in bed nearly suffice,
    His head on the pillow felt oddly flat,
    As it was actually an obese New York rat.

    The Car.

    Little Willie rode his bike,
    And as he rode, he spiked
    Over a rock, and as he flocked
    Didn’t see the oncoming car as it honked…


    Little Willie had some scissors,
    His mother said don’t cut into smithers,
    Well, one day Little Willie realized he had five fingers
    Some say to this day four on the ground still linger.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Who Ya Gonna Call?
    Little Willie, with all the courage he could muster,
    Said he’d prove he could be like a Ghostbuster.
    So he put on a sheet so that he’d blend in;
    But when he saw the ghost in the mirror, he died there and then.

    Blank Page
    Willie heard of these things they call “blanks”
    So he stuffed in a gun’s barrel, as part of a prank,
    A wad of some paper, so it would just be a scene.
    Unfortunately, he forgot to empty the magazine.

    Stranger Danger
    There once was a kid named Willie
    He asked a stranger to take him to Philly
    The stranger said he was craving a cheesesteak…
    But that “you’ll do” — and then he ate.

    You just can’t write only one of these…

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Here’s my terrible efforts for this week.

    A Hair-raising Story

    Cried an actor ‘My hair is demented”
    So off to the barber he went-ed
    The poor little sod
    chose evil Mr. Todd
    Thus were Lovett’s ham burgers invented.

    An Axe To Grind

    Lizzie lived with her step-mum and dad
    An arrangement she could not accustom
    So one day, when feeling ever so sad,
    She took an axe and she de-gutsed ‘em.

    Mrs. Bobbit’s Revenge

    Their wedded bliss was well-famed
    But Little Willie’s oats were untamed
    So like any good wife
    She took out a knife
    And now Little Willie is very well-named.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Thanks, Chelsea for the prompt. Blame Bryntin and Doug for this darkening of your doorstep.
    Loosing Streak.
    Sprightly Little Willie led the foot race
    Only to tread on his loose lace,
    A face plant spoiled any winning chance-
    In last place, in disgrace, in soiled underpants.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. Hey – I sent this using the form but I meant to comment so, here it is again:

    A Grave Realisation

    Little Willie heard a voice
    Emanating from his toys:
    “Dig a hole for Mum and Dad,
    They’re starting to smell rather bad.”

    Enjoy spo0o0oks x

    Liked by 4 people

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