The Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest 4/4 – 4/10/2020

Welcome to the Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest! We’re here to disappoint expectations and offend poetic sensibilities. Would you like to play? Click here for some pointers, and read the specifics below:

  1. I’ve recently learned a new type of poem: a senryu. Apparently, I’ve written them by accident because a senryu is a haiku gone bad.* And, around here, ‘bad’ is just where we want to go…
    So, the Topic is a senryu about a small, innocuous animal of your choice. Since it’s a senryu, humor us. Darkly humor us, if you can.
  2. From Wikipedia, regarding Length: “three lines with 17 morae (or “on”, often translated as syllables, but see the article on onji for distinctions).” Again, like haiku.
  3. These are not the sort of poem that rhymes.
  4. Make it terrible. The great Karai Senryū (柄井川柳, 1718–1790) must roll in his grave after reading your poem, somehow managing to impale you dishonorably on his Katana.
  5. Keep the Rating PG or cleaner. I said “innocuous,” after all.

You have till 8:00 a.m. MST next Friday (April 10) to submit a poem.

Use the form below if you want to be 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 and do not see the link within a day, let me know.

Have fun!

These ought to be harmless enough for a few weeks.

Photo credit: Photo by Pixabay on


Downed Senryu

Fluffed Chicks or duckies?
Raised for his down-filled pillow –
Turns out they were chicks.

©2020 Chelsea Owens


*From Wikipedia: “Senryū tend to be about human foibles while haiku tend to be about nature, and senryū are often cynical or darkly humorous while haiku are more serious. Unlike haiku, senryū do not include a kireji (cutting word), and do not generally include a kigo, or season word.”

44 thoughts on “The Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest 4/4 – 4/10/2020

  1. Bruce Goodman April 4, 2020 / 3:51 pm

    My really bad Senryū

    My fluffy pet moth
    Flew into the candle flame on my dining room table
    And went Szzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

    Liked by 7 people

  2. Deb Whittam April 4, 2020 / 5:55 pm

    I don’t think I got this one right

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chelsea Owens April 4, 2020 / 6:58 pm

      That may work in your favor. Plus, you can always write more than one.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Jon April 4, 2020 / 6:33 pm

    slimy salamander
    vivid yellow patterning
    in dank dark earth

    Liked by 3 people

    • Chelsea Owens April 10, 2020 / 11:33 pm

      Excellent imagery, Jon. Not very terrible, but that’s a good thing! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. trentpmcd April 4, 2020 / 6:34 pm

    OK, here is a quick one:

    Like Lennie he kept mice
    But he didn’t like the soft fur
    They were for his snake

    And if you don’t know who Lennie was, you weren’t paying enough attention in High School English class 😉

    OK, a second one:

    Fly safely lands near him
    Gentle mind behind gentle eye; eats grass
    I shoot damn thing dead

    (Fill in your favorite herbivore for “him” and your least favorite hunter for “I”)

    Liked by 2 people

      • trentpmcd April 5, 2020 / 6:57 pm

        Thanks. I’m hoping Chelsea will give me a bonus point for referring to classic literature 😉


    • Chelsea Owens April 10, 2020 / 11:34 pm

      I …um, had to look that up -and now I’m glad we had to read Grapes of Wrath instead of that one. Wow.

      Anyway, good, awful work. Your fly one was *this* close to taking the prize.

      Liked by 1 person

      • trentpmcd April 11, 2020 / 5:47 am

        Of Mice and Men was a much easier read than Grapes of Wrath! And that isn’t just because it was more of a long short story or novella than an actual book… I’ve read few books that had as dense content as GoW.

        Terrible poems, but not bad enough 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        • Chelsea Owens April 11, 2020 / 7:26 am

          GoW became the first book that put me to sleep, so there’s that redeeming quality.

          Liked by 1 person

          • trentpmcd April 11, 2020 / 10:27 am

            lol, yes it does have that going for it… I read it as an adult and found it very difficult. I don’t know if I could have managed as a teen…

            Liked by 1 person

            • Chelsea Owens April 11, 2020 / 1:01 pm

              I also used it as an example in my essay on why required readings in school are a terrible idea…

              Liked by 1 person

  5. Jon April 4, 2020 / 7:15 pm

    sorry if extra attempts, missed the awaiting moderation message.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chelsea Owens April 4, 2020 / 7:28 pm

      It’s all good. With WordPress lately, safe than sorry is a good idea.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Doug Jacquier April 4, 2020 / 8:47 pm

    I really am a nice person when you get to know me but when the muse strikes under mischievous provocation from the Divine Ms. O, I can’t help myself.

    In senryuility,
    I can hate baby meerkats
    openly at last.

    Spring brings things
    incredibly edible to my mouth
    like suckling duckling.

    Bees sleep in honey
    queening it over us all
    and then sting in spring.

    Liked by 4 people

      • Doug Jacquier April 10, 2020 / 11:51 pm

        Thanks, Chelsea. Not really what I was aiming for in this twilight zone of terribility we share. 😏.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Chelsea Owens April 5, 2020 / 7:03 pm

      That’s great! I look forward to reading them!


  7. obbverse April 8, 2020 / 2:45 pm

    Current Address.
    Wee mouse, at home in our wall
    Gnawed at our wiring
    Such a shocking end.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chelsea Owens April 10, 2020 / 11:35 pm

      This was a perfect senryu. 🙂 It had a Little Willie feel to it.


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