The Terrible Poetry Contest

Welcome to the weekly Terrible Poetry Contest!

People may be confused about what makes a poem terrible. I’ve written a very handy guide that walks you through an example. It’s HERE and I recommend spending the two minutes it takes to read it.

Terrible poems are meant to contain too much angst, too many (or too few) adjectives, pretension, meter that doesn’t match, obvious copyright infringement, vague references to nature, the least-interesting descriptors, or boring prose instead of moving verse.

Got it? Good, ’cause last week’s winner, Matt, has set the rules for this week:

  1. Topic: The family pet, written Golden Shovel Style. Here are the rules for the Golden Shovel: Take a line (or lines) from a poem you admire. Use each word in the line (or lines) as an end word in your poem. Keep the end words in order. Give credit to the poet who originally wrote the line (or lines). The new poem does not have to be about the same subject as the poem that offers the end words.
  2. The Length is up to you.
  3. As far as I can tell, Rhyming is up to you, too.
  4. Whatever, man, just make it terrible! Dredge up Fido’s memories and remains through the worst eulogy printed on Purina Puppy Chow. Set the still-living Princess Catarina howling in indignance. Send Horace the hamster spinning with rage.
  5. Let’s keep the Rating: PG or cleaner. How risqué do your animals get?

You have till 8:00 a.m. MST next Thursday (February 3) 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. Please alert me if your pingback or poem does not show up within a day.

The winner gains bragging rights, a badge, and the option to choose the next week’s topic and type of poem.

Photo by Andrew S on Unsplash


©2022 Chel Owens

27 thoughts on “The Terrible Poetry Contest

    1. I’m going to try! I think you take an existing poem by someone famous, and fill in your own words for everything except the last words of each line. It sounds potentially hilarious!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. “Some say the world will end in fire” Robert Frost, Fire and Ice:


    To Fred

    Those free-range hens and their rooster loved to tease you. They knew how long your chain was by the dead grass around your doghouse. They waddled up and wiggled their butts in your face until you lunged at them. Some



    birds deserved what they got. Like a fool I unsnapped your chain thinking that you had led me downhill a mile into the woods for some bonding time You had this all planned out. They thought their world

    against your wrath and will

    was secure and would never end

    and it wouldn’t have except I unsnapped your chain deep in

    the woods and witlessly let your hatred fire.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. ~After Percy Bysshe Shelly “Music, when soft voices die”


    My bark was that of which soothing ear of Music,
    Thinking back I was with them when?
    My beautiful brown fur to the touch be soft
    The neighboring howls, rejoice in their voices
    That rodent, that Squirrel who we, us despise must die,
    An exit defeated this collar it Vibrates
    Oh, but who is that peering in?
    It’s my young master Matt wearing a hat, that walk in the park the memory—
    Roadkill to rub in with wonderous Odours,
    if not now when?
    Lost in dog park thoughts and that for which his hat looks sweet
    Do not be deterred by the beauty of the garden of violets
    I leap, I snatch, poor little boy his hat in my mouth,I am victorious master Matt begins to sicken.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Philip Larkin, and his classic ‘This be the verse’, let’s use the first line……

    His best buddy is a seriously fat cat, it’s far too quiet, where are THEY

    They have just pulled the curtain off the wall, what the F**K

    Now it’s on the floor, covered in hairs, well Thank YOU

    Captain now thinks it’s great fun to try to hump the cat, that’s seriously messed UP

    Even The Cap knows you can’t end a sentence with a possessive determiner like YOUR

    But he is a clever dog with a great pedigree, a beautiful white Spitz is his MUM

    He gets his intelligence, looks, fluffy hair and cunning from her AND

    being a right ruffian, rogue, rascal and rampantly randy from his Cocker Spaniel DAD

    Liked by 1 person

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