The Terrible Poetry Contest

Welcome to the biweekly Terrible Poetry Contest!

This contest came about because of too many poets writing far far too many qualifiers (I mean; really?), emoting in the sloppiest ways, counting syllables on their fingers about any ole subject and naming it ‘haiku,’ and because of cliché. Don’t get me started on poetic clichés. What better way to solve a problem than call it an elephant and invite it into the room, yes?

Here, then, are the specifics for this week:

  1. Joanne Fisher won the crown last time round; she’s suggested a Theme of what one might find in one’s pocket. The form? A tanka.
    Tanka poems are not difficult. The master, of course, is Colleen Chesebro, mother of Tanka Tuesday. Like haiku, there are syllables involved. The pattern for a tanka is 5-7-5-7-7. “Tanka consist of 5 lines written in the first-person point of view from the perspective of the poet” (more information, below).
  2. The Length is five lines.
  3. A tanka does not rhyme.
  4. Ah; just make it terrible! Cause Gollum to regret he ever asked what was in there -even for the chance of some nice, juicy poet-meat.
  5. Rating: PG or cleaner. I don’t know what you keep in your pockets, but I’m betting it’s no edgier than lint or a cell phone these days.
© Colleen Chesebro,

You have till 8:00 a.m. MST IN TWO WEEKS: Thursday, March 17 (St. Patrick’s Day!!) to submit a poem. Every two weeks works better for me, so that’s what we’re doing.

Use the form below if you want to be anonymous for a week. It hasn’t gone through unless you see a message saying it has.

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 iteration’s topic and type of poem.


Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

©2022 Chel Owens

22 thoughts on “The Terrible Poetry Contest

  1. I almost posted this comment, but then realized for the “X” I used a word, “say”, that rhymed with “anyway”. So I replaced it with X. Then I had to change the last line, “that all I found was nothing”, which wasn’t worth keeping anyway.

    Terrible Tanka

    Inside my pocket
    I found nothing. Anyway,
    I cannot rhyme this
    tanka so I won’t, but X
    was where I found that nothing.

    Liked by 2 people

Comments are closed.