The Terrible Poetry Contest 5/26/22

Welcome to the LAST biweekly Terrible Poetry Contest before summertime (here in the Northern Hemisphere)!

If you still aren’t sure what terrible poetry is or how to write it, read here. Now; on with the show:

  1. Last time, Not Pam‘s poem won! As such, she’s chosen the Theme and Form of this go-around to be a sonnet about soup.
    A sonnet is a fourteen-line poem written in iambic pentameter, with a rhyming pattern.
    Soup is the liquid version of solid food.
  2. Need to know the Length? It couldn’t be fourteen lines….
    (But if you go half that, we’ll count it as bonus points toward being terrible.)
  3. To Rhyme is what tradition says to.
  4. So, Terrible is what we all need. A soup or stew are what we all feed.
  5. Rating: PG or cleaner. What’s in your bowl?

You have till 8:00 a.m. MDT on Thursday, June 9 to submit a poem.

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 a grand prize I’m willing to mail if s/he is willing to be mailed*.


Photo by Karolina Grabowska on

©2022 Chel Owens

*Don’t worry. I never save addresses for nefarious purposes.

71 thoughts on “The Terrible Poetry Contest 5/26/22

  1. A soup of a sonnet

    This soup tastes like you got it out of a can
    And by “can” I don’t mean like Andy Warhol painted.
    This soup should come under a ban.
    I just about fainted.

    Has anyone ever told you that you can’t cook?
    So not only are you fat and ugly you are also a fake.
    Some faults are possible to overlook,
    But your soup-making incompetence takes the cake.

    One sip of this undesirable brew
    And I was under the table in the throes of death.
    If I was Johnny Depp I would sue;
    The smell is enough to make me hold my breath.

    And yet you claim soup-making to be your forte.
    If you’re going to cook stuffed cow’s udder stick to sauté.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Wonderful, Bruce. You’ve proven why you were the winner so many times in the past. I particularly love the “soup-making incompetence takes the cake” and “forte” rhyming with “sauté.”

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Silly Soup

    Today I fear they’ll feed me silly soup
    to help my nightmares scare up some disease.
    With windows open breathing summer’s breeze
    I dream the ground is dizzy, in a loop.
    I dream of ropes and jumping through a hoop.
    I’m doing more or less just as I please.
    My nose as well’s deciding should it sneeze.
    While waiting in the chair I start to droop.

    The soup contains assorted sorts of beans,
    some once-white rice and onions, too, I guess.
    There’s stuff in it I can’t identify
    to add some color to the grassy greens.
    I spilled the soup. Oh, my. I made a mess.
    I’m force fed now with silly soup. Goodbye.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. OK …. come on …. this one is genuinely terrible …

    Soup – a bit like food
    A bit of a waste
    Like dressing up in the nude
    It’s lacking in taste
    Broth – a bit like a meal
    But from food an estrangement
    Nothing to feel
    But a rearrangement
    Of nutrition
    And now that you’ve looked
    A suspicion
    It’s a bit undercooked
    So much less than a stew
    When there’s nothing to chew.

    Liked by 5 people

                These guys have stolen my thunder. I was on the brink of releasing my own personal anthology entitled, ‘Wounds for which I feel entirely responsible but for which am not quite ready to apologise ’ (paperback $7.50 kindle $3.99) and have you provide a glowing endorsement on the back cover. It would probably sound a bit petty, now.

                Liked by 1 person

                1. 😀 😀 Never.

                  I wonder how worth the effort it’d be. The point may sail clean over a few ‘serious’ poets’ heads; we’d aim for those able to see our efforts for what they were.


  4. LMAO, thanks for the definition of soup in the instruction Chel, absolutely brilliant! 🙂 I couldn’t stop laughing. I know, I know, the things that amuse me.

    Liked by 2 people


    Vichyssoise is the soup du jour today
    cranberry, pineapple, pine nuts and peas
    potato and leaks and cream take-away
    thats not soup, that is garbige if you please

    mushrooms,more mushrooms, more mushrooms for me
    withsome cream and salt and pepper to taste
    cant forgot the crootons and sharp, cheese
    seriously kid that sounds, like; such a waste

    you have yours and I have mind now shove off
    fighting words to, me just you weight and see
    oh yeah? PUNCH to the gut I, make you cough
    peas, leeks, ghee dumped! In your bowl with great glee.

    I hate you grandma with all of my heart!
    Oh billy, just eat your damned soup which you know in your heart will give you incredibly stinky smelly nasty mushroom farty farts. Kids, today.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. In very general terms, Chel, I don’t really fancy that this challenge has a future. There are lots of us here trying our hardest to impress you with undeniably dreadful poems, but one has only to have a quick scan of WordPress to stumble upon others who regularly produce far worse than any of us can – without even trying.

    Though, perhaps that is what inspired your challenge in the first place.

    I think you know what I’m talking about. There are poems out there that are far worse than just terrible. Far worse than cringeworthy. They are excruciatingly horrific. And so much more so because they are delivered with such pride and sincerity. There is a truly tragic nature to them – and all the more tragic when (as seems frequently to be the case) one notices that the author feels the necessity to attach the copyright symbol to them.

    I can’t name names because to do so would be a cruelty that even my conscience could not deal with.


    1. Exactly, RR. In fact, and in theme with this contest, at least two entrants to the Terrible Poetry Contest were named such for reasons they got offended by because that was how they sincerely wrote poems. 🤦‍♀️

      I stopped the contest because most participants didn’t seem to grasp that the idea was to make fun of how terribly people were writing poetry; instead, you all keep aiming for clever.

      I have tried running it as just funny (the A Mused Contest) and have tried rewarding the worst while not hurting feelings.


      1. No, I was fairly sure that was the whole point and I have been trying hard to be as bad as possible. Writing bad poetry is not that hard, but writing genuine atrocities takes a bit of thought.
        A few times I have deliberately written sickening, self-indulgent meaningless drivel to see what sort of reaction I get. Some people, of course (and you are probably one of them) politely say nothing at all, but others have enormous praise for the depth of thought and level of insight that leaps out of the words at them. People tend to be intimidated by what they don’t understand and subscribe all sorts of meaning to the meaningless as a defence mechanism…..
        …. but here we are talking about religion again.
        If there were a private messaging system on here I could give you links to some genuinely awful ‘poets’ with remarkable consistency.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. And yet, they are still not the worst I have read.

          I’m very glad to hear you’ve tried to imitate those terrible traits; that’s exactly what I wish for. I suppose I’ve been so tired that I’m looking for an obvious breach, like broken meter or extremely pretentious prose…

          And, really, it’s unfair of you to assume that all religious persons are susceptible or naive in ascribing “meaning to meaningless as a defence mechanism.” Some of us know, for sure, that what we experience has a meaning.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. As I say. I could point you in the direction of absolute masters in the dark art of terrible poetry. It’s a breathtaking experience.

            And yes, you are right. It is an assumption. But assumptions can neither be fair or unfair because an element of doubt is ascribed to them from the very beginning, although people use the term ‘fair assumption’ to mean ‘probably’. You are saying ‘unfair assumption’ so ‘probably not’. Thus we are both allowing for the possibility of either of us being right. Or wrong. I certainly meant no offence.
            You know when you answer kids’ questions and they respond with a further question and this process repeats itself over and over again and you get to a point where you can not provide a satisfactory answer? But you ‘know’ that there must be an answer because humans know that there is answer to everything. You could ask someone with more knowledge than you, and they, in turn, could ask another person with more knowledge than them, and so on and so on, but eventually you get to a point where you have exhausted the entire wealth of human knowledge. So you ask God. But you have to assume the existence of God before asking Him. So God does not provide the answer. God IS the answer.
            I can tell that I am boring you.
            I’ll get back to terrible poetry.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. I am never bored, unless the answer is the minutiae of housework. I simply disagree, without the analytical angle you consistently cite. I’ve gotten my answer in the absence of an assumed existence of deity, actually, so (at least on that point) do not assume. 🙂

              Liked by 1 person

              1. And that is the athirst/theist debate finishes because neither party can play by the same rules. The theist says, ‘I know God. I have borne witness to him and it’s not up to me to prove it. It’s up to you to disprove it’
                So,it’s always a stalemate, and in some ways it is the theist who wins out, because he or she has proof and no doubt, but the atheist has no proof and therefore must concede to some doubt, however small.
                This only applies to the two people debating, of course, the proof that the theist holds is unverifiable and therefore irrelevant to the atheist (or any atheist).
                Imagine one of your children reports a genuine sighting of Santa Claus one Christmas Eve. You know this not to be a fact. But your child knows it to be true because he or she HAS seen Santa Claus. What more proof is needed???

                Liked by 1 person

                1. That’s fine, of course. Personally I can only really understand what I think by putting it up against alternatives. In other words, the only way I can be comfortable with my own beliefs is to constantly question them

                  Liked by 1 person

                2. Perfect.

                  (And you can add my latest to this list as well. I don’t know what it needs, but it certainly flew before it was fully a bird.)


                3. Don’t flatter yourself. You refer to a dove that may have left the nest early (your opinion, not mine) but destined nonetheless to spread its wings. You are comparing that to an emu.

                  Liked by 2 people

                4. My word!
                  1. Yes, write like her and you’ll always win.
                  2. How and who and what -does she win awards for? I’m not going to accept publications and honors as validation anymore.


                5. 1. I’ve honestly tried. It’s more difficult than it looks. What little pride I have left gets in the way.
                  2. This is what I struggle with ….she seems to be published or appearing at a poetry reading one a week. She is the personification of shameless self promotion. I have even written to her and asked for some explanation, but received no reply. One published book of poetry is called ‘My Body is not an Apology’ – I thought it not unreasonable to ask what she meant by that, but she refused to provide a response.

                  The problem is that I can’t stop looking – it’s like the scene of a multi-car pileup; it’s impossible to divert your eyes. I feel like a ghoul.

                  There is something a bit different about Ivor (The Australian Plummer/Poet that I introduced you to earlier) who brings me to the verge of tears and Megha, who is beginning to make me a bit angry. I’m not sure why.

                  Thanks for listening to my rant.

                  Liked by 1 person

                6. I just don’t have time anymore, plus I don’t have the guts to tell people how terrible they are. Instead, I hold a writing contest to not only make fun of them but also to make fun of contests.


                7. And here again, from my countryman, Ivor.

                  Megha, who I introduced you to a few days ago operates under a banner of protection as a member of a perceived minority – a woman of colour discussing the atrocities committed to women of all kinds, but woman of colour, in particular. Whether she has experiences such atrocities herself remains unclear – it is good enough that she has the potential to suffer them. That her ‘poetry’ is such a rambling jumble of words gives the impression, like something from Nostradamus or the Koran, that there might be some meaning in there somewhere – so one treads a bit carefully around her just in case there is. Whatever the case, she is a protected species – beyond criticism.

                  Ivor’s technique is simpler, firstly in the words he uses – perfectly understandable for a 10 year-old, but secondly that every poem has a connection to his dead wife who he nursed through years of illness. Poor old man. You can’t criticise his poetry with a clear conscience.
                  If Ivor was to write a love letter to Megha it might look like this ….

                  I wonder as you close the door
                  Then I wonder a bit more
                  What on earth am I to do
                  When the door’s been closed by you
                  Then I wonder just a bit
                  If you’ll ever open it
                  And wonder why I ever chose
                  To ever let you let it close
                  I hear rain and so I wonder
                  Will there be a bit of thunder
                  Will there be some rain and such
                  And if I wonder much too much
                  With all my wonder comes some doubt
                  With all this rain and such about
                  That maybe I forgot to tell her
                  Not to leave without umbrella
                  I hope you know I really care
                  That it’s getting wet out there
                  So I pray before I get too old
                  That you won’t catch your death of cold
                  I prey that you might float back when
                  You find your hand boat for a wren

                  Liked by 1 person

              1. Oh, gee …. there are so many. I don’t actually read poetry. I just bump into it here from time to time, and most of that is fairly bad. Hence I don’t really write poetry either because I am really not good enough. Good poetry is terribly difficult to achieve. So I focus on prose for both reading and writing. Great writing can look like poetry without the line breaks and Great poetry can look like prose with the line breaks. Both have a lyrical quality that takes you somewhere else.
                But I am a terrible snob. I could never read anything ‘popular’. Stephen King, to me, is a very talented hack. I’d be embarrassed to be caught reading one of his books. And most of what I read was written a long time ago.
                Anyway …. here is a brief list of authors I revere as almost Gods. In no particular order
                J.P. Donleavey
                Henry Miller
                Peter Carey
                Tom Robbins
                Gabriel Garcia Marquez
                Kurt Vonnegut
                Steve Toltz
                Fyodor Dostoyevsky
                That’s a fairly eclectic bunch and I’m sure that you are familiar with more than a few of them. I’m always happy to provide something more specific, should you wish.

                Liked by 1 person

                1. I’ve only read two Vonnegut. I’ll add them to The Pile.
                  My two favorites i use for bragging rights are Clockwork Orange and The God Delusion. 😉


                2. Believe it or not, I found The God Delusion a bit dull. Anything by Vonnegut is pretty good. I’m reading ‘Here Goes Nothing’ by Steve Toltz at the moment ….. but it’s a bit intimidating to read another Australian who makes it look so easy.

                  Liked by 1 person

  7. It supposed to be terrible 🙂 I think I made something 👻 can i post this on my blog? Sounds terrible enough 🤔 is my theme right 🙄? Was there a theme? 🤔😇 anyways, enjoy my little poem 😜😅

    There was a ship named Tilly
    Rumour was spread around town Kelly
    The gore news tightened their Belly
    A ghost from Kelly sells soup in Tilly

    Wonder What is so silly about a soup?
    Whoever sells the soup it’s a coup
    Free marketing, let’s buy a Scoop
    Said the man in blazers named snoop

    It’s a religious town people are scared
    No man gets in the ship to stay sacred
    For the people, I’ll go alone. He dared.
    People stared, he glared, he cared.

    Dared, he ordered a soup named Silly
    Waiting for order is not so long. Chilly
    Was the soup commented by Billy
    He was the protector of town Kelly

    What is so gore about it? That rumour?
    Billy said, the soup menu is a Humour
    Eat your own tongue, stay Calmer
    Just the name of the soup, is that Rumour.

    Think it sounds silly?
    Why don’t you Visit Tilly
    Read review from Billy
    Fill your belly.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Soup Kitchen.

    The joy of mash and chicken soup-
    Won’t that warm my dark cold soul!
    ‘Yes’m, soggy spuds, gimme a scoop,
    Slop up my plate and fill that bowl.’

    ‘Look lady, I come here for the food,
    Your sole job is just to fill my cup-
    Say, Sister, you can call me drunk’n’rude
    But if you just prayed for me, back it up.’

    ‘You see another broken down bum
    But I see a Miss priss with a ladle,
    I’ll say ‘thanks’ but I don’t welcome
    Your airs and graces at my table.’

    ‘I’ll take your free tray and gladly eat it
    But spare me mealy words- now beat it.’

    Liked by 3 people

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