The Terrible Poetry Contest 1/7/2023

Hello to the new year, and to a new Terrible Poetry Contest!

Terrible poetry isn’t that difficult; hand an iambic pentameter to an eight-year-old and it’s done! Or… read here for a little more assistance.

Ready? Let’s get rolling with this month’s prompt. Excepting Obbverse’s excellent Christmas win, Geoff of TanGental won the last time round. He’s declared:

  1. Theme and Form
    The theme is climate change.
    The form is a syllabic poem in praise of Prime Numbers: 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 11,13, etc. This means your first line with have one syllable; the second will have two; the third, three; the fourth, five; etc.
  2. Length
    I’m not sure how long you can keep priming your numbers, so that sounds like the length is up to your tenacity.
  3. Rhyme?
    Up to you!
  4. Terrible!
    Scientists predict an unusual rise in terribleness, followed by scattered storms of painful prose.
  5. Rating
    Is the perfect storm that risqué? I’m sure Geoff’s good with wherever the wind takes you on this one.

You have till 8:00 a.m. MST on Thursday, January 26 to submit a poem.

Use the form below if you want to be anonymous until I post the results. The form hasn’t saved what you submitted unless you see a message saying it has.

Or, 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 pick of next contest’s theme and form.


©2023 Chel Owens

Photo by Markus Spiske on

31 thoughts on “The Terrible Poetry Contest 1/7/2023

  1. Toast to the Newlyweds: Climate Change and the Flat Earth

    One (1)
    and two (2)
    then comes three, (3)
    but climate change we (5)
    all can see rhymes much worse than (7)
    flat earth memes promoting free verse poetry. (11)

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Gee
    Can you see?
    The living tree. On fire
    Me. Just a bird on a wire
    Half asleep. Flying backwards and so dreaming of forests long ago
    Looking below. At another time. Branches to climb. Cut down in their prime.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Oh
    Oh oh
    the climate
    Is it changing yet?
    Yes yes it is my friend yes
    I don’t know if this is eleven syllables
    Or twelve, the climate, climate, climate, climate, climate
    Climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, climate, cli-
    mate (x whatever the next prime number is)
    Climate climate…..

    Liked by 4 people

  4. The
    a legend
    in Australia,
    terrifying one and all.
    A cross between emu and crocodile,
    or a furry seal with terrible eyes and sharp teeth,
    it preys on those unwary folk who stray near rivers and deep billabongs
    venting its fury, like a giant platypus consuming an early lunch.

    (Can’t post pics here unfortunately but you can see the products of some fervid imaginations if you search for ‘Bunyip pics’ in your browser.)

    Liked by 1 person

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