Cultural Appropriation Sounds Appropriate for Some Terrible Poetry


You see I’m not a native; yeah
I’ll try anything
But I’m still degradative; ja
You see I’m not a native; yeah
I’m über connotative; da
I’ll wear everything
You see I’m not a native; yeah
I’ll try anything.

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on



She wears mah kilt; she drinks green tea.
He tries hopak; says, “Holi krishna!”
They all shake hands; pop ojigi.
She wears mah kilt; she drinks green tea.
He hears adhan; Kashrut‘s his eats.
They rain-dance, and then read the mishna.
She wears mah kilt; she drinks green tea.
He tries hopak; says, “Holi krishna!”

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on

©2023 Chel Owens

These weren’t that terrible and I know you can do better. Think up something that can pass for a poem and turn it in! The Deadline is March 30th.

“I Worried,” by Mary Oliver

I worried a lot. Will the garden grow, will the rivers
flow in the right direction, will the earth turn
as it was taught, and if not how shall
I correct it?
Was I right, was I wrong, will I be forgiven,
can I do better?
Will I ever be able to sing, even the sparrows
can do it and I am, well,
Is my eyesight fading or am I just imagining it,
am I going to get rheumatism,
lockjaw, dementia?
Finally, I saw that worrying had come to nothing.
And gave it up. And took my old body
and went out into the morning,
and sang.

Mary Oliver, Devotions, The Selected Poems of Mary Oliver

English Language Headaches

Hear, I sleep
And here, I dream

But their, I keep
O’er there, a dream

That, impart,
I might address

This, in part,
From mi(te) address:

The many wholes
Men(ny) know aren’t right

Too many holes
Two make left look right.

I speak, you sea,
Eye make a point;

I wake, you see,
Eye blame; I point.

To homonyms
To homophones

To homo-whims
To homo-moans.

©2023 Chel Owens

©Chel Owens. Created using MidJourney.

Tiny the Turtle, for the 8th Annual Valentiny Writing Contest

Tiny, the turtle, had a not-so-tiny fear
That nobody would be his friend for Valentine’s, this year.
His teacher, Mrs. Elephant -with not-so-tiny ears-
Had said he would get lots of cards from someone very dear.

©Chel Owens

“It’s Valentine’s,” she’d trumpeted, as elephants will do,
“A holiday of fun and treats, and cards with hearts for you!”
But Tiny -in his tiny shell, and tiny heart- just knew
That, out of all the animals, he’d get but one or two.

“I’ll have a bunch!” barked Douglas Dog, as sure as he could be.
Chirped Betty, quite the happy bird, “You won’t get more than me!”
And Cora purred, as cats like to, “I want three-hundred-three,
“From all my friends -and candy, too! Oooh! Just you wait and see!”

©Chel Owens

Tiny made some cards with hearts, to sadly give away.
With not-so-tiny fear, he thought, No one will care; will say,
“Thank you, Tiny. How’d you know? Come be my friend; come play!”

Poor Tiny, in his tiny heart, feared Valentine’s that day.

But Tiny’s doubts and Tiny’s fears; his not-so-tiny cares
All flew away, like Betty Bird, when he got to his chair –
For, at his desk, and on the floor, and falling everywhere;
Were valentines and candy hearts, from everyone. They cared!

©2023 Chel Owens
211 words, according to

©Chel Owens

Written for Susanna Leonard Hill’s Valentiny Contest. Entries are due soon! You can play along as well!

All images created using MidJourney

It’s Prime Time for Climate Changes

mate change
My soul cries
While my Tesla dies
And my reusable shop
ping bags blow away and I watch them all stran
gle a seagull, with a leg trapped in my organic
free range non-GMO hand-picked renewable-source cotton sweater
vest. and socks. But I still cry for those magnificent eagles of the garbage.

©2023 Chel Owens

Photo by Vincent M.A. Janssen on

Written in response to the Terrible Poetry Contest for this month. I know you can do better! Results will post soon.

A Couple Ten Miles and Other Phrases What Gang Aft Agley

There’somm-un ’bout a colloqu’al phrase that sets my words to tryin’;
An’, somm-un ’bout how things are said
Thet sets my tongue a-tyin’.

Fer, much as I would like to lie an’ claim thet all I say is righ’,
It’s closer to an actule trufth
Tvat whut I say ain’t whut I wri’e.

See, down in Utah, ‘merica, we don’t’uve local sayings
So much as we ‘ave local fings
Whoseactule sound’s not staying:

Like, have you ever been down’ere and seen th’Rocky Moun’uns?
Or, said you fill the fillin’ of
A ‘the,’ an ‘a,’ a ‘fountain?’

There’somm-un ’bout a colloqu’al phrase that sets my words to tryin;’
An’, somm-un ’bout how things are said
Thet sets my tongue a’cryin’.

©2023 Chel Owens

Written in response to Doug’s Min Min Challenge: The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft agley (often go astray)

Photo by cottonbro studio on

‘Merry’ Christmas Medleys -Terrible Poetry Contest

He wish you a merry Christ-ish;
She wish you a nearly Christ-ish;
We wish you a leery Christ-ish but maybe we’ll be safe with, “Happy Holidays.”
Right pronouns we sing to you and your furbabies;
They wish you a cheery Christ-ish -Oh- pleasant whatevs!


Un chapeaux, Maman, schandmantel;
Un champignon, quand je ne parle pas français.
C’est une poème; qui sait que je chante?,
“‘Bébés’ commencent par b,” chante Chel.
Ah! Ah! Ah! que la mer a swells.
Ah! Ah! Ah! que chocolat est delicious.


A year or five, I know:
A diet I will try.
I’m sure to get real slight –
Or, at least see my backside.
But, wait! There’s a half-shank,
And, here’s a choc’late box;
A loaf that I could spank!
Hm. Maybe I might not…

Oh, mingled smells, tingles well;
Pringles all the day!
Oh, how fun it is to glut
And not care how I weigh!
Swingled cells, Kris Kringle’s swell;
Single’s on the way.
Oh, how tasty is this schmutt
Who’ll never waste away!


©2022 Chel Owens

I think I’ll stop while I’m way behind, but I really wanted to lead by example for this contest. -Or, maybe show you what you shouldn’t do.

Anywho… there’s still time to enter. The form might not be working, but you can leave a poem in the comments, leave one on your site, or e-mail me.

Photo by Mario Mendez on Unsplash

Terrible Poetry: Lost Limerick

I never can find mi loosed stuff
Cuz loosed stuff is finding is tuff
So instead i just right
something thats not write
And forget i ever lost my basal ganglia.

©2022 Chel Owens

Ah, I couldn’t help it. You should write something even better for the Terrible Poetry Contest; it supposedly ends on the 30th, but I hear the judge isn’t exactly on top of things this week and you’ll not hear about a winner till Saturday…

Photo by Anna Shvets on