“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

The 8th Annual Valentiny Writing Contest FINALISTS! – VOTE For Your Favorite!!!


Oh; and you can all read and vote for your favorite. In fact, I would highly encourage/demand you do. I’ve read through these all and know the work that went into crafting these tiny tales.

Susanna Leonard Hill

Best laid plans, darlings.

I was planning to post the finalists last Friday. . .and then last Saturday. . . and then definitely last Sunday by noon!

But as you can see, it’s a wee bit past that.

I’m campaigning for 30 hour days, but so far no one seems to be on board with the idea 😊

To make up for keeping you waiting, I have composed a tiny tale for you.

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“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands in times of challenge and controversy.
“The true neighbor will risk his position, his prestige, and even his life for the welfare of others. In dangerous valleys and hazardous pathways, he will lift some bruised and beaten brother to a higher and more noble life.

-Martin Luther King, jr., Strength to Love, chapter 3

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.

The Terrible Poetry Contest 3/4/2023

Welcome [Welcome! Welcome!] to the Terrible Poetry Contest for March, 2023.

This contest is simple: make fun of the serious poetry out there as much as you like. I’ve written some helpful guidance here or, as always, suggest copying the instructions for using a toothpick -but space out the lines so it looks intentionally poetic.

Now, onto the prompt! Ordinary Person won last month’s contest. Here’s what he suggested for this month:

  1. Theme and Form
    “[T]he form I’ve chosen is a triolet and the theme is …cultural appropriation.”
    Triolet is eight lines of poetry that follow a specific pattern -not just a rhyming pattern, but that of repeated lines as well. According to Wikipedia, “The rhyme scheme is ABaAabAB (capital letters represent lines repeated verbatim) and often in 19th century English triolets all lines are in iambic tetrameter, though in traditional French triolets, from the 17th century on, the second, sixth and eighth lines tend to be iambic trimeters followed by one amphibrachic foot each.” Here’s your chance to choose Anglophilia or Francophilia…
  2. Length
    I believe we’ve covered that. We’ve done just that. We’ve covered that. We’ve done just that.
  3. Rhyme?
    See the line(s), above.
  4. Terrible?
    Hey man, you go ahead and poem like somebody else. Dress in that lowercase existentialism. Talk like a bard. Jam as only a Rastafarian can. In the end, it’s individualism what brings cultural appropriation to life.
  5. Rating

You have till 8:00 a.m. MST on Thursday, March 30 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 culturally-appropriate 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.

Swiped from wikihow.

©Chel Owens. Created using MidJourney


©2023 Chel Owens

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 Wordcounter.net.

©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 Practically February! Announcing The Guidelines For The 8th Annual Valentiny Writing Contest!

Once again, here is Susanna Leonard Hill’s Valentiny Writing Contest!

I know all you fine writers need to enter, to up the competition!

Susanna Leonard Hill

I know. It’s Saturday.

Not only is it Saturday, it’s Saturday NIGHT!

I should NOT be in your inbox.

But January went by so fast! And suddenly here we are at five minutes to February!

And if I don’t pop into your inbox now you won’t have as much time to write your entry for. . .

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Life’s Real Purpose and Adulthood, Five Word Weekly Challenge: #gb5ww, #gmgblog

She’d staked a claim in life; gritted her teeth and determined to see it through -no matter what. Oh; she’d been told it would be hard. She’d been told it might be harrowing, even: love, loss, stress, disease, fatigue…

Trials made her more obstinate.

Potential challenges brought out the strongest of stubborn resolve.

She was bound -BOUND, I tell you!- to succeed where others had failed.

And yet, she couldn’t shake the nagging feeling -after adulthood brought more of the grind of monotony than seemingly insurmountable obstacles- that grit had very little to do with life, after all.

Maybe, it was all about surviving tax season.

©2023 Chel Owens

Photo by RODNAE Productions on Pexels.com

Written in response to Greg’s Five Word Weekly Challenge! Try it out!