WINNER of the Terrible Poetry Contest 11/30/2022

Geoff, the winner of November’s Terrible Poetry Contest, presented us with a unique challenge. Based on his suggested parameters and the theme of climate change, here’s the winner for January:


by Ordinary Person

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…..


Congratulations, Ordinary Person! You are the most terrible poet this month! Let me know what theme and form we’re to use next time.

The entries this time around were fantastically terrible. You’ve all done an awful job and I couldn’t be more proud. O.P.’s efforts stood out for boldly breaking form into repeating the dumbest part of his verse. His is certainly not the cleverest (whoever said that was the name of this contest?) but is quite bad.

All the rest were my second choice, losing only by a hair. Read, and enjoy:


by M

Really ?

This again

it never just rains
torrential downpours galore
FLOODS and MUDSLIDES and the sunken cars so deep

temperature pushes 70 in the North East
Snow, snow I get but it’s not snowing; it’s raining raining & raining
drip, drip, pitter, patter, whoosh whoosh whoosh, welcome to SPRINTER, not winter nor Spring
Is not normal people really, not normal: now I have to urinate really bad


Toast to the Newlyweds: Climate Change and the Flat Earth

by Frank Hubeny

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)



by Richmond Road

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.



by Doug Jacquier

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.)



by Not Pam

Rain sleet floods pontoons
A burning inferno gloom
Where the hell is that air conditioned cold room?
TV on. Current affairs? Climate change? Dumb buffoons.


Escape Plan

by Greg Glazebrook

Earth ֍ Mother ֍ Stick ‘em up! ֍ Gim’me all you got! ֍ Take, take, take, without a thought. ֍ Hands off the entire lot, it’s bloody well mine! ֍ I don’t care, leave it scorched, barren and beyond repair. ֍ In my rocketship, I’ll climb, leaving Mother Earth behind — Ciao suckas!!!


True Story

by Jewish Young Professional

breaks off of
Antarctica like
a star that the sky couldn’t keep
for herself, too weighted with water and gas,
leaving a hole sized like Greater London, but, good news,
“Not climate change,” the scientists say. But there’s other reason for alarm.


Is it hot yet?

by Ruth Klein

Steamy land
Storms wild, childlike
Strength of nasty temps, up/down
Scientists mumble, stumble,
profess the doom
Stir up word muck throwing –
blankets piled or skin removed
Stay in the know, let the wind blow,
whatever rocks your boat, I
know right?


Photo by Markus Spiske on

Thank you, terrible poets. Head over here in March to see what the next prompt is!

Nitin: Here’s your slightly-inaccurate badge you can post as proof of your poetic mastery:


©2023 The poets, and their respective poems.

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

I’m a Mormon, So…

I’m a Mormon, so I believe my spirit lived with our Heavenly Father before entering a physical body created by my earthly parents, that I am a union of body and spirit living a probationary existence, and that the results of my time on Earth will determine an eternal reward.

Photo by Vidal Balielo Jr. on

Basically, we all existed before this life and will continue to exist after it. We chose to come and have a body and prove ourselves, for the promise of eternity with our family (including our Heavenly Parents) and even the ability to become like God.

That whole deluge of information is called The Plan of Salvation, or The Plan of Happiness.

Before we were born on earth, we lived with our Heavenly Parents as Their spirit children (see Doctrine and Covenants 138:55–56). At a council with all of His children, Heavenly Father presented a plan, known as the “plan of salvation” or “the great plan of happiness” (Alma 42:5, 8). The plan includes all the laws and ordinances of the gospel necessary to gain eternal life, “the greatest of all the gifts of God” (Doctrine and Covenants 6:13).

LDS Gospel Topics, “Plan of Salvation

The full story is that God presented this plan to all His children at a point in time that we refer to as The Preexistence. Lucifer offered to force everyone to do what they were supposed to and then give him the credit. Jesus offered, instead, to allow agency, pay the debt for our sins (known as The Atonement), and give God all the glory. Lucifer left; a full third of the host chose to follow Satan (so was Lucifer named after he fell) and never receive bodies. The rest are here, or have been here, or will be here.

Also essential to God’s plan is agency, or the ability to choose.

LDS Gospel Topics, “Plan of Salvation

Then, we all live life and do our best to make the right choices. Some of those choices need to be specific acts of obedience to covenants, like baptism and temple attendance. Most are daily strivings to keep God’s commandments. The Atonement and God’s grace pay the price of justice after we have done our best and repented.

After we die, things get a bit complicated.

Dead spirits travel to spirit prison or spirit paradise, according to whether they were obedient to God’s laws in life. At the end of the world (as we know it…) we’ll have an eternal uniting of our body and spirit -known as resurrection. There will be 1000 years of peace in which Satan is locked up and Jesus is in charge. Then, there’s a final judgement of how we did during our time on Earth and a sorting into three different kingdoms.

The best kingdom is the Celestial one, which is further split into three levels of glory. Then, in decreasing levels of glory: Terrestrial, Telestial, and Outer Darkness. No, not a lot of people will go to Outer Darkness. Even Hitler might not be going there. You’re certainly not going there just because you aren’t a Latter-day Saint.

On that note, we’re taught that all the peoples in Spirit Prison get to hear the gospel message whilst there. Maybe they’ll choose to convert to God’s plan; there’s always the chance they will. We LDS perform baptisms and other ordinances in the temples just in case someone who’s passed on wants to convert.

Because of Christ’s Atonement, all of God’s children will be resurrected and our bodies and spirits will be reunited (see 1 Corinthians 15:20–22Doctrine and Covenants 88:14–17).

LDS Gospel Topics, “Plan of Salvation

©2022 Chel Owens


We Mormons are officially members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and are to drop any name but that. Since many still run with the nickname of ‘Mormon,’ however, I will keep pace.

My other note is that I will keep to official doctrinal practices. I will add my own application of them, especially in response to comments.

My final note is that I LOVE discussing anything I write. Don’t be rude, obviously, but any and all queries or responses are welcome.

My final note beyond the final note is that I do not seek to convert anyone. I ought to, but am motivated by forming connections, answering curiosity, and straightening pictures. So, you’re safe.

An Unnatural Glade

Var paused. This opening felt different.

The echo of his soot-crusted boots ceased. His kerchiefed breathing slowed. As charred branches, brittle pine boughs, and scorched roots recovered from his recent passing; he realized he was not alone.

Furthermore, Var could not be the only living thing in this unliving world.

There! Ash-strewn sunlight touched a new, green bud. And, there! A lonely peppered moth took flight. Oh, there! Buzzing annoyance nipped a sunburned ear.

But, there! -Most of all, there! In this unnatural glade amidst a smoldering hell of war’s aftermath, he heard an ancient sound: sweet, whistling birdsong.

©2021 Chel Owens

Photo by Jack Bulmer on

Written for an early morning, and for Carrot Ranch’s prompt:

May 27, 2021, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that includes tiny flying insects. Think about how the insects shape the scene or add to the action. Go where the prompt leads!

Respond by June 1, 2021. Use the comment section [on the site] to share, read, and be social. You may leave a link, pingback, or story in the comments. If you want to be published in the weekly collection, please use the form.  Rules & Guidelines.

Ellie’s End: My Winning Entry

Last year, I helped judge one of the contests for Carrot Ranch. Reading through the entrants taught me two things:

  1. People don’t read instructions very well.
  2. More people ought to enter!

I therefore challenged myself to enter all of the contests Charli posed for 2019. Imagine my surprise when she posted one of my stories as a finalist. I thought I’d place in all of them!

In all seriousness, entering contests is difficult and subjective and …wait. You all know this because of my Terrible Poetry thingie every week. Charli knows. A superhuman in her own right, she posted a spot-on description of writing, contests, revisions, and letdown.

Read it.

Oh, and here is my ONE entry that ‘won.’ I’ll schedule one contest entry for each of the following days, now that we’re allowed to.


Ellie prided herself on her independence. Nothing, no one could affect her -certainly not internet whispers or radio station warnings.

She left for work with her earbuds in. She returned to her lonely apartment in the same way. She never listened to the wind, the silenced birds, nor the ever-increasing beeping of impending doom.

In fact, one might say that Ellie was the least prepared for the aliens when they came. No matter -hers was a quick and painless death, immediately decomposing in the stomach of Earth’s attackers. It was those silly survivalists who dragged out humanity’s inevitable demise.


©2019 Chelsea Owens

Suddenly Spring

Where once the tingling, Jack Frost taste
Bit bent and ser’ious mien,

A sky-rinsed stretch of waking Earth
Draws out unfurling green.

And called upon by nature’s pow’r,
Or, by a lace-tipped wing,

Th’ smiling, newborn flora shouts
Happ’ly: Suddenly spring!


In The Beginning, There Was Distraction

Phan clutched her halo, rubbing already-tarnished finish. And sighed. If only she hadn’t been so diverted this morning, with the clouds. Then there’d been flowers. Then path swirls -which led right to the end of the lengthy queue…

“Next!” the angel matriarch called.

Phan floated forward. At a scowl, she hastily replaced her halo and hoped it aligned itself. It didn’t.

“Late again, Phanuelle.”


“There’s only one assignment left; a newer one.”

Phan peered beyond the matriarch at the mostly harmless-looking blue and green sphere to which she must go. Oh, well. Perhaps it would have flowers, too.


Created for Carrot Ranch‘s writing prompt.

April 11, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story using the phrase “beggars can’t be choosers.” You can play with the words, alter them or interpret them without using the phrase. Give it any slant you want — show what it means or add to its  meaning. Go where the prompt leads!

Respond by April 16, 2019. Use the comment section below to share, read and be social. You may leave a link, pingback or story in the comments. If you want to be published in the weekly collection, please use the form.  Rules & Guidelines.


Photo Credit:
Image by PIRO4D from Pixabay


Were I a god
I’d start
here, with nothing
a great compression of
till the built-up force of spaces between the nothing nothing nothing
cause slivered bits of, simply, everything.

Were I a god
I’d start
there, with slivers
a sparkling shower of
till, gathered, they form a winking blinking ball of thunk thought think
condensations of, really, sentience.

Were I a god
I’d start
everywhere, with sentience
a malleable mess of
till the clumps of godmade intelligences breathe stretch move
flaming forms of, actually, life.


In answer to Frank Prem’s analysis (in the end the flame)

The Black Hole Beyond

Ethereal stardust touched her; tickling, licking, tempting her forward. A thousand thousand glittering steps pulsed the way.

She stepped. And stepped.

One hesitant footfall at a time led her past an eternal tunnel of cosmic shimmering, but also to the edge of inevitable, gaping nothing. Here, there was no stardust, no glitter, no shimmer. Not even a chill, poetic wind whipped against her hesitant spirit, paused on the edge of infinity.

With no eyes to close, no throat to swallow, no resolve to strengthen; she stepped over the edge…

Looking back only once, at the discarded Earth-body far behind.


Based on the prompt from The Carrot Ranch Literary Community.