WINNER of the A Mused Poetry Contest 10/16/2020

Ah, the classic comeuppance due to the deserving braggart; the fall after the pride; the karma to one’s hubris -this was the theme for this week’s amusing writers.

Only one rose above the rest to claim the dubious honor of funniest, and that was:

Untitled, by D. Wallace Peach
When the fireworks failed to ignite
The smoker asked for a light
With a big inhale
The swaggering male
Set off to light up the night

He applied his cig without care
Smug when the fuse caught and flared
An arrogant rube
He peered down the tube
And the night lit up with his hair

Congratulations, D. Wallace! You are the funniest poet for the week! I would be outright lying if I didn’t say that several of these poems made me laugh out loud. The illustrious Madame Peach’s poem won for her hilarious imagery, excellent vocabulary, and humorous take on the prompt.

I really did enjoy all of these. I hope you do as well:

Untitled, by Frank Hubeny
While waiting to win the award
I got tired. The judges got bored.
They forgot to choose me.
Did they look? Did they see?
Well, they looked, then I looked how I scored.

Untitled, by Deb Whittam
Debbie went for a run
She boasted that it was fun
But she didn’t expect to slip on a bun
And pull a ligament in her bum

Untitled, by Trent McDonald
Stan sniffed as people froze in fear
And strode right by, nose in the air
His haughtiness so keen
That the dragon wasn’t seen
So he walked straight into the lair

Untitled, by Trent McDonald
Bob laughed at the custodian, Jed
Because of the things that he said
“Be careful in the mill
For those machines can kill!”
Not listening, Bob lost his head

Untitled, by Dumbestblogger
At carnivals the rides are fine
But games are really quite sublime
Fred sent the ball full eight feet high
Joe laughed and said “I’ll make it nine!”
He picked the hammer up with glee
Missed the lever, hit his spleen
He aimed to send the ball up nine
Now six feet under Joe does lie

A Slight Misunderstanding, by Writerinretrospect
“I’m sure we can survive it,”
Said the vampire to his friend;
“Oh, no,” the friend replied,
“I’d rather stay undead.”
“It’s not that far,”
Came the reply,
“There’s no reason to quake.”
And so across the street the dyslexic went
To find himself a steak.

Route One, by Obbverse
He finally staggered triumphantly atop Mount Everest
Exhausted but immensely proud of his sky high climb,
Standing back to take in the view and a moments rest
He went from pinnacle to Ground Zero in record time.

Billy, by Hobbo
Billy bighead, a bit of a boaster
Invented the world’s largest toaster
One day he fell in it
And in less than a minute
His head was as flat as a coaster.

An Untitled (for reasons unknown) Limerick, by Michael Fishman
This handsome young man was in love,
well not totally, but kinda sort of.
He kneeled down to propose,
something tickled his nose,
and he blew boogers on her from below and above.

—–

Thanks for playing!! Return tomorrow for next week’s prompt.

D., here’s a badge for you to use on your site. Congratulations!

©2020 The poets, and their respective works

The A Mused Poetry Contest 10/10 – 10/16/2020

Greetings, poets! Ready to laugh? You’re in the right place!

These are the specifics:

  1. What could possibly be funnier than accident by hubris? The inevitable fall because of overconfident pride? The trip of the boastful athlete? The …well, you get it.
  2. I don’t want Length to interfere with your style, but I recommend short, sweet, and snappy. A limerick might be perfect.
  3. Rhyming’s up to you and your form.
  4. Keep the Rating PG or cleaner.
  5. With the tragic fall comes the chance for tears, so be sure we’re laughing as our hero fails.
    I also request, if you choose political, that you do not stoop to personal insults -remember that everyone is someone’s son or daughter.

You have till 10:00 a.m. MST next Friday (October 16) to submit a poem.

Use the form below to stay anonymous for a week.

Otherwise, for a more social experience, include your poem or a link to it in the comments. Drop a comment if you try to link back and it doesn’t show up within a day.

—–

Have more fun than your hero!

Photo by Valdemaras D. on Unsplash

—–

©2020 Chel Owens

WINNER of the Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

I asked for engineering failures and terrible poetry, and everyone delivered. In fact, you all delivered so well that I’ve been debating the same six poems back and forth for a few hours.

Since our literary failures do not mean a literal catastrophic result, however, I’ll leave you in suspense no longer. The winner is Bruce Goodman.

Thou wert my gate

by Bruce Goodman

Thou wert my gate
in the fence of life;
a doorway in the
corridor of existence;
a hole in the
wall of being

Now you have shut the
entrance to your heart
and I am shattered into a pile of quaking reinforced concrete .
No more will I hear your euphonious voice
wafting over the plastic barrier of time;
no more will my nostrils sense the scent
of your hair on the yellow brick road of vivacity.
Oh the audacity!

You have become an engineering failure,
a total engineering failure;
in fact you are the biggest engineering failure
I have ever encountered in my life.
And you are fat.
I wish you all the Botox you can lay your hands on.
You need it.

Strumpet! Strumpet!
You have no reason to blow your own trumpet
for thou art a total engineering failure!
Thou wert my gate
in the fence of life
but now you are just a pile of rocks –
to say nothing of your choice in tasteless frocks.

Like I said, many poems were contenders at the end. I liked the short and sweet of a few; the long and rambling of the others. I like the lessons taught, the meters distraught, and the rhymes that were naught …good.

Bruce’s contribution ultimately won because it sounds very serious and poetic in many ways: word choice, alliterative references, more serious meter. Then, we’ve got the completely misplaced “And you are fat. / I wish you all the Botox you can lay your hands on. / You need it.” His final stanza returns us to the original serious poeming with the humorous element he dropped on us like an indigestible rock.

Again, not that the other poems didn’t give Bruce a run for his nonexistent money. I loved them all, and know you will too:

An Engineer’s Lament

by Deb Whittam

Oh let us lament
The failures we must confront
Oft it is not us
The engineers proclaim
It’s that other thing
Which is to blame
We see your look of doubt
But let me tell you with clout
It’s true you see
It’s the pressure valves fault, not me.

—–

Untitled piece

by Trent McDonald

They once built a bridge to a star
Oh, that’s so incredibly far
But relativity it seems
Is more than bad dreams
So the warped space time continuum over the light years, uhm, yeah, uhm, made it hard to reach by car?
yeah, that’s it, made it hard to reach by car.

—–

Untitled piece

by Trent McDonald

I once built a bridge, that is true
One to reach from me over to you
But my skill was too weak
So it fell in the creek
And now I’m terribly blue

—–

First Thing’s First

by Peregrine Arc

I built a
Boat.
At first it wouldn’t bark
Then it wouldn’t hark
To anything I said.
It swam there, tarried there
And drove me to Timbuktu
When I wanted to go to Malibu.
So I shot it
In the hull
And now the problem, I think, is solved.
Glub, glub, glub.
Oh dear. What whim.
There’s only one thing for it: Can I swim?

—–

Casey Jones

by Michael B. Fishman

Casey Jones, you big dummy.
You drove the train too fast and you crashed.
And then you died.

(Note to reader: insert head shake here)

What’s that?
This poem’s apposed to be about engineering fails
and not engineer fails?

Well color me stupid.

I can’t carry a tune in a bucket
and I guess I can’t read directions so just…

…don’t buck it.

—–

The New Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

by Larry Trasciatti

‘Twas a springtime morning out in old Lindenhurst when Tommy O’Leary decided to make him a car.
So he put on his very bestest greenest threads as he burst out with joy to all his assembled friends: ‘My Chitty Chitty Bang Bang moment awaits, I tell you!!’

The local townsfolk have sworn since then, that a raven and peacock flew by flew by, that a raven and peacock flew by.

‘Within five weeks my five step process’ , says he, ‘will yield a spectacular car, a car. It will yield a spectacular car.

To his shame he made it of light balsa wood and that didn’t bode well in a crash a crash. No that didn’t bode well in a crash.

—–

Bhopal

by H.R.R. Gorman

The December morning air smelled cool, fresh,
Coals of industry a faint background scent.
Bhopal contained an old pesticide plant
That employed locals and brought in money.

Poisonous intermediate
The methyl isocyanate
Built pressure in the old vessels,
But the aging pipes and valves failed.

They thought the meter
Failed and went on home
To leave the pressure
Building on and on.

But then
It popped
Poison
Leakage

Breath
Pain
Death
Vain

Agony of 3,787 deaths
Many more injuries, some severe

No litigation could repay this woe
But it failed to bring justice anyway.
Innocents were killed, but money was made,
Fulfilling the prophecy of profit.

—–

Untitled piece

by Ruth Scribbles

The master designer has failed
He really should be put into jail
He gave her six toes
And a long pointy nose
She now wears a long dark veil

—–

Untitled piece

by Ruth Scribbles

The DNA put in her body
Was very very naughty
It made her get sick
Turned her muscles to ick
That is the end of this story

—–

Anatomical Mars vs Venus

by Violet Lentz

purported as divine creation
supposedly perfect in every way
I have reason to believe, the plans were drafted
on the of’t disputed creators, off day.

with the parts over here
being just enough off
from the parts they’re
to connect with over there

practice and patience
are often required-
which could take till long after
the ‘use by date’ had expired

so ‘creation one’ took the problem in hand
and after a hormonal cocktail or two
one upped creation with video porn, so now we look good-
doing what we still can’t figure out, how to do.

—–

Untitled piece

by Ruth Scribbles

Epic fail I declare
The engineer used defective parts
Was he not aware
Of the pain I must bear
Or does he really not care

—–

Dear Nigel

by BereavedDad

Normally
I see the best in folk
Giving the benefit of doubt
Eagerly seeking the good
Leaving the bad to one side

F*** it in this case
A complete bellend
Raving racist
Arrogant and spiteful
Greedy and self serving
Egotistical political parasite

—–

Fail

by Joanne the Geek

This entire project was always quite cursed

There’s a crack in the dam it’s gonna burst!

As engineers go, I’m definitely the worst

They may as well have hired Fred Durst

So I’m off with my suitcase full of money

Off to the fabled land of milk and honey

In a way you could say it’s almost funny

Now I’m off to a place that’s quiet and sunny.

—–

Thanks everyone, you terrible poets you! Come back tomorrow for next week’s prompt!

amogh-manjunath-773461-unsplash

Bruce: D. Wallace Peach created this graphic that you can use (if you want) for a badge of honor as the winner:

The Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

Well; hi, there! Do you like to poem? Yes? No?

Either way, you’re in the right place. This here’s The Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. We’ve been in business for 26 weeks. Check out the somewhat informative post on terrible poeting for some tips and tricks, then read this week’s specifics:

  1. Topic: Engineering fails. You can write a lament dedicated to an actual, catastrophic, historic fail; or limerick about a fanciful one.
  2. Keep the Length between 9 and 199 words.
  3. Rhyming is purely optional, but intentional misuse is always a great way to destroy a potentially great poem.
  4. Most of all, write terribly! I want the engineers studying failures throughout history to read over your creation, shake their heads, and unanimously declare your poem to be the worst disaster the world has ever experienced.
  5. Keep the wording at a G-rating, for the impressionable members of the research team.

You have till 8:00 a.m. MST next Friday (May 24) to submit a poem.

If you wish a week’s worth of anonymity, use the form. Leave me a comment saying that you did as well, so we are sure it was submitted.

To be more social, include your poem or a link to it in the comments.

Whatever you do, have fun!

amogh-manjunath-773461-unsplash.jpg

Photo credit:
Amogh Manjunath

The Cure for Depression: Don’t Skip What Works

We are very close to the end of our list of cures for depression. We’ve covered everything from connecting with a person to talking to a professional to medicating to exercising to last week’s post on mindfulness.

So… that pretty much makes you an expert now, right?

I’m going to take a really wild guess that you haven’t implemented any of these suggestions. Yes, I’m psychic. Or… I know this because I also haven’t moved from my lazy habits one titch. In fact, I’ve actually worsened in …um…. about half the areas.

My negative self-talkers are in process of lighting torches and hefting pitchforks. “You’re a failure!” They chant, preparing to run my motivation out of the forest forever.

vinicius-amano-136465-unsplash

“Hold up there!” I reply. I’m actually not a failure. I even wrote about a new title for those with mental illness! We’re not failures. We’re HUMAN!

Instead of giving up, I’m going to brush forest moss from my coat and pick the leaves out of my hair. I’m fine. You’re fine. We’re all fine with -nevermind.

But no more slacking, fellow human. Sit up. Pick an item from the list. Close your eyes and point if you need to. Let’s see: you got “exercise.” That’s easy! Read the blog post I wrote and follow along with my simple step-by-step directions. I even kept it short just in case your attention span wanders like mine….

Where were we? Oh. Attention stuff. Yeah, so, if you could go ahead and pick one that would be great, mmmkay?

Just one. Do it and stop making excuses.

If you are more motivated than I and have already completed one or more of the suggestions, bravo! Pat yourself on the back and eat a bit of chocolate unless you’re reading this after 8 p.m. Get to bed at a reasonable time, and pick another idea to try tomorrow.

Pick another idea after that one.

And again.

The main idea is to try. I don’t even care if you stop after a bit; it’s the trying that matters. After simply trying a few, you are going to notice something important: what helps, and what’s not-so-helpful.

esther-tuttle-566634-unsplash

Let’s say that aerobic exercise stressed you out more, yoga in the morning helped you want to keep working your crummy job, eating organic got really expensive, and your psychiatrist moved to another state. Which of these items needs to stay, class?

Don’t red marker them out of existence; this is more of an “edit the sentence to make it correct” exercise.

Cross out aerobic exercise stressed you out more, and write I will walk outside for half an hour at lunch. Change the yoga bit to a simple I love doing yoga before work. Organic got really expensive can now read Healthy foods don’t have to be organic; I’ll pick up some produce on sale and eat it with my meals. As to your psychiatrist? I’m going to ask around for a new psychiatrist, including asking mine for a good referral.

See how that works? Great! Homework time! Your assignment, due soon, is the following:

  1. Try! That’s all: try one of the cures for depression.
  2. Try another.
  3. Ditto, for about 12 more items.
  4. Look at what worked. Edit your observations in a positive manner.

Now for the most difficult part: DO what works.

Which, of course, is NOT difficult. We just make it that way. Change really isn’t the mountain we see it to be. Change is actually a few small steps to a shortcut we can’t see from the trailhead. That shortcut may require climbing gear and a sherpa, but it’s there and it’s possible.

You’re stronger than you think -but not invincible. Don’t get lazy by dropping the practices and routines that made your life more tolerable. That make your life happy.

Keep at it. You are worth it.

 

Photo Credits:
Vinicius Amano
Esther Tuttle

 

*Chelsea Owens is not a licensed anything, except a Class D driver in her home state, and shares all information and advice from personal experience and research.

Track Memory

andrew-mcelroy-696699-unsplash

Anticipation clung to my twitching legs. A girl nearby hopped; I copied. Another stretched, as did I.

We pretended to ignore the waiting barriers. We’d glance to the nearest, flit to the next and next and next, then end at the finish line.

Too soon, I heard, “Runners, take your mark.”

“Se-e-e-e-et!”

*POP!*

Out of the blocks, I ran to the first hurdle.

Fell.

And sat and crumpled and cried.

Then, felt an arm about my shoulders. Heard a repeated lullaby of encouragement from a onetime friend.

“You won,” she reminded, “By not hesitating.

“And, tomorrow, you’ll run again.”

 

Written for Carrot Ranch Literary Society’s #2 Contest: Memoir.

Happy Birthday to Me

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March 23rd was my birthday. As an adult and a parent, it’s not like I expect a lot of streamers, balloons, presents, or even free time to use the bathroom uninterrupted. I’m just mentioning it to explain why there is a picture of dessert at the top of this post.

Birthdays=cake. Right?

Right.

My side job involves monkey-typewriter skills to produce content for those annoying webpages you go to when you search for party ideas and find you’ve landed on a collection of pictures stolen from actual artistes but leechingly getting the ad revenue for them. I’d say it pays the bills, but it’s more like funding peanut butter on a tortilla for all three meals at college.

What? Oh, yes: CAKE.

I found this Chocolate Easter Egg Nest Cake while researching ideas for Easter Desserts for Some Purpose That Will Rank High in Search Engines. It looked fancy. It looked tasty. Above all, the directions looked doable.

Maybe I just wanted to make that edible nest thing.

Point is, I bought (most of) the ingredients. I harvested that instant coffee. I mixed the flour and cocoa and yoghurt into chocolate cake. And, who helped me? Not those lazy children. Not that husband-who-works-a-steady-job-so-I-can-afford-something-called-“yoghurt”-as-opposed-to-“yogurt.”

Actually, my oldest son did help me. We (mostly) followed the recipe, substituting for the fact that NO STORES around our little suburb had Woolworth’s Gold Greek Yoghurt nor Woolworths Gold Hand Finished Chocolate and Hazelnut Meringue.

I’m no professional baker, but I’ve made my share of cakes. From scratch. And, not just “scratching” open a cake mix box. Although we followed the directions, the cake turned out like a round brick. The Sahara Desert has a moister surface than it did.

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Still, I whipped my own meringue, filled the darn thing, drizzled hodgepodge ganache over the top, and perched that cute, actually-inedible nest up top. Jellybean birds flew through the window and laid their little clutch inside it and the birthday cake was ready to serve.

I suppose I hoped the filling and topping might soften up the cake slabs. I optimistically hoped the cheap brand of instant coffee we found at Whale-Mart would not make it taste like overpowered, cheap instant coffee. I also get a bit pigheaded when I start a project (I like to call it “tenacity”).

I even forged ahead when we had to pickax a few holes in the top in order to place some candles.

But the chocolate rock stayed solid, its meringue/cream/sugar innards gooshed out when we attempted excavation, and the darling chocolate and vermicelli nest chewed and digested much like actual twigs.

We all tried some. You know, after singing about birthdays and happiness.

“I like the jellybeans,” my second-oldest said. “Can I have more?”

“Cake?” I asked.

“Jellybeans,” he and two brothers answered.

“Sure,” I sighed.

Determinedly, I sliced myself another piece. I dolloped the escaped filling atop the bits of pumice I removed. “Welp,” I told my husband, swallowing broken brick and teeth, “Maybe next time I’ll not bake it as long.”

The sweet man adopted his encouraging face. “I’m proud of you for trying it.”

“Can we have more jellybeans?” Asked the dog, the cat, and the rat.

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