WINNER of the Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

The results of this contest are going to be delayed every time; until my children start free, public babysitting at the end of this month. Sorry.

I won’t make you wait any longer. This week’s winner is:

Darling Maisie

by Bruce Goodman

I can’t say I’m that crazy
About Maisie
And when I’ve had a few things get a bit hazy
Anyway, before very long she’ll hopefully be pushing up a daisy
Or two.

Almost inevitably she has to be regarded
As a favourite relative and not discarded
Because if I say otherwise I’ll get bombarded
And cursed and I can ill afford to be unguarded
In the matter.

There’s very little in Maisie’s life that I approve
But she’s fabulously rich and my lot is likely to get improved
Thus I’m feeling behoved
To love her and hope she dies soon, overfed and boozed;
My darling third cousin twice removed!

Congratulations, Daisy -I mean, Bruce! You are the most terrible poet of the week!

I really had difficulty narrowing things down. I think everyone did well at mis-matching meter, misspelling or misusing words, and tweaking rhyming patterns where they ought not to be tweaked. Bruce’s entry won by merit of it sounding the worst when I read them all aloud. Vocalizing helped me catch the true spirit of his terrible meter, and dub him the most terrible poet of them all (this week).

Good work to everyone! Here are the runners-up:

A Tribute to my once favourite brother

by Deb Whittam

We were brothers (political license here)
Who challenged the stars to duels
With the words we wrote.

We were comrades (more political license)
Who downed Guinness, ok perhaps not Guinness but its … political license …
As we coloured the sunset with our crayons.

We were amigos (Like the three amigos but my chest is hairier.)
Who took the wrong turn, not that I was navigating, hey Charles,
Then built mountains for astronauts to scale.

We were all we needed, just us, you know, you and me, two is better than one, ain’t it grand to be a duo and not in a band,
Who composed melodies that sent
Wayward angels into raptures of delight.

We were all of this and then,
My brother over the seas (Ok not technically my brother but political license and all that jazz)
You had the gall to beat me and now you are just a stop sign I will tear down and stomp on while pretending it’s your head.

—–

Auntie M

by Ruth Scribbles

Bless her heart
She’s just old
And loves to scold

Surveying the kingdom
Nothing is pleasant
No good words spoken
Especially about peasants

Leaves are trash
Unmade beds are a mess
Perfection is the name of the game
Otherwise out of the will
You’ll be unnamed

I fear she will live forever
And ever and ever
The one thing she didn’t perfect
Was how to undo the defect
Of living so long

And so goes my song
Oh my darling Auntie M
You are loved
With all your foibles
Oh my darling Auntie M

—–

Untitled piece

by Kytwright

My gran’s budgie ate Trill, he chewed up the seeds with a will,

He was imaginatively called Budgie Boy,

a mirror with a bell was his favorite toy,

which seemed to give him joy.

But when you opened the cage door,

he’d fly out and mess on the floor.

Then gran to no avail,

would try to coax him from the curtain rail,

my grandma’s budgie, who ate Trill.

—–

The Bongo Bingo Poet Beat

by Peregrine Arc

Oh! My dear old Uncle Mingo
How he loved playing his Bingo.
Russian Roulette in retirement with all his savings
Soon became his weekly misbehaving.

One fine day he died and was broke;
His lawyer gathered us around the table at the woke
“Nothing’s left, nothing at all;
And you owe me $3500 for telling you all.”

And now Uncle Mingo’s dead, it’s true;
I’m at his funeral, dressed in blue.
And when we turned from the grave
“Bingo!” was heard, shouted out by the knave.

—–

Uncle Fred and the Things He Ded

by Charles

From when I was young, ‘til when I’m dead
I’ll always remember Uncle Fred
When I was just a fresh-faced kid
He told me all the things he did
He climbed all mountains and fought all wars
He visited every nation’s shores
He had several PhDs
All attained with relative ease
He said he could do most anything
And even taught a pig to sing
My esteem for the man could not be higher
A brilliant man and accomplished liar

—–

Thanks for playing!! Come back in about 12 hours for next week’s prompt.

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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

Welcome to Terrible Poetry Contest #36!

Need a bit of guidance? Read my basic outline here. This is the sort of contest only undertaken by the satirical at heart, by the artists who know that starving is a silly way to be.

Here are the specifics for this week:

  1. Topic: A tribute to your ‘favorite’ relative. We all have them: that maternal aunt who means well, that grandfather who keeps asking when you’re going to make something of yourself, that sister who’s so successful you just want to bless her heart.
  2. Length is totally up to you, but I prefer short. Grandma probably does too, Dearie.
  3. Rhyming is optional. You do what feels right to you, like that time you were with what’s-his-face -remember? That didn’t end well, now did it? -Of course, your relationships usually don’t turn out for the best. I was just telling your mother, the other day, that…
  4. Speaking of, I’m sure your mother would have something to tell her bridge club if you made it terrible. We wouldn’t want yet another Christmas where I only have your collection of Star Wars toys to share in the family newsletter, now would we?
  5. Let’s not shock your relatives, unless cementing your status as a Black Sheep is your thing. PG-13 or classier is fine.

You have till 8:00 a.m. MST next Friday (August 2) to submit a poem.

Use the form below if you want to be anonymous for a week.

If not, and for a more social experience, include your poem or a link to it in the comments.

Have fun!

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Photo credit:
Ashwin Vaswani

Gramma Dear

Flowered pots and colored notes
fly gently on the walls;

Whose smiling, standing stick-men

Wave out from rainbowed pen?

 

Wrinkled cheeks and vacant eyes
of startling, once-clear blue;

What’s inside now, Oh Gramma dear?

What’s cloudy and what’s clear?

 

Gnarled hands and anxious grip
that once held mine with love;

Whose fingers do you think these are?

Whose hand felt from afar?

 

Silent words and down-turned mouth
mar lips that laughed and spoke;

What joke or story would you say?

What do you think today?

 

Who are these strangers milling round;
unfamiliar people?

Where is the you

You know?

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Remembered for Carrot Ranch‘s weekly prompt: growing older

May 9, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about growing older. It can be humorous, dark or poignant. It can be true or total fiction. It can be fine wine or an old fossil. Go where the prompt leads!

Respond by May 14, 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:
Cristian Newman

Is Mental Illness Something We Get From Our Ancestors?

Recently over at The Bipolar Writer Longname Blog, James wrote an article asking if mental illness were a genetic thing. After reviewing some mental health history in his family, he noted opinions that professionals have on the matter. He asked curious questions, including: “Knowing that Bipolar disorder might be something that can affect other people within my own blood makes me wary of the future. The big question becomes, could I pass this on to my own children?

His article garnered a sizeable amount of traffic. Like, 206 ‘likes.’

I, in turn, was surprised. Flabbergasted. Flummoxed, Astounded. Etc. Is this even a question? Why is it a question?

I do not wonder if mental conditions are genetic. I look at myself and see my grandfather’s anger, my mother’s nose, the potential of cancer because of a grandmother, and a few sources of depression, anxiety, and addictive behaviors.

I assume that everyone feels this way about his family that came before, but maybe he does not.

Then again, this knowledge might be due to my upbringing. I’ve mentioned before that I am LDS and was raised that way. One (of many wonderful) quirk(s) is that we really know our family history. No joke. I know who my grandparents are/were on both sides. Further, I know my grandparents’ parents. If I want to, I can go on the computer and research my grandparents’ grandparents’ grandparents. I can often find a picture and who they married and where they are buried.

Sorry if I weirded anyone out. I bring up my ancestor voyeurism in speculation of its impact on my belief in heredity. Since I am perfectly comfortable knowing my progenitors and since I see similarities in features and behaviors, I therefore feel perfectly comfortable associating mental illnesses as yet another genetic trait.

True, there are some cases where Great-great-great-great Grandpa Bob may have been a little off because of those times his younger brother dropped a hobby horse on his head. Hopefully there are historical notations for aberrations like that.

Overall, however, I see serious mental illness as hereditary a trait as red hair and freckles. Or height and intelligence. Or photoptarmosis and liking black licorice.

Do you think so, too? Why or why not?

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—————-

Short, sweet; here’s what I did this week:
Wednesday, April 17: Moved with history in “There is Hope in the Flame of Notre Dame.

Thursday, April 18: “The Cure for Depression: Follow a Daily Routine,” another suggestion in a series originally posted over at The Bipolar Writer Mental Health Blog.

Friday, April 19: Nothing! Absolutely nothing!

Saturday, April 20: Responded to P’Arc’s post about her pen name with “A Chelsea by Any Other Name Would Still be Sarcastic.

Sunday, April 21: Wrote “Behind the Blogger Tag Thingamajig” in answer to P’Arc’s nomination.

Monday, April 22: Re-blogged Jennie‘s story about teaching.

Tuesday, April 23: “Wilhelmina Winters, Ninety-One.”

Wednesday, April 24: Today.

I also posted all this week at my motherhood site. I wrote “Raise Strong, Independent Daughters AND Mothers,” and a poem titled “Good Morning!

I received my first and last paycheck from Kids are the Worst. It was fun while it lasted and I hope they contact me again once things settle down.

***REMEMBER TO ENTER THIS (TWO) WEEK’S POETRY CONTEST!!***

 

Photo Credit:
Rod Long

Grandma’s Tears

The sun-warmed beach felt wet and warm
To tiny feet through after-storm;
A woven bowl within her hands,
A flutt’ring hope within the sands.
Searching, searching patiently;
Seeking out a memory.
A glint! A glare! She shouted, skipped!
She danced in young explorer bliss.
For, bit by shining bit, she found
Crystal shards strewn over ground.
And, ducking leaping dancing low
They came to fill her basket-bowl.
Look, Gram, she told the sunshaft sky;
Laughing, she lofted basket high,
I fin’lly found your present, here;
I fin’lly found your star-shed tears.
Clouding sunset smiles played:
Snug’ling, warming, happy rays.

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Beach-combed for Carrot Ranch‘s writing prompt.

January 24, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about shards. You can write about the pieces, the item they once were, or who picks them up and why. Go where the prompt leads.

Respond by January 29, 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.

Warranty Expired

“Hello, young man. I’d like to return this.” Faded department store sunlight touches on her faded gray hair.

“Ah.” Fluorescents beam off his dark, thick coif. “What seems to be the trouble, ma’am?”

She hesitates. “Well, it’s been acting up a bit you see.” Timidly, she leans closer against the high, blocky counter. “I’ve noticed for a while, of course, but the problems seem to be growing worse.”

“I see; yes. Well, we often have issues like that with our older models-”

Older?

*Ahem* “Have you the purchase receipt?”

She pauses, mid-argument…. “Let me look.” Her veined hands rise to counter height and set a white faux leather purse atop it. Making a great show of a thorough search, she rifles in its shallow depths. After a few seconds, she glances up.

He provides no comment, merely dons an ingratiatingly patient customer sales person expression.

“I can’t seem to find the bugger…” She mumbles as she digs. “Hung onto it for so long.” Rifles more. Sighs. “The husband must’ve thrown it out last time he cleaned…”

“I see.”

“…Don’t suppose you’d accept an exchange? I know I purchased at full price.” Her hands now grip the top of the purse, almost pleading.

“I’m sorry ma’am,” he says, nearly looking sorry, “But store policy is that we only accept returns with the original receipt. We do, however, offer in-store credit.”

Her face lights up. “Oh! Let’s do that, then.”

*Ahem* “First, I need to inform you of our policies and procedures, etc -”

“Oh, nevermind about that. Let me see what you sell.” She leans forward against the counter. “How much do I have?”

“Well… about $X.”

Her wrinkled face draws back in surprise. “$X?! And, what exactly does that cover? Your ad, here, says $XXX for-”

“Yes.” His ageless features move to form another patient smile. “As I said, it’s in exchange for the original purchase price, which, due to inflation…”

“But… But, I can’t get a decent body for that price!” Now, her eyes are swimming with concern. Breathing in and out, she withdraws the purse and looks at the ground with a roving dejection.

“Well, ma’am, that hardly matters.” He steeples his hands before him. “Our policies also only allow for store exchanges in certain departments.”

She stops, stares back up at him, and furrows her gray brows in deep thought. “Oh! Of course there’s always a catch.” She fidgets; self-consciously sucks in a bit. “Which departments?”

“Ha.” Good natured salesman look returns. “None of those, ma’am. Here, see, is the list.” He pushes a typed, illustrated pamphlet beneath her bone-thin hands.

She studies it, squinting a bit without her reading glasses. “But-”

“Ah, I see the confusion. No, these are not for you, ma’am.” He smiles through her shock. “However, as strict as many find our store policies to be, we do allow the credits to be transferable to family.”

“Oh?”

“Yes, and our records indicate that you have a daughter who has recently married.”

“Yes, but this paper doesn’t list something she can use. It only says Neonatal– oh.” She stops as his meaning becomes clear. “But, if I made the exchange now then I’d never get to meet my ..er, ‘exchange..'”

“Not to worry. Anticipating this, we also allow for layaway.”

“Layaway? On this?”

“But of course. That, and your account already has a positive balance from a return made just last year.” Taps screen. “Your husband, I believe.” *Cough* “Er, many condolences to you and your family.”

His polite gesture does little to soften the lingering memories of her husband’s recent passing. Still, he did make an effort. “Thank you.”

He pulls his hands back to straighten his uniform, to touch his impeccable hair, to tug at an ear. “So, do I take it you wish to make the exchange?”

She looks up. She takes a few moments to return to the present, to focus on the businesslike sales clerk before her.

“Ma’am?”

Glancing down to her hands, she studies the picture of a happy woman holding a new baby as her happy husband laughs. “Yes,” she whispers.

“Excellent!” All business as always, he produces a typed form and sets it on top of the pamphlet.

She squints at the new paper before her. From the corner of her eye, she sees him set a pen to its left. Agreement to revoke all privileges to corporeal existence in advance… she reads in one paragraph. …Future exchange guarantee is in another.

She raises her head to catch one last helpful smile, then picks up the pen and signs on the X.

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