“I think the biggest disease this world suffers from in this day and age is the disease of people feeling unloved.”
…I think the…people need someone in public life to give affection, to make them feel important, to support them, to give them light in their dark tunnels.”

Princess Diana, “An Interview with HRH The Princess of Wales,” BBC, 20 November 1995

“The world is so exquisite with so much love and moral depth, that there is no reason to deceive ourselves with pretty stories for which there’s little good evidence. Far better it seems to me, in our vulnerability, is to look death in the eye and to be grateful every day for the brief but magnificent opportunity that life provides.”

Carl Sagan, “In the Valley of the Shadow,” Parade, 10 March 1996

WINNER of the A Mused Poetry Contest 3/15/2021

We apologise for the fault in the A Mused Poetry Contest and its delay. While the hostess would prefer being sacked after forgetfulness, a birthday, a church newsletter assignment, and then a stomach ‘flu came through; she’ll go ahead and announce who won this month’s contest, instead:

The winner of the most ‘romantic’ love poem in a greeting card is:

Untitled, by Gary
When you lie in double bed all alone
Experiencing a completely love free zone
Feeling like a redundant out of tune trombone
Your only company is a smelly dog and farting cat
Feeling as popular as flea ridden rabid fat wombat
But maybe today that Hallmark card will land on my mat
Bringing much needed kisses and expressions of affection
Offering a few sweet moments of romantic misdirection
Which is always better than a bad case of fungal infection…..

Congratulations, Gary! You are the funniest poet for the week!

I loved reading the entries (finally!) this time around. Even the silly, snarky ones made me sigh. And laugh. There were some close contenders, but Gary’s won for heavy-handed awfulness. Who wouldn’t be won over by a farting cat or a comparison to a fungal infection?

If you need more material for that special someone, just read the rest:

Blessed are the cheesemakers, by Doug Jacquier
You said you didn’t want a birthday gift,
Hallmark cheesy made you vomit.
But I’ve fallen for that before,
so here’s some Wallace and some Gromit.

Hence behold my new invention!
No vapid Wensleydale, penicillin’s what it’s built on.
Cambridgeshire meets jalapeno
in my stunning chilli Stilton.

I’ve named this fromage after you
because it causes odd and vivid dreams
and on the morrow, it is said,
requires use of soothing creams.

Enjoy your day, my curdle dove,
as you wend your merry whey,
and feast full well on this daily rind …
My God, put that knife away!

Something bright and gay, by Bruce
These dozen red roses, please accept them I pray,
To celebrate love on this Valentine’s Day.
You light up my life in every way,
Just don’t tell my fiancée.

Untitled, by Dumbestblogger
Love is a burning thing
I’m so glad we had a fling
Glad I didn’t get a ring
Happily, I have no strings

Untitled, by Writerinretrospect
Roses are red
Violets are blue
I eat lots of chocolates
You should too!

(Chocolates not included)

Mountains and Valleys, by Frank Hubeny
Love comes when the mountains ring
and valleys rise to roar.
They rang, I fear.
Oh, can’t you hear?
I love you more and more.

Heart Strings, by Obbverse
Accept this humble Valentines card, my sweet,
Know ’tis only you who makes my life complete,
You cause my happy heart to lightly skip a beat,
I freely give you my heart- consider my card your receipt.

My love, my love for you runs true and deep,
Know I dream of you at night before I sleep,
So my love, close to your heart my love-note keep,
I’d hand you a few roses too- but I’m too damned cheap.

Untitled, by Kshtatiana
I have been hiding all my feelings.
Of fear that I might lose you
The truth is, I can’t conceal it.
My heart is in love with you.

If the hearts could melt,
Mine melted since the day you said ‘hello.’
When our eyes first met, I felt-
I could not let you go.

Happy Lover’s Day, by Ruth Scribbles
We met in the restaurant above
Had drinks and by chance you got shoved
You tumbled and fell
That rang your bell
And that was our start of true love

Love Languages, by Bilocalalia
Yours is clearing off the snow,
mine is saying not to go;
you sweep the car with a broom
while I watch cozy in our room.
You rise early while I sleep late;
I cook the meat that’s on your plate;
you eye my veggies with disdain,
but walk the dog out in the rain.
You’re my media naranja, I swear;
opposites make the perfect pair.

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Photo by Giftpundits.com on Pexels.com

Stick around a little later for the next month’s prompt!

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

©2021 The poets, and their respective works

The A Mused Poetry Contest 2/7/2021 – 3/5/2021 (AKA 7/2/21-5/3/21)

Phew! After last month‘s hilarious entries, I had a bit of trouble thinking of what our next venture should be. What to do, what to do…

  1. Let’s try an oldie but a goodie: A Funny Love Poem Inside a Greeting Card.
  2. Most greeting cards can’t hold a ballad, so a few stanzas ought to do us for the Length.
  3. I’d recommend rhyming. I mean, you are serious about this love interest, aren’t you?
  4. Yes, this is love (or something like unto it) but the Rating‘s PG or cleaner. After all, some kid might stumble across your offering while trying out all the musical cards.
  5. Only in stories do lovers say all the right words, remember every birthday and anniversary, and get just the right present. We are not writing a story, here, we’re writing a humorous poem. As such, make us laugh. Laughter’s the best way to a person’s heart; right?
    And, as a side note, whoever said this was a card expressing love to a person? What if you’re more fond of a juicy cheeseburger? Just a thought…

You have till 10:00 a.m. MST next MONTH (March 5) to submit a poem.

Use the form, below, to remain anonymous until results are posted.

Otherwise, include your poem or a link to it in the comments. You cannot simply link back to my post because WordPress is stupid and I will not receive it.

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Enjoy.

Photo by RODNAE Productions on Pexels.com

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©2021 Chel Owens

Tell Me the Story, Daddy.

“Tell me the story, Daddy. Tell me …when you met Mommy. Tell me when you knew.”

Arthur smiled that smile that never quite touched his eyes anymore. “When I knew what, son?”

Little Sammy squirmed atop his bedcovers. “You know, Daddy. When you knew… You know.”

Arthur almost laughed. Almost. “Okay. Okay. …Once upon a time, your dad -me- was young. I was barely an adult and was working my first job, at a bookstore…”

Arthur could still smell the scholarly breath of time and leather that greeted him each morning, could still hear the muted tinkle of the bell over the door, could still see the morning light filtering through mullioned front windows. Tomes ranging from paper romance to hardbacked alchemy built labyrinth paths between the barely-visible masonry walls. The dust of every bibliophile’s essence hung, distilled, in the motes that danced where empty spaces dared exist.

“I stood at a desk where I could see the door. Everywhere else was books.” This is where he changed the story; embellished it. “Harry Potter, James and the Giant Peach, Shel Silverstein, and even Where the Wild Things Are; comic books, picture books; fat ones, thin ones; old and new.”

His son’s eyes shone and then twitched over to the bookshelf in the corner. “What about your books, Dad? Did they have those, too?”

“Yes, son. Those, too.”

“Did Mom like your books, Dad?”

Sammy hadn’t asked that one before. The question gave Arthur pause. “No, not really. She -well! That’s a different story!”

This elicited a giggle and more rocking. Sammy even turned a lopsided somersault into his pillow.

Arthur wagged his finger in a pretended sternness. “All right. One day, I heard the bell on the door that meant someone had come in…”

There had been more light that day, enough that the younger Arthur could not see who entered the store. He raised a hand against the brightness and squinted at a diminutive shadow. The door closed, the bell sang, the shadow resolved to a timid, tiny young woman. Encircled by light and interrupted space, Arthur was smitten.

“I saw a very small, very beautiful woman. She came up to the desk and slid a paper on the glass -too shy to ask me for the name of the book she’d written on it.”

His son’s eyes -her eyes- were round in his small, attentive face.

“It was a book on poetry. ‘For school,’ she whispered. She wouldn’t look up, but I saw her look at me when I was searching through our book about books. …We didn’t have computers then, you see. We had a book that we wrote all the books in -well, we typed them on papers, then…”

Sammy yawned.

Now, Arthur managed a shadow of a chuckle. “I came around the desk. She seemed surprised when I stood; later, she said she hadn’t realized we were so close to the same size.”

Something inside fluttered at being nearer to her, he remembered. Her smile set it off again. The feeling was unlike any he’d felt in his lonely, empty life; one spent with one relative or another handing him off till he could move out and raise himself. Whether she smiled, or not, her very existence shook his. Next to her, he could be anyone or do anything.

“But, Daddy! When did you know?”

Arthur’s eyes refocused to the bedroom of the apartment he and Sammy shared, just the two of them. “I …walked with the gir- woman, over to our poetry section. I found what she needed. Walt Whitman. Leaves of Grass. She took it from my hand, and our fingers touched.”

It had felt electric, a touch of divinity that opened an eternity of thought and feeling for this tiny, timid woman before him.

“And that, Sammy, was when I knew I loved your Mommy.” Arthur smiled. For an instant, it reached his eyes.

His son somersaulted again. “So, then you asked her to marry you?”

Arthur blushed. “Yes.”

The laughter from his son sounded so much like her startled laughter, from all those years before. At first she’d been shocked, of course, then she’d laughed. How much it sounded like the door bell, he’d thought. He had also thought to hide in a pile of The Rise and Fall of the Greeks and Romans.

“All right, Sammy. Time for bed.” Arthur stood and pushed the chair beneath his work desk. He’d be revisiting it in the morning while Sammy slept in.

Sammy snuck a few more twists and wiggles in before allowing his dad to lift the covers and shoo him beneath them. “‘Night, Dad.” He rolled his head up to see the framed photograph on the desk. “‘Night, Mom.”

“Good night, Sam.” Arthur went to the door and stood. Good night, Catherine, he thought to her picture, and turned out the light.

©2021 Chel Owens

Give Thanks

I don’t participate in popular social media events -unless I do so my way. When others share 10 Things I Hate, I share 10 Things I Love; if they tag a friend for One Photo Each Day No Description, I tag myself and post the most humorous artistic-looking picture in my feed.

November is no different. Sure, I’m grateful for stuff. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, after all. The reason I love it, however, is because it’s untainted and wholesome. It’s mine and my family’s. If I start telling everybody what I’m #blessed with, that’s bringing the public to a very private thing.

But, since November 20th, my Twofacebook feed has been different. People I hadn’t seen in ages, people who were only sharing political agendas, and people who only brag have all been giving thanks. It’s fantastic.

I have, too. For, I’ve loved the very different feeling I’m experiencing. I love the new stories about relatives shared by a cousin, the baby and grandbaby pictures from my neighbors, and all the photographs of nature and sunshine and happiness…

So, give thanks. It’s beautiful. Happy Thanksgiving.

Photo by Magda Ehlers on Pexels.com

…and, yes, I still share things my way -but I am participating. 😉

©2020 Chel Owens

WINNER of the A Mused Poetry Contest 10/9/2020

Just in time for Halloween, this week’s challenge was to write the wittiest message inside your next anniversary card. So, who wrote the wittiest?

Unaltered By Time, by Michael B. Fishman
148,920 hours since we said, “I do”,
and honey, baby, I still love you.

You always fight fair, you sometimes let me win.
And who really cares if you’re no longer thin?

You’re the mother of my children and one day you’ll agree,
that it’s probably a good thing that the kids look like me.

You’re the one and only entry in my little black book,
and it’s never been a problem that you really can’t cook.

Your eyes are as bright as that very first day,
and it doesn’t bother me that your hair is all gray.

All these years later, and I happy I met ‘ya?
Every minute, every day, oh sweetheart, you betcha.

Congratulations, Fishman, on a-musing me! You won for the clever, terrible, almost-sweet mentions to your sweetheart.

Others went a similar direction. Others, still, went farther for a good laugh. Read and enjoy:

Untitled, by Trent McDonald
Happy Anniversary!
(Only 4 days late)
Did I tell you today
That you look great!?

And can you believe
It’s been 10 years?
So full of smiles
(And full of tears…)
I remember that day
Oh so very well
(A party the night before,
I still felt like Hell.)

But you were beautiful
In your gown and vail
But my hung-over mind
Was only thinking of some tai..(BLEEP! – sorry, keeping it PG 😉 )

But overall it was
A day from Heaven
Even if the rings were forgotten
By my best man, Kevin

And since that best of days
When you were made my wife
I’ve counted my blessings
So thankful that you are in my life!

(Did I make it up to you
With my poetry?
Will you please unlock the door
And perhaps forgive me?)

Untitled, by Jon
Dear, Oh dear,
Another year!
Let me be clear:
I want to share,
as many as you dare!

An Anniversary Messsage, by H.R.R. Gorman
They say marriage is about sparks,
About that someone who in the dark
Sets your mind and loins aflame.
But isn’t that meager? Lame?

I’ve learned in this blissful year
That’s it’s more like cracking a beer
Open and accepting farts
Are made by those with good hearts.

So while I take a hot shower,
You grunt on the throne with power.
It’s the sign of your loving care
That you keep pooping and don’t stare.

Happy Anniversary!

Untitled, by Hobbo
Married now for fifty year
And I still think you’re hot
So, love is in the air, my dear
When you say,”Yes. Why not?”

Aunty Jess, by Mister Bump
To write this prompt, it wasn’t hard,
I hardly ever send a card.
My family is very scant,
Except down under, have an aunt.

Another aunt in Lancashire,
She’s eighty now, delightful dear,
Her birthday now is round about,
I’d better pull my finger out!

The card’s awaiting me to send,
My missus made it last weekend,
Better than I could have bought,
But to the message, gave no thought.

No flow’ry message was supplied,
Just “Happy Birthday” stamped inside,
As long as there’s no writer’s cramp,
All I’m waiting for’s a stamp.

Must keep my cool, not overkeen,
Her birthday’s not ’til Hallowe’en,
By then must break out from my bubble,
If card is late, I’ll be in trouble!

Untitled, by Deb Whittam
Roses are red
Violets are blue
We’ve grown old together
What are we going to do?

Hard of hearing,
You snore, I fart,
Thirty years together
It’s way too late to part

Untitled, by Gary
So sorry this card is late

So sorry I’m a bit overweight

I thought we had an anniversary last year

Do we really get them every year, my dear

Just 122 words is perfect for a food shopping list

Or divorce papers which I have chosen to miss

I’ve really got no idea why you put up with me

Especially as I’ve just spilled coffee over your settee

Untitled, by Ruth Scribbles
Thirty years ago

We tied the knot

You promised peaches

That’s all I got

Always on the cards, by Over Soil
Last second writing “All my love” so cursory,
Time and again made us forget each anniversary,
For us, protecting trees was always on the cards,
So what better than a trip to a nearby plant nursery.

Untitled, by Ellen Best
I love your beard … when its not there.
And the shine … that’s not hair.
The way that you snore sounded sweet
Well until, the first time it woke me from sleep.

I love the ring in your nose
The way you bite at your toes
Because you can’t be arsed,
to get the clippers off the shelf.

I like all the things that you do,
But you never bag the dogs poo.
Now that might make me mad,
just a bit.
I am glad we got wed,
Though you spent a week in bed
Because of jet lag
As I recall you to say.

Romance is not dead
We’ll have adventures you said,
So we married on a beach in the bay
Even the bomb squad didn’t ruin our day.

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Photo by Asad Photo Maldives on Pexels.com

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

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

©2020 The poets, and their respective works

The A Mused Poetry Contest 10/3 – 10/9/2020

Welcome, one and all, to the A Mused Poetry Contest! We are very serious about humor here.

These are the specifics for this week:

  1. At Ellen’s suggestion, the Theme is the wittiest message inside your next anniversary card. (And, coincidentally, happy anniversary to her and her husband!)
  2. The Length needs to be short and sweet and easy on the ink. Let’s keep it under 122.5 words.
  3. Rhymes are a popular and catchy way to sell greeting cards, but it’s not a requirement for this contest.
  4. The Rating can be PG-13 or cleaner (please avoid cussing).
  5. The years have been kind to your sweetheart …or, maybe not. Either way, make him/her laugh. They’ve put up with you this long, after all…

You have till 10:00 a.m. MST next Friday (October 9) 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.

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Have a wonderful anniversary!

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Photo by Asad Photo Maldives on Pexels.com

©2020 Chel Owens