(Language warning. Don’t read if you don’t like the word ‘shit.’)

“I happened to mention this to a hypnotist I saw many years ago, and he looked at me very nicely. At first I thought he was feeling around on the floor for the silent alarm button, but then he gave me the following exercise, which I still use to this day. Close your eyes and get quiet for a minute, until the chatter starts up. Then isolate one of the voices and imagine the person speaking as a mouse. Pick it up by the tail and drop it into a mason jar. Then isolate another voice, pick it up by the tail, drop it in the jar. And so on. Drop in any high-maintenance parental units, drop in any contractors, lawyers, colleagues, children, anyone who is whining in your head. Then put the lid on, and watch all these mouse people clawing at the glass, jabbering away, trying to make you feel like shit because you won’t do what they want—won’t give them more money, won’t be more successful, won’t see them more often. Then imagine that there is a volume-control button on the bottle. Turn it all the way up for a minute, and listen to the stream of angry, neglected, guilt-mongering voices. Then turn it all the way down and watch the frantic mice lunge at the glass, trying to get to you. Leave it down, and get back to your shitty first draft.”

Anne LamottBird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

Scampy Mouse

Scampy mouse looked ’round his house,

But all that he could see

Were must and rust and cheese crumb dust,

And a cobweb; maybe three.


“I must have flask or wig or mask;

Or robes, or vampire teeth.”

Yet, high and low and to and fro —

“No costume,” Scampy squeaked.


Then, start’ling him, a *quack* *ring* *knock*;

He jumped. “Who could that be?”

He opened up to Tammy Duck,

Who asked him, “Trick or treat?”


She held a wand, a potion, bag;

Plus extra, long, white sheet.

“You wanna be a scary ghost,

For this year’s Halloween?”


Photo Credit: Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay


Created for Susanna Leonard Hill’s Halloweensie Contest.

©2019 Chelsea Owens

WINNER of the Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

Sorry to keep everyone in suspense all day. It’s been a busy week!

The winner this week is Bereaved Single Dad.

Untitled piece

by Bereaved Single Dad

The US wants to build a really big wall
It’s to keep bad folk out maybe like Darth Maul
Paris is a beautiful place full of Yellow Vests
A great city to visit especially if you like protests
Canada seemed to have a charismatic leader
Now he seems tainted to the lay reader
The UK is run by a bunch of useless buffoons
Soon to become no more than Trumps spittoon
Clearly we are being failed by our politicians
Yet our rodents have untapped political ambitions
They want to address Climate Change
Rodents want positive action not wasting time on the golf range
They are not happy with our leaders looking after the rich only
Rodents will favour the poor and make sure the rich feel very lonely
They see that nationalism has disastrous consequences
Rodents will build bridges not really big fences
Politicians like to feed on your souls
Rodents like to munch on your toilet rolls
The ruling elite need to tremble
As its time for the Gerbils to Assemble

Congratulations, Bereaved Single Dad! You are the most terrible poet of the week!

As with every week (but a few) so far, I had a difficult time picking just one favorite. I read all the entries three times in differing orders, tilted my head for differing angles, and even tried reading aloud in differing accents.* Bereaved’s poem won for rhyming terrible rhymes every line, referencing politicians and various rodents, and having a generally roundabout point that somewhat resolved (in theory, perhaps) by the end.

Overall, I thought it the best. The rest, of course, will be appointed to various cabinet positions:

This rat’s opinion on political policies

by Bruce Goodman

The Desert Fathers – those ancient monks –
spent years trying to debunk
the notion that in order not to sin
one must have an opinion about everythin’.

They spent years purifying their hearts from worldly gain
so on most things had no opin-ian.
These days it’s easier (people scoff)
but I simply turn the TV off.


Untitled piece

by Bladud Fleas

Squeak up!, little mouse
for your opinions matter
unless I disagree with ‘em
and call in The Ratter.

You want perfectly semicircular holes
put along the wall
at the bottom
and cheesy triangles, (more holes),
on traps if I got ‘em
but only ones activated by tomcats’ tails!
for once, you’re singing my song
little mouse, we’re going to get along.


Untitled piece

by Deb Whittam

No more cheese, for those
Who don’t earn their keep,
Do as I say while I sit here and eat.
Objections, just wait a mo,
I need to consume this camembert
Then I’ll do as I please

Yes taxes are a part of life
What you don’t like my new kitty ride
So just scram or I’ll set the pussies free.

What? This isn’t a dictatorship,
Throw him in that mouse trap
I won’t listen to his claptrap

I’m the President now
All the cheese is mine I say,
Hey don’t overthrow, it’s just a play.


Hamster Hamster

by Joanne the Geek

Hamster Hamster
What’s your political opinion?
Hamster Hamster
Do you want to run for office?
Hamster Hamster
Do you want everyone to be your minion?
Hamster Hamster
Or at this game are you a novice?

Hamster Hamster
Are you a socialist?
Hamster Hamster
Maybe you’re a conservative?
Hamster Hamster
Though you’re probably a fascist
Hamster Hamster
Big fascist hamster with no relative

Hamster Hamster
Are you going to put us all in concentration camps?
Hamster Hamster
Are you going to close all the borders?
Hamster Hamster
Are you going to make us just use lamps?
Hamster Hamster
Or are we all going to become hoarders?

Hamster Hamster
Are you going to make us build you a giant hamster wheel?
Hamster Hamster
Or maybe we will toil in factories making you hamster treats
Hamster Hamster
Is your running mate going to be a big grey seal?
Hamster Hamster
Or maybe we will all be unemployed wandering the streets

Hamster Hamster
There in your little hamster cage
Hamster Hamster
I’m not sure I ever want to let you out
Hamster Hamster
What you might do to us is hard to gauge
Hamster Hamster
So just sit there and pout


You Dirty…

by Michael B. Fishman

Mrs. Rat said to Mr. Rat: “Why aren’t you watching TV?”

Mr. Rat threw down his hunk of cheese and said: “Because I’m a rat and you’re a rat and everyone on TV is a rat.”


“But we’re good rats and they’re BAD and MEAN and ARROGANT and SELFISH rats. They’re NOGOODNIK rats!”

“You mean?” asked Mrs. Rat.

“Yes. Politicians. All of ’em. He’s a rat…” Mr. Rat said.

“She’s a rat…” Mrs. Rat answered.

“HERE A RAT…” Mr. Rat yelled.

“THERE A RAT…” Mrs. Rat yelled.

And in unison they said: “Everywhere a RAT, RAT” and ended with a two part harmony of, “And there’s no raaat in Democraaat and keep on eye, yes an eye, on the Mobocraaats.

Mr. and Mrs. Rat laughed and Mrs. Rat bent over and picked up her husband’s discarded piece of cheese and started to hand it back to her mollified husband but started nibbling it instead, dreamily thinking of a nice dollop of peanut butter on top of that chunk of cheddar. “Well,” she said. “Now I know why you turned off the TV.” She swallowed the cheese and said, “Hey, I feel better after our little duet.”

“I do, too.” Mr. Rat said as he eyed the piece of cheese clutched in her delicate and attractive hands. Suddenly he lost sight of the cheese as he focused on her long and well-groomed nails.

“What do you want to do now?” Mrs. Rat asked provocatively.

Still eyeing Mrs. Rat’s finely-boned hands and sensing her receptivity, Mr. Rat felt his vibrissae quiver and stiffen. He didn’t know if he could afford another dozen babies, especially after last month’s litter, but he didn’t really know if he cared. He’d think about that tomorrow. After all, he thought, tomorrow is another day. “Uh, I don’t know,” Mr. Rat answered. “How about you?”


Untitled piece

by Nitin

I’m a fascist rodent in a moderate country
I stand as strong as the sentry
I believe what I believe because I believe what I believe and what I believe is believing in belief:
Belief that liberal hamsters will take their cheese someplace else
Belief that secularism will die! Die! Die
Belief that we’re comin for ya. Yeah, we comin for you little weakminded hamsters


The Philosophical Differences In The American And German Approaches To Trade Policy (Rattus Rattus Version)

by Geoff LePard

Angela Merkel

The German gerbil

Dominated the world’s Rathaus.

She cleaned her whiskers

And bled her blisters

Caused by her love of Strauss.

Come on you chump

I’ll lead with trumps

Said the toe tapping rodent.

I find it’s the best

Way to road test

Which policies are the most potent.

If you only knew,

Said the pinched face shrew

Who pitched a wicked idea,

What the world really thought

About a rat without

A sausage and gassy beer.

The orange hued hamsta

More goon than gansta

Scoffed when told of her plans.

Sat on his white sofa

He fondled his gopher

And declared her ideas to be pants.

Just build a wall

To keep out them all

He declared with zero decorum

My ideas are a killer,

He addressed the chinchilla

Who chaired the NAFTA trade forum.

We’ll go it alone

He began to intone

And not plan but shoot from the hip

And we’ll play the white hat

And use a fat cat

To drive you rats from the ship.


A Rodent Counteremployment

by Peregrine Arc

Hear hear, come to order and mind ye
That when we bang this here gavel we remind thee
That we did not cause the Black Plague, by any means!
‘Twas the fleas on my great Uncle Lou
who first carried the scourge to youse.
‘Twas none of our doin’.

And now onto Matter, Agenda Item, five hundred and forty three
We’ve saved a lot of your sorry behinds from death, haven’t we?
Being tested and prodded, killed and experimented
We’ve saved more lives than 911, you scurvy peasant.

And now, let’s see what the humans are after
Dear me, a wall, pollution, and clear disregard of natural disaster
A debt over a trillion; why when I last checked it was billions
And now they want, wait that can’t be true–surely they care about children more than who’s whom?
Disregard, disregard, onto House Bill Eleventy-Seven

All those in favor of banishing cats and birds alike–say aye!


Crab Pot

by Violet Lentz

They call him Crabby Appleton
Tho’ his given name is Gerard
He holds no degree
from any university
He came up fast and hard.

Born just a common sewer rat
He learned at quite a young age
that slipping through cracks
and dealing out wacks
meant spending some time in ‘the cage’.

“There’s got to be a better way!”
He’d exclaimed to his man, Hench
upon his last release
for the quick cut and fleece
of some love birds on a park bench.

On a lark he decided on cracking a book
A thick one, filled chuck full of laws
twas there that he learned
a guy wouldn’t get burned
if he had him a slick set of jaws.

He caught a ride, straight out of the street
and into the house on the hill
by catching some wind
that a senator’d sinned
By messing round with some Judges, Jill.

From there the sky was the limit
as he had made all the proper connects
he won every election
as the only selection
For public servants who value their necks.

So, Vote for Crabby Appleton
Throw in with the self-saving lot
he smiles and he waves
an’ sends men to their graves
as he scales the electoral crab pot.


Make Rats Great Again

by Michael of Morpethroad

The rat’s attack on the opposition was frightening,

He stood upon his soapbox

Promising everything to everyone.

The mice gathered at his feet

Stood aghast with disgust

‘The guys a liar,’ they whispered to each other.

Long the rat regaled them with what was wrong in society

The poor deserved to be poor,

The rich were deserving as they made the poor

Work tirelessly for them.

The mice muttered the rat must be insane

They wanted to shout their repugnance

Boo his policies

When to their left a chorus of cheers broke out

The rat had supporters,

Mice with banners, flags and a voice,

They cheered on the rat

They wore small caps with Make Rats Great Again

The mice looked at each other

Wondered what they might do.

The Rat smiled a malignant smirk

Nodded his head, urging his followers on.



by Ruth Scribbles

Rodents in the White House

Eating our cheese

Time to exterminate

Hurry…. please


Thank you for entering! Come back around 10 a.m. MST for next week’s prompt.


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


*I did not read any of the poems aloud. I have small children. The accent-reading happened in my head.**

**Don’t ask.

The Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

Hello poets, and welcome to the 31st Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest!

Read the basic how-to about what we do around here if you’re confused. If you don’t want to click a link and read an outline, that’s cool. You can also stay up all night and write whatever comes out before drinking coffee.

Besides that, here are the specifics for this week:

  1. Just to be inclusive, the Topic is small rodents’ opinions on political policies.
    I am a moderate and do not approve of anyone shaming, judging, hating, or blaming others for their views; but the politicians themselves are free game.
  2. Don’t filibuster for too long. Keep the Length to 200 words or fewer.
  3. Rhyme if it makes your constituents happy. Or, just promise to.
  4. Most importantly: Make it terrible. In fact, make “Make it terrible” your slogan. Slap “Make it terrible” stickers on babies and kiss their sweet mothers for the camera.
  5. I realize this sort of thing can raise some blood pressures, so keep your poem PG or cleaner. After all, in rodent politics they don’t actually want fur to fly.

You have till 8:00 a.m. MST next Friday (June 28) to submit a poem.

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

For a more social experience that’s high in vitamins and minerals*, include your poem or a link to it in the comments.

Have fun!


Photo credit:
My Name

*The Terrible Poetry Contest is not actually high in vitamins and minerals.

I’d Like to Mouse Wheel a Motion


“Now, now, Mrs. Snigglewhiff; that’s hardly mouseylike. Would you please consider using the shavings over-

“MISTER Cheesebiter, if you wouldn’t mind-

“I say; what are you doing at that drink station? Refreshments are for after our-

“What is it, now, Whiskershins? …The Society for Capybara Welfare wishes to be heard? They’ll just have to submit their request in shavings like the rest of us!-

“My word! Will the ringtailed children kindly refrain from using the wheel till after our meeting has adjourned?-”


“I now call to order The Semi-Regular Meeting of Tame Rodentia. First item of business: queuing.”


Moused over for Carrot Ranch‘s writing prompt:

March 7, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about a mouse. It can be real, imagined, electronic or whiskered. Go where the prompt leads!

Respond by March 12, 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:
Eligo Design

The Fifth Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

WELCOME young, old, and in-between to The Fifth Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest!

If you’re new, doubly welcome! I recommend reading about how to write terrible poetry. If you’re not new, read it again, then read these rules, then enter:

  1. The topic is ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. This is my LEAST FAVORITE poem in the entire world -whenever it’s parodied. Therefore; I normally feel that every idiot who goes about with “‘Twas the night before Christmas” on his lips, should be boiled with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart; but this week you’re getting a pass.
    Strangely enough, I love the original. I have at least three favorite stanzas in there.
  2. What’s the limit? For the love of my own sanity and yours, please keep it to eight or nine stanzas, maximum. That’s about the point of the original where we read I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
  3. It’s gotta rhyme. At the end of the line. Make it fine.
  4. Remember, remember: the poem needs to be terrible. Clement C. Moore (or, Henry Livingston, Jr.) will want to visit you each hour the night of Christmas Eve to warn you of an angry mob of poets waiting for your death, should you ever write that way again.
  5. Keep it PG-Rated. Kids might climb up on your knee and ask you to read it to them.

Think you can do it? You have till 8:00 a.m. MST next Friday (December 14, 2018) to submit.

Post your poem or the specific link to it in the comments.