The Terrible Poetry Contest: Special Christmas Special!!

We couldn’t let another year pass by without our sort-of annual tradition: the Terribly Poetry Contest, Christmas Special!!

Photo by Marta Wave on

Whenever our illustrious judge remembers to, we forget all rules of terribleness and simply have fun in the spirit of FUN.

  1. The theme is a parody of a Christmas song. We’re talking carols; like “Santa, Baby,” “All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth,” “Jingle Bell Rock,” “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer,” “Deck the Halls,” “Silent Night….”
    (But, for the love of all that’s holly, DO NOT use “Christmas Shoes” as your inspiration or I may be forced to send three spirits to keep you up all night.)
  2. The official length is as long as it takes you to poke fun at your carol before running out of ideas…
  3. Jingle bells, Batman smells; most songs rhyme so rhyme this time (if the original rhymes).
  4. Good King Wenceslas looked about, rocking around the Christmas tree, away in a manger of parody. Make us laugh, make us cry; mostly, give us something to look forward to this year.
  5. Finally, keep things child-appropriate. Christmas is about children, after all.

You have till 8:00 p.m. MST on Friday, December 23 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 a physical Christmas gift in the mail from Chel.


©2022 Chel Owens

Photo by Brett Sayles on

Need some ideas? Inspiration? Try this contest, this poem, this contest, this contest, this contest, this contest, or this contest.

Said the husband as she burnt the ham
Do you smell what I smell?
(Do you smell what I smell?)
It’s charred, it’s charred; the oven’s all alight
With the men here to fi’re fight
With the men, here, to fi’re fight.

WINNER of the Terrible Poetry Contest 11/30/2022

November’s prompt for terribly poeming was brought to you by Jon of Missionary Sojourn, the winner of September’s contest. Jon suggested a clean limerick on lost and found. Without losing another minute, then, let’s find the one who limerick’d best:


by TanGental

All hope’s gone, all is lost.
She loves me, she loves me nost.
I gave her flowers. a sort of red.
They had thorns, so she bled
Out. Now she’s a gost…


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

You may be wondering how I chose a winner out of such excellent entries. I’ll tell you: I don’t know. I’m also wondering how I picked, given that most entries tied for cleverness and included some distinctive element. I believe the winner won me over with that broken/continued line of ‘bled/out’ and with his terrible word choice.

Again; that’s not to say one should only read the winning entry. Peruse all the poetry, below, and see which is your favorite:


by RuthScribbles

There once was a grumpy old man
He lost his way to the can
He turned on the light
And had a huge fright
He’d found a coon and away he did ran



by Ian Kay

I’ve gone lost the end of my limerick
I didn’t know whether I’m dim or thick
I looked down the sofa
But nothin’ yet so far
So how will I finish this poem?



by Ian Kay

A man got a message, it read:
There’s something on the back of yer head!
He put his hand there
But only found hair
And that was the end of the thread


Lost Meat

by John W. Howell

There once was a man from New York,
Who purchased two tons of dead pork.
He wished he had found,
Good beef that was ground.
But lost his chance to a quick dork.


Larry the monkey

by Soberbunny

I once had a monkey named Larry,
He liked to bite and was hairy,
One day in the park,
He escaped after dark,
And now he belongs to Mary.



by Richmond Road

I was aimlessly fooling around
When I fell from my boat and then drowned
Deprived thus of breath
Woke in life after death
Simultaneously lost and yet found



by Doug Jacquier

There once was a man from Straya
As a walker he was a fair dinkum stayer
Went past the Black Stump and beyond it
Got lost, fell into a billabong, it
Was a shame his swimming was a failure.

Straya – rendition of ‘Australia’ by many Australians, similar to Americans who live in ‘Mecca’
Fair dinkum – genuine
Black Stump – mythical far distant place where civilisation ends (along with American spelling) and the unknown begins
Billabong – an isolated pond left behind after a river changes course



by Frank Hubeny

There once was a writer of verse
Who got lost as his writing got worse.
He was found by the bay
Singing songs of dismay:
La-dee-loose la-dee-lease la-dee-terse


Lost Cause

by Obbverse

Write a clean limerick, they promptly said!
But I’ve found clean limericks are rarely read,
A limerick ploughs common ground,
Within limericks innuendoes abound,
Something gets lost if cheeks ain’t left red.


A Boy Named Luck

by Greg

There once was a boy named Luck
Whose folks didn’t give a… HOOT.
“Go jump off da pier
‘n don’t come back ‘roun’ere!”
But they didn’t have that kinda luck.


The Ring

by Greg

He brought out the champagne with a blush,
“Bottoms up!” It was down in a rush.
Before he could sing,
She’d swallowed the ring,
Now they gather to scrutinize each flush.


Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

Thank you, terrible poets. Come back at the beginning of January to learn what the new prompt will be!

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


©2022 The poets, and their respective poems. Special thanks to Greg for the cool logo I used as our featured image!

Terrible Poetry: Lost Limerick

I never can find mi loosed stuff
Cuz loosed stuff is finding is tuff
So instead i just right
something thats not write
And forget i ever lost my basal ganglia.

©2022 Chel Owens

Ah, I couldn’t help it. You should write something even better for the Terrible Poetry Contest; it supposedly ends on the 30th, but I hear the judge isn’t exactly on top of things this week and you’ll not hear about a winner till Saturday…

Photo by Anna Shvets on

The Terrible Poetry Contest 11/2022

Welcome to yet another Terrible Poetry Contest!

Everyone thinks he/she/it is a poet; some actually are. We don’t care because we’re here to beat the worst of them! Terrible poem-ing isn’t about humor as a subject. It isn’t about writing about a terrible subject. In fact, it isn’t even about writing an acrostic poem with the word ‘TERRIBLE.’ Confused? Here is a post I wrote to explain. I recommend reading it, ignoring it completely, then rearranging the ingredients list for your laxative medication and posting that as an entry.

Jon of Missionary Sojourn won last month, so here are his instructions for this month’s contest:

  1. Theme and Form
    The theme is “Lost and/or Found.” The form is …wait for it… my favorite: a limerick. Furthermore, it’s a CLEAN limerick.
  2. Length
    Limericks have a specific form and length. It is AABBA, where the A’s are 8ish syllables and the B’s are 5ish syllables (and the A’s all rhyme with each other while the B’s rhyme with the B’s). We’ve written limericks before; so, if you’ve lost those posts, they can be found here. Or, you can find an outline, elsewhere, online.
  3. Rhyme?
    Yes. First, second, and fifth rhyme one way; and third and fourth rhyme another.
  4. Terrible!
    Please, please, please write a terrible poem. Make anyone searching for beauty seriously reconsider their life choices in finding our contest.
  5. Rating
    G or cleaner. You heard me.

You have till 8:00 a.m. MST on Wednesday, November 30 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.


©2022 Chel Owens

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

Need more pointers? Jon’s included an example:

It seems that I’ve lost my keys
And hunt as long as I please
Like the wayward sock
That the dryer has got
I’m beginning to wonder, “Why me?”

P.J.s and Morning Soccer

My most recent child. © Chel Owens

When sun’s just up,
though most still down,
and brother’s game
is ‘cross the town
and Mom’s not up
to laundry mounds,

Young Owens sports
the lion’s share
of smiles outside
‘spite morning air.
Says he, good sports
should not be bare.

For, when a game
of soccer’s viewed,
and when a mom’s
got quite the brood;
name of the game
is Don’t Be Nude.

©2022 Chel Owens

Thus ends a long month. I’ll be round to read now that I’m not writing, but won’t post new content till November. ‘Bye!

WINNER of the Terrible Poetry Contest 9/29/2022

First, I wish to pay tribute to a longtime contributor to poetry contests of the past: Hobbo. May your family receive comfort and may your sons publish your works posthumously. You will be missed.

Oh Heck

by Hobbo

Seems like a case of bad luck to me
In agony, needs appendectomy
Flash of the blade
Incision is made
Surgeon thinks it’s a vasectomy.


Now, we’re off to a new start with the Terrible Poetry Contest! This month’s challenge was to write a poem in any form, about accidental love. So, after a month of deliberation, WHO wrote our winning poem?

Love of Mishap

by Jon

Some love to complain
But all are attentive
to a train


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

Wow. Just wow. I read through all the entrants and hadn’t a clue which to pick. There was humor, there were awful subjects, there was such cleverness! -but what we always aim for in terrible poem-ing is a mockery of overused poetry elements. These include trying to sound mysterious, breaking lines in odd places, rhyming incessantly with novice vocabulary, utilizing poor spelling and grammar, and trying for free-verse or haiku whilst butchering the effort.

Jon’s poem is short, broken, and surprisingly complete. It spoke to me as terrible because it checks the boxes but is wholly disappointing. Well done, Jon.

Truly, though, you must read all the poems. This month’s collection is highly entertaining:

Accidental Love

by John W. Howell

We never meant it,
But somehow it came to be . . .
My braces her gum.


I Only Wanted Her for Her Brain

by Trent

It started mundane
The usual Earthly pain
The doctor wanted meat
Whole, from head to feet
Taking a body from a grave is boring
I can do it even while snoring

But then he said he wanted a brain
That could think really, really profane
Well, he said profound
But I misheard that sound

So I stalked a naughty lass
Who smoked a lotta grass
Often spoke really crass
And had a very nice

But then I fell
Right in front of Ms. Jezebel
And to my surprise
She looked at me with dewy eyes

OK, they were bloodshot from the pot
But they watered a lot
As she laughed her head off
Until she started to cough

With no time to think
I asked her out for a drink
And I bet you can guess
My surprise when she actually said
“That’s a joke, right?”

Drat, I was out of luck
So I pushed her in front of a speeding truck
But with that shove
She fell in love!

As she passed, she said she’d always love me
So I had to do something, you see?
Trying my hardest I did all I could
If not what I morally should

So although her body is gone
She will always live on
Always at my side
Try as I might, I can’t hide

She constantly says she loves me, quite the feature
This endearment coming from the lips of Dr. F’s 8 foot tall, male creature


Moonless Lunacy

by Frank Hubeny

One moonless, dreary, dismal night
I accidentally fell in love.
A mermaid using starry light
bewitched me from above.

I loved her true and she loved me
enough to eat me whole.
Now I am dead and she’s well fed.
I guess this tale’s been told.


Downward Spiral

by Brian Keith Mino

Failure has become accepted,
and mediocrity praised, while greatness is
Despised, as the masses grope around,
Totally dazed.


Yo soy Diego y esta es Frida

by Tnkerr

I first wed the girl – nineteen twenty nine
her hair was dark, loosely curled
she was fairest in the world

she gave me a shove so I pulled her hair,
accidentally fell in love
fit together, hand in glove

married now, at least a couple of times
love we’ll sometimes disavow
me, Frida, her unibrow


But, I’m not a homosexual

by M

How do love her ?
BY NEAR, bye far
counting ways to stars
I count curves
and long eye lasses
I count to ten
with pen I wrote this love knote, I’m am no timid mouse
folded as such
and; dropped it
in her.
Mail slot, I lover here oh so muchly
shit! Wrong house!


Bus stop dreaming

by Doug Jacquier

I did but see her
through the glass darkly
of the sliding doors of the train to nowhere
but I knew I had to make her mine, make her mine, make her mine.
I raced along the platform,
past the compulsory dwarf and mardi gras dancers,
knocking over old ladies
and trampling on children
until I could leap onto the train
as it left the Stations of the Cross.
On the train
we ran through fields of wildflowers
as if in slow motion
until she leapt into my arms
heels in the air
and we kissed with the heat of the night
until the conductor asked me for my ticket
and I woke up at the bus stop.


Dick And Jane In A Spot

by Obbverse

See Dick trundling ’round Walmart,
See Jane selecting a shopping cart,
See dick searching for a parking slot?
Does Dick see Jane in his blind spot?

See Jane hear her phone go ‘bing?’
Well, now Jane won’t see anything,
See Dick’s head turn side to side,
See Dick’s patience being tried?

See Jane gaze raptly at her screen?
Hear Dick mutter something obscene!
See Dick’s head all but swivel ’round?
Not an accursed park to be found.

See Jane cross behind Dick?
See Dick’s cheek start to tic?
See Dick see a most welcome sight?
Ahead, a Dodgy Neon’s reversing light!

See the smile on Dick’s face!
Dick has found his happy space!
See Dick’s foot hit the Jeep’s brake!
Let’s see, which path Jane will take?

See Jane talking and walking,
Concentrating on talking, not walking,
Dick has stopped, Jane’s not slowing…
Can we see where this is going?

The Neon vacates the parking bay,
Dick’s at the wheel, sawing away,
Dick can’t get his Compass aligned,
Dick reverses without glancing behind.

The VERY FIRST day at Drivers Ed
What do they drive into your head?
Chapter One in their good book-
‘Before going forth, first LOOK.’

But Dick does not remember Jack;
With Dick there’s no looking back,
Backing back out into the lane,
‘Dick in Jeep, meet Chatterbox Jane.’

Jane, holding wobbly wheeled trolley
Perfectly placed to compound Dick’s folly,
See Jane, lost in a world of her own
Rattling away, eyes on her iPhone.

What a moving sight they both fail to see!
See Jane’s trolley! See Dick’s truncated Cherokee!
Dicks not-so-tuff plastic bumper, mangled,
His Jeep and her trolley, sorrily entangled.

Dolt Dick agreed it’s all his fault,
Luckily Jane suffered just the jolt,
One broken fingernail, no broken bones,
And Dick’s insurance covers cracked phones.

So, after names and details were taken
Dick discerned Jane looked pale and shaken,
Said he’d treat her to a hot sweet latte;
Today they marry, a year to the day.

See Dick and Jane say their nuptial vows!
Though the venue raises actual eyebrows!
A Walmart wedding might sound perverse?
If you know their journey, quite the Reverse.


So, what’s up mutha?

by Deb Whittam

She was so hot, she set me alight,
Soldier stood to attention, ho, man what a delight.
She was sweet like cream, I ain’t leavin til I get a bite
Ho, you dudes can dream, she’s going home with me tonite.
Yo, I’m bad ass, I can make chocolate melt on a cold ass day
But your so fine mutha, you and me we could so, like, play
Me and my bling, you with your tight ass thing
We could go horizontal, ho, you know what I mean?
Your such a fine mutha, you got it going on
You and me, back at my place, now don’t get me wrong
This ain’t no one night fling, I could see you wearin’ my bling
You and me, doin’ it morning and night
Boys tongues hanging, you just so fly
C’mon on mutha, I’m gonna be your guy.
Ain’t no time to waste, this ain’t no accidental love,
C’mon on, let me have a taste.*


Gain Flings

by Greg

there she stood
unkempt and crude
her family lines
a sickly brood
her sweats all stained
with God knows what
brown and smudged
across her butt
but in the light
of twilight time
hot damn, my Lord
she looked so fine
through the years
and many a stain
she stole my heart
my love she’d Gain


Accidental Love

by TanGental

She elbowed my nose
Trying to make sourdough.
It broke. My nose, that is.
‘It’s just a dent…’
An accident
She took the car
To test her new glasses.
‘The tree came out of nowhere.
It’s a little bent.’
An accibent
The nice man with the moustache
Sold her a shiny bond
And cleared us out.
‘Every flaming cent.’
An accicent
We got it back on insurance.
She lent it to her brother
To start a platypus farm
In Adelaide
With a former Love Island contestant
Called Bouncy.
They don’t return her calls.
An accilent
I love her for her baking, her resilience, her openness and her family loyalty.
They say I’m mental.
I say it’s an accimental love.


Photo by Khoa Vu00f5 on

Thank you, terrible poets. Come back at the beginning of November to learn what the new prompt will be!

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


©2022 The poets, and their respective poems.

Accidental -or maybe- Unrequited ‘Love’

My love, I saw you just
the other day.
I thought, “I must
see if she wants to play.”

But then, without a doubt
or e’en acknowledgement,
You ran around you ran about
you ran through excrement.

I know you weren’t
expecting me to be outside
your house, you weren’t
expecting me to be outside.

But, baby, you should know
That when you hand me
my steaming cup of joe
and smile, instead of run-ning,

Our love was meant to be.
So, tell this nice policeman
That you aren’t charging me
and that I get to be your man.


©2022 Chel Owens

Photo by Pixabay on

If that isn’t terrible, you need your ears checked. Also, you need to type up the warning label on the side of your shampoo, add far more adjectives, and turn it in to the Terrible Poetry Contest for this month. You have till this Thursday to enter!

Three, Two, One: Bumper Balloons

Flip – flap – flutter
went the bits of man-made rubber
as he took away the rudder
and he waved goodbye to mother.

‘I’m an engine of the sky,’
sang he, loud, while he sped by,
while his mama dabbed her eye,
while his wobbly wings a-try

To lift, or maybe thrust,
by ignoring drag, or just

By the will of boyish hope,
as his canter speeds to lope;

And seven small balloons
circle ’round, like rainbow moons;
dip and swirl ‘gainst the noon;
flutter, drag to boyish tune

Of hasty dreams, of racing knees
Of birthday dreams on summer breeze.

©2022 Chel Owens

Photo by Victoria Borodinova on

Written in response to Carrot Ranch‘s prompt: balloons on a bumper

September 12, 2022, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about balloons on a bumper. Is it a spectacle, an occasion, an eccentricity? Why are the balloons there? Who is involved? Go where the prompt leads!

Poetic Collage

I’m no poet.
I write fragments, bits;
I pore over magazines of ideas


Removing a ‘please your man’
or just a ‘man’ -then
I paste those fragments across my notebook.

Like quilting

But I’m no quilter.
I’d stitch myself together
Very un-artistically.

“Let’s try collage,”
I tell the no-one who reads my poetry.
And stick my fingers to each other-
The glue gone gummy
from mishmash poeming.

“Next time,” I decide
‘midst the detritus,
“I’ll stick to macramé.”

Photo by cottonbro on

©2022 Chel Owens