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Before and After (Terrible Poetry)

February 10, 2020

The second full week of February brings us to the 58th Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. This week Chelsea says:

The Topic is an awkward first poem to your awkward first crush. I don’t know how prosaic you were then, but I’ll assume the Length will be on the shorter side. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if, like me, all of your poems took on the form Rose are red, Violets are blue… Rhyming? Maybe, maybe not. How poetic were you? Naturally, without trying, make it terrible. I want the younger version of you to read over your composition, sigh in romantic ecstasy, and imagine the love of your life rewarding your efforts with that elusive First Kiss. I’ll give Past You the benefit of the doubt and assume you’ll keep the Rating at PG or cleaner.

Play along or read along by going here.

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My awkward first crush with someone my age was to a girl who never knew I had a crush on her. Her name was Lisa. She was very pretty. She had light brown hair and wore it in pigtails and I let her know that I had a crush on her by sliding my copy of Tommy James and the Shondell’s 45 (A “45” was a record back then, not a gun) “I Think We’re Alone Now” under the door of her school locker. How I knew which locker was hers doesn’t take much guesswork. It’s not like I was a stalker or anything, I just knew because I had happened to notice it. I didn’t attach a note or write anything – like my name – on the 45’s paper sleeve, so that gives you an idea of how clueless I was as a kid. For what it’s worth, time hasn’t changed me too much in that regard.

My first awkward crust on someone not my age came about four years earlier.

Before and After

Dear Miss Peterson,
I love you. You are pretty and you are nice.
I like when you smile at me when I say something in class.
I don’t like when we get homework in school
but I don’t get mad when you give us homework because you are cool.
Thank you for being my teacher and for being pretty and for smiling a lot.
I hope you have a nice Christmas vacation.

Dear Mrs. Kinney,
I wasn’t really sure what it meant when you said you got married
or why your name was changed so when I got home from school
yesterday I asked my mom. She told me all about it and I don’t think
you are very nice. I wouldn’t do that to someone. I don’t love you
anymore and please do not give us kids any more homework.

= = = =

Just in case Lisa reads WordPress blogs.


And for that deceitful heartbreaker, Miss Peterson –

What’s For Dinner?

February 6, 2020

I was reading Chelsea’s blog this morning and I want to share a post she wrote titled The Diet: It Sucks But It Works. Please take a couple of minutes and go over there and read it because it’s quite good. Chelsea asks, What have been your experiences with dieting? What worked? Whom did you murder during the first week? I started to leave a comment, but my comment kept getting longer and longer until I realized that hey, I’ve been inspired to write something so here I am writing something.

My experiences with dieting have been lifelong and varied and more often than not, unsuccessful. To sum it up in a sentence, I’ll just say that as a kid my clothes came from the boy’s husky’ department and nothing changed as I grew older other than I got adult clothes.

It was depressing.

So, what worked for me? Not much. Personally, I believe diets are doomed to fail. They’re either a fad (think Atkins or “I lost 24 pounds in the first month!”) or they rely on the dieter’s personal self-control (think willpower, which, if we had any to begin with, we might not be dieting). Or they don’t address the pitfalls of dieting (think living in a world surrounded by Hostess Cupcakes, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Big Macs). Or they don’t approach the issue holistically by looking at how both the mind and the body relates with food. Diets focus on denial and not on healing. A diet expects us to punish ourselves by avoiding things that we like to eat. And not only like to eat, but things we need if we want to continue living. True, we don’t need pizzas and Hershey candy bars and buttered popcorn to live, but we need to eat to live and I think many people who struggle with weight control also struggle with certain other things in life like shame, stress, impulse control, etc., that can make decision-making difficult. And what is dieting but the ultimate exercise in decision making? Three meals a day, maybe one or two snacks a day – that adds up to 1,825 decisions a year. Add in the occasional office potluck, some parties and holidays and round that number up to a whopping 2,000 food decisions in a single year that get added to other important/stressful life decisions like going to work and paying bills and cleaning the house and putting gas in the car and doing laundry and developing and/or maintaining relationships and living life. Who has time for 2,000 more decisions in an already decision-filled life?

The only thing that worked for me was not giving up foods I liked, but switching to different foods, and not focusing on what I was giving up, but on what I was gaining. Instead of mourning the loss of a pepperoni pizza with extra cheese or White Castle hamburgers or crunchy Cheetos, I celebrated a gradual gaining of health and wellness as well as a sense that I was doing something good. Something good for my health, for the health of animals and for the health of the planet.

I started small by giving up dairy. Then I gave up eggs and red meat. Then fish and chicken. Then added sugar and salt. All the while I spent time reading about diet (not the kind we go on, but the kind we follow) and I read about animals (the ones that don’t cuddle up with us on the living room couch). I read about the health risks of certain food choices and the health benefits of others. I lowered carbs. I found alternatives for cheese and meat. I found plant-based sources of protein. I exercised. It worked. And five years later it still works. Sadly, the only thing that didn’t work is that inside I still feel like that ‘husky’ kid trying on clothes in the weeks leading up to the start of school, but I guess that’s a topic for later. Maybe.

How I Do Love Thee (Terrible Poetry)

February 3, 2020

If you’ve ever wanted to write a terrible poem while feeling somewhat romantic then you’re in luck because this month Chelsea says,

“…the Topic is LOVE LOVE LOVE! Write me a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad sonnet. Give me alliterations, adjectives, allegories, and aneurysms. Keep the Length long enough to capture your love’s interest without putting her to sleep. Rhyming? Up to you, but I recommend you do. Make it terrible! Cupid needs to pull out the real arrows after catching wind of your attempts.”

To share your terribleness, or to read someone else’s terrible poems, just go here.

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How I Do Love Thee

Do I love thee, you really want to know?
Like those idyllic, serene summer days,
when I see your face I begin to glow,
for in truth your face looks like mayonnaise.
As I stare deeply at your sleeping eyes
I wonder just what the hell I’m doing.
I think about my friends, those lucky guys
and wonder if another wife I shouldn’t be pursuing.

I can’t write you a sonnet. I can’t even kiss you. Specifically speaking: no serenely stormy split second spit-sticking smack on the shoulder. Nay, you naughty nonsignificant, knotty-nosed, norepinephrine-needing nudnik. Never no nibbles upon thine neck.

Forsooth (for anyone if soothe isn’t available) free me from this foul fraudulence.

Alas, you stir and turn your black orbs, dripping with eye boogers and brimming with heated demonic lust to mine. Those haunted eyes that lured me to seemingly eternal wedded


You part your pulpy lips, an invitation to one innocent sensual deep kiss
as sweet as molasses
Lost, I ignored what was amiss
and I find myself once again in . . .

. . . an abyss.

We part.
You smile.
I smile.

Your morning breath –
– ugh . . .

Good morning, my love.
Happy Valentine’s Day, my treasure.
Sleep well?
(No, not next to you) Next to you is there any other way?
My prince.
How I do love thee…


Note: this is not based on a true story.

Four O’clock (Carrot Ranch)

January 28, 2020

From Charli Mills at the Carrot Ranch is this week’s challenge.

In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about a park bench. Use this gif to choose a timeframe and write the story behind that particular scene. Use the time as your title. Go where the prompt leads!

Click here to read stories or to join in with one of your own.

Four O’clock

A morning walk. Four O’clock, before the realities of the day begin shining on the concrete of downtown.

The busses haven’t started running yet so the streets are quiet. Marquette Avenue is lined with bus shelters and it’s in the 6th street shelter that I see him every morning. You know what he looks like 4because you’ve seen him, or someone like him, before. They’re generally invisible, but when they’re asleep on a bus bench at four in the morning, they stand out.

I walk over, step into the shelter and leave a package of Hostess cupcakes for him.



The Adventures of Me (Terrible Poetry Contest)

January 28, 2020

Are you ready for the 56th edition of the Terrible Poetry Contest? I bet you are, and if I’m correct, and I bet I am, then simply head over HERE and check it out.

This week Chelsea says: “The Topic is an epic poem about a great adventure. Laudable deeds and grand gestures will be your comrades-in-arms, even if your adventure proves to go no further than locating a missing sock. These sorts can run rather long, so let’s cap the poem at a Length of 200 words.”

The Adventures of Me
(Or an Epic Poem of (not-so) Laudable Deeds and (somewhat-less-than) Grand Gestures)

I climbed the ladder.
Climbed it well.
Hoping to remove the gutter smell.

I grabbed the gutter.
Grabbed it hard.
Tossed the gunk down on the yard.

Then I felt wobbly.
Knees got weak.
Bent my head and took a peak.

Ground below.
¡fear of heights!
Someone give me my last rites.

Please God end this wild adventure.
This great misguided risky venture.

(Suddenly I started thinking of rhymes archaic
but wanted to try and stay prosaic so we continue . . . )

I don’t do adventures.
No laudible deeds.
I sit and worry as thoughts stampede.

Why climb a ladder?
I don’t know.
My brain is filled with diced tomato.

My attempts at adventure.
They don’t go well.
And last about as long as a snowball in (you-know-where).

I shouldn’t share this.
I’ve got some gall.
But I do it because it’s
Terrible Poetry after all

and I am
proud to be a

Terrible Poet.

You know it.

Winter Terribleness (Terrible Poetry Contest)

January 13, 2020

It’s the Terrible Poetry Contest. Number 47!


Here is the prompt:
The topic is “The Bleak Midwinter”. T for a lengthy of a standard 3 – 75.5. Make it terrible.

Midwinter Terribleness

If I were in the cussing mood I’d have a lot to say about winter.
But I’m not in that mood so I’ll just call it win-TURD.
I am in a Pinwheel cookie mood.
You ever had one of those?
If you have then you knows –

-just how good that marshmallow is on that cookie base
with the rich, creamy chocolate covering the face.

And when you eat them not a creature is stirring and wh

(75.5 words)

That Morning (Carrot Ranch)

January 11, 2020

If wives are being carried then that means it’s Heikinpäivä. If you want to know what Heikinpäivä is then you’ll have to mosey over to the Carrot Ranch and read all about it in this week’s prompt. And after you’ve read about Heikinpäivä, you can read some of the words of the wonderful storytellers there.

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January 9, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about a carried wife. Why is she being carried? Who is carrying? Pick a genre if you’d like and craft a memorable character. Go where the prompt leads!

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That Morning

Roger watched Ellen, feeling the same love he’d felt for 53 years.

What did she ever see in me?

He never rushed these feelings and this morning was no different. He watched her feeling love.

Roger became Ellen’s caregiver when Alzheimer’s left her unable to care for herself. “Please promise me,” she begged shortly after the diagnosis. “No nursing homes.”

He promised.

Roger would forever question Ellen’s reason for being out of bed alone. He lifted his wife and carried her to the bed. Setting her lifeless body down he kissed her forehead and lay down next to her.


To lie with you once more
To lie with you
with our dreams
entwined together

To lie beside you
my love still sleeping
to tell sweet lies
one last time
and say goodnight

– Robert Hunter

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