I am a Terrible Poet

terriblepoetry_warning

Those of you who know me will be aware that I don’t usually enter writing competitions. This is not due to modesty or fear of failure, since there is one contest that I often submit to; the prestigious Terrible Poetry Contest. The main rule of the game is that the poem must be deliberately terrible. Any poet worth his/her salt can enter – and perhaps win – The Gregory O’Donohue International Poetry Competition or The Oxford Brookes International Poetry Competition, but I ask you: which of those excellent poets would have the courage to compete in Chelsea’s Terrible Poetry Contest, and how well would they fare? Eh? Eh?

My efforts have finally paid off: Along with one other Terrible Poet, I won last week’s Terrible Poetry contest! Between you, me and the other two people who accidentally stumbled onto this post, it’s my second win, but the first win – although a triumph of sorts – carried a little less weight, since the judges announced that all of the poems submitted were equally terrible, and awarded the prize to all of us. This resulted in a crisis of confidence; some of the submitted poems looked quite good to me… were our poems genuinely Terrible, or were they all embarrassingly so-so? I needed to try harder. I needed to WIN.

I tried – I tried so hard. At first my efforts were all in vain. My poems just weren’t Terrible enough. One heartless reader even remarked that she didn’t think I was capable of writing a Terrible poem! It cuts, it cuts deep…

This time I was determined to take the cup, so I submitted four poems. I like to think my win was down to merit, rather than my overbearing persistence, although, to be frank, I don’t think the chosen poem was the most terrible of the quartet.

I proudly present my award, with grateful thanks to Chelsea, who hosts the crazy Terrible Poetry Contest:

three-monkeys-1212621_1920

and these are all four poems:

A Helping Hand (the winning entry)

Poor Willie said
he wished he was dead.
I wished the same
so I took aim.

Dragon

If I described the beat of its wings descending to the ground,
the claws, the teeth, the flames that brought Willie down,
It would sound like a lie, even silly,
Alas, poor Willie.

Who, Me?

I told him not to smoke your fags
and why would I dip his glad-rags
in paraffin? It wasn’t me, dad.
Can I have Willie’s iPad?.

Willie’s Mayo

Willie loved red, he dreamed of red
and all the thoughts inside his head
he drew on walls in crimson crayon
(He even mixed brightest red into mayon-
Naise). While dripping red ink in a nearby well
he tripped, and heavily, in he fell.
As from the depths his corpse was raised,
Willie’s bloodied skull left his mother unfazed.
“I see he’s rejecting the red from his head
so it’s OK to chuck out his mayo,” she said.

©Jane Paterson Basil

Advertisements

Sunset, Sunrise

terriblepoetry_warning

Slumped on sofa, feeling low,
Don’t wanna shop or outside go,
Shocking din beyond window;
Apocalypse? Malignant crows?
Curtains closed, so I don’t know,
But curiosity, so

I think take a look,
Rise to feet discarding book.
Need to eat, don’t want to cook.
Kitchen no cavern – more a nook…
Is it birds or fatal fluke?
Peak between drapes like cornered crook.

Three car pile-up – bedlam there,
Poking bones, blood-mussed hair.
Look away from sickening scare,
See ribbons of colour streaking the sky and I carelessly cease to care,
Horizon highlighting rhapsody rare;
Surprising sunset, breathtaking flare.

Pity poor victims; tarmac is read,
Rubberneckers shaking heads,
Twisted bodies lately dead.
Making sandwich, ready for bed,
Scraping mould from hunk of bread;
Provocative dreams if properly fed.

Pluck off blossoming, blue-grey yeast,
Anticipating impromptu feast,
Unforeseen shock – view faces east.
Time is thieving, night-fleecing beast.
Feel like a flock of silly geese;
Sunset west, sunrise east.

Radio wakes in hollow bedroom,
Morning call; warning tune.
Sat through night, blind to gloom.
Feel foreboding, forthcoming doom.
Skin feels pocked with autumn bloom.
Off to horrid office soon.

Better slough of sleepless grime;
Supper’s off; it’s breakfast time.

Shamelessly written for Chelsea’s Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest 

©Jane Paterson Basil

A Rapper Bites the Dust

rapper-2969498_960_720

I was yapping out rap like a bad-assed pan handler,
yeah my planet smashing rapping had ’em leaping on seats,
my coalescing essence always jacking up the heat,
my effervescense escalating, neat and sweet,
leaving battle slammers squeaking like gamblers in shackles,
like blubbing mamas babbies who have smashed their rattles
Bro I was ripping out lyrics that Meek Mill couldn’t beat.
Yo Bro, if you wanna be replete, if you wanna be supreme
you need to to lead the league, leave the sheep, beep in your sleep,
so heed my seamy secret, it’s a little known fact,
only when your heart cracks like a rat that ran out of scraps,
only when your soul snaps
like a Sally from the Alley of the half-price sad sacks,
scrabbling for a bag, playing it bad, running on half-mad;
only when you’re low as a bro can go,
only when you’re low can you carry the show.

My kids were raised in the ‘hood in gangsta tradition,
running guns and drugs, pimping and killing and racing for perdition,
trading in sin, inking their skin with the enemies’ kin,
when Rev Run hit the city, riding pillion with Christ, fire in his eye,
peddling his religion, sidling into minds,
slamming Hallelujah with his criminal might.
Now Zimmon’s on a mission, Orland joined a choir,
Zeelin is a priest and I’m queuing for confession.
My rhyme is a mess. I’ve failed my final test
since the one word I can find to rhyme with confession
is
regression.

This carefully crafted terrible poem was written for Chelsea’s Terrible Poetry Contest, with apologies for submitting such a long rap.

©Jane Paterson Basil