Category Archives: Awards

The Terrible Poetry Contest results for this week!

A big thank you to Chelsea for inviting me to judge the terrible poetry contest this week. The task was more challenging than I thought it would be!

No more suspense. The winner is.

In Love With a Ghost

By Mathew

I’ve fallen in love with a ghost,

She’s the one I care for the most.

No matter where I am,

She’s always there.

Supports me with this cross I bare.

Touches me in places where,

Other people aren’t aware…

~

My heart,

You pervert.

~

Your mind must be full of dirt

~

She also touches me under my shirt.

~

Like a gentle breeze, she tickles me.

Caresses me so tenderly.

If only she were still alive,

Then our love could really thrive.

~

Although there’s something about our connection

Which leads me to spring a massive…

~

Affection

~

Her haunting leaves me with no objection

~

She whispers in my ear at night,

About how she died here years ago.

I wish I could have met her sooner,

Perhaps I could have been her beau.

~

And then one night I met a neighbor,

We spoke about my couple acres,

And the woman of my dreams,

The experiences creating steam,

And how she died too soon it seems…

~

It was then that he informed me,

Of the man that lived before me,

And died there on the property,

From a clot to his coronary artery.

~

Now my home is up for sale,

And when he touches me I wail.

~

Goodbye dear ghost lady of my dreams.

Congratulations, Matthew! You are the most terrible poet of the week!

All entries had twists – and sometimes twists galore! There were two major criteria in making a decision: to write with or about twists, and to compose a terrible poem. Some (I thought) had marvellous twists but were almost too good! Some were terrible but weren’t quite so strong on the twist aspect. In the end Matthew’s poem for me was just a nose ahead because the formatting was terrible – and format is part of a poem. This poem muddled bold, italic, normal, double spacing… It was impossible not to read it slowly. (Why does every poet on the blogosphere double space?) The poem also had terrible rhyme (I particularly liked “neighbor” rhyming with “acres”), rhythm, and assorted poetic devices. Congrats Matthew – your poem was terribly terrible.

The rest of the entrants are below for your general edification and enjoyment (and I didn’t do the double spacing!)

—–

Untitled piece

By Trent McDonald

On a midday dreary

My eyes were all a-teary

As I had a report to do

 

My boss, grim-tongued mastered

Was such an awful bastard

Would kick me with his shoe

 

No way could it be finished by COB

And my boss knew it, that SOB

But he still goaded me with bull poo

 

So I decided, what the heck

I tied the noose around my neck

And went to hang myself in the loo

 

But when I rose, I heard something scary

And noticed an office fairy

Writing page after page of the report, over one hundred and two

 

I was saved and wouldn’t die!

Maybe my boss wasn’t such a terrible guy

Maybe he’d give a raise too!

 

As I started to celebrate I heard the clock

Ring the bells of five o’clock

And started to feel blue

 

For I was sleeping at work, it would seem

And the help of a kindly elf was all a dream

And my career was over, it is true

 

So I dove out the window instead of the door

I might have died, but I worked on the first floor

Now I need to go work someplace new

—–

Take two

By Deb Whittam

George and Helen went up the hill,

For they sought some water????

But George fell down again

So they called the police chief’s daughter.

Her name was Carmichael,

Because that’s always the way

She was happy to come along

She was having a boring day

Suspects, there were plenty

Helen for a start

But Carmichael wasn’t going to be mislead

She’s knew these plots by heart

The priest she dismissed

He was such a craven creature

Same for the murderer

He was just looking to feature

Out went Helen, out went the lost sheep

Out went the thief,

Who claimed he’s fallen to sleep.

Carmichael had this sussed,

She called them all to announce her verdict,

It was the phantom of the opera,

For he’d just relocated and was the local hermit.

—–

Untitled piece

By Nitin

We’re looking for masculine men

Who’ll fight with lions in a den

Not church boys or skinny dudes

Who cry with each turn of their moods

We want these men for our parade

We want them to be icons who’ll never fade

Yes, yes for the big bash

Where real men eat, brawl and smash

Wee doo wee la la la woo

And some super masculine Kung fu

We doo wee la la la woo

And some hyper masculine farts in the loo

We doo wee la la la woo

And let’s kill some cows. Mooo!

Yes, we want these men for this big event

Where they’ll lie in a pink tent

Stretch, stomp, jump, skip, flex

And some super masculine muscles like T-Rex

Stretch. stomp, jump, skip, flex

And some hyper masculine gay sex!

—–

Untitled piece

By Gary

Yoda was the all seeing Jedi Knight

Yet was fooled with a hood and a dodgie light

While Luke was being the Star Wars Galahad

Who honestly thought that Vader was his dad

Bruce Willis seemed the perfect host

But ended up being a sodding Ghost

Poor Liberty Valence ended up getting shot

By John Wayne that’s a strange train of thought

The Sting was a shock when Paul and Robert copped it

But it just ended up being a gigantic counterfeit

The Village tried to fool us with a bit of double play

But it ended up being set in the Present Day

Anthony Perkins seemed such a nice chap

Yet as Mum and a psycho he got me into a flap

Seven tried so hard to subvert

By having a Box in the desert

Vertigo was Very very bleak

Judy being Madeleine was a bit of a cheek

Who in the Murder on the Orient Express would be first to admit

But what a sneaky trick to have them all do seem do it

The Wizard of Oz seemed strangely certain

Yet the wizard was a sad bloke behind a curtain

Reservoir Dogs was as cool as a soda pop

Yet sneaked in that Mr Orange was in fact a cop

Wow Scream tried smoke and mirrors

All to hide we didn’t have one but two killers

Jacobs Ladder tried to hide the thread

Hang on a moment another one who is dead

Even poor Harry Potter tried to be as shifty as a Manx Cat

I never saw Peter Pettigrew was Scabbers the Rat

 

Untitled piece

By Ruth Scribbles

My brain betrays

The intentions of my ways

I say do this

But then I do that

How can I survive

Opposite directions?

Go right he said

I turned right but

It was my other right

That he meant

If he had said go straight

I would have succeeded

But right and left

Cause many plot changes

Thank you all for entering. Go to Chelsea’s site Saturday at 10 a.m. MST for next week’s prompt.

A whinge, a whine, a whimper, and a wine

“Whinge” is such a good word that I thought I’d use it. This posting is a slight departure from the norm; hence, I haven’t given it a sequential number as per usual.

Whinge: Am I the only one on Word Press who has to log in MANY A TIME in order to give a like or a comment? It’s driving me crazy – and in fact stops me from liking and commenting. It’s not everyone’s site that does it, just some. What an annoying thing! What is its meaning? It’s only fairly recently begun to do this. I’ve cut down on the number of blogs I read, like, and comment on daily to save time and frustration.

Whine: I’ve almost finished my aim for 2019: to compose 153 pieces for the piano. I chose 153 because that’s the number of piano pieces in Béla Bartók’s Mikrokosmos. Of course, they’re not exactly up to Bartok’s standard, but I still dunnit. Despite some helpful and kind suggestions from a couple of readers, I still don’t know what to do with them. I hate to foist 153 piano pieces on my unsuspecting half dozen or so faithful followers. Even if a piano piece was surreptitiously snuck into a posting once a week it would take 3 years, by which time I’ll possibly be in a hole in Kopuatama. (Kopuatama, for those not well-read, is the name of the local cemetery). So I’m going to post the music in blocks of fifteen now and again, provided no one feels compelled to listen to them out of a sense of friendship and loyalty. Relatively low self-esteem was always one of my finer hallmarks – which probably accounts for the fact that I’ve only once sent my brilliant post-modern novel manuscript to a publisher. (I think the publisher has since died, and can only hope that my MS was the cause of it).

One of these is Bartók

Whimper: Last Spring (it’s a cold Autumn here in New Zealand now) I was unable to find any globe artichoke plants in any plant shop. Being particularly partial to artichokes, and given the exorbitant expense of buying canned artichoke hearts, I planted a packet of artichoke seeds. Artichokes require a coldish winter. I had 32 seeds germinate, and planted then around the garden. They are a lovely structural plant anyway with gorgeous thistle-like edible purple flowers. The artichokes have flourished. Each single plant takes up several square yards. I’ve never had them so big. Imagine 32 gigantic plants. There’s no room even for a humble carrot, and I haven’t the heart to pull any out! Roll on Spring with its promised feast! I’ll just nip out now and get you a photo!

Here is one of 32!

Wine: My car died just on 12 months ago. Death came suddenly and in the middle of a busy highway. I phoned the Automobile Association and in an effort to ascertain where exactly I was I opened the car door and the dog leaped out onto the road. Picture, if you will, me on the phone (the only time I’ve ever used my mobile) dashing between roaring articulated trucks and trailers in an effort to catch the dog. We are both lucky to be alive. The whinge part however, is that I haven’t yet been able to replace the car! I was to be paid for months of work this past week, but the money has not yet arrived. Getting a car is top of my list, as I’ve been borrowing an old truck every time I run out of wine groceries. Contemporary used cars seem to come in 50 shades of grey – I will certainly be looking for something more titivating than 50 shades of grey (colour being the only thing I know about automobiles).

My dead car being taken away

That concludes this collection of whinges, whines, whimpers, and wine. Thank you for reading, and please feel welcome to leave comments – whether sharp or blunt.

Award 20: The Terrible Poetry Contest

This is not an award as such but the writer of this blog has won the Terrible Poetry Contest three times. My special thanks to Chelsea who initiated and manages such a fabulous event.

Each time the poems seems to get badder and worser. Such inspiring brilliance emanating from my writing device perhaps stems from an anonymous poem which was my favourite in my teens (and possibly still is):

What a wonderful bird the frog are
When he walk he fly almost
When he sing he cry almost
He ain’t got no tail hardly either.
He sit on what he ain’t got almost.

Being thrice the winner of such a notable thing as the Terrible Poetry Contest has prompted me to reflect upon other highly successful moments in my life of seventy years. There have been so many fabulous successes that I barely know where to start.

1. Rugby coach. Many years ago, when I coached rugby, the team had won every game in the rugby-playing season. There was only one game left to play to make it an “unbeaten season”. We arrived at the playing field to compete against Newlands College. My team came to me and protested: “They’ve stacked their team with better players who are not in their usual team.”

“Don’t worry,” says I. “Just beat them. Victory will be so much sweeter.”

After a very long game no points had been scored. And then in the last minute, Newlands College scored some points. Have you ever driven a bus home with 20 or so eighteen year old men bawling their eyes out? “Don’t be silly,” says I, “it’s just a game.” But on arrival home I shut the door and had a good cry myself.

2. Just recently my local village ran a competition. The village is called “Stratford” so every street is named after something from Shakespeare: Prospero Place, Romeo Road, Ariel Street, and so on. Four new streets were waiting to be named. There was a monetary reward for the person who came up with the best suggestion. Not only, the blurb said, should the name be connected with Shakespeare, but it should also if possible have something to do with the history of the village.

I came up with the perfect suggestion! In fact, it was so perfect that I spent the reward money on firewood ahead of the winning announcement.

My suggestion was “Arden Street”. Not only was Mary Arden William Shakespeare’s mother’s name, but “As You Like it” was set in the Forest of Arden, and a hitherto unknown-authored play – “Arden of Faversham” – had just been declared as “now known with certitude to have been written by the Bard”. On the local front, an early settler in the village here was Joseph Arden whose landscape paintings hang in galleries up and down the country.

I had certainly thought up a winner. Anyway the local town council chose Midsummer Street. Thank goodness I’m not a bad loser. They can shove their stupid midsummer pile of crap up their noses for all I care, the bat-poo infested, snot-ridden creeps.

3. Around about 1957 the local rural schools of the area held a combined festival. There were all sorts of categories that the primary school students could be involved in. I chose the event “Design a carpet pattern”. I drew on paper around several things from my school bag and coloured them in. And there! On exhibition day! The twenty or so entered carpet designs were pinned on a large display board. There was 1st place, 2nd place, and 3rd place – with two “Highly Commended” designs. Mine was highly commended!! I never saw that they made a carpet out of it but I wouldn’t be at all surprised.

Years later, when I lived in St-Victor, Quebec, a number of my friends worked as fabric designers for curtains, bedspreads, and so on. I never told them they were talking to an award-winning carpet designer. They would’ve been so jealous.

That about takes care of all my successes in life. Thanks again to Chelsea for initiating and keeping the Terrible Poetry Contest. Do visit.

And as an Addendum: If you have sort of enjoyed reading this, don’t hesitate to nominate me for any Blogging Award that comes your way, deserved or not. Despite the naming of Midsummer Street, it seems to be raining here a good deal of the time and I’m stuck inside with little to do other than create terrible poems and compose award acceptance blogs such as this.

I hope your days are as filled with stunning accomplishments as mine.

Award 19: Liebster Award right Herr

The Liebster Award seems to be one of the most enduring blog awards. I was delighted to receive it from Chelsea Ann Owens. Chelsea’s blog covers many aspects. My favourite bit of her blog however is the weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. The “terrible” applies to the poetry and not to the award! It’s great fun to enter and to read some purposely intended bad poetry. Some people don’t have to try very hard.

There are five questions to answer when accepting this award. So without further ado I shall oblige.

1. Would you rather sleep in on Sunday, and would a cat sitting on your face change that answer?

That’s two questions! Quite frankly, I hate sleeping in on any day. I get out of bed every morning between 3 and 4 o’clock, so come breakfast time (around 8) there’s already 4 to 5 hours of “work” under my belt. It’s as if those morning hours are free – others sleep while I forge ahead. Early rising stems from a lifetime of having to get up to “milk the cows”. There’s no cows to milk now, but the habit of a lifetime remains. The cows however still hover near my fence.

Regarding the cat… the cat is 13 years old and for thirteen years has slept on my head. In fact, 13 years ago, when just a kitten, she would creep over from the neighbours at night and snuggle up in my bed. I was drastically poor at the time and rented as cheap a house as I could find. The house had no insulation and no source of heating. I’m sure I would have perished from cold if the cat hadn’t nightly snuggled up. When I left that wretched house the cat came too. Together, since then, we have moved 8 times. She goes for a walk with the dog every day, and complains loudly all the way.

One thing we don’t need to use in New Zealand are cat harnesses. There are no wolves, coyotes, snakes, mountain lions, or any form of cat-eater. So my cat goes in and out the cat door at whim. She covers a territory of several square miles. AND she has the wonderfully creative name of… Pussy Cat.

2. Given an infinite number of monkeys and typewriters, how soon before they realise typewriters are outdated and they’ll need to learn sign language?

Living in Djibouti we had a monkey, called Arthur. He was orphaned when his mother was run over by an army truck. He would sleep in a baby’s bassinet (I think some countries call it a cradle?) under the blankets with his little head poking out – just like a human.

Not Arthur

He was a quick learner. Noticing that we took our shoes off before entering the house and carrying them inside to place in a closet, he soon helped by taking the shoes at the door and putting them away. Whenever visitors came to leave they would discover their shoes were missing. Aha! They were always arranged in neat little rows in the closet!

When Arthur came with us to town he would ride on the back of the dog, like a noble horseman. He loved being the centre of the much attention he caused.

Sadly, Arthur couldn’t use a typewriter so the question remains unanswered.

3. What is the best paper aeroplane design?

Whenever I taught secondary school students I would hold an annual paper dart competition to see whose dart would fly the greatest distance. Of course I organised it because I knew I would always win! The secret of a good dart is not sleekness and speed; rather it’s being able to float quietly through the air without turning a corner. A gentle throw of the right design will go an enormous distance. It’s festina lente in another guise.

I’m more than aware that a wordy description of the design (without diagrams) is what is called for. It is almost an impossibility! That is why in the paper-dart teaching days, the students were challenged to write down their dart-making instructions WITHOUT pictures. Some did rather well. I’m not going to try.

Ok – specially made just for you

Years and years ago I wrote a pretty successful play called Balloons (it was so long ago that I had to look the title up just now). It involved sequences of Churchill’s and Hitler’s war time speeches while a HUGE number of paper darts were thrown in all directions. It always took a long time to clean up the mess.

4. Who would win in a duel: chocolate volcano cake or bananas foster?

I had to look up both chocolate volcano cake and bananas foster. That shows the sort of childhood I had. One would hope these days that in a duel they’d both knock each other out.

Only yesterday I got all experimental in the kitchen and said I was going to make a dessert I’d never tried before. There’s this huge tome of recipes The Australian Women’s Weekly Recipe Book. Every recipe in it seems excellent. So it was with a great deal of excitement that I ventured to create this tart. Well, what a disaster. I may as well have served up cardboard. Thank goodness for ice cream. It’s times like these one would wish for a chocolate volcano cake or a bananas foster.

5. If you could choose one magical power, what powers would everyone else have?

I must admit that I don’t really understand the question, so as a departure from my usual stance I shall briefly prattle on about nothing. There’s no such thing as Magic, of course. You oft hear it said that if you believe something it will happen. It’s to do with motivation. It’s to do with oomph. Well I’d just like to say that fat people are no good at the pole vault no matter how much they believe in themselves. Having said that, I’ve never made it past the first 20 pages of any Harry Potter book. I find it boring, wordy, and asphyxiating!

To sum up: a favourite quotation is from Napoleon Bonaparte: If you want to take Vienna, take Vienna.

Magic! 

Incidentally (and apparently it’s true) there was a time in France when it was illegal to hang a picture above the fireplace of Napoleon. Hence, to get around it, the shape of the mantle clock is the shape of Napoleon’s hat.

 

Now to nominate a couple of others. Here lies the crunch: I don’t nominate. But what I do is to point out some blogs I like so that those who haven’t discovered them already may wish to do so. Many blogs are award-free – hence I’m not nominating – just pointing out. I’m not going to mention “old” friends so don’t feel bad and left out…

1. Ryan Impink – Ryan labours away writing these stories for not a huge expanse of the world’s population. I find his stories riveting and excellent and generally short.

2. River Dixon – River knows how to write a good poem that cuts to the quick.

I’ve just realised how few friends I have! Oh well…

Thanks for taking the time to ruminate.

Award 18: Noble Pries for Littering

With the shocking dearth of awards going around on WordPress, that is, the shocking plenitude of awards NOT going around, I have decided to once again nominate myself for a worthy accolade. Congratulations to myself on receiving the Noble Pries for Littering. I am not worthy, surely.

I am indeed honoured and humbled by this award, which unfortunately carries no monetary value.

There are a number of very strict rules when accepting this award.
1. You must NOT nominate anyone else.
2. If you have recently moved house, you must post pictures of where you live for the gratification of those who have not the slightest interest in your living arrangements.
3. Feel free to blather on about nothing.

So here goes:
1. (Done!)

2. As can be seen from these photos, if I were to be reincarnated I would definitely come back as a solipsist. In fact I might even establish a Solipsist Society and invite like people to join.

Here is my view to the north:

1184storyadaya

Here is my view to the south:

1184storyadayb

Here is my view to the east:

1184storyadayc

Here is my view to the west:

1184storyadayd

Here is a photograph of my mail box:

1184storyadaye

As you can see, tourists to the area who are looking for the nearest volcano are told to “Just keep driving once you pass Bruce Goodman’s red mail box.”

Here is a view of my house, lest you think I live in a tent:

1184storyadayf

Whoops! Wrong one! Here is the right one. You may have deduced: I am not a town person.

1184storyadayg

3. I have nothing to blather on about, more’s the pity. What an interesting phrase is “more’s the pity”! It’s worth a goggle gloggle giggle gliggle gloogle google. Have a lovely day!

 

AAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!

aah

I can deal (at times) with all sorts of computer languages, but I can’t see how to re-blog on WordPress! Anyway, when one is all nervous and shaky and excited, how is it possible to calmly find a re-blog button? The truth of the matter is:

MY NOVEL HAS BEEN REVIEWED!!!! HERE!!!

The review is worth a read just to savour the wondrous writing skills of the reviewer: Uma Shankar. His blog is well-worth savouring – he writes stories, poems, reviews, and translates into English poetry from Hindi. It’s a delight to read a review composed with more aplomb than that being reviewed!!

So I’m posting this connection to his blog not only by way of thanks for the review, but to give others the opportunity to experience and enjoy his considerable literary skills!

Thank you, Uma.

Award 17: The Best Award-Free Blog

self3

It’s quite some time since I received an award for my blog, so I was delighted to see I had awarded myself the Self-Gifted Accolade for the Best Award-Free Blog. To make things doubly pleasurable, my blog is not actually an award-free blog. I accept awards with a passion. Strictly speaking this blog is not able to receive the Self-Gifted Accolade for the Best Award-Free Blog. But I accept it humbly nonetheless, and without a murmur, in a matter similar to an American citizen receiving an honorary knighthood from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of England. Congratulations to me!

There are a number of requirements that must be done in order to receive this award:

a). Wish everyone a nice day.

b). Answer a series of questions (I have omitted a good number of the questions because of their overly intimate nature).

c). Give a link to your novel if you have one and if it’s online. (If you haven’t written one then conceivably it will not be online.)

Requirement a):

Have a nice day! Everyone!

self1

Requirement b):

Question 1: Who invented the steam engine that operates on the principle of a pressure difference created by a vacuum on one side of the piston to push the steam piston down with the cylinder remaining hot at all times with valves permitting the steam to flow into a separate condenser and then condensate and get pumped along with any gases using the air pump?

Answer 1 (to be said aloud): What? (Get it?)

self4

Question 272: If you had all the money in the world, what coloured car would you drive around in?

Answer 272 (this may be said silently to save embarrassment): You couldn’t buy a car and have all the money in the world, silly. You wouldn’t have all the money in the world because the used car salesman would have some as well.

self2

Question 3082 (this is the final question thank goodness): Where are you going to hang this award?

Answer 3082: Hang on a minute.

Requirement c):

self5

My novel is called A Passing Shower. It is free to read. Two or three people have read it and said they liked it. (No doubt there are others who have read it and didn’t like it but they’re not saying). Ten years ago I sent it to a prestigious New York publisher who phoned me three times about it and said he had kept it on his desk for 8 weeks and constantly reread it, unsure what to do because he thought it “extraordinary” and that it should be published. In the end it was not published, but he said I wouldn’t have any trouble finding a willing publisher. I was so excited that I never sent it to anyone else.  I did try here in New Zealand to find a publisher to send it to, but they all asked the same question: who is your agent? When I tried to get an agent they all asked the same question: who is your publisher? One New Zealand agent did answer in an enthusiastic manner: “I suspect your novel would annoy the shit out of me”. Bewildered, I posted the novel online. It might be worth digging into to see if it “annoys the shit” out of you!

It’s rather frustrating because had the novel been published I would have written another! And another! And I would probably have the Nobel Prize for Literature by now, instead of this crumby Self-Gifted Accolade for the Best Award-Free Blog! A pox on this award which I accept from myself with a great deal of reluctance. The novel can be found HERE!