I’ve been bad. I’ve been goofing off having fun in Santa Fe instead of writing new stories or even writing this blog. The only thing I have been writing has also been BAD—bad poetry, that is. Writing deliberately bad poetry is just SO MUCH FUN.

I’ve already shared some of my intentionally bad poetry in my video rendition of “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud.” But General Store Publishing House got me hooked on writing more with its Spring Bad Poetry contest. Then literary agent Chip MacGregor ran his annual bad poetry contest and I couldn’t stop myself from writing this (sadly unrequited) love poem to George Clooney (more specifically, to the cleft in George Clooney’s chin).

In case you think writing bad poetry is too low-brow, note that even Columbia University’s Philolexian Society has been sponsoring a bad poetry contest since 1986.

Then it hit me: Why should these other websites be having all the fun hosting bad poetry? My readers can write stuff that’s bad too—maybe even “badder”! So the challenge is on.

Can you write some squirmingly sentimental, over-the-top awful, bad poetry? The worst of the worst you send (which of course means the poem that best tickles the funny bones of our three renowned judges—all of whom insist on remaining anonymous) will win a copy of Beaver Bluff: The Librarian Stories to keep the laughs going.

Entry fee is FREE–with a wee request in support of a good cause. I recently learned that Canadian humorist Gordon Kirkland is dying for lack of a liver transplant suited to his rare blood type. I don’t know Gordon Kirkland personally, but I’ve enjoyed his work. As a humorist myself, I know what it takes to make others laugh so I know Gordon has worked hard to brighten our days. If you can find it in your heart or your wallet to support the fundraiser for Gordon, here’s how. If you can’t contribute, maybe you could share that link with someone who can. At minimum, perhaps our bad poetry will make Gordon smile. Laughter is good medicine—even for those waiting on a miracle.

If you need to prime your poetry-writing pump by reading some bad poetry, check out some of the hilarious submissions on Chip MacGregor’s blog. Then give it your best—I mean worst—shot. You can paste your bad poetry into the Comments section below (inappropriate material will be deleted). If you prefer that your effort not be posted unless it wins or you want to submit a video entry, send it along by email.

You have the rest of May to submit your bad poetry. If you’re inspired, send several submissions. I’ll announce a winner June 1st. Have fun! (And if you happen to know George Clooney’s email address, please send him a link to my unrequited love poem. Maybe he’ll be smitten–and REQUITE. 🙂 )

19 Responses to Bad Poetry – Good Cause

  1. Harvey Jenkins says:

    Asimov started all this talk
    about the three laws of robotics –
    human beings must not come to harm.
    A female voice intones if a seat belt’s forgotten
    but, when our son speeds past houses and trees
    while texting on a cell phone,
    the car hums along with nary a word;
    no demands to keep his eyes on the road,
    to stop steering with his knees!

  2. In this bowling lane called life,
    I felt knocked over, until
    you came along offering love
    and my heart opened like an accordion,
    the two of us singing like tree frogs,
    happy at last, until
    you spotted another, a younger version
    of me and left me flat as a pancake,
    no spatula to pick me up.
    No butter melting on my crumbled heart.

    • judymillar says:

      Your heart opening like an accordion, and then crumbling in the kitchen like that! Truly tragic! 🙂 Thanks, Mary Ann!

  3. Harvey says:

    I was blindsided by love
    when I saw you stop talking
    as I entered the room –
    I saw your eyes, like green
    orbs, look at me and the birds
    in a living room’s bird cage
    shouted their song, bees hummed
    over shimmering fields of clover.
    I approached to hear you speak
    but realized you were looking
    beyond me at another man
    who also darkened the door
    so I slipped from the room
    and a pigeon pooped on my shoulder.

  4. Leanne McIntosh says:

    The Waste of a Ford’s Good Back Seat

    The night is cool and rather chilly,
    the scenery green but wet and hilly,
    the guy I’m with polite and pilly.
    Now isn’t this just too, too silly?

  5. Harvey says:

    I am the best man
    but second best
    standing with my brother
    who stole your heart
    then borrowed my car
    to take you away
    on a honeymoon
    far away to the stars
    away from gravity
    that weights me down
    like Chris Hadfield
    who returned to earth
    but now must learn
    to walk again.

    • Andrew Brown says:

      Beatin’ John Beaton

      You wanted a poem of complete and utter crap
      if it were a tree, it would be oozing yucky sap
      into which I would step in the garden as I dug
      and then I’d track it inside to the living room rug.

      Look here, I’ve made such a horrible mess
      and will have to clean this sap up, no less,
      before my good wife arrives back home
      to see what I’ve done while left all alone.

      Oh, why didn’t I slip off my shoes at the door
      instead of creating a mess she’ll abhor?
      I’d better get to it and clean it right now
      before she gets home and has a big cow!

      So into the cleaning cupboard I reach
      and come out with a bottle of very strong bleach.
      The sap on the the rug is sticky and strong-
      I guess I should pour it directly right on?

      I rub and I scrub till the sap is all gone-
      but now another thing has gone wrong!
      A spot on the rug of bleached out white
      is ever so noticable in this afternoon light.

      If this were a film it would be a damn movie
      so bad it would have to star George Clooney.
      But alack and alas, it’s actually my real life
      and now I’ll be in trouble with my real life wife.

      Unless, I can figure out how to save the day-
      Oh God, please show me- there must be a way.
      Blast that white spot on the rug by the couch!
      That’s it! I’ve got it! I’ve been such a slouch.

      You’ll pardon me for stretching this rhyme
      but as you can see, I’ve run out of time!
      The solution I came up with is ever so simple
      that it made me smile creating a dimple

      on my face just as cute as George Clooney’s cleft.
      But enough of that now, there’s not much time left-
      I grunt and I groan with the couch that I shifted
      to cover the spot where the colour got lifted.

      And now this bad poem has come to an end,
      I’ll put it on email and ‘REPLY ALL’ to friends
      despite Judy’s request to put it on her blog-
      I’ll return to the garden and continue to slog.

      Andrew Brown
      May 17, 2013

      • judymillar says:

        Oozing yucky sap? Yup, I’d say so. (For another take on “crap,” check out Collie Boy’s entry.) Thanks, Andrew. 🙂

  6. Collie Boy says:

    Doggy Breath

    A dog’s breath smells of doggy butt.
    and he thinks I am some sort of nut
    when I am offended by his tongue
    ’cause he’s been licking other’s dung.

    By Collie Boy

  7. Jazz Smekal says:

    Cliché Touché

    My neighbor is a thorn in my side.
    His grass is always greener
    and grows like a weed, while my
    garden grows at a snail’s pace,
    and then goes to seed.

    I don’t mean to open up a can of worms
    and spill the beans,
    but I won’t beat around the bush.
    I must say that this guy, who ain’t
    no spring chicken, was leading
    a certain grass widow,
    (the apple of my eye),
    right down the garden path.
    But when he tried to sow
    his wild oats, she dropped him
    like a hot potato, which really
    upset his applecart.

    Today, fresh as a daisy
    and cool as a cucumber, I
    turned over a new leaf, so to speak.
    After all, you have to separate the chaff
    from the wheat, and make hay while the sun shines.
    I didn’t let the grass grow under my feet,
    hit pay dirt with the widow,
    and now that everything’s coming up roses,
    my neighbour’s green with envy.

    Jazz Smekal

  8. Sharron says:


    Thou still unravish’d eyesore on my mantel
    No passing cat nor errant elbow hast dislodged
    In spite of my most fervent prayers.
    Puce tendrils and misshapen leaves
    Wrap about your squat and bulbous form.
    A ghastly thing, more hideous with time.
    How came thee to disturb my classical décor?
    What evil motive from yon mother-in-law
    Led her to gleefully present
    This atrocity to me?

    There is no escape from that baleful pot
    On full display for all who visit me
    Should I dare remove it, I would be shot
    Most glaring looks by said matriarch.
    Oh, how lovingly did I search Crate and Barrel
    For each memento to my own good taste
    Now all is ruined by this atrocity.
    “Beauty is truth, truth beauty” – said the poet.
    There is neither in this barbaric thing
    But torture for my tormented eye!

  9. Harvey says:

    Hair Brush

    Together we scratched our heads
    and faced the dermatologist
    heading our Dry Scalp group.
    He showed us such deep concern
    for our dry hair plight;
    said it would be alright
    then told the lot of us –
    do not use fancy shampoos
    to stop all the white flakes
    from drifting down to our shoes,
    buy a good brush and then brush
    whatever hair you’ve got;
    create natural oils for your scalp
    and feed each hair strand
    while removing dirt and dust .

    I took his advice and found
    the perfect item I could trust,
    a wild boar course hair brush.

    Now I multi-task when I can;
    brush every dark strand that stands
    on this head of mine – move
    each curl about as I watch TV,
    only rest when I have a guest
    then brush with renew vigor
    to make up for lost time.
    But I check the mirror and realize
    my hair looks like a greasy rat’s nest.