Category Archives: bad poetry

haiku acrostic, acrostic haiku

Here are two short poems:
1.

Hallmarks of these lines comprise
Allusion, evocation and expression
Impressions of nature and sensation
Kept short in sound, long in symbol
Using a constrained scheme

2.

planted rows of words
reveal another pattern
sprouting in the fore

A couple of days ago, I solicited suggestions and requests for things to post to help blow me out of my blogging doldrums, and said that I would respond to them in the order received. Sally was first in line and gave a lovely list of suggestions.¹ First on her list was a request for either a haiku or an acrostic. As you may well be aware, it is often hard for me to choose one or the other when “both” seems an equally valid choice. So I decided to do one of each form, but made each one be about the other type.

Craving more? I seem to have a shocking shortage of haiku in my archives, but I was terribly tickled that Ally Bean recently composed a haiku for/about me². You should go read it.

I did once make another acrostic, which was also rather meta. I’ve played around with other poetry forms, too, usually in response to a Monday Mission³. You can find a tanka, and another tanka in the form of a tanga, as
well as a villanelle (about pants). To see other less structured instantiations of my bad poetry, check out my tag “bad poetry.” I find such exercises fun, given my general love of playing with words.

¹ Up next, I will probably hit the first item off the next commenter’s list, and then run through the commenters a second time for their next items on their lists. If you have not already done so, I’d love a comment from you on my last post to suggest another post theme. The more the merrier!
² It was as a prize for getting an answer right in one of her posts.
³ Monday Missions are a now-dormant group blogging activity that I enjoyed.

cheesy valentine


Heart of cheese.

Roses are red,
Roquefort is blue
Actually, it’s more of a green
But this photo’s of provolone, anyway.

Monday’s efforts to amuse

    Another Monday Mission’s come-
    Can’t think of what to write.
    Realizing this may seem dumb,
    Or maybe somewhat trite.
    Should I just post some tripe and run?
    Type nonsense (that’s the gist).
    In just a moment I’ll be done…
    Cross this one off the list.

—-

Today’s Monday Mission, in case you hadn’t guessed, was to write a post in the form of an acrostic. I decided to go all meta on you.

I seem to have come down with a case of crankiness. (I’m not sure where I caught it. Since I know how contagious it is, though, I’ll try to keep my distance.)

In my crankiness, though, I kept thinking about the acrostic message that “accidentally” came through in a veto memo from Arnold Schwarzenegger, also known as the Governator of California.

For more (less cranky) acrostics, stop by Painted Maypole.

a chance for pants

    Every time I have the chance
    While some may think it’s whack
    I’ll write a post involving pants

    Let the kitchen swarm with ants
    Leave the laundry on the rack
    Every time I have the chance

    I give my work a sideways glance
    I may catch a lot of flak
    I’ll write a post involving pants

    Humming lines from Safety Dance
    I’ll type away upon my Mac
    Every time I have the chance

    I’ll not read a bad romance
    Nor journal papers in their stack
    I’ll write a post involving pants

    Though others look at me askance
    I swear I’m not on crack
    Every time I have the chance
    I’ll write a post involving pants

—————

These pants are dedicated, in loving memory, to my friend Elizabeth, whose claim that pants was the funniest word in the English language first introduced me to the humorous powers of pants. Your pants will never be forgotten, dear friend.

The form of this post is a villanelle, a style of poetry, and the assignment of today’s Monday Mission. Please pay a visit to Painted Maypole to see who else has chosen to accept this mission. Painted herself has told me that she has a poem up, also with the theme of pants. (Painted penned a poem of pants.)

Today also marks the third anniversary of this blog. It seemed only fitting that it should wear plenty of pants today.

pb165587

Monday momentum

scurrying2

This task was completed as part of the Monday Missions. This week’s assignment was to post in the form of a tanga or a nonnet. Like Painted Maypole, the illustrious MM taskmaster herself, I put together a tanka tanga. And like Painted, I’m also hoping I’ll get around to trying my hand at the nonnet.

we can dance (if we want to)

Today is May Day¹, a holiday which many celebrate by dancing around the maypole. I don’t have a maypole, but I may dance around the living room with Phoebe. Perhaps while listening to Safety Dance³.

As Painted Maypole pointed out last year, the video for Safety Dance features a maypole. (Also Morris Dancing. I probably won’t attempt to Morris dance with Phoebe.)


(You can see slightly better quality video at the MTV site here).

Painted Maypole, who has adopted May Day as her blog’s official holiday, offers a whole host of other May Day activities and photos of her own festivities.
monmiss2-1

She also entreated us to compose a May Day poem or song for this week’s Monday Mission. I struggled with this assignment, but
inspiration finally struck, and happily without causing serious injury.⁴ Here is my May Day tanka⁵:

    the maypole beckons
    revelers frolicking ’round
    bright ribbons entwined
    you can dance if you want to
    you can leave your friends behind
Dancing 'round the maypole in the video for Safety Dance by Men Without Pants. I mean Hats.

Dancing 'round the maypole in the video for Safety Dance by Men Without Pants. I mean Hats.

¹ Today is also No Pants Day, an event I can’t really get behind with all of its dangerously anti-pants propaganda

² We can (wear) pants if we want to!

³ Safety Dance is one of Phoebe’s favorite songs, and will sometimes ask to hear it over and over again. She requested it at the wedding we went to in March, and cried when she learned we’d only get to hear it the one time.

⁴ I wasn’t sure where to fit this in, but I learned that May Day, as a distress call, is actually based on m’aider from the French phrase venez m’aider, meaning “come rescue my sorry ass.”

⁵ I was introduced to the Tanka form by girlgriot, who stunningly wrote a tanka a day for the entire month of April.

weaving out of control

overwhelmed and under pressure
buckling under, in over my head
fruitflies overtake an underripe banana

overeducated and underdressed
chronic overachiever feeling snowed under
underestimated tasks, schedule overloaded
commitments overlapping and under the gun
time to shave underarms when hell freezes over

overwrought and under attack
hot under the collar I overreact
overeasy eggs have undercooked yolks

overextended and underfunded
tree branches overhang, basement floor under water
the undergrowth is overgrown
overdue bills crackle under foot
in under the roof, squirrels overrun the attic

overprivileged and underproductive
an overstuffed sofa cushion under my butt
get over yourself and get underway
the monkey’s overboard and the undertow pulls

overtired and under the weather
overconfidence getting undermined
soft underbelly feels overexposed
overanxious thoughts swept under the carpet
laundry overflowing and no clean underwear

overwritten and underwhelming
an overzealous undertaking
overblown metaphors from under my hat
overcooked pasta with underseasoned sauce

flower power

Today is the first day of May, or May Day. Since I haven’t found an opportunity to dance around a maypole, I’ll present this flower-themed ThThTh to you as a sort of virtual May basket.

a bunch of flowers

  • “April showers bring May flowers.” An expression that makes reference to the frequency of rain in the month of April (in the Northern hemisphere, at least), and the Spring flowers that benefit from the watering. It has the meaning “Some unpleasant occurrences bring about better things.”
  • Flower children: a term for hippies, based on their tendencies to wear flowers as symbols of peace and love.
  • morning glory

  • Victorian Language of Flowers. A means of sending messages during the Victorian era. Specific flowers or colors of flowers had specific meanings attached for the recipient to decode. For example, a lobelia meant “malevolence” and a morning glory meant “love in vain.”
  • (s)he loves me, (s)he loves me not: a tradition of plucking the petals off a flower to determine whether one is loved. For each petal, the plucker alternates saying, eg. “he loves me” and “he loves me not.” The final petal, and which of the two phrases is slated to be spoken as it is plucked, establishes or refutes the love being questioned.
  • “Roses are Red.” A short poem (with many variants), sometimes used in Valentine’s Day cards. For example:

    Roses are red, violets are blue
    Honey is sweet, and so are you.

    I like this one better:

    Roses are red, violets are blue
    Some poems rhyme
    But this one doesn’t

  • American Beauty (1999) A movie with Kevin Spacey, which features rose gardening. It also has the famous dream scene with Mena Suvari in a pile of rose petals. (Why did I think it was Heather Graham? I guess it’s been a while.) American Beauty is also the name of a variety of roses¹
  • “Edelweiss” A song about the small white Alpine flower that is widely believed to be a traditional folksong, but was actually written by Rodgers and Hammerstein for the musical “The Sound of Music.”

    Edelweiss, Edelweiss
    Every morning you greet me
    Small and white, clean and bright
    You look happy to meet me

  • blue bonnet poppycarnationsunflower

  • El Seed from the animated Tick series. A megavillain who is an anthropomorphic sunflower. (The name is a play on El Cid.)
  • Certain poppies are used to produce opiates (opium and heroine). Poppies also have a drugging effect in the field of poppies from the Wizard of Oz. Dorothy and her companions (at least those that are mammals) are drugged to sleep when they enter a field of poppies. (Here’s the corresponding book chapter.)
  • The Orchid Thief: A non-fiction book by Susan Orlean about a man who illegally collects rare wild orchids. The movie Adaptation (2002) is in part about this story, and in part about the process of adapting a book into a screenplay.
  • Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister. Gregory Maguire‘s second novel for adults². This reinterpretation of the Cinderella fairytale is set in 17th century Holland during the peak (and then crash) of the tulip craze.
  • Carnation: In the Avengers series, Steed would typically wear a carnation in his buttonhole. Characters in various fictional stories, especially spy stories, will wear a red carnation in order that they may be identified by someone who doesn’t otherwise know their appearance.
  • “Dennis Moore,” the Monty Python episode where a bumbling Robin Hood-type character steals lupins from the rich to give to the poor. “Your lupins or your life!”

  • ——
    ¹ There are so many rose-related things out there, including several fairy tale rose references, that I could easily do a list just of roses. I probably will at some point down the line. Consider this a token rose for now.)

    ² He had written several young adult/kids’ novels before writing Wicked.)

    flower images: source

    no damn cat, no damn hat

    So I sat on my ass
    All this cold dreary day
    And I said “How I wish
    I had more time to play.”

    No time to write posts
    That are well thought-out rants,
    No time to write lists
    about movies with pants.

    So I all I can do is to
    Bitch,
            whine
                    and moan
    And each time the phone rings
    Shout “leave me alone!”

    No damn cat came in wanting
    To show me his “things”
    But the living room’s trashed
    And the bathtub’s got rings

    Glued to the keyboard
    With deadlines a-loomy
    The house is a mess
    And my mood is all gloomy.

    I should do my work now
    While the clocks say it’s lating
    But this is a fun way
    Of procrastinating.

    ——
    I couldn’t resist this week’s Monday Mission, which asked for a post in the style of a children’s book or poem.