Tag Archives: terrible poetry

High Plains Drifter

terriblepoetry_warning

I’m feeling destructively productive today – or to put it another way, I’m irresponsibly putting off doing all the practical things I need to do before going away to hold my daughter’s hand while she’s in labour. After all, why do today what you can regret not having done today, tomorrow? Oh yes, I’m in the grip of madness, alright.

Having already written one Terrible Poem this week, please forgive me if this little effort is no worse than mediocre; I seem to have used up most of this week’s supply of Terrible Poetification. This time, my poem is for the current Terrible Poetry Contest. Apologies to Chelsea for wasting her time; I know this rhyme doesn’t achieve the required extremes of cringiness, but I couldn’t resist…

This week’s specifics:

  1. The Topic‘s The Old West. Or, do The New West. Heck, do Midwest if that’s how you ride. Think of a song to sing on a campfire-smoke night, a shout to yell at those darn coyotes, or a rhyme to a cowboy from his sweetheart back home.
  2. Length is up to you, but many a cowpoke will doze off mid-ride if the trail gets too long.
  3. Rhymin’s up to you, partner.
  4. Most importan’ly, Make ‘er terrible. I don’t wanna see yer sorry hide back here till it is.
  5. Many a rough-rider can have a rough tongue, but sometimes lady folk read this blog. Keep yer comments to a civilized PG-13.

 

A drifter came whose hooded eyes
bore a hole through town-folks faces
and though the distant cloudless skies
revealed no darkening, shadowed traces,
and dusty streets withheld a warning,
the tides of change were set that morning.

Puffed up folks with secret past
came dressed up all respectable,
but in his soul, his truth held fast
he knew they were despicable.
They placed a star upon his chest
and paid him well to do his best.

He vowed that he would free the gang
of an opposing, greedy clan,
then chose a stunted, clownish man
as deputy, to serve his private plan.
Yet no-one but this man could see
the mist that held a mystery.

Though no-one guessed his hidden aim
his friend came close and boldly did say
“Stranger, you never spoke your name.”
The drifter squinted and turned away
towards the boneyard on the hill,
where recall held his gaze so still.

The townsfolk rallied to his call
to learn to shoot a rifle straight;
he fooled the people one and all,
and then he ordered scarlet paint.
They dipped their brushes when he said
that they should paint the buildings red.

A heavy gang rode down the hill,
and stared upon a scarlet joke.
They came to raid and maim and kill;
amid the mayhem, the foreshortened bloke
recalled the townsfolk’s shameful past
and recognised the drifter at last.

Some years before, one rain drenched night
a man was beaten in the square.
Although he begged with all his might,
he could find no mercy there.
Declared as dead, they buried him
beneath the bone-yard on the hill.

Corpse and drifter were one and the same;
vengeance was wrought by the man with no name.

high plais drifter

©Jane Paterson Basil

Yellow newlyweds and greedy breeders

ATTENTION! ATTENTION!

THESE POEMS WERE GENERATED

BY A CRAZY MACHINE.

NOT BY ME!

While I was searching for a useful tool for helping to shape concrete poetry (which seems to have vanished without trace) I found a free poem generator, so just for fun, I gave it a go. After selecting the free verse option I was asked to type in three words. The generator chewed on my words for a moment, then requested a further three, related to three new words it had spat back at me.

In no time at all it coughed out this strange list of phrases:

Greed

The drive that’s really climb,
Above all others is the ardent ambition.
Artistic, ardent ambition.
Does the ardent ambition make you shiver?
does it?

An astonishing avidity, however hard it tries,
Will always be eagerness.
Does the astonishing avidity make you shiver?
does it?

Better breeding is multiplying.
multiplying is better breeding.
Does the better breeding make you shiver?
does it?

Anyone who knows me well will be aware that I go in for overkill. Here’s the hilarious second poem it wrote for me, inspired by a different set of word prompts. I expected it to be romantic…

Marriage

A wonderful wedding, however hard it tries,
Will always be celebration.
Wonderful wedding.
Does the wonderful wedding make you shiver?
does it?

The unify that’s really married,
Above all others is the warm wed.
Now ringed is just the thing,
To get me wondering if the warm wed is marital.

yellow, nervous newlyweds sings like romantics
Nervous newlyweds are yellowish. nervous newlyweds are irrational,
nervous newlyweds are chickenhearted, however.

So there you have it: nervous newlyweds sings like romantics. However, in addition to their skin being yellow – a point that is repeated in case you weren’t paying full attention – their hearts come from chickens.

Finally, I requested rhyming couplets. For this I was asked to submit a larger group of words. The resulting rhyme is… unusual. I was hoping for a poem about a road-sweeper and a psychiatrist. Maybe that’s what this is; it’s hard to tell.

See the laughing of the shunter,
I think he’s angry at the hunter.

He finds it hard to see the blouse,
Overshadowed by the angry dormouse.

Who is that screaming near the broom?
I think she’d like to eat the elbowroom.

She is but a black analyst,
Admired as she sits upon an annalist.

Her shameful car is just a prescription,
It needs no gas, it runs on subscription.

She’s not alone she brings a baccy,
a pet beaver, and lots of laxey.

The beaver likes to chase an alternation,
Especially one that’s in the association.

The shunter shudders at the hilarious armadillo
He want to leave but she wants the morillo.

Maybe it’s better at haiku, but I don’t have the heart to find out.

 

shiver (2)

 

In case you feel like playing silly buggers, here’s a link to the generator. If you do, don’t be mean; please share the results.

©Jane Paterson Basil