Sunday, March 1, 2015

2/24/2015--Crossword Poetry

Round one

Sanity is over-rated and
Evaporating into
Randal, who is quite sedated
Every time he acts out
Naughtily. He loves to
Invite his friends over for
Tea parties and
Yells at them for nothing.

Lions sleep over the
Island in a bush of berries
The berries were magical berries
Eventually causing them to speak Hebrew
Rambunctiously they flew
Amongst magic berry bush brew
Laughing, giggling, and guffawing too.
Larking around the berry goo
You should eat the goo, too.

A green little dot is
Dumb, too dumb to realize that
Vivid dreams are freaky and weird
English antelopes potato
Never, ever, go walk home alone at night
Templeton, or else someone will
Open up a door to the world
Unless you are afraid of the light
So much to hide.

Please for mercy, long and sad
Riding on the eastern winds
Off of the side of Mount Kai
Producing a large amount of urine
Hazing mothers with their stench
Ending their hippos
Cradling large messes of these dead
Yodeling each other to sleep.

Note: Mr. Stumbos has to strongly protest at the lack of a noun following five lines of adjectives.  

Make way for the stunning and
Overly gracious, phantasmagorical,
Very rich, glorious, radiant,
Interesting and yet,
Ever so slightly irritating as
Twilight. It makes you rage out
Illuminating the shadows of agitation
Terminating all pain
Lemmings . . . we're all lemmings.
Ending with jumping off a cliff.

Delve into the mind if you will, for
all you will find is cobwebs.
Not the sweeping arcs of
the long-lost civilization of
Egerack! Never before
slips on the wide river bank,
peering out in the open blue,
eclipsing for eternity: Not all who wander are lost
and becoming Koi
kinks in time, made for the few who'll know it.

Home is where the heart is . . .
Or where we keep the Wi-Fi modem . . .
Maybe it's ice cream
Everyone loves a good puff
Sometimes (assuming it's legal)
There's cats who are in
Under the stairs meowing
Cows too, in the chimney
Keep me company for life.

Yellow slugbugs are
Only yellow roller-blades with bugs inside
Unless you install metal
Right where the wheels cross
Mighty rods of towns and
Over the dandelions
Moving the roses that lie bereft.

Cobblestones littered the forest in
Random patterns, far and wide
Ever floating in the sky
As a Sakura blossom would
Time-travel to the year 1969
Inviting back the angry unicorns
Violins and chariot choirs
Ecstasy! Nothing so grand exists without it!

Round 2

Some people are absolutely insane--better than
Involuntary convulsions.
Lies! he says. Lies! Lies of bitter visions,
Vexing any who try to interpret, but
Efficiently getting a message--STRUT!
Right into the bottomless pit
Sure that doom is upon
As we sit and wait for it to catch us
Gratefully, time-travel is real, and I can time-travel
Even in real life--not just in my dreams.

Lillies are interesting the--
Imagine all the word is only a dream
Think of the son "Row, Row, Row Your Boat"
Underneath the roses of red lives and red minds
Reading read, read, read, read,
Take turns training toddlers to talk to themselves
Upon heights we cannot reach but try
Reaching for the stars you'll never
Even know once they've succeeded.

Hope is only a four-letter word
enduring a very powerful emotion,
and sometimes--oh my!--a lack of caffeine
deadly and angular
Pricking my sense of stability comes the
hope! Soaring bravely above the
Opulent-less world that
never ceases to amaze the mind
even as far as all the
Switches that help us function.

Silent night owl, gliding through the trees,
Intently glaring into the deep
Lava pit, sitting across the yard from
Hopeless, Doomed Portal to the year 1969
Or hiding behind purple hair and blank expressions
Underneath, their majestic-ness
Elderly folk don't like the styles they have seen
There. No, they long for the summer of '69
Though they shall never reach it for
Even the slightest moment.

Flitting freely across the bright meadow,
Androgynous fairies have
Enormous, iridescent wings,
Riding the wind with sparkles
Intensely going with it through the meadow
Eventually, disaster will happen . . . soon . . .
Then they see shiny objects and are distracted
Aimlessly, they jig to potato
Lullabies like those of sirens leave from their lips
Enchanting passersby to forget what they've seen.

Expiration dates leave more than food in mortal peril.
Violent ends may come to all who do
Open the fridge and witness
Lemons tap-dancing to an
Up-beat, rather than a down-beat,
To sense this all is all I need for
Insight my own misfortune, leading to
Overactive internal organs gone astray . . .
Never to return again
Angry am I  . . . so 'hungry' . . . hunger needs satisfaction
Right? Satisfaction equals survival! Why can't
You or anybody understand that?!

Is reality a reality at all?
Nope! It's totally imaginary and we are actually all
Dragon--demonic unicornal
Eternally stuck in limbo
Pause! (long enough to check grammar) or--y'know
Eat everything that's not in sight
Never glancing behind, for fear of what is there
And what might not be there
New or old what to say when you
The thing you think of are lies. Because time-travel is better.

Demolition of the Empire
Eagerly, we await the moment of fire
Making so the new world can be reborn || from
Ashes and destruction, cities torn
Smothered in the dragon's eternal flame
So bright that it blinds the imps that lie fainted on the bold
Floor of the fiery furnace of my
Icy heart of blackness and bile--oh, look! Butterfly!
Catatonic politicians
Ask for anything to distract from childish fantasy
Trances, but I won't wake them! No,
I will never let them take me either!
Oh, why will it never happen?
Never will it because this is all a dream!

Note: think of the following one as a Pink Floyd song.  

Every so often, I find myself
integrating myself into the barren wall
not sure whether to go right or
venture towards it, for you see
never ending, never ceasing . . .
doomed to end and begin for all eternity,
dragonic unicorns doing a jig
riveting my sense of direction is directionless mojo
ending down a corridor, perhaps with a door, that
is locked, so I cannot proceed forward.

2/17/2015--Crossword Poetry

In this activity, we fold a piece of paper in half and then write a word horizontally on the paper. We write, using the letter on that line, to the edge of the line until we hit the end, then we pass it.

Each new "stanza" is a new piece of paper

Round one

Crisscrossing the valley floor
rested the boggy moor
encircling distant foggy shores
Singing to the earth's molten core
creating poem evermore
evangelic planted alien spore
near the valley floor.
The floor is still once more.

Carefully, a being turned a cheek and his back
Hurried away from the Monster.
Unfortunately, the master did
Rightfully strike him with a stick
Cracking across his legs
Hearing his cries of
Yellowing fear
And not even answering.
Roaring hate follows him as
Dark clouds roll in from the north.

Autumn leaves are beautiful
Church decorations
Rioting through the mind
Of the many species of trees,
Such a tree had never been
Timbered before. How could
I see that death was nigh?
Creating much noise, I awoke.

We never could have believed
It! The longest night of the
New year, and it's raining cats
There and here!
Eating mice and little rats
Reno was a hotbed for
So many unsavorable things
On top of which, we couldn't
Last a second in the streets
So dark and creepy,
There were millions of dangers in my eyes
Innumerative they were,
Covering every sidewalk and street.
End, the.

I would never have believed
Nathan was a grizzly bear
Chasing bunny rabbits
Only this time I was the hare.
Not to be out witted, I
Carefully circumvented the
Eager predator by climbing
Into the swaying trees
Very high I go,
And high into the territory of birds
Beyond the reach of Nathan,
Leaving behind a trail of dirt,
Ending at the top branch, where I jumped.

Dominic travels through
Apple orchards to find a hobby
No one was has ever thought of.
Dandily jogging and merrily
Eavesdropping, he overheard
Larks speaking of bandits
In the apple orchards
On top of wine glass shards
Nobody knew they were there.
Suddenly, they knew HE was there.

Round two

My greatest ambition is to
eat all the things there are
dwelling in the Atlantic ocean, but
I couldn't see the shark coming
to devour my soul
everlasting fears something my hopes to live
really vividly in my mind,
rather dastardly its plot, but
alas! I had a plan--and a chainsaw.
Now all I had to do was wait for the sun
even to the end of the
allotted time given to the tuna minions
never land never survived so bad.

So, here we are at last.
Okay, you know that wasn't
Understandable, because you
Let me die alone in the darkness
Forever alone
Underneath the cieling, rotten as I
Lay dying on the ground
Lose and hopeless, you
Yellow-bellied coward.

Spirits and demons, most feared they are
Up and down they go
Poking, prodding, peril to create a scar,
Eating up fear like it was their favorite dish
Reveling in evil and crushed wishes
Nameless, this evil is, says Yoda, and then
Acts like he's both high and drunk
Today and tomorrow, he does
Understand the meaning of . . . confusion . . .
Right up to his last moments of life
All is understood but demons can't
Liberate themselves, no matter how much they know.

Super-duper Cooper made a looper
Quite queasily down the twisting track
Uselessly flinging his arms about
In frustration and a
Raging monger followed like a train
Right on his heels.
Every single merry shingle
Lifted lovingly as they mingled
Living and dying as one
Even till the sun sunk
Devouring their souls like the devil.

Tragedy has separated the fellowship
Hobbits were running around
Evan, their leader
Taught us all how to get lost
Wherever there was cover
Out in the open was a bad
Trick, they discovered. The orcs were
Drunk and half-asleep around a fire
With their weapons to their
Lips like sweet candy from an infant
Righteous they were hot.
So much for getting back together.

Having much hair
everyone knows that everyone's bear
right out doesn't care
but it gives people rights to stare
insultingly but very unaware
Vultures swooping down and killing children
over in the Atlantic ocean
ravenous ravens join the plague
eating us up like sage.
Supper is served.

Monday, October 13, 2014

One Line Pass--10/8/14

Typed up in the order that my papers were stacked. Some are missing, but most of them are here, I think.

The one line pass is a game where one person writes a line (or two or three), then passes it to the next person, who writes the next line, and so on and so forth.


The floor was covered in blood. Footprints began to pave the way and I could see where I was to go. But where was I going? I pondered, looking about me. It had to be somewhere better than this boring place. I turned to look behind me as the old place echoed with many voices.

They whispered, whispered like little fires, getting louder by the second.

She shook her head, dispelling the voices and visions.

She was in her room, not a cellar of blood and voices, but her perfectly normal, carpeted, horror-free room. Right. She absolutely believed without a shadow of a doubt that this was not a deep, dark dungeon in a palace of horrors in Arabia, where no one would know where she was. Yep. She definitely had been successful in completely lying to herself.

Or, at least, for a total of ten seconds.

She was inside the stomach of a whale carcass--a whale that was murdered illegally.


It was a perfect winter night, with a cool wind blowing, and a soft, glittering blanket of snow on the ground beneath the trees.

And then it wasn't.

The army was tracking a dangerous fugitive through the snow-filled forest; a stowaway from Japan that was a known serial killer, with sociopathic tendencies.

Dressed all in white for camouflage, the man trekked through the snow, moving as fast as he could without attracting any attention. Along he ploughed among the savage beast of nature: wolves and the men searching for one known as the nomadic martyr.

The nomadic martyr was a living legend, ancient and wise.

None matched his abilities, though they tried--and consequently failed. Although, since his recent battle, he couldn't even move his right arm. It hurt to move it, hurt like fire.

The would all pay for what they did. He swore it.

Holding his right arm carefully in place, he continued to jog through the forest.


There once was a man with a face.

His head was bald, with not a hair upon it.

The frigid air around him was freezing his wax face; the snow made his beard as taut and erect as the gun upon his shoulder. He sighed the sigh of a tired soldier, who had seen enough bloodshed in his life. He'd almost gotten used to it, until the incident.

Looking back at the incident brought tears to his eyes. It made him shudder with fear every time he thought of it.

His house had been so lovely, until a nameless arsonist burnt it down. He'd slept at a friend's--more just a coworker's--apartment for some weeks after.

And it was terrible. 

Every night, ther was some new unknown event, another random psycho, another mess. He hated messes, but his last one was bad--even by his roommate's standards--and it stank. It looked as if an elephant vomited all over the apartment.


He sat on the couch, bored out of his mind as he stared at the ceiling. Then he tilted his head in curiosity as the ceiling began to morph. Eventually, it morphed into a path to another dimension.

He stared in awe at it, then stood on the back of the couch. However, he had terrible balance, and fell off the couch. Down and down he went, through a tunnel of shifting colors that never seemed to end. He then landed on his back with a loud thud.

He groaned. "Ow."

He found that he landed on a hard, cold, cement floor.


Trent turned around to see his best friend Bryan.

"What's going on?" Trent asked.

"I am not sure . . . where are we? It reminds me of a dream . . ."

"It is a dream within a dream," a voice replied.


"Last time I was in New York, I kind broke . . . Harlem."


I thought for a second, before pleading that it was an accident.

I had something I did not recognize held within my pockets, ticking away without my noticing.

"Is that a bomb?" someone asked.

"What?" I asked, taking out the mysterious item.

"I'm very confused . . ." Callie said from a dark corner.

"What in the name of hey tune's bathtub is going on here?" asked Lawrence, emerging from the bathroom.

"I have no freakin' idea," declared Rowan as she flopped on a couch.

Somewhere else, Kat dropped her taco. "NOOO! Not the taco . . . !"

And then everyone went into a state of panic and cardiac arrest at the wasted taco.



It's something along the lines of three in the morning, but Cecil is wide awake, lying on the floor. She doesn't remember how she got there, or where there was exactly, but the floor is very dirty and shadows dance across the dark ceiling and barren room. She walked through the room, the littlest sound causing her to jump, but she stumbled and mumbled, her head pounding or something.

She looked around her in confusion. Suddenly, she heard a voice.

Softly, it said, "Come to me, dear friend, for I have the walk of life you seek if you choose to walk out the door."

"Uh . . ." she said. "No thanks."

"Surely, you must be wondering of your predicament, my dear," the voice said richly.

She gave her reply: "I often wonder, but I'd rather not know now."

There was silence for a few seconds. Then there was a sudden screeching noise. She turned sharply on her heel to face the sound's source.


With every step you take, a new rhythm is played, pounding in your ears. Your heartbeat accelerates, pounding louder than your steps, like a steam train.

And that's when it happens.

Quite suddenly, there is a kitten in the pocket of your jeans. It is not cute; in fact, it is quite ugly and mangy, with half its fur shaved, covered in scars, and one eye that seems to be in a perpetual scowl.

You honestly have no idea how the cat got there, but as you try to pet it, it hisses and scratches you.

"Look, furball, I don't know how the frell you got there, but if you draw blood again, I'm kicking you to the curb."

The kitten gazes at you with pure malice, but, thankfully, stops hissing.

However, in defiance, the cat turned to the couch and tore it to shreds.

"NO!" you shout, running to the cat.

It glares at you, as if to say, "Your move."


"What's it like to be the ruler of the world?" 

"Terrible." He said this because to be the ruler of the world was just so much work--and so many irritating people that always wanted something.

"Oh, come on, it can't be all bad."

He looked at his friend, a blank expression on his face. "The humans here are so stupid and ignorant. On top of that, they're bottomless pits of want!"

His friend looked at him sympathetically. "Well, if it's any consolation, we'll be able to return home soon!" he said optimistically.

"Yes, but my friend . . . in the meantime, our universal peers view us as pathetic imps, extraterrestrials, the lowest of the low--Aliens! In spite of what we have brought our wretched brothers--the knowledge to sustain themselves!"

"Why do they hate us so?" his friend asked.

"I do not know," he responded blankly.

"Is it so important, though? To have the universe know us in another way?" Madam Jacklin said as she walked into the room.

Tan, grey-haired, and over seventy, she was old enough to know everything about every one.

"We rule the world . . . whether our own or not, it's a start."


Whatever it was was something stretchy, pasty, and smelled rank like rot, and it was spattered all over the wall.

Delilah shuddered, moving away from the wall, then turned and ran, only to slip in a pool of slick, warm, and sticky blood.

She almost shrieked, but the shock of where she was practically stole her voice.

Then, her life flashed before her eyes.

When she came back to Earth, she turned, and discovered a headless corpse. She held a hand over her eyes, taking a deep breath.

This was not how she'd planned to spend her last day of summer vacation.

It had all started earlier that day, when she was at the water park with her friends, and everything was normal--at least, she thought it was. But then it happened. All of her friends were terrified at this event, but not Delilah.

Delilah ran her hands through her hair. "Mom is going to kill me," she muttered.


And that's the end of it! I think one or two of those almost made sense . . .



Write a story set in the Steampunk era.

Follows prompt
Length: 500 – 5,000 words
Turned in to the judge by November 3rd, 2014
Typed and printed: 12 pt Times New Roman font.
PG or mild PG-13. It is a high school competition (and I am the judge XD). 

Grading Criteria
Follows rules
Characterization--Are your characters realistic for their environment? Are they static or dynamic? Do they change? Does their past and general life impact them?
Plot--Is the story line compelling? Are there any plot holes?
Descriptions--Make the reader feel like they're there. Show us through the eyes of the character what is going on.
Grammar--Was there an obvious effort made to correct grammar mistakes? 

1st—Certificate, Gold Badge, and king-size candy bar of choice
2nd—Certificate and  Silver Badge
3rd—Certificate and Bronze Badge

Mariah Burkett

Leave a comment if you have a question concerning the contest, or if you'd like to do a workshop on editing and revision of your pieces!