Tuesday, November 19, 2019

DMC: "Papa Slime" by David McMullin



Ding dong

“Gerry,” Mom twitters, “that sounds like the chime.
Would you be so kind as to get Papa Slime?”
Just what is she saying? Who can this Slime be?
He sounds like some mutant from deep in the sea.
Or maybe a ghoul from some bottomless caves.
Regardless, I’m sure it’s my brain that he craves.

Diiing dooong

“Gerry.” says Mom, “Where’s your reason and rhyme?
Just answer the doorbell. We need Papa Slime.”
My parents have lost it or possibly worse,
I’m thinking they’re under this Papa Slime’s curse.
He’ll rip me to bits (what a terrible guest),
then stomp on the pieces and feast on the rest.

Diiiiiiiiiiiing doooooooooong

“Gerald Jay Jones! I won’t ask one more time.
Now open that door and receive Papa Slime!”
I sink to the carpet and slink ’cross the room,
then fling the door open expecting my doom.
It’s only my neighbor (he’s gentle and cute),
and there in his hands is a little green fruit.
He smiles. “Hey Gerry, you’re moving so slowly—
Your dad needs this lime for his fresh guacamole.”
Oops! Now I get it—there’s no Papa Slime.
My mom simply asked me to get Papa’s lime.

© 2019 David McMullin. All rights reserved.

TLD reader Kate O'Neil has challenged us to write a poem with words at play—malapropisms, ambiguities, unintended meanings, puns, clichés, etc. Read my interview with Kate HERE and add your wordplay poem to the padlet.

While some contributions will be featured as daily ditties this month, all contributions will be included in a wrap-up celebration on Friday, November 29th.

Monday, November 18, 2019

DMC: "Pecan't" by Kim Norman

Pecans from Homestead and Gardens, by John and Anni Winings


Autumn finds me and my neighbors outdoors,
tackling raking and gardening chores.
Nobody weights the crop; nobody counts it;
the running debate is how to pronounce it.

The couple next door, who can't know more than WE can,
insists that their specialty pie is a PEE-can.
Ed, on the corner, contends that our lawns
are salted and peppered with pounds of pe-CAWNS.

HE says we can't agree, I say we CAN
achieve a consensus about the pe-CAN.
The point of this ditty, you may have inferred:
I've harvested three different rhymes from one word!

© 2019 Kim Norman. All rights reserved.

TLD reader Kate O'Neil has challenged us to write a poem with words at play—malapropisms, ambiguities, unintended meanings, puns, clichés, etc. Read my interview with Kate HERE and add your wordplay poem to the padlet.

While some contributions will be featured as daily ditties this month, all contributions will be included in a wrap-up celebration on Friday, November 29th.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

The Best of Today's Little Ditty 2017-2018 + The Poetry Friday Roundup

It's here! It's here!

The Best of Today's Little Ditty 2017-2018 has arrived,
its pile of poetry paraphernalia in tow.

Our third "Best of TLD" collection is available in paperback for $9.95 or as a Kindle ebook for $5.95. Click HERE to purchase at Amazon.com. (As of the writing of this blog post, the two avenues for purchasing are not yet linked to the same page on Amazon, but don't let that stop you from grabbing the version of your choice!)

As usual, it was a team effort to make this book happen, starting with an uber-diligent ditty committee who reviewed more than 500 poems (527 to be exact) from 2017 and 2018.

This, and all sketches in this post, © 2019 by Miranda Barnes.

A wagon load of thanks goes to:
Matt Forrest Esenwine
Stephanie Farrow
Rebekah Hoeft
Kimberly Hutmacher
Michelle Kogan
Jone Rush MacCulloch
Linda Mitchell
Diane Mayr
Buffy Silverman
Margaret Simon
Liz Steinglass
and Tabatha Yeatts.
Each committee member was assigned several challenges to review independently and then I consolidated the results. As always, a few excellent poems were left out for one reason or another, but I think you'll agree that the final result is impressive nonetheless. I think this is our best collection yet. It's also the largest—96 poems by 57 poets! As our little writing community has grown in size over the last five years, it has clearly also grown in experience.

Thanks also to the twelve authors and editors whose DMC challenges were instrumental—

and to ALL the TLD readers who responded to them. You make the decisions about which poems to include VERY difficult indeed!

Once again, I owe a huge debt of gratitude to Renée LaTulippe for her invaluable help throughout the process, including advice, suggestions, design expertise, editing, proofreading, and reality checks when needed. Thank you, Renée!

And to my daughter Miranda, thank you for giving this book its character with such an adorable cover and charming interior illustrations! (Read my interview with Miranda HERE.)

I'd like to give a shout-out to Helen Frost and Paul W. Hankins who were kind enough to provide such wonderful, blush-inducing blurbs for the back cover,

and last but not least, my heartfelt thanks to the poets whose work is featured in this volume:

As I say in my introduction to this book, for me you're more than fellow writers. You're friends. And YOU are what makes all the time I put into blogging worthwhile.

It's an honor to write poetry with you... and READ poetry together as well. So let's keep the party going with this week's Poetry Friday Roundup. Add your links below.

Click here to find out more about Poetry Friday.

We had another active week on our "Words at Play" padlet with new contributions by Janice Scully, Cindy Breedlove, Mindy Gars Dolandis, Karen Eastlund, David McMullin, Cory Corrado, and Tabatha Yeatts. Carol Varsalona has posted hers today at Beyond LiteracyLink. Read about this month's challenge and join in the fun HERE.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Welcome to the Fun Factory!

Luna Park, Sydney, Australia, photo: Sascha Grant

Calling all punsters, all witty-quippers, all wordspinners— 
the fun factory is open for business! 

Last week, Kate O'Neil challenged us to write a poem with words at play. (Read her TLD reader spotlight HERE.)

Someone very wise once said—

duncan c

(Attributed to Benjamin Franklin, George Bernard Shaw, Thomas Jefferson, Babe Ruth, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and any number of others, including Anonymous.)

Kudos to whoever it was. I wholeheartedly agree! 

So in an effort to counter the process of aging (beauty sleep be damned), I've been thinking a lot about this challenge over the past several days. On Tuesday, I shared a playful couplet from Ogden Nash that fits the bill. I could have just as easily shared these two clever lines from Douglas Florian. The humorous and imaginative verse of Jack Prelutsky comes to mind for this challenge, Calef Brown's mash-ups, and several zany poems by J. Patrick Lewis, including this one. In a comment to last week's interview, Tabatha Yeatts mentioned Brian Bilston and Greg Pincus. While Kate suggested malapropisms, ambiguities, unintended meanings, puns, and cliches as sources of inspiration, it occurred to me that wordplay can also be expressed visually—by playing with word sequence or layout, like these examples from Bob Racska's Wet Cement. I like that some of you on the padlet are going in that direction.

The early onset of Black Friday sales this month reminded me of a wordplay poem I wrote back in 2013. It's about the relentless Internet ads that pop up during this season of retail holiday cheer.  Indulge me as I repost it six years later—a brief little affair I call "Cyber Seduction."


It all began
with cookies. Now
and then, you popped up
unexpectedly.   It was cute,
you were sweet, and before long
you fell into step with my digital footprint.
Just a fling, I told myself, but you wanted more:
my time, attention, undying devotion, a credit card number
and personal security code.  And then it happened.  Black Friday.
It was late. There on my lap in the bedroom, aura glowing, you
told me I was glamorous, well-to-do, elite, and that XL or XS
didn’t matter. “2-for-1,” you said, “a limited-time offer.”
So I gave you my IP address, my credit card, the
works.  Who could resist those promises,
now as empty as my bank account? 
For a time I thought we clicked,
but now I realize I did all
the clicking. And what
once was 2-for-1,
is now just me,
50% off.

© 2013 Michelle Heidenrich Barnes. All rights reserved.


Our fun factory is waiting for your wordplay poem! While there, enjoy the ditties already posted by Michelle Kogan, Linda Trott Dickman, Janie Lazo, Dianne Moritz, Linda Baie, Diane Mayr, and Cindy Breedlove.

Thanks to Irene Latham, our "still and steady" host of this week's Poetry Friday roundup. You'll find her and this week's offerings at Live Your Poem. Join me here for next week's roundup and a big announcement!

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Two Line Tuesday: Ogden Nash

Matt Dowdeswell

I would live all my life in nonchalance and insouciance,
Were it not for making a living, which is rather a nouciance.

– Ogden Nash

Kate O'Neil has challenged us to write a poem with words at play: malapropisms, ambiguities, unintended meanings, puns, cliches, etc., so I thought Ogden Nash would be a good choice to get the party started! Read Kate's reader spotlight HERE and add your poem to this month's padlet.