Have you ever been encouraged, forced, cajoled, or bribed to try a new activity or hobby?

Ten years after  a family trip to Estes Park, CO, my mom wrote this poem called “My Great Hobby.”

“Come, join the fishing derby,”

My husband said to me.

“All you do is read and write;

A fisher you should be.”

I joined the fishing derby;

Someone had to bait my hook.

I loved the fishing derby,

As I read my favorite book.

~ by Mary E. Shepherd   (who wrote this at age 82))

For the record, we fished at a stocked lake the day, it wasn’t a real fishing derby, and Mom had as much fun as the rest of us. Plus, Dad was proud of Mom’s writing and never complained about it.  This poem, “My Great Hobby,” was embellished, obviously, to make a better story.

During February, other writers might pen ooo-ey, sweet, thinking-of-you-and-drooling Valentine’s Day cards and messages.

Be a rebel with a writing cause; break away from the expected February verses and write a poem about a date or an activity or adventure that WASN’T what you (or your mother) wanted to do…and how it ended.

You choose: rhymed, free verse, a sonnet or a series of Haikus or even non-bawdy limericks, etc.   Just keep your poem to a maximum of 50 words (not counting the words of the title–and please have a title).  JOIN THE FUN!

There is NO entry fee.

First place prize is $25.00

Second place prize is $15.00.

Both winning poems will be featured on this blog and on several other blogs as well, so you’ll be FAMOUS…or at least widely circulated.

Contest opens today, February 5, and closes the last day of the month–the 29th–it’s Leap Year! so you get an extra day! Only one entry per person, please.

For more details and submission instructions, click on “FEBRUARY POETRY CONTEST” in the Menu Bar.



Filed under writing

26 responses to ““FEBRUARY POETRY CONTEST”

  1. Jim

    Cute poem! Contest, you say. Hmmm . . . . let me think a little.

  2. Molly

    Ok I just realized tomorrow is a busy day for me, and I may forget to post my second poem…..As I stated, I know I can’t enter the contest because I am the daughter…..so instead I am posting it here, so that you can relive the fun of MONDAY NIGHTS……love you Mom!

    Monday Night
    Six days a week we exercised and ate right
    But then it was time for Monday night.
    Trim the hair and nails,
    Wear the clothes that never fail.
    Go stand in line to weigh in
    Try to glance at the scale over the double chin.
    Up or down, it didn’t matter
    It was off to eat all we wanted, even cookie batter!

    • Oh, you are so much like your grandmother, Molly. Grandma would love this (and so do I, even though you gave away our Weight Watchers secret “big meal” after weigh-in!) lol which means laugh out loud AND love you lots! Mom

  3. Jesse Nicholas

    I like the idea about being a rebel. I would agree with you when people get the urge to write, many stick with a seasonal approach. I will be a rebel, mabey with out clue. I will urge my students to take this contest as a personal challenge and to write a poem with out using the approach of being valentines themed project.

  4. joanne

    I very much enjoyed reading your poem. I agree about the writing something other than a love poem. I would much rather read a poem about daily routine or just thing you do in your free time, Than read a love poem all the time. My favorite holiday is Valentine’s day and even still one person should not have to read that many love poems. They’re ok for occation. just not an everyday thing, But again enjoyed reading your poem, and hope to read more.

    • Thank you, Joanne. But actually–and this is even more amazing–the poem was written by my mother when she was 80.
      She is now 93 and has dementia, so she doesn’t write poetry or short stories. But I’ll read the poetry entries to her
      and she’ll enjoy them.

  5. rhondalasha

    I realy enjoyed the poem about the fishing derby.we do alot of fishing in our family too. it’s relaxing and challenging.

    • I don’t know who had more fun that day, my mom and dad or their grandchildren who caught so many that we pan-fried fresh trout for dinner for the next two nights. It is relaxing, though, and a great family activity.

  6. Debra Zecha

    My Love
    Longing for you near,
    Like the warmth of the sun.
    Was then my heart was clear.
    For Love has just begun,
    The days will repeat.
    I have loved you from the start.
    My heart does beat,
    I hand you the key to my heart.

    • Your poem is now entered in the contest, Debra. Is “My Love” the title, or the first line? (It can be both; I’m just asking how to log in your poem for judging. Also, can you tell me the state where you reside, or where you are while writing this? We also keep a log of the number of states we hear from.
      Thanks. Marylin

    • Molly

      This is Molly, the coordinator of the program. Your poem would make a FABULOUS Valentine’s Day poem, BUT the contest directions say, ” Be a rebel with a writing cause; break away from the expected February verses and write a poem about a date or an activity or adventure that WASN’T what you (or your mother) wanted to do…and how it ended.”

      SO, you still have time to apply your great talent of writing poems, and write one that meets the requirements of the contest.


  7. Jaimee

    My Life Before Your Eyes

    An unfamiliar world,
    Tears I cried brand new.
    Two blocks we walked,
    Two blocks home, just you.
    4 a.m., terrified,
    Thanked God I hadn’t died.
    I brought him home,
    ‘Surely she’s confused’.
    I held Dad’s arm,
    Something old, blue and used.
    10 p.m., third child arrived,
    Joyful tears you cried.

    Jaimee, Missouri
    Previously registered for the contest

    • Molly

      WOW!!!! WAY TO GO JAIMEE………. I was sooooooo worried that you were going to share something from the college years….I thought that I was going to have to “threaten” or “promise” a higher pay out to not write something that would give away past college secrets…LOL!!!

      Fabulous poem………..I knew you still had it in you!!!

  8. luther Briggs

    February Mother’s tribute saying – ready to submit

    (Wasn’t sure whether to place it here)

    Please advise.



  9. luther Briggs

    Okay, Okay, here goes….

    Mom is Right Above
    (50 words)

    “Holidays just weren’t the same

    Kids all made it

    Doing well

    You’d be so proud of them

    Table set with your specialties

    Little ones making ‘Granny’s Pie’
    The stories
    Swimsuit malfunctions
    Oh, wish you could have heard them . . .

    “Ding – Ding”

    Farina is bubbling

    Bringing it right up, Mom.”

  10. Hi Marylin,
    What a lovely contest! I will give it a try and read the entry rules first. 🙂

  11. tricia

    Was your love for us?

    You worked so hard and gave us shelter
    But what was shelter without a home.
    Our lives were lived off what we could borrow.
    Little odd jobs
    Every penny was squandered

    Not for food, clothes or fun
    but the stuff you NEEDED

    The beer you drunk
    So drunk on many occasions I can remember.
    You needed a babysitter but we needed a mother.

    Demons you struggled with while we made our way.
    Some paths taken were mistakes for sure.
    For no parent is perfect
    I know this to be true
    but now it has come for you to prove.
    Was you love for us or just the brew?

    Kansas til March 12th
    than Korea

    • Thanks, Tricia. “Was Your Love For Us?” is emotional and powerful.
      I hope you take some good Kansas memories with you when you leave on March 13th, and I wish you success and happiness in Korea.

      • tricia

        I became “me” with help from all the loving Kansans I have met. My “new birth” was here in Kansas so it will never be forgotten

  12. What you’ve experienced here, with loving people who have helped you “become you,” is a tribute to the big-hearted basic goodness found throughout Kansas. Stay in touch with those who’ve made such a difference in your life; I’m sure you’re also very important to them, too.

  13. Pingback: Sunday Post: Landscapes and a February Poetry Contest « Positive Parental Participation

  14. Thanks for posting the pingback for my poem, Marylin…it’s been lots of fun reading the entries. 🙂

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