Writing Prompt:
“In an overpopulated world, even the smallest crimes are punished by death.”


Susan got a stoning when she stole a silver whisk
Bernie was beheaded just because he burned a disc
Robbie got removed for leaving wrappers on the ground
Dana was decapitated (dog was in the pound)
Jennifer’s jaywalking got her gas up in her lungs
Hubert hacked a homepage and then he got #hung
Finnagan was fumigated ’cause he liked to flash
Dan was drawn and quartered ’cause he liked to dine and dash
Ellen earned electrocution turning left on red
Kimberly was keelhauled when a copper said she sped
Norbert nabbed some napkins, now he’s underneath a lake
Willy stole my wifi, freaking burn him at the stake


Original Prompt: Reddit – Punishable By Death


Constrained Sonnets

Constrained Writing:
“You can only speak using words that don’t include the letter ‘s’.”

‘Twould be quite trying to achieve the feat
That OP laid before unready we,
But common text might bring about defeat-
To that end Bardic Rhyme my entry be.
My doggerel, therefore, will remain rough-hewn
All on account of leaving out that rune.

Follow-up Challenge:
“Well, look here, we’ve got a bloody wizard of language over here, now don’t we? I wonder how long you can keep up that peculiar form of writing if we were to remove another letter? I can think of no greater feat than omitting the letter ‘R.’ If you can manage that my dear friend, than you have me beat, I would like to see this play out…

A second sonnet shall unseat my foe,
Iambic ballad to defend my due.
So simple to sustain this icy flow.
Yet not one taboo symbol within view.
The one songsmith is me, no doubt at all.
A title that is not about to fall.

But maybe you meant not one of the two?
I think that I can manage that quite well.
One might begin to puzzle how I do,
But that, my chum, I’m not about to tell.
I dominate the poetic tableau
And now would be the ideal time to go.


Original Prompt: Reddit – No “S” Challenge

Constrained Sonnets

The Louisville Lip

Writing Prompt:
“Just as Jafar is about to convince the Sultan to marry his daughter Jasmine to him, wild cheering can be heard outside the castle walls. Upon further inspection they see a crowd of people welcoming the arrival of a foreign prince, Muhammad Ali!”


Hey, clear the way to the roped off ring,
Hey you! Let us through, it’s the boxing king,
Just don’t piss him off, or he’ll stuff you in the can!
Get up!
Grab a beer!
Clap your hands!
Scream and cheer!
You’re gonna love this man!

Cassius Clay – Such a B.A. – call him Muhammad.
Knock you out in the first bout,
Flat on your ass.
The Greatest, that is for sure,
The pugilist we prefer,
So come and see the incredible fighting Cass!

Mr. Ali – I guarantee, he’ll take the title.
Stronger than other great men, don’t you agree?
Sent Liston running in fear!
And he brought Foreman to tears!
The best at kicking your rear –
Muhammad Ali!

He had three separate heavyweight titles
56th win in ’78
He’s an expert at hitting your vitals
Has he gotta right
That’ll end the fight!
Oh, I’m telling you that he’s great!

Cassius Clay – better make way, or he’ll destroy you.
The People’s Champ – sounds a bit camp – his sobriquet,
Just watch the ladies all scream
And see the fellas turn green
A lean, mean, fighting machine!
That Cassius Clay!

All this time, he has only five losses
Started fighting before puberty
In a game, he’d beat all of the bosses
Making them drop
With a right chop
It’s a wondrous sight to see!
Oh, Ali!
Muhammad Ali!

Mr. Ali – from Kentucky, he is a winner.
Jasmine may land him today, if she’s lucky.
He’s an unstoppable force,
No mercy and no remorse!

‘Cause no one can hit
What they can’t see,
Floats like a butterfly
Stings like a bee,
He ducks and shuffles and jabs and pummels
And wins the scuffles with glee!
The Greatest!
Muhammad Aliiiiiiii!

Original Prompt: Reddit – Muhammad Ali

The Louisville Lip

Fear the Light

[Note: This is my first attempt at writing a sonnet. I enjoyed it immensely!]

Writing Prompt:
“Everyone’s afraid of the dark. Make me afraid of the light.”

Don’t bare me to the stark and brutal light,
Expose me with a flicking of a switch.
Don’t make me face the fallout of the fight,
But let me hide here deep within the pitch.

Should I relive the erstwhile night’s exchange
I’d lose what piteous hope inhabits me,
And should one chance upon me in the shade
Have mercy on this wretch and leave me be.

I suffer now the void where once you lay
Which hardly measures to the void inside,
For I can not reverse my tongue’s cruel blade.
Redemption out of reach, instead I hide.

The murkiness obscures my shame, and yet
I’d welcome light behind your silhouette.


Original Prompt: Reddit – Afraid of the Light

Fear the Light


Writing Prompt:
“Write a poem about where you grew up and your hobbies.”

Apartment was the NES
And playing Zelda was the best
SMB was up there, too, and they’re what made me so obsessed

Add a “Super,” move away
Still had Kart and Link to play
Earthbound was the best of all, and helped to make the change okay

No more rentals, owner time
Gamecube brought me Smash and Prime
Settled in, new school, new friends, and had a blast playing Sunshine

Home foreclosed but I’ve moved on,
My wife and I, and Donkey Kong
I had a Wii and a PC, plus Brawl and Twilight kept me strong

I’ve got a house, a baby too
And just between me and Wii U
I cannot wait to introduce my child to the Nintendo crew


Original Prompt: Reddit – Growing Up



Writing Prompt:
“It is your job to “interrogate” one of the most ruthless terrorists that ever lived. Due to budget cuts, the only tools you have are: An easy bake oven, a flashlight, and, 1 pound of vanilla frosting.”

His gaze was cowed
His jaw was tight
But I knew I was in the right
He sat restrained
Upon a chair
Tied up and mutely fuming there

Here was a foe
To all of Man
Left here to suffer by my hand
But hardly could
I stomach that
Instead I’d try and trick the rat

I smiled at him
A charming grin
I said, “Hello,” and smiled again
Then I revealed
An oven small
Atop a table by the wall

Both pink and white,
A lovely sight
For someone struggling with his fright
And resting near,
A glistening mound
Vanilla frosting, ’bout a pound

I offered him
A tasty treat
A dozen cupcakes, short and sweet
And for each one
Each frosted dome
His terror-tummy would be home

He nodded then
His eyes aflame
And then fell victim to my game
His hunger for
These teeny cakes
Made him agree to all my stakes

He spilled his guts
Told all we’d need
Just hoping for a little feed
But I just laughed
and pointed then
Said, “Wait,” and then I laughed again

I flipped a switch
The lights went out
A flashlight then I brought about
Upon my face
An eerie glow
And spookily I told him, “No.”


Original Prompt: Reddit – Interrogation