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Previous Challenge Entry (EDITOR'S CHOICE)
Topic: The Writer’s Skill/Craft (04/22/10)

TITLE: Worthy of the Pulitzer
By Beth LaBuff
~6th Place


A small town, Dismal City,
In the center of the state,
Never had excitement,
Life was doleful and sedate.
The local town newspaper
Called the Dismal City News,
Was filled with drab and boring stuff,
Had nothing to amuse.

The paper had one writer,
A columnist – a hack,
He drafted stories lacking zest,
His Christian name was Zach.
Zach drove an old Ford pickup,
A dent pressed in the fender,
His faded jeans stayed on his waist
Held by a lone suspender.

Dismal City saddened Zach
‘Cause nothing would occur.
His dream—to write a story
Worthy of the Pulitzer.
An article or simple poem
Like Shakespeare, Poe, or Keats,
A story that could make folks cry
Or glue them to their seats.

Zach pondered his dilemma
Then jumped into his Ford,
Headed south on Dreary Lane,
The speed limit, ignored.
Drove past the city limits,
The story—It could wait,
Then ‘cross his path a chicken strolled.
It almost met its fate.

That’s when the story came to him!
His mind worked to devise
A story so sensational,
One sure to win a prize.
With journalistic expertise
He used each writing tool—
Hyperbole when needed—
Stretched writing-ethics-rule.

The article that went to press
Was titled, “Pullet’s Quest”
The byline underneath: “by Zach”
A feather for his nest.
“The pullet craved adventure—
Apprehension? — there was none.
She trekked across a barren land
Beneath a searing sun.”

“…Was stalked by swirling dust clouds,
No water for her thirst,
Danger, her companion while
The rough terrain traversed.
And then a grim encounter,
Her life flashed ‘fore her eyes,
A massive metal monster
‘Bout led to her demise.”

“…She plunged head-first, away from harm
And narrowly escaped,
She bruised her chicken liver and
Her beak and wattle scraped.
Then predators eluded
‘Cause she camouflaged her comb,
Then traipsed a million miles
‘Fore she found her way back home!”

Zach’s story – “A sensation!”
Said Associated Press,
Put joy in Dismal City,
Zach reveled in success.
And he became a hero—
The Dismal City Bard!
They changed the name of Dreary Lane
To Zachary Boulevard.

About Zach’s pullet story—
What was the inspiration?
And how did Zach create this tale
Of poultry ambulation?
Exaggeration, adjectives? —
A garnished writing-mode?
Simply— Zach embellished how
“The chicken crossed the road.

The story Zach concocted
While driving in his Ford,
Was granted, from the Egg Council,
The ”Pullet-zer Award.”

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Member Comments
Member Date
Yvonne Blake 04/30/10
I saw that ending coming...but I loved the way you got there!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 04/30/10
Thank you for brightening my day with your hysterically funny words.
Jackie Wilson04/30/10
Oh, so much fun here! And so much imagination and such practically perfect Pullet-zer Prize poetry!!!
Verna Cole Mitchell 05/01/10
I was wowed all the way through with your writer's craft. I love the creativity in this awesome poem...surely worthy of a pulletzer!
Charla Diehl 05/01/10
This was so much fun to read. I hope you compile all your witty and creative poems into a book for the pleasures of readers everywhere. You are one talented lady! No need to say how perfectly this flowed, fit the topic, rhymes weren't forced, and as always, I give it two thumbs up.
Margaret Kearley 05/03/10
I am lost for words! How do you do it?! Brilliant, just brilliant! Your rhymes, your humour, your imagination leave me (dare I admit it) very envious! It really made me smile - thankyou again.
angelos2 wark05/04/10

Carol Penhorwood 05/05/10
A winner for sure! Delightful!
Sarah Elisabeth 05/05/10
Superb as always!

"She bruised her chicken liver". Had to laugh out loud on that one!
Eliza Evans 05/05/10
Ahh, *FUN*
I tried to copy and paste a few especially loved lines but there are soo many that made me LOL!
I think you're almost too good, girl!! :)
What pure delight this is, Beth, and I thank you so much for brightening my day.
Marita Thelander 05/05/10
Funny how words jump out at you. I saw "zest" and thought it was going to be a sexy chick.

I always enlarge my vocabulary when I read your work. I wondered what a wattle was. I discovered it to be a twiggy woven wall of wattle...or the double chicken chin. :P
Edmond Ng 05/05/10
Zach certainly has a nose for news, turning what's not to what's news worthy! This is an example of journalistic instinct overstretched ... a dangerous game at that! Thanks for the laugh, Beth! It’s hilarious! (",)
Ann Grover05/06/10
Love it... you are such a gift... every line, every turn of a phrase. Congratulations!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 05/06/10
The way you write these delightful poems always leaves me wishing I had 1/100th of your talent. Congratulations on the EC!
Verna Cole Mitchell 05/06/10
Congratulations on EC for another awesome poem. I'm blown away by your cleverly written story-poems.
Ruth Stromquist05/06/10
A very fun read. Love the way you weave word pictures!
Connie Dixon05/07/10
I am finding myself anxious to read your work every week. I love your poetic humor - you have such a great way of bringing poetry to life, even for those of us who don't always "get it." You have given me a wonderful appreciation for poems. (yours) Congratulations on another EC!
Joshua Janoski05/07/10
Beth! Make a book of your poetry! E-mail me and let me know when it's done! I will buy a copy! I will buy ten copies!

You are so funny and creative. You take a simple joke line and turn it into this. Wow! I think you are the bigger celebrity here, not me. I should have got your autograph at the conference. At least I have photos to prove I met you. :)
Patricia Turner05/07/10
Beth, your title this time describes your poetry - whimsical and creative are words that fail to scratch the surface. Congratulations on another well deserved EC!
Helen Dowd05/08/10
Oh Beth, this is so CUTE, and I love the title--so fitting. You deserved to be highly recommended...Who would ever have thought to write this "Worthy of the Pulitzer"...Well, not only was the "chicken that crossed the road" worthy of a "Pulitzer", but so is this!! Very unique! I love it...Helen...Thanks for your comment on my Challenge...Yes. It is true!
Dianne Janak05/13/10
I needed a laugh today and got one! Love this one Beth.. I will never think of that chicken "joke" again without remembering this poem! A keeper.. worthy of the world to see? Hint hint! :)