Posted: February 11, 2010 in Poetry

CONTEXT: July, 2007

Welcome to the worst poem I have ever written.

Okay, it probably isn’t, but it feels like it to me.


The mercenary feeling behind it. Even when I write a poem for a specific purpose (say my attempt to go on the CBC Poetry Face-off), it still has to be something I want to say.

This poem has none of that. It was simply trying to win a prize.

By now you recall my mentions of the Dusty Owl Object of Desire competition. On this particular weekend, someone got a hold of a preview pass to the movie Stardust. Stardust was based on a Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess illustrated book that I happen to be a big fan of. So I decided I wanted to win it.

This poem has no soul. I wrote it just trying to win the prize and for no other reason.

And I didn’t even win.

(As an aside, I ended up coming off as an arrogant jack-ass. I wrote the poem right away and later I told Cathy MacDonald-Zytveld that I was “winning the contest”. I meant that I was currently winning, since I was the only one who has written anything so far. “Winning” as in “currently in the lead”. The look on her face told me that she thought I meant it a different way.)


A small piece of paper
Fairly non-descript
With evocative artwork on one side
And the other side filled with details

None would expect its true purpose

It is not a mere piece
Of advertising paraphanalia
It is a key
Made of wrought iron
And tinged with gold
Disguised in a mundane fashion
To hide its true nature

The key unlocks a door
It is not a door of wood or metal

A world where falling stars
Are beautiful girls
And faerie lands
Evil witches and pirates
Unassuming heroes
And the wonder of magic

Neil Gaiman is not a writer
He is a tour guide
To worlds that start in his mind
But emerge like a virus
Infecting every other brain it encounters
Until it isn’t HIS world
It is OUR world

And we walk
Through its fields
If only for two hours

And leave the stars behind

Until we dream



Next is the most…controversial poem I have ever written.

  1. Doggy says:

    Anybody who has written more than one piece has a “worst ever written”. It is a logical certainty. just saying… 😉

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