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Most Favourite and Least Favourite Words Poetry Challenge - The Winners

18 Pieces of Poetic Perfection - let's celebrate!

By Paul StewartPublished 5 months ago 10 min read
Top Story - December 2023

Well...hello people. It is time to close up my recent Most Favourite and Least Favourite Words Poetry Challenge! You can find out more by clicking on this link:

Did we have fun?

I know I had fun reading every amazing piece.

We had lots of laugh-a-line pieces, a mention of sausages (thanks, Hannah), I got called a pain in the arse (thanks, Cathy) I subscribed to at least two people I hadn't as a result of this challenge and there was a whole lot of sublime writing.

I wanted to say thank you for everyone who took part and for all those who didn't take part but offered support to the 18 pieces that were submitted. That's right, 18! I am absolutely bowled over with that response to the challenge. Seriously. I figured I might get one or two, because the horror challenge I ran was recieved well...but, I never bank on it. Never just think "Oh, people will definitely enter this" because we are all busy.

But, no, you all showed up and put your best efforts forward showcasing your most and least favourite words - often with surprising results. I mean, really, you should all be proud of yourself.

So...you know, thank you. Very happy Paul.

I also want to say, and I mean this with all my heart and with a lot of warmth and kindness - fuck you all. Fuck you all from the bottom of my heart for making my job extremely difficult picking a winner.

If I could, I'd just make you all winners, but where would be the fun in that.

I feel it is my duty to give a shout-out to each individual piece and just run through why I loved them or showcased favourite lines, that kind of thing before we get down to the nitty-gritty businesss end of things with the runners-up and the winner.

The Entries

Matthew Fromm - Sand

I was excited when Mr. Fromm put forward this piece, not least because he's a wonderful writer, but also very supportive. I had a feeling this was going to feature some kind of Star Wars reference and he didn't disappoint.

Aside from th fact that I learned a new word from this piece in snollygoster, this little section, I felt was special:

So let’s stop painting failure

As a land of boiled bones

To be avoided and shunned

And embrace it as

The greatest teacher of all

Cathy Holmes - A Bunch of Words and Silliness (Awarded Top Story)

O Cathy, o Cathy. This was a hilarious entry from everyone's favourite wordsmith, Ms Holmes. I mean...come on people, she used the word clusterfuck and called me a pain in the arse. There's not really much else to say, I enjoyed it and replied to it with my rebuttal called O Cathy.

Favourite lines were hard, I am going to say that a lot, but, the last stanza was a perfect end to an irreverent bit of wordplay chaos:

"Clusterfuck" and "snot," I'll say

before I bid you adieu.

The hate and love to figure out,

I'll leave that up to you.

Poppy - Chrysalism

Poppy, or as I sometimes call her because of her nonexistent Greek heritage and former name, Ms Thepoet, is another I was glad took part. Sadly, she didn't really offer up her favourite and least favourite word in the poem. I was left with the dilemma of whether or not to include her or not, but decided to let her in. It's my challenge, my rules, end of discussion.

She clearly has some real hatred for "sleazy" and who am I to argue with her. Well. I could, but I won't.

This was a short and sweet little poem. I loved her formatting and this section, for those that know me, unsurprisingly gave me lots of feels:

Rain. Falling like stars, catching wishes. Rain - a mirror to the droplets of joy pooling in my eyes, running down to the upturn of my lips.

I also loved her sign off

"p.s. If anyone thought this was the start of some happy poems, it’s not. I based it off characters from a novel I’m writing :)"

Natasha Collazo - Oh, Stupid Cupid!

Natasha is one of the entrants that I subscribed to after she entered this challenge. This is a fun piece that made me very hungry after reading it. I was smiling and grinning the whole way through and there are some delightful rhymes going on and despite it being a humorous poem, there was a real sadness to the pressure side of valentine's day.

I loved this section...I mean who doesn't want applie pie, whipped cream and cherries?

My doctor says I should exercise more,

but the apple-pie is flooding the stores!

Topping it off with whip cream and cherries,

To satisfy the craving for anything dairy.

Rock - Speechless

Rock was another writer I was not as familiar with as the rest until she entered the challenge with this very uplifting and positive poem. I loved the the way she contrasted between her favourite and least favourite words and as Mackenzie pointed out in the comments, goose is in there. Who doesn't like the word goose?

So many bits stood out but this section made me smile a lot:

I like to say frolic, and jiggety jig

Holiday, jingle, and marzipan pig

Angie the Archivist 📚🪶- It's not nice to loathe!

There are several reasons why Angie's take on the challenge stood out to me and why I loved it. The contrary argument for the word "loathe" and against the word "nice" was very funny and very accurate.

My favourite lines were:

A 'nice' dress is bland

Not sparkling like feldspar.

Kristen Balyeat - wurds tae loue 'n' wurds tae hate

For someone whose stream of concsiousness, free verse poetry I admired and take inspiration from, this was a real unexpected gem. Kristen is a very funny woman...but as a lot of her pieces are very serious...we don't often see that side. That is why I loved this piece by her so much. She also attempted to write in Scottish slang...something that I only dabble with at the moment, because I find it incredibly difficult. So...hats off...Ms Balyeat, you made me smile and laugh with this one.

Favourite section was hard to pick with this one, but I do love this part:

Th' word turns tae sludge when it rolls aff mah tongue.

Even typing it mak's mah tummy turn.

If a book contains couthie ye better believe

it’ll gang crackin' with the fire logs that I burn.

Shelby Hagood - Champagne Mooch

I thought this was a delightful little piece from Shelby. I couldn't comment on it but wanted to say thank you to Ms Hagood for taking part in the challenge. I loved her word choices and the way she put it all together. Well done.

This part especially was great and so very true:

We are all here to help each other

When you perform a good deed, don’t expect another

If you keep points, you look like a stooge

Just let the other take the refuge

There is no score to win or uncover

Favorite is champagne, but least is mooch

Lamar Wiggins - An Anti-Ode

It's always interesting seeing what Mr Wiggins and his imagination comes up with and this was a great piece. I wholeheartedly agree with Lamar that mahogany is overused and I actually don't like the tone and prefer other wood grains. I also love the word plethora and there are a plethora of times I have overused it haha.

This was a fun piece and loved the piggy references.

Favourite section would possibly be:

Not all words flow like the sea.

Take for instance, Mahogany.

It sounds like an aliment strictly for swine.

Its reverence, however, compares to good wine.

Raymond G. Taylor - Gobsmacked? You should be

Raymond swears he is not much of a poet and while I would not like to argue with him....this is a great piece of fun wordplay. The fact that he used "verbal constipation" still delights the child in me haha. Totally agree that iconic is an overused word, especially in journalism when the users should know other words that are far more descriptive.

Hannah Moore - Vileous and Virtuous Vocables

She said sausage and Zimbabwe, so that made me smile. This was a real delight, though, even if I totally agree about those odious words she highlighted. Another sterling piece to a growing, stunning collection of poetry from Ms Moore.

Aside from the aforementioned sausage and Zimbabwe, this section was gorgeous:

I like words that mound in the mouth,

That sit on the tongue like a velvet cloche,

Round and soft like hush, loam or south,

Undulant and smooth like butternut squash.

Sara - hate

All the feels with this one. Brevity be thy talent, Ms Sara. I love love love Sara's work. It sounds so unique...and she always manages to pair a very evocative image with her exquisite words.

I found it hard to pick a favourite section and didn't want to repost the whole thing here, you will just need to click-through and enjoy it yourself. But, as ever with Sara's work, she finds the perfect, most heartwrenching way to close out the poem with:

i will

eat tears

in my empty bed

and i will

curse the day i

met you


i hate

to be loved.

Kendall Defoe - Vinyl Colon

Kendall always surprises with his writing and this piece is no different. A homage to records with a sly little nod to REM and some toilet humour, quite literally. Fun, fun, fun and more fun.

The image at the end really made me chuckle. Well played, sir, well played.

RM Stockton - These are a Few of my Favorite Words

When Rob Stockton gets involved, you know it's going to be something worth reading. This was delightfully absurd and I enjoyed the nod to The Sound of Music.

My favourite section would be hard to pinpoint, but I am so glad he used fibbertigibbet, gobbledygook, hullabaloo, Jabberwocky, badassery, ignoramus and faltulence all in the same poem. Sterling work, Mr Stockton. This made me very happy, thank you!

Gerard DiLeo - Funny Words On A Rainy Day

Another hilarious entry into the challenge came from Mr, Dr or let's just call him Gerard DiLeo. And this was the second time "gobbledygook" got mentioned. The wordplay on display here, was nothing short of breathtaking and hilarious at the same time. But, my favourite section was:

My service

Is at your cervix

Befriend my trembly

Frenulum friendily

Is your prostate

Prostrate or in probate

Is de corps esprit

It makes no vas deferens to me

Just...service/cervix and prostate/prostrate will never not be funny. Very well done, Gerard.

Now, it's crunch time.

Runner-up: Celia in Underland - Yūgen

Celia always writes beautifully and from the heart and this was another great example of her unique voice. This made me think long after reading it the first time and taught me a new word in "Yūgen", which I am grateful to her for.

The last few lines close out this thought-provoking piece, perfectly:

Unlike the emptiness of love-

Which means everything and

nothing at all-


Don’t you think?

Hard to argue with those words. Well done, Celia!

Runner-up: Randy Wayne Jellison-Knock - Existential Evanescence

My words, was this beautiful, haunting and poignant piece from Mr Jellison-Knock a lesson in brevity. He says so very much in so few words. His word choices are perhaps predictable...in the best way lol. But, the way he uses them and weaves them and ties it all up in a sad, but beautiful string at the end, makes for a powerful read. It's incredibly relatable.

I loved it all, but the ending packs a real sobering punch:


To merely exist

Is to wish for evanescence.

Well done, Randy...it was a very close thing between yours and the following piece.

WINNER: Mackenzie Davis - Hymnal to the Clouds

Well now. What can I say? For my little challenge, each of you have really delivered something truly fantastic you should be proud of. It really was hard picking a winner, but I find that the one that has played over in my mind the most and the one that really grabbed me the most was this masterpiece by Mackenzie Davis.

I think this may be my new favourite by Mackenzie and it's pretty hard to highlight a favourite bit. I am not the best at describing why I like things and I am not really sure I am qualified to explain. But, I felt a real peace, but also an indefinable sadness to the whole setting, scene and emotions captured. It was just inspiring, evocative, stirring, emotional, rich, deep and full of heart and soul.

I also appreciated her notes that gave insight into the piece. I share her views on words, as I find that there are very few I dislike.

Mackenzie has a gift for writing truly intimate pieces with a distance to them and that is evident with this piece.

Resplendant is a beautiful word and I agree the word "fine" is a bit blah. Yet, the following line elevates it. Such is Ms Davis prowess with the written word.

And time has not saved me this time. I am not fine.

Congratulations, Mackenzie. You deserve the win for this piece.

Please, join me in congratulating Celia, Randy and Mackenzie!!!

Thank you again for taking part and for your ongoing support. It really means a lot to me.

The runners-up and winner will recieve their prize in the form of a tip within the next 48 hours.

Thank you again!

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About the Creator

Paul Stewart

Scottish-Italian poet/writer from Glasgow.

Overflowing in English language torture and word abuse.

"Every man has a sane spot somewhere" R.L Stevenson

The Accidental Poet - Poetry Collection is now available!


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Comments (23)

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  • Mike Singleton - Mikeydred5 months ago

    Well put together and deserved accolade for all your hard work

  • Thanks so much for the challenge & the comments on all the entries... I see I have some to catch up on.

  • Raymond G. Taylor5 months ago

    Congratulations to the winners, the runners up, and to all fellow entrants. There are some absolutely wondrous words here to love and loath and poetry to match. Congratulations most of all to Paul for a fucking good challenge. No verbal constipation in evidence at all. Just lots of fun and some fabulous, written in the moment verse. Really well done Paul and thanks for the challenge. Still enjoying your book btw.

  • Donna Fox (HKB)5 months ago

    Paul, this was amazing!! I laughed my ass off at the "Fuck you all" part!! Definitely need to add these to my reading list!! Congrats on a very successful and fun challenge, also congrats on Top Story!

  • Kristen Balyeat5 months ago

    Congrats on the top, pal! Thanks again for this awesomeness!

  • k eleanor5 months ago

    Congratulations to the top three!!!Mackenzie's poem made me her fan. I absolutely fell in love with her work after I read that poem! Well deserved!! ❤❤

  • Grz Colm5 months ago

    Congrats to the top three ! Read a bunch but not yet all! Thanks for organising and sharing.

  • Novel Allen5 months ago

    I missed this, but good job everyone.

  • Remember that blood poem I said I was working on. I thought of entering it to this challenge because blood is my favourite word but it didn't have my least favorite word, lol. Also, it's been more than 12 hours that I've submitted my poem and it's still not published yet. But I digress. Congratulations Mackenzie, Randy, Celia and everyone! 🎉💖🎊🎉💖🎊

  • Kristen Balyeat5 months ago

    So kind of you to write about each one! You are awesome!!! Grateful for your kind review of my poem, Pal! It brought you a chuckle and that’s all I could have hoped for! Mackenzie’s poem knocked my socks off! Such a deserving winner, right along side Celia and Randy! Your job was a tough one, but I 100% agree! Thank you for such an awesome challenge, and for the investment of time you take to read and write such amazing words. You are so appreciated!

  • Poppy 5 months ago

    Great idea to write a little blurb about each of them! Thank you for still including mine despite the rule breaking😂 and thank you for your kind words. I’m so glad Mackenzie won, definitely well deserved!!! (Fine is a great word though!😂) and I’ll have to read Randy’s and Celia’s asap!! Thank you so much for doing this challenge Paul and going to the effort of making this list of everyone’s entries too!! It was a great idea and I hope you do more soon!!

  • Cathy holmes5 months ago

    This is great, buddy. Beautiful choices indeed.

  • Thank you so much, Paul, & congratulations Celia, Mackenzie & everyone else for your marvelous envies. Now I shall simply attempt to fade away into the background, lol.

  • Test5 months ago

    Thank you Paul x And thank you for the fun challenge!

  • Lamar Wiggins5 months ago

    Thanks, bud for taking the time to say so many great things about the pieces that were entered. And Congrats to McKenzie and all the winners! 💖

  • Kendall Defoe 5 months ago

    Well done, folks!

  • Mackenzie Davis5 months ago

    Oh goodness. There I am! I cannot get over your wonderful comments, my friend. This was a tremendous challenge you set up, and I was utterly delighted to take part in it. Now I must read those I missed! Cheers and love to you, pal. Can’t imagine how long it took you to compile this list, and write all the descriptions! Looking forward to your next challenge. 💗

  • Natasha Collazo5 months ago

    Congrats friends!

  • I have read a handful of these and need to finish reading them. What a lineup of talented writers and brilliant pieces! The winning selections are top-shelf for sure. Bravo!

  • Hannah Moore5 months ago

    I love the sheer array here! Good work!

  • JBaz5 months ago

    Congratulations on an interesting challenge. I could not partake, but read so many.

  • Matthew Fromm5 months ago

    thank you for the prompt my friend! congrats to all the winners

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