THE FINALS: hullabaloo vs. bumbershoot

Click here for authlete instructions.

Voter Instructions:

  • The countdown at the bottom of each pairing indicates how much time is left to vote.
    • When voting closes, timer will disappear.
  • Read both poems as many times as you like.
  • Mark the poem you like best by clicking the circle next to its name.
  • Press the “Vote” button to record your vote.
  • Votes are counted in real time and cannot be changed once entered.
  • You can only vote once from a given IP address.
    • Classrooms should submit one vote as a class.
    • Students can then vote again individually from home.

Things to Consider in Making a Choice:

  • How well the poem incorporates the authlete’s assigned word.
  • Technical elements: meter, rhyme, form, shape, and other poetic standards.
  • Creativity: wordplay, imagery, unusual approach, etc.
  • Subtle elements that make the whole greater than the sum of its parts.
  • Your overall response: emotional reaction such as admiration, tears, laughter, terror, or some indefinable feeling.

Here are the poems:

By Cheryl Lawton Malone

My not-so-techie super mom
brought home the latest phone.

But seemed to lose her confidence
each time she was alone.

I showed her how to use the app
to read on her new cell.

She changed the font to eighteen so
the world could read as well.

I helped her build a Facebook page –
no fuss or hullabaloo

until she posted baby shots
of me when I was two.

While texting, Mom got angry if
the words changed on their own.

I laughed when her last message said,
“I hat this silky phone.”

But then, I found a Google search
about a certain chip

that followed children’s movements and
kept track of every trip.

So now I’m trying hard to live
without my own smart phone.

How scary is a stalker mom
who won’t leave you alone?


Barnaby Bumberton’s Beautiful Bumbershoot
By Dave Crawley

Barnaby Bumberton’s beautiful bumbershoot
isn’t designed for the rain.
He wouldn’t much fret
if he got soaking wet!
Such worries are far too mundane.

Unlike umbrellas and brollies and such
(which shelter one’s face from the sun),
his wondrous device
is oh, so precise.
A parasol, second to none!

When Bumberton’s bumbershoot catches a breeze,
he’s hoisted, aloft, to the sky –
past neighborhood elms,
and Fantasy Realms
where Flubbos and Flubberjubs fly.

He’ll pass Mary Poppins. She nods a “Hello.”
The moon gives a mischievous wink.
A pair of Palloons
in hot air balloons
sing songs, in celestial synch.

Bartleby Bumberton’s beautiful bumbershoot
may be the best one around!
He’ll carefully hold it,
and knows not to fold it
until he gets back on the ground.


*hullabaloo vs. *bumbershoot: Which Poem Did You Prefer?

  • *hullabaloo (Cheryl Lawton Malone) (35%, 399 Votes)
  • *bumbershoot (Dave Crawley) (65%, 737 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,136

Loading ... Loading ...

Like it? Share it!

Like me? Subscribe to TKT!

  • Catherine Johnson

    These are both fun and outstanding, well done both of you!

  • Iza Trapani

    Really well done, wonderful poets!

  • Quinette Cook

    Oh my gosh. These are so worthy of the finals! So much parent/kid humor in Cheryl’s poem – I certainly can relate. And I love the alliteration as well as the nonsensical in David’s. Good luck. The readers are the winners no matter how this final match-up turns out!

  • Nessa Morris

    Great job. Love them both!

  • http://www, B.J. Lee

    Oh my gosh – such wonderful poems for the finals! Quinette is right – the readers are the winners no matter how this match turns out!

  • Renee LaTulippe (@ReneeMLaTulippe)

    FABULOUS on both sides, a worthy match-up indeed! Wonderful nonsense and sound from Dave, perfect meter and kid story from Cheryl (love the “I hat this silky phone”)! Congrats to the poets!

  • Linda Boyden

    Absolutely terrific poems from terrific poets! It’ll take a while for me to choose one. Hip hip hooray to you both.

  • Carrie Finison

    I knew when I saw those words that we’d end up with two fun and funny poems…and you both delivered. I love the tone of Cheryl’s poem, and Dave’s Barnaby Bumberton is perfect. I love the alliteration and made-up words. Congratulations to both of you!

  • Damon Dean

    What fantastic poems! How impossible to choose.
    Cheryls turn on tech-savvy juveniles is a hoot! And I love Daves character filling our imaginations with adventure possibilities.
    Certainly I too consider us readers as winners by getting to follow this competition.

  • Janet F.

    I am finding it next to impossible to choose. It is great fun saying both of these aloud and the more times I read them, the harder it is to choose. I KNOW kids are going to love both of your poems, Cheryl and Dave! In fact with your permission I am going to teach them to recite them. Dave’s may need to be done in sections, but I bet the kids will enjoy the word play. And Cheryl’s they may not relate to since their mom’s might be too young and with it, so I will serve myself up as the low-tech savvy inspiration because I so get “I hat this silky phone.” Some of the texts my Swyping has created are not PG rated! Turning me into a better proof-reader, though. Congratulations on your poems!! We need two Thinkiers. Maybe a smaller version for the 2nd place winner!!!

  • Fred Bortz

    These are both terrific, but Dave’s got my vote because Cheryl’s appealed to the adult in me more than the child.

    I heard there’s a bumbershoot hullabaloo
    Going on at March Madness for poets.
    I think you should visit, partake in the fun,
    The contest deserves lots of voets.

  • Janet F.

    Very clever, poem, Fred. How did you find MMPoetry?
    aka Janet Clare on FB

  • Quinette Cook

    Fred gets my vote for using both words! Ha, ha.

  • Penny Klostermann

    The finals are fantastic! I love both poems, too. I kept checking to see when they would be posted because hullabaloo and bumbershoot were the most fun words EVER!!!! I was not disappointed when I got the notice and hurried over to read the clever creations you two submitted.
    Hats off to Cheryl and Dave!!!

  • Fred Bortz

    I’ve heard of it, but didn’t start following it until I got a prod from fellow Pittsburgher and one-time anthology sharer Dave (I’m in I Invited a Dragon for Dinner under a pseudonym). He was a gentleman all the way and didn’t suggest a vote for him. I did anyway when I compared the two contestants, but it was a close call. This one was easier for me.

    I’m known for having limericks in my head. I even used them to open chapters of To the Young Scientist and in book reviews, some of which appeared in major metro newspapers.

    You can find that book and my reviews by following links once you click on my name. My best limericks are in reviews of Man the Hunted, The Universe in a Nutshell (Hawking), The Earth Moved, and most recently, The Quantum Story.

  • Buffy Silverman

    Two more terrific poems, Cheryl and Dave! Love your humorous ending, Cheryl–and so many kids who’ve helped their technophobic elders could relate. And Dave, your language and whimsy continues to amaze me!

  • Dave Crawley

    Cheryl, You have a wonderful way of seeing the world through the eyes of a child.. all without breaking meter, or rhyme! I’ve enjoyed every one of your poems in the course of this “Madness.”

  • Bridget Magee

    I’ve enjoyed reading and voting throughout this entire tournament. These final two poems are fabulous! Congratulations to all the authletes who participated – especially Cheryl and Dave. Bravo!

  • Robyn Hood Black

    Congrats to both of you, Cheryl and Dave, for delivering on these oh-so-fun words. I nodded and chuckled through Cheryl’s and delighted in the fantastic journey and wordplay (and great meter!) of Dave’s. Both winners!

  • Patricia Nozell

    Finals-worthy poems! Congratulations to these two amazing finalists, to all of the authletes & especially to Ed, the MMP Meister!

  • DianaM

    Wonderful job! And I have to say, these are two of my favorite words. Good stuff.

  • Eli

    Welcome, ladies and gentlemen to the only place on the internet where the comments aren’t full of vitriol!

  • Hannah Ruth Wilde

    WOW! And written in just a day – both fantastic! I very much enjoyed!!!!

  • Gloson Teh

    “Voets”? You got my voet, Fred! That was so clever.

    By the way, great job Dave and Cheryl. Those are wonderful poems!

  • Alison Hertz

    Great job to both of you!

  • Deborah Holt Williams

    I can relate to Cheryl’s mom character, saying “I hat this silky phone.” When my daughter came out to our family recently, her sister texted her, “When did you realize you are a lesbian?” and it auto-corrected as “When did you realize you ate a librarian?” Dave’s poem says that umbrellas shelter one’s face from the sun, and I think they shelter one’s face from the rain, and this contest is so close it just took that one little detail to make my decision. But, bravo to both authletes!

  • Cheryl Lawton Malone

    Ditto, Dave! Your poems have been a delight. This is such a great forum for getting your words and name out there.

  • Suz Blackaby

    Brilliant effort, authletes all!
    This final faceoff is exemplary, but every bracket matchup deserves a rumble.

  • juliekrantz

    haha–funny, Fred!

  • juliekrantz

    So much to admire in both poems!

  • mark koris

    Congratulations to both; both are very enjoyable; and who knew what literary talent this competition has exposed?

  • Ed DeCaria

    Congratulations, Dave! And Cheryl, what a run. Thank you for contributing so many great poems to this year’s event!

    To recap, both Cheryl and Dave each wrote SIX poems during this three-week event! They used the following words, respectively:

    Cheryl: malarkey, finagle, involuntary, acknowledge, canoodle, hullabaloo

    Dave: sextuple, hackneyed, extrinsic, beneficiary, sesquipedalian, bumbershoot

    I’m guessing neither of them really planned on spending their last three weeks doing exactly THAT … so please join me in thanking and congratulating them both on an amazing tournament.

  • Cheryl Lawton Malone

    Thanks to you Ed for providing such a vibrant forum for kid’s poetry. It’s been great fun and a wonderful learning experience. Congrats to Dave. I enjoyed your poems and the contest. Well done!!

  • Robyn Hood Black

    Congratulations, Dave, on getting to host “The Thinkier” trophy this coming year, and kudos, Cheryl, for a fabulous tournament!

    Ed, what a fun few weeks – thanks for all the hard work and a hullabaloo or two.

  • Matt Forrest Esenwine

    Congrats to Dave for being the ‘Thinkiest’ – and congrats to Cheryl for making it to the finals and giving him a run for his money! Well done, both of you. And thank you, Ed, for doing all the grunt work!

    A toast! I raise a glass of ver– well, you know…

  • Penny Grimm

    Both poems were great reads, but we are used to hearing Dave recite his on KDKA. Maybe, in all fairness, they could give Cheryl equal time.

  • Heidi

    Hi, Deborah–

    Oh my goodness and I mean GOODNESS–that autocorrect is the funnier than most of the gloriously funny poems posted during MMPT! If you are not planning to write a poem based on lesbian librarian-eaters, may I offer your daughters a place in history by appropriating it for my own piece? And thanks to your and your family for being so matter-of-factly out–every community needs those role models.

  • Heidi

    And congratulations to both worthy finalists! Dave and Cheryl rose, even in their exhaustion, to Thinkier heights. And HUGE thanks to Ed for hosting it all so competently and graciously! Looking forward to next year….

  • Dave Crawley

    Congrats, Cheryl, on not just one, but six great poems! Kudos to everyone who participated with poems, comments and votes. And, most of all, tremendous gratitude to Ed for putting together a remarkable tournament that has gone global! The best part is linking up with fellow poets I would never have met, if not for this Madness…

  • Deborah Holt Williams

    You certainly may, Heidi!

  • Deborah Holt Williams

    Thank you, Ed–this was so much fun! Hearty congrats to all the authletes!

  • Cheryl Lawton Malone

    Deborah and Heidi – the I ate the librarian line may just be the funniest line I’ve ever heard!!!

  • Hannah Ruth Wilde

    WOW! Congratulations to both finalists and to the Madness Champion, Dave! The whole tournament was brilliant, and now crowned with a shining jewel of a poem! This was mad fun! Thank you Ed, Oz behind the curtain!

  • Damon Dean

    Absolutely fantastic tournament. What a fun place to spend a month! Ed, you are pretty spectacular to gather these poets and writers together for a show of words and wit. Thank you Dave and Cheryl for a worthy wielding of ideas in meter and/or rhyme that titillated our eager curiosity week after week. I was honored to have been, even if ever so briefly, on the same court!

  • juliekrantz

    Big thanks to you, Ed, for running MM 2013. Already looking forward to next year… (I think!).

  • Janet F.

    Congratulations to Dave for a very enjoyable poem and Cheryl for great challenge. I could be a stalker mom so I can relate. Also to Ed, for all the poetry in 3 short weeks, the fun, the camaraderie and the poetry. You are one creative guy, Ed. I thoroughly enjoyed the ride again this year.