That might not sound like a terrible challenge, but when you're given a list of 10 words that have to appear in the poem, the task becomes somewhat more difficult.
The Canadian magazine, CV2, has been setting just that challenge every spring. I've participated in the event since 2002, when I was travelling in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales, Australia and had to find a cybercafe to get the 10 words!
This year's batch of words is: parlour, effervescent, kumquat, noxious, sink, quagmire, gradation, improvise, freak, dial.
Over the years, they’ve tightened up the rules. No longer am I allowed to make 'freakish' out of freak. 'Sinker' instead of sink is now verboten.
I have a few more hours (until 10 p.m. my time zone) to finish and submit my work. In the meantime, I'll do my best not to freak, even if I do feel like I might sink into a quagmire of noxious verse....