And the winner is

Our happiness-themed funny poem contest winner is John Stupp for his fishing poem: “Happiness”. Happiness will be published in an upcoming collection: HAPPINESS IS A FISH NAMED MELVIN.

**Fish Image by Sean Reed**

Happiness Funny Poem Contest

Funny Poem Contest Runner-Up: G. M. Monks for "An Apostate's Joy"

G. M. Monks poems have been published in GFT Press (twice), Kaaterskill Basin Literary Review, Kansas City Voices, Picayune, Alehouse, Bathtub Gin, and elsewhere. She will soon be published in Embodied Effigies and Vine Leaves Literary Journal. She was a semifinalist in both the 2014 and 2015 Tucson Festival of Books Literary Awards, and in the 2014 Horatio Nelson Fiction Prize. She is a graduate of the Tucson Festival of Books Masters Workshop and the Napa Valley Writers’ Conference.

An Apostate’s Joy
by G. M. Monks

My dog is Catholic. He obeys my commands to sit, stay,
heel, lie down. I am Mother Mary to him. He confesses
transgressions by putting his head down—very sad. He begs
with his eyes. He would light a candle if he could. He prays,
“Oh please, please grant me this wish.”

In the morning, he refuses to eat until I stroke his head at
least two times. He offers his paw. He would give a donation
if he could. He has chosen the spiritual life—love of his
Mother Mary before food and drink.

A gopher led him astray. I had problems with gophers.
They’re devils. They kill my flowers by eating their roots.
They dig tunnels and leave mounds of dirt on my lawn. Even
my dog never dirties my lawn. When I spotted a gopher, I
said to my dog, “Get that little devil. It’s a pest.”

Now he hunts for them. If he sees or smells one, he says,
“Go away Mother Mary.” He refuses to obey if a gopher
is in his mouth. He runs away so he can eat in peace
and hear its bones crackle between his teeth. He eats it all—
fur, guts, tail, raw flesh and blood. If I try to interfere, he
growls, “Forget it Mother Mary.” He has no guilt.