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Scroll down to read the 2016 Bottom Line Poetry Contest Winners!

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in Idaho men and women. It doesn’t have to be. When caught early it is highly treatable and beatable with a 95% survival rate. Prevent colon cancer in your life! Read the Screening Guidelines.

Read The Top Ten Reasons to Get Screened

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Your Colon and You

2nd Annual Bottom Line Poetry Contest

Are you a poet? The 2nd Annual Bottom Line Poetry Contest could be your event! Let's bring more attention to the life-saving value of regular colonoscopies as part of a person's healthy lifestyle. Try your hand at creating poetry. Guidelines:

  • The objective is to motivate someone to consider having a colonoscopy
  • The poem can be serious or fun, not vulgar or foul
  • The winning poem must be created by a State of Idaho Employee and submitted from the employee's State of Idaho agency email address
  • The entry must include the author's and the agency's names
  • Poems should be submitted to the Health Matters E-mail Box for review before posting.
  • Deadline for submission: any time before Noon on Friday, March 18th
  • Poems may be very brief and no longer than 175 words
  • Health Matters reserves the right to edit a word or phrase as appropriate

The poems will be judged by a panel of health promoters. Prizes include a FitBit Zip, 2 (two) Wahooz Fun Zone Tickets and an American Heart Association Cookbook.

Winners are noted below: 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Place; and there are three Honorable Mention poems.

Entries appear at the bottom of this webpage in the order they were received. Enjoy your reading!

Use these Resources

Jo Jo Video (2.5 min) Colorado Cancer Coalition

Jo Jo Video (5 min) Colorado Cancer Coalition

Success Stories get motivated!

CDC's Vital Signs: Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal Cancer Screening Guidelines CDC

Colorectal Cancer Screening Basic Fact Sheet CDC

Colorectal Cancer Screening Guidelines ACS

Do you know the top five recommended ways to help prevent colorectal cancer?

Get the Facts (CDC)

Colorectal Cancer Overview (ACS)

Colon/Rectum Cancer (ACS)

Get Tested for Colon Cancer: Here's How(ACS)

Five Myths (ACS)

Talking with Your Doctor (ACS)

Meryl Streep (60 sec. video)

Terrence Howard: Your Wake Up Call (60 sec. video)

Jimmy Smits: The Screening (40 sec. video)

Diane Keaton: Grammy Keaton (60 sec. video)

Straight Talk on Colon Cancer

Raise Awareness: Hang a Poster

No Better Test

Stop Colon Cancer: No butts about It.

If you remember...

Colon Cancer - What You Should Know

Colon Cancer Bookmark - Missing Mom

Colon Cancer Bookmark - Tough Guy

More Colon Cancer Prevention Posters on the Posters webpage

Bottom Line Poetry Contest Entries


There once was a girl named Jill,
Whose thoughts of her colon were nil.
Though symptoms occurred
Seeking help was deferred
And soon the cancer would kill.

Now there’s a man named Bill
Who mourns for his wife named Jill
Though friends were fraught
No doctor was sought
Jill’s buried high up on the hill.

Jody Zauha, Health Matters
(non-competitive entry)

Entry 1 - 2nd Place


It's that time to really start thinking about you
And of all the preventative things that you can do
To get your health back to where it should be
So let’s start with a simple colonoscopy.

This simple procedure can give you the answer
To know if you have polyps, tumors or cancer.
It is an important test that can save your life
And it will leave you without feeling any strife.

So schedule your test today
It may help in more than one way.

Shawna Bell
Idaho State Insurance Fund

Entry 2

Bottom Line Haiku

Polyps clogged your pipes
Colonoscopy found them
Waste flows freely now

Rae Thomas
Professional-Technical Education

Entry 3


Clinging stubbornly
Polyps thoughtfully snipped
Clean bill of health reigns

Rae Thomas
Professional-Technical Education

Entry 4

Bottom Line Ballad

Charging towards the throne,
Onward with your business,
Looking forward to browsing your phone,
Only your constipation is persistent.

NOT AGAIN, you scream in your head,
Oh this is so painful
Should have read the email sent,
Colon cancer seems so shameful.

Over to the doctor you go, hoping for the best,
Praying for some great results, comes the doctor’s attest…
Your untimely death.

Becky Blankenbaker
State Board of Education

Entry 5

A Colon Haiku

Spring, Summer, Fall, or Winter
When will you get yours?

By Bennie Bourn
Idaho Department of Finance

Entry 6

The Unappealing Screening

Colonoscopy is a need to do.
But I don’t want to!
But now’s not a good time!
But I’m sure I’m just fine!
Tell your excuses to butt out,
The results have the clout!
Screening saves lives,
Of husbands and wives.

A colorectal screening,
does not sound appealing.
But it’s better to find out early,
Than late and pay dearly!
Consider 51,000 deaths a year,
and make sure your colon’s in the clear.
If you’re fifty or older
Don’t cry on a shoulder.
It’s an uncomfortable topic,
No butts about it.
Go see your doctor for a test,
And they’ll take care of the rest.

Wendy Waudby
Idaho Department of Environmental Quality

Entry 7


Our health depends on many things
Our diet, lifestyle and attitude

A little test, relief it brings
And fills us with much gratitude

A pipe is not a pipe
Unless flowing open and free

It takes an annual peek and swipe
To keep things as should be

To not take care of your indoor plumbing
Is to risk your health and life

So take the test to keep things humming
It’s easy and involves no knife!

Denise Walk
Idaho Department of Health and Welfare

Entry 8

It's Just a Tube

It’s just a tube to see your colon,
It’s just a tube to keep your health rollin’.

It’s just a tube to take out the bad,
It’s just a  tube, so don’t be sad!

It’s just a tube to take a picture,
It’s just a tube to find that stricture.

It’s just a tube clean and nice,
It’s just a tube so don’t think twice.

It’s just a tube with a tiny knife,
It’s just a tube to save your life!

Eva Moran
Public Health - Idaho North Central District

Entry 9


Don’t be an absentee. Get your colonoscopy!

Eva Moran
Public Health - Idaho North Central District

Entry 10

My first Colonoscopy – a poem

I thought to myself…
“I’m young and in good health”

A colonoscopy…
Why should I care?
Until the day I had a scare

Thoughts of a camera up my bum!
That doesn’t sound like too much fun!

But I am 52
And I’ve yet to have the review

So I called up my Doc
And he said “Fear Not”
“You’re not undergoing the knife-
And besides, this simple test could save your life!”

And so I bucked up
And it was just my luck-
All came back clear, no reason for fears
I’ll be around for many more years

Now I have peace of mind
Because nothing serious did they find

Shari Brunn
Idaho State Insurance Fund

Entry 11


It’s your colon, don’t you know
It helps you out when it’s time to go
So treat it with much love and care
Cuz if you don’t, it won’t be there
Just drink the stuff, it’s not so bad
Compared to Chemo, it will be rad
Your Doc will give a dose of fun
You won’t remember much or none
Hoping he finds a beautiful sight
No Polyps and the looks just right
You’re good for 10 more years or so
All neat and tidy down below
Hip Hip Hooray you passed the test
Your loved ones think you are the best!!

Tammy Ray
Idaho Department of Health and Welfare

Entry 12

There once was a man from Rathdrum 
Who had a most troublesome bum.
He went to the doctor,
had a tough talk with her;
Colonoscopy: it could save your chum.

Colin Addington
Idaho Department of Health and Welfare

Entry 13 - Honorable Mention

Tiny camera, dark secrets
Save a life you love

Colin Addington
Idaho Department of Health and Welfare

Entry 14

Free Verse
Poems are like butts;
They often look a little funny,
but nobody should die from one.
You wouldn’t let a poem kill you;
Why let colon cancer?

Colin Addington
Idaho Department of Health and Welfare

Entry 15

An Ode to My Butt
I wrote a poem meant just for you, my butt.
You keep me from grinding on my tailbone,
And you sometimes help me dial cellphones.
Sometimes you smell and I blame Spot, the mutt,
Just to protect you, sweet behind, you nut!
But now, problems! Colonoscopy! Moan!
And I have put it off too long, condoned
myself to let you grind and groan! Oh, but,
I was scheduled! I just missed you, doctor,
And it was wrong, I admit. Oh butt, please treat
me fair? If I treat you with loving care?
Oh can you help, my specialist?  Shocker!
I could have stopped it fast? and healed my seat,
My rump,  my stern? I’m sorry, derriere.

Colin Addington
Idaho Department of Health and Welfare

Entry 16


Colonscope inspects
camera eye in pursuit
no polyps, all good

John Fretwell
Idaho State Insurance Fund

Entry 17

Giant colon here
Not scared? Walk through it and learn
Are some digested?

John Fretwell
Idaho State Insurance Fund

Entry 18


In the end, it's all that matters.

Beverly Sherman
Idaho Department of Correction
Commission of Pardons and Parole

Entry 19 - 1st Place


My friend, we need to have a talk
About your health and mine
It’s sensitive, so please don’t balk
But here’s the Bottom Line

You need a colonoscopy
To check for ulcers, polyps, cancer
If you question your health history
It can help provide an answer

You exercise, you eat your greens
You think you’re in the clear
Your bill of health is pretty clean
But please, go scope your rear

It’s nifty that you’re fifty
Get your procedure slated
No need to worry about pain
Doc says you’ll be sedated

You need to know what’s going on and
The best way to get a look is
To let the doctor use a scope
To see inside your tuches

It’s true the scope goes through the sphincter
There will be post-procedure gas
Your walk may be a bit distincter
But know that both will pass

Don’t be stubborn, don’t be sore
The Bottom Line is plain to see
Starting now, forevermore
Schedule colonoscopies

Lt. Brian Crowl
Idaho Department of Correction
North Idaho Correctional Institution

Entry 20


“No!” I gasped, when doc told me,
“It’s time for a colonoscopy.”

The day before, I fast and drink.
It tastes the way old socks stink.
A laxative to make stools soften.
I run to empty myself often.

Next morning, escorted back, I put on a gown.
Nurse gave me a shot and I laid down.

On my side, they said I could see
What they were doing on a little TV.
I barely felt the instrument so smooth,
I watched it inside me as it moved.

Clippety-click, polyps met their demise.
Soon it is over and I say my good-byes.

It’s complete! I made it! It went by fast.
My pre-cancerous polyps are a thing of the past.
I won’t say it was enjoyable or even fun,
But think of the consequences of not having it done.

Beverly Sherman
Idaho Department of Correction
Commission of Pardons and Parole

Entry 21


Hey, my name is Bernie “Bumbum” Buttowski,
I am in waste management for my human host.

I am part of an incredible group of organs that keeps
My human running like a well-oiled machine.

But let me tell ya, this is a thankless job with
Unending hours and lots to take care of (if ya get my drift!)

Especially when my human doesn’t pay any attention
To what he eats or drinks.

I mean, what does he expect?  Garbage in, more garbage out, ya know??
With no maintenance, it can get pretty plugged up in here.

There are lots of nooks and crannies for little polyps to grow and grow
And the next thing ya know, we got major issues.

So what I am saying is, take a little time to show me some love.
Just a little effort from my human can make a huge difference.

I mean, like, you take care of me and I will take care of you…right??
That’s all I got to say, so I will be looking forward to the major cleanout and photo op!

Denise Walk
Idaho Department of Health and Welfare

Entry 22 - 3rd Place

Ode to Your Colon

What once was a mystery,
Now the whole world can see.
Through matters of technology,
Doctors can see your anatomy.

A prescription cocktail you will drink.
Then have bathroom hours with time to think.
And, although the process surely does stink,
The procedure is over before you can blink.

The nurses are sweet and give you a gown.
Then offer a bed for you to lie down.
Warmed blankets upon you, you’re wheeled all around.
Then given a dose to help you sleep sound.

When you awake, the procedure is done.
You’re comfortably resting and the memories are gone.
The results follow quickly; your song is sung.
Return in 10 years to relive the fun.

Jenn Gillespie
Idaho Department of Health and Welfare

Entry 23

(Sung to the French tune "Alouette")

Adenomas-polyp in the colon.
Adenomas they can be a felon.
They can take away your life,
Causing cancer and much strife.
Find them early, cut them out,
Then we’ll all give a shout…
You have chosen wisely!

Colonoscopy- a picture of your colon.
Visualizing areas red and swollen.
Find some kind of ulceration,
Or a funky tumoration.
Find them early, treat them fast
Then we’ll all give a shout….
You have chosen wisely!

Marcia Yancey
Idaho Department of Health and Welfare

Entry 24


Ascending, descending, sigmoid, and transverse,
Little did I know my colon was getting perverse.
Feeling abdominal discomfort, weight loss, weakness and fatigue?
Well these can be explained if you get yourself screened!
Drop by the doc to let them take a look,
The simple screening test could find polyps or colitis in your nooks.
Pay no heed to the social taboo,
After all, Katie Couric, Jennifer Aniston, and Beyoncé get it too!
A colonoscopy is something everybody has a reason to do,
Even if there are no symptoms don't be actin' a fool.
Get in and get screened today,
So you can go on living life in a happy, healthy way!

Steven Sumter
Idaho Department of Health and Welfare

Entry 25

Consider a Colonoscopy

The coils of your gut need to be clean
A Colonoscopy can find out what is in between
Hidden in the miles of your intestine
You will never know what it can find
A Clean Bill of Health is your goal
So let’s all let that little scope roll

A satisfied mind
Or caught just in time
Which do you choose?
What do you have to lose?

Pat Williams
Panhandle Health District

Entry 26


You love your car.
You never miss an oil change.
Time for 95,000 mile checkup? Done!

You love your faithful companion.
You never miss her checkup.
Time for vaccinations? Done!

You love your wife.
You never miss taking her on a date.
Flowers? Done!

You just turned the big 50.
Time to schedule a colonoscopy? Maybe I’ll schedule that next week…

Angie Baker
Idaho Department of Finance

Entry 27


I’m not quite fifty,
But I do have a family history.

My colon in good health,
If any issues exist, they are so stealth.
That’s why you can’t wait for bait,
‘Cause then it might be one year too late

My father got his test.
For now, he’s in the clear.
Causing me distress,
My mother refuses for someone to peer at her rear.

It may just be the key.
But now they have cool tests called FIT.
Take it home and have a sh*t, I mean sit

Take a sample.
Just a smear is ample.
Once a year,
No prep to fear.

Megan Mackey
Idaho Department of Health and Welfare

Entry 28

I Thought

Colon cancer: cancer that forms in the lining of the colon
I thought, “What! How unusual” this has my mind rollin’

I learned about 150,000 people in our country are diagnosed every year
I thought, “Oh boy, oh me, oh my, oh dear”

Of those diagnosed, about 50,000 will die from this disease
I thought, “Oh no, but why, really, oh geez”

Colon cancer can be present before symptoms appear
I thought, “This sneaky disease can really cause fear”

There are different tests, but a colonoscopy is your best bet
I thought, “Ok, that’s nice, but what can I expect”

An intravenous sedation is given and you will fall asleep
I thought, “Whew, I hope it’s a sleep that is really, really deep”

To assure you are comfortable is priority number one
I thought, “Great, let’s do this, let’s get it done!”

Let us get checked and save our behinds
Leave the stress, unravel, relax, and unwind

Hip, hip hooray, yippee, for colon cancer awareness!
May we live many years because of our preparedness!

Leticia Soto
Idaho Department of Health and Welfare

Entry 29 - Honorable Mention

It's Not That Bad

Making the appointment
Is the toughest thing to do.
Once you have the date and time,
The hardest thing is through.
It's not that bad.
Then you'll drink a liquid
That may not taste so good.
Use a straw or hold your nose,
And swallow like you should.
It's not that bad.

A sedative is given
Before the exam begins.
Many are asleep,
Before the tube goes in.
It's not that bad.

You'll probably miss a day of work,
And you will have some gas,
Which could be quite annoying
But it's something that will pass.
It's not that bad.

The purpose for this test is
To prevent and screen for cancer.
If you're wondering if it's worth it,
Well, that would be your answer.
It's not that bad.

By finding cancer early,
When it's small and can be treated,
You increase your odds of living long,
Because cancer is defeated.
And that is good.

Margaret Prince
Idaho Department of Health and Welfare

Entry 30


If you delay -  getting help for your gut
You’ll be dead as a doornail;  
Who will care for your mutt?
Go see the doctor – don’t be afraid
Better for your health;
Better for your mate.

Pam Drumheller
Idaho State Insurance Fund

Entry 31 - Honorable Mention


A bum
A butt
A fanny
A rump

No joke
No jest
No prank
No stunt

Look in
Look up
Look around
Look NOW

Save a life that’s yours,
Then take a bow!

Kathy Henderson
Idaho State Tax Commission

Entry 32

Don't Poop in a Bag

Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop,
Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop, Poop,

Keep Your Poop Together,

Get Checked,

Don't poop in a bag.

Bill Shannon
Idaho State Liquor Division

Entry 33

Fear of a Colonoscopy

I have to have a WHAT, you say?
And drink some stuff before "the day?"
Which in turn will make me do WHAT before?
Sounds like THAT could make me sore!

But I know it really is for the best,
and during the procedure, I'll get a good rest.
Do you PROMISE it won't hurt when the tube goes in and out?
Ok!  I'LL DO IT!  ... and try not to pout!

I'll admit I'm a bit nervous,
but know it could save my life.
And inserting a small tube now,
Could prevent later going under the knife!

We really should all take advantage,
of this test doctors can now give.
While it may not be all that pleasant,
it gives us a better chance of a long life to live!

Deb Hiatt
Idaho State Insurance Fund

Entry 34

Colon cancer
cancer killing Colon
Colon tearing apart…
Joy torn apart
 Colon wrecked
All is destroyed.
Butt get checked,
Cancer : avoid.

Josh Ledbetter
Idaho State Tax Commission









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