Occasional light verse, mostly political. If you're looking for a certain cold medicine, try here. But we can put you to sleep cheaper.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

News poems in the Post today!

The media desk here at nightquill is abuzz with the results of this week's humor contest (The Style Invitational) in the Washington Post. The contest was to do what we try to do here every week -- make light verse on the news -- but was restricted to articles appearing in the Post three weeks ago. We have obtained special permission from one of the entrants (and the Post) to repost his entries here. So here are three of the winning poems, from David Smith of Santa Cruz. You are encouraged to go to the Post to see the rest of the entries, particularly those of the winner, Brendan Beary, who rules.

Placing at first runner-up: a poem based on an article about the arrest of Anna Ayala for fraud in the finger-in-the-Wendy's-chili case. One of the tidbits (sorry) in this article was the ruling-out of a finger which had been bitten off another woman by her pet leopard. In case you're interested, it has recently been established that the finger came from an associate of Ms. Ayala's husband, so you should go back and eat at Wendy's just as much as you always did.

What a perfect news concoction:
Grand Guignol and farce! Any
Reader loves a story mixing
Leopards, limbs and larceny.
Things look bad for Ms. Ayala,
But diners' doubts still linger:
Everybody's still not sure
Who gave whom the finger.

Earning an honorable mention from the Post was the following poem about the reservations of moderate Republicans on the Senate Foreign Relations committee concerning the nomination of John Bolton for ambassador to the UN.

Lincoln Chafee may defect;
White House rage is molten;
From the ambassador-elect
Others may be boltin'.

White House spokesmen never cease
Their bold, defensive mania.
Condoleezza says her piece
From distant Lithuania.

Chafee, Hagel, Voinovich,
Stoppin' now, and thinkin';
Could it be? Some sanity?
The party, still, of Lincoln?

For Bolton's bid, it's not too late
To hear of things that taint it.
The Senate's right to full debate
Is truly sacred -- ain't it?

Finally, this poem, based on an article about a meeting between representatives of Sony and Toshiba who are trying to agree on the next generation of DVD technology, was one of a set of extra honorable-mention poems not appearing in print but available in the online edition of the Post.

Sony and Toshiba Corp.
Rolled out tatami floor mats,
Sat down and started haggling
On DVDs' new formats.
Who will get to set the trends?
Who remain alive?
In the end, it all depends
Who's got the greater drive.


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