We’re verse with the news: The results of our current-events poetry contest


The illustration for today’s winning current-events poem. (Bob Staake for The Washington Post )
March 27

Four weeks from now, the Empress will be on assignment overseas — okay, she assigned herself a week or so of leisure time — so there’s no new contest this week. But in four weeks, we’ll publish some more of the honorable mentions from Week 1062: current-events poems that shouldn’t be outdated a month from now.

Meanwhile, next week’s print-edition readers will find The Style Invitational in a new location in the Sunday Post: The Arts and Sunday Style sections have decided to move in together — move back in together, really — into a single broadsheet (full-size) section called Arts & Style: Just as in the weekday paper, classical arts, popular arts and various featurey columns will once again be in one trip-to-the-bathroom-friendly section — call it same-section marriage. And the Invite will be inside the section, at the top of the page right next to the crossword.

Be sure to track us down, because we’ll be celebrating our new digs with the contest everyone loves to enter: our 20th annual challenge to “breed” two horses in a list of some of this year’s Triple Crown-nominated racehorses, and name their “foal.” The new contest and list of horses will appear online Thursday, April 3, and in the April 6 Arts & Style.

Meanwhile, still running — deadline Monday night: our contest to slightly alter an “A-and-B” phrase (“aid and abet,” “peace and quiet,” etc.) and define the result. See bit.ly/invite1065.


The tie festooned with little Viagras, this week’s second prize. See the last poem on this page for a tribute to this fine accessory. (Pat Myers)

(Today’s honorable-mentions subhead is by Tom Witte; the alternative headline in the “Next week’s contest” line was submitted by both Chris Doyle and Kevin Dopart.)

Report from Week 1062

in which we asked for rhyming poems based on current events. The deadline for submissions was March 10, and although there was still a lot of confusion about what was going on in Ukraine, a slew of entrants wrote a verse or title including “Crimea River.”

The winner of the Inkin’ Memorial:

Administration tries to get young adults to sign up for Obamacare
“Hey, horse, here’s some water!” You can’t make him drink.
“Hey, people, here’s science!” You can’t make them think.
“Hey, boyfriend! I’m perfect!” You can’t force his love.
“Hey, young people, heard about Healthcare.gov?”
(Danielle Nowlin, Woodbridge, Va.)

2. Winner of the necktie covered with little pictures of Viagra:

Mass. court rules upskirt photos are legal
In Boston a hotshot’s been getting his jollies
By upskirting crotch shots of women on trolleys.
He’s guilty as sin, and so people will scoff
If the verdict comes in and again he gets off. (Chris Doyle, The Villages, Fla.)
(The state enacted a law the very next day to make this a crime.)

3. Ariz. Gov. Brewer vetoes bill that would allow discrimination against gays
(A double dactyl)
Warily, verily,
Brewer the Governor
Vetoed the anti-gay
Bill in her state.

Threats from the Super Bowl
Showed Arizonans that
Buy-sexuality’s
Stronger than hate. (Gary Crockett, Chevy Chase, Md.)

4. Fox News doesn’t like the president!
A reckless, mad Caesar or feckless appeaser?
Dictatorial, scheming or meek?
You must tune in Fox News to see how it skews,
Which Obama they’ll feature this week. (Frank Osen, Pasadena, Calif.)


The tie up close. Ha ha ha, UP close. We are such a card. (Pat Myers)
Taxing poetic: honorable mentions

The Crimea takeover
The world’s big leaders babble
While Putin quells the rabble,
He lets Obama dabble
In his feckless, toothless threats.
He’s heedless to the prattle
For Russia means to battle —
Not just saber-rattle,
As more ruthless Putin gets. (Ray Gallucci, Frederick, Md.)

French scientist revives ancient virus
Forget about the pyramids and scrolls made of papyrus;
I’ll tell you what is old: a 30,000-year-old virus.
They’ve thawed and resurrected one — an awful lot of drama there!
But since it’s “preexisting,” is it covered by Obamacare? (Beverley Sharp, Montgomery, Ala.)

Md. health care signup is a disaster
(With apologies to Coleridge: original here)
In Maryland did Kubla Khan
A statewide Health Exchange decree.
Where Crash, the half-baked Web site, ran
With bug counts measureless to man
Down too, too frequently.
(Gary Crockett)

Kim Kardashian, Kanye West announce engagement
Kimye set a wedding date
And many will attend it,
The sooner they get started, well,
The sooner they can end it. (Danielle Nowlin)

Gestapolemics?
Quoth Hillary: “Putin’s like Hitler,”
Which caused lots of folks to belittle her. (Frank Osen)

John Travolta introduces Idina Menzel as ‘Adele Dazeem’
If I were Idina Menzel,
And on Oscar night, sounded like hell,
Then it might be my dream
To be dubbed “Ms. Dazeem”
Or otherwise known as “Adele.”
(Mark Raffman, Reston)

Region’s traffic jams eased slightly
Our time stuck in traffic decreased this past year!
For what should we give a collective big cheer?
For smart growth and transit and doing things right?
For pooling our cars and our efforts? Not quite.
The shutdown kept bureaucrats home by the mobs,
And cash sequestration cost thousands of jobs.
(Nan Reiner, Alexandria, Va.)

Canada demands that porn channels use more local talent
The Canadian broadcast commission
Wants adult TV channels to play
Home-grown porn, ’cause its members are wishin’
For gals who cry, “Oh! Oh! Oh! Eh!” (Chris Doyle)

Tribute to Gov. Christie
There’s no traffic like slow traffic
There’s no traffic I know!
People say that I am all too willing
To retaliate against my foes.
But I find the power so fulfilling —
It’s really thrilling when traffic slows!

There’s no traffic like slow traffic
I love watching lines grow!
Though I made the New York Port Authority
Screw up commuters all through Fort Lee,
I will be the presidential nominee!!
Let’s go on with the show!
(Barbara Sarshik, McLean)

To the tune of “America the Beautiful”
“America the Beautiful”:
When we hear that song sung
By anyone who’s dark or gay.
or speaks a foreign tongue,
Our patriotic hearts are filled
with somber waves of hate,
For xenophobic loathing is
what makes our country great.

We love to watch the Super Bowl,
and we love every ad.
But this year there was one for Coke that made us super mad.
America, America!
Fox shed its rage on thee.
Fill spacious skies with angry cries against diversity.
(Chris O’Carroll, Emporia, Kan.)

And Last:
A famous daily paper has its fun with male distress
And offers as a trophy, lacking conscience or redress,
A tie festooned with potent pills from mega-pharma joints —
And if you still don’t get it, take a look at where it points. (Elden Carnahan, Laurel)

See the Empress’s online column The Style Conversational (published late Thursday), in which she discusses today’s new contest and results along with news about the Loser Community — and you can vote for your favorite among the inking entries, since you no doubt figured the Empress chose the wrong winner. If you’d like an e-mail notification each week when the Invitational and Conversational are posted online, sign up here or write to the Empress at losers@washpost.com (note that in the subject line) and she’ll add you to the mailing list. And on Facebook, join the far more lively group Style Invitational Devotees and chime in there.

Next week’s results: Same Difference, or Grin and Pair It, our perennial contest to explain how any two items on a random list we supply are alike or different. See bit.ly/invite1063.

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