This week’s contest called for variations on the poem A Visit from St Nicholas, beginning with ‘Twas a month after the election …
A two-verse effort from Warwick Elley of Rothesay Bay: ‘Twas a month after the election, and all through the land/Voters waited for St Winston to show us his hand./MPs hung round Parliament impatient to hear/Which way the Kingmaker was going to declare./ Would he swing to the left, would he swing to the right?/Would their futures be gloomy, or rosy and bright?/Reporters peered eagerly for clues to a decision./But none was revealed by this wily tactician. At last, after pushing out deadlines he’d made/Without an apology for his lengthy charade/He appeared on our screens, smiling broadly like Santa/His eyes twinkling brightly – this veteran enchanter/Announced to the nation he’d go with Jacinda,/They’d worked out a deal that he hoped wouldn’t hinder/His hopes of high office – he’d retire recognised/As God’s gift to the nation, and at last satisfied.
But Kaiapoi’s Barbara Matthews is the
winner: ‘Twas a month after the election, and all through the land/We had nary a gov’ment – not at all what we planned./ And parties were meeting. And staying tight-lipped./We’d achieve just as much if a coin had been flipped./With MMP’s sanction, those who voters selected/
Can still be manoeuvred by those they rejected./And giving and getting in a binge of bureaucracy/Can play merry hell with what we once called democracy. For the next challenge, send us a brief poem beginning with this line from The Moment by Margaret Atwood: The moment when, after many years … Entries close at noon on Thursday, November 16.
Submissions: firstname.lastname@example.org or Wordsworth, NZ Listener, Private Bag 92512, Wellesley St, Auckland 1141. Please include your address.