Poetry,  Projects

Weekly news roundup AND Britain's National Poetry Day… combined!

Note: News events listed below are as they happened on the morning of Thursday, 03 Oct 2012 prior to debates, apologies and anything else really exciting. It takes awhile to think up rhymes. I give students a news quiz each week and today I couldn’t decide whether to post the quiz and some of the odd answers or a poem for National Poetry Day in Britain (despite the fact that I am neither located there or a citizen) so you guys got both. Enjoy. If anyone can come up with a title that would be awesome.

—-
This week the Health Department got their anatomy wrong,
They mislabeled the ovaries and thought the stomach was a lung.
But the news today also should have caused you to have wept,
For Turkey shelled Syria this morning while we slept.

In Sydney HSU boss Michael Williamson was arrested.
And sponsors have withdrawn despite what Alan Jones attested
Was a mistake on his part to mock the PM’s grief
And if he does leave radio, will it give us some relief?

And apparently the colour pink is not a colour, who knew?
The brain sees red and violet and plays a trick on you.
Forget biology, physics is what concerns the British now,
They want more girls to study it but they cannot figure out how.

But back at home, Australia’s trade deficit has got us all concerned.*
Technically, we have spent more on imports than on exports we have earned.
And apparently we may suffer like Greece if we don’t look out,
That we need to rethink our economic structure isn’t in any doubt.

We’ve talked of many things but there’s more to come you see
Dino footprints may be at risk up north in the Kimberley.
Meanwhile, we’d like to think the culprit is the Crown of Thorns
For why in 30 years, half the Great Barrier Reef has gone.

They warned us to watch our words on Twitter the other day
Lest we defame or disrupt the legal process in any way.
Meanwhile, New Zealanders and cows across the Tasman Sea
Have found a way to produce milk that’s allergen free.

The power lines were pulled down by a train in WA
And to the advent of Wilders, the Premier has said “No way!”**
But back to events abroad and IKEA may have lost the plot
Exactly where there should be women, girls there were not.

Usually I ask these questions in quiz format each week
Trying to turn university students into news addicted geeks
But today (yesterday?) as Neil Gaiman would have me believe
Is Britain’s National Poetry Day so you have a little reprieve.

But I cannot write a poem without acknowledging the stars.
For that is the theme this year (due to Curiosity on Mars?)
So all this news matters now but will it always be thus?
No, because at the start and end, we are all always stardust.

– (c) Marisa Wikramanayake, 2012 (with many apologies).

* Apparently, the trade deficit for Australia for August 2012 was more than $2 billion.
**Not an actual quote by Colin Barnett but he didn’t know he was going to end up in poem or I am sure he would have tried. 😉

Marisa is a globetrotting freelance writer, journalist and editor with cat for hire (her, not the cat). She is currently based in Melbourne.

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