Saturday, February 4, 2006

LIFE: ...And now, poetry

Poetry is like the third rail of newspapers. Quality newspapers stay away from the stuff like it's the plague, except maybe in special arts sections. There's nothing worse than some of the poetry people submit as letters to the editors ("I had a cat, squashed flat, died / the day this happened, angels, they cried"). It's like a terrible door that once opened can never be shut if you let poetry in the paper, so most editors swear off the iambic stuff and stay far far away to avoid problems.

All this is apologia for my little bit of poesy that appeared in today's paper (or as wife Avril put it, "doggerel"). But really, who wants to write a dull editorial about how much rain we got, anyway? (Buckets, I say!) Cheerfully boss editor Bart let me get away with it and tonight 40,000 or so readers are groaning at my lameness:

The New Year dawned here full of rain and flood,
On January 1 the clouds created much mud.
Little did we know as the year embarked
It wouldn't let up until we started an ark
We almost floated away, so great was the flow
Some considered moving back to LA or Modesto
The flow came down throughout all January,
for most of the days, umbrellas we carried
The forecaster called and gave us a tip
Told us the month would give "record precip."
The rain that came down was amazing to see,
Inches totaling 12.03 swept to the sea.
If by inclination you want to measure over time,
It was the wettest January since 1899,
beating all the years that came before,
Including even the wet '50, '56 and '64.
We like rain, mostly, because it keeps things green
But too much of a good thing makes some folks mean
If there's a moral to be had from this soggy month's bounty,
It's that it's good to have a raincoat here in damp Douglas County.

Now if Bart gets a flood of equally bad poetry as letter submissions, it's all my fault. Perhaps I should update my resume...

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