Talking to Seamus Harrington last night about the Strokestown Political Satire competion which became the Strokestown Humorous Verse competition in 2009. I mentioned, somewhat braggingly, that I had won the last political satire competition in 2008 with a poem about Ryanair and Seamus asked me to post it up.
I must have been have been having a senior moment because actually the Ryanair poem came second in 2009. My winning poem in 2008 was about Bertie Ahern's claim in the tribunals that while Minister for Finance in the nineties, he had no bank account and didn't have two cent to rub together.
The Poverty Trap
He stares at the paint-peeling walls that surround him,
The settlement deeds that conspire to confound him,
And draws his deep-pocketed anorak ‘round him,
Lamenting his dire situation.
He checks down the back of the threadbare two-seater
To find a stray shilling to put in the meter
So he can hunch over his single bar heater
And try to restore circulation.
His chin is unshaven, his hair is dishevelled,
He wears the appearance of someone bedevilled
By gross accusations mischievously levelled
That basely conspire to haunt him.
He wishes his daughter would learn to write novels
And earn enough cash so he no longer grovels
In Drumcondra squatland in derelict hovels
Whose squalor now rises to taunt him.
His ribcage is prominent, his stomach is rumbling,
The sprout in the fridge is both shrivelled and humbling.
He dreams of the good times, distractedly mumbling
‘Bout trying to balance the budget.
He yearns for a burger on which he can pig out,
Of suits so much smarter than his current rig out.
If only he’d friends who would give him a dig out!
How could anybody begrudge it?
How he longs for a fireside that crackles and blazes,
A plate of spaghetti with three bologneses,
And a big pint of Bass with a head – ah now, Jaysus! –
To wash down the plate of smoked salmon.
But now, though he plays to a national gallery,
He’s forced to conserve every grimly-won calorie.
Oh its hard to exist on a Minister’s salary –
And they say things were bad in the famine!
One day, he avows, when he heads up the nation,
He’ll make sure his colleagues don’t suffer starvation,
Constantly worried by gross deprivation
And fretting when poverty hits them.
No farting around in small step-by-step stages,
He’ll hike up their pensions and hoosh up their wages,
No matter how vocally everyone rages,
He’ll give them a wage that befits them.