The Special Category

Anagrammy Awards > Voting Page - Special Category

An optional explanation about the anagram in green, the subject is in black, the anagram is in red.

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John Betjeman

Phone for the fish knives, Norman
As cook is a little unnerved;
You kiddies have crumpled the serviettes
And I must have things daintily served.

Are the requisites all in the toilet?
The frills round the cutlets can wait
Till the girl has replenished the cruets
And switched on the logs in the grate.

It's ever so close in the lounge dear,
But the vestibule's comfy for tea
And Howard is riding on horseback
So do come and take some with me

Now here is a fork for your pastries
And do use the couch for your feet;
I know that I wanted to ask you-
Is trifle sufficient for sweet?

Milk and then just as it comes dear?
I'm afraid the preserve's full of stones;
Beg pardon, I'm soiling the doileys
With afternoon tea-cakes and scones.


Are there enough gays in the Forces?
Do rapists enjoy Human Rights?
Do we, sheep-like, observe Health and Safety?
Have 'No Fires!' ruled on Bonfire Night?

In classes, do kids write on 'chalkboards'?
Do prisoners see films and TV?
Do we, finding a thief in our kitchen,
Attack? Hide? Or make him some tea?

Did the Councils ban Christmas and Easter
To avoid ethnics taking offence?
Is the term 'nitty-gritty' an insult?
When did we revoke common sense?

Is Jesus a little offensive
To those who do not share our faith?
Must the vast multitude all defer to
The smirkers who detest our race?

If dud answers you gave to these questions,
The Thought Police will be on your trail;
If the rules are not kept as intended,
You'll serve a stiff sentence in jail.

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Little Jack Horner

(Inane, cheerful English poem concerning a boy's single 'Hurrah' achievement;
however, recently challenged as appallingly irreverent or narrow)

Little Jack Horner
Sat in the corner,
Eating a Christmas pie;
He put in his thumb,
And pulled out a plum,
And said "What a good boy am I!"

Now I present the politically corrected version of the rhyme 'Little Jack Horner':

Vertically-challenged Jack Horner
Sat in a corner,
Eating his/her humble seasonal pie;
The generic human being put in his/her thumb,
And pulled out an organically-grown plum,
And said, "What an average person am I."

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[None of the seventy-one countries in the anagram contain the letter 'e']

Afghanistan + Andorra + Angola + Antigua and Barbuda + Brazil + Bulgaria + Canada + Cuba + Dominica + Gambia + Haiti + Honduras + Hungary + India + Iran + Italy + Jamaica + Kiribati + Laos + Latvia + Libya + Mongolia + Morocco + Norway + Oman + Palau + Panama + Samoa + Saudi Arabia + South Africa + Sri Lanka + Sudan + Tajikistan + Tunisia + Vanuatu + Zambia

Albania + Austria + Bahrain + Barbados + Bolivia + Burkina Faso + Cambodia + China + Colombia + Congo + Croatia + Fiji + Gabon + Jordan + Kazakhstan + Latvia + Lithuania + Madagascar + Malaysia + Mali + Mauritania + Mauritius + Namibia + Paraguay + Poland + Romania + Rwanda + Saint Lucia + Sudan + Syria + Tanzania + Thailand + Tonga + Uganda + Uruguay

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by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

I am leading a quiet life
in Mike's Place every day
watching the champs
of the Dante Billiard Parlor
and the French pinball addicts.
I am leading a quiet life
on lower East Broadway.
I am an American.
I was an American boy.
I read the American Boy Magazine
and became a boy scout
in the suburbs.
I thought I was Tom Sawyer
catching crayfish in the Bronx River
and imagining the Mississippi.
I had a baseball mit
and an American Flyer bike.
I delivered the Woman's Home Companion
at five in the afternoon
or the Herald Trib
at five in the morning.
I still can hear the paper thump
on lost porches,
I had an unhappy childhood.
I saw Lindberg land,
I looked homeward
and saw no angel.
I got caught stealing pencils
from the Five and Ten Cent Store
the same month I made Eagle Scout.
I chopped trees for the CCC
and sat on them.
I landed in Normandy
in a rowboat that turned over.
I have seen the educated armies
on the beach at Dover.
I have seen Egyptian pilots in purple clouds
shopkeepers rolling up their blinds
at midday
potato salad and dandelions
at anarchist picnics.

I am reading 'Lorna Doone'
and a life of John Most
terror of the industrialist
a bomb on his desk at all times.
I have seen the garbagemen parade
in the Columbus Day Parade
behind the glib
farting trumpeters.
I have not been out to the Cloisters
in a long time
nor to the Tuileries
but I still keep thinking
of going.
I have seen the garbagemen parade
when it was snowing.
I have eaten hotdogs in ballparks.
I have heard the Gettysburg Address
and the Ginsberg Address.
I like it here
and I won't go back
where I came from.
I too have ridden boxcars boxcars boxcars.
I have travelled among unknown men.
I have been in Asia
with Noah in the Ark.
I was in India
when Rome was built.
I have been in the Manger
with an Ass.
I have seen the Eternal Distributor
from a White Hill
in South San Francisco
and the Laughing Woman at Loona Park
outside the Fun House
in a great rainstorm
still laughing.
I have heard the sound of revelry
by night.
I have wandered lonely
as a crowd.
I am leading a quiet life
outside of Mike's Place every day
watching the world walk by
in its curious shoes.

I once started out
to walk around the world
but ended up in Brooklyn.
That Bridge was too much for me.
I have engaged in silence
exile and cunning.
I flew too near the sun
and my wax wings fell off.
I am looking for my Old Man
whom I never knew.
I am looking for the Lost Leader
with whom I flew.
Young men should be explorers.
Home is where one starts from.
But Mother never told me
there'd be scenes like this.
Womb -weary
I rest
I have travelled.
I have seen goof city.
I have seen the mass mess.
I have heard Kid Ory cry.
I have heard a trombone preach.
I have heard Debussy
strained thru a sheet.
I have slept in a hundred islands
where books were trees.
I have heard the birds
that sound like bells.
I have worn grey flannel trousers
and walked upon the beach of hell.
I have dwelt in a hundred cities
where trees were books.
What subways what taxis what cares!
What women with blind breasts
limbs lost among skyscrapers
I have seen the statues of heroes
at carrefours.
Danton weeping at a metro entrance
Columbus in Barcelona
pointing Westward up the Ramblas
toward the American Express
Lincoln in his stony chair
And a great Stone Face
in North Dakota.
I know that Columbus
did not invent America.
I have heard a hundred housebroken Ezra Pounds.
They should all be freed.
It is long since I was a herdsman.
I am leading a quiet life
in Mike's Place every day
reading the Classified columns.
I have read the Reader's Digest
from cover to cover
and noted the close identification
of the United States and the Promised Land
where every coin is marked
In God We Trust
but the dollar bills do not have it
being gods unto themselves.
I read the Want Ads daily
looking for a stone a leaf
an unfound door.
I hear America singing
in the Yellow Pages.
One could never tell
the soul has its rages.
I read the papers every day
and hear humanity amiss
in the sad plethora of print.
I see where Walden Pond has been
drained to make an amusement park.
I see they're making Melville
eat his whale.
I see another war is coming
but I won't be there to fight it.
I have read the writing
on the outhouse wall.
I helped Kilroy write it.
I marched up Fifth Avenue
blowing on a bugle in a tight platoon
but hurried back to the Casbah
looking for my dog.
I see a similarity between dogs and me.
Dogs are the true observers
walking up and down the world
thru the Molloy country.
I have walked down alleys
too narrow for Chryslers.
I have seen a hundred horseless milkwagons
in a vacant lot in Astoria.
Ben Shahn never painted them
but they' re there
askew in Astoria.
I have heard the junkman's obbligato.
I have ridden superhighways
and believed the billboard's promises
Crossed the Jersey Flats
and seen the Cities of the Plain
And wallowed in the wilds of Westchester
with its roving bands of natives
in stationwagons.
I have seen them.
I am the man.
I was there.
I suffered somewhat.
I am an American.
I have a passport.
I did not suffer in public.
And I'm too young to die.
I am a selfmade man.
And I have plans for the future.
I am in line
for a top job.
I may be moving on
to Detroit.
I am only temporarily
a tie salesman.
I am a good Joe.
I am an open book
to my boss.
I am a complete mystery
to my closest friends.
I am leading a quiet life
in Mike's Place every day
contemplating my navel.
I am a part
of the body's long madness.
I have wandered in various nightwoods.
I have leaned in drunken doorways.
I have written wild stories
without punctuation.
I am the man.
I was there.
I suffered
I have sat in an uneasy chair.
I am a tear of the sun.
I am a hill
where poets run.
I invented the alphabet
after watching the flight of cranes
who made letters with their legs.
I am a lake upon a plain.
I am a word
in a tree.
I am a hill of poetry.
I am a raid
on the inarticulate.
I have dreamt
that all my teeth fell out
but my tongue lived
to tell the tale.
For I am a still
of poetry.
I am a bank of song.
I am a playerpiano
in an abandoned casino
on a seaside esplanade
in a dense fog
still playing.
I see a similarity
between the Laughing Woman
and myself.
I have heard the sound of summer
in the rain.
I have seen girls on boardwalks
have complicated sensations.
I understand their hesitations.
I am a gatherer of fruit.
I have seen how kisses
cause euphoria.
I have risked enchantment.

I have seen the Virgin
in an appletree at Chartres
And Saint Joan burn
at the Bella Union.
I have seen giraffes
in junglejims
their necks like love
wound around the iron circumstances
of the world.
I have seen the Venus Aphrodite
armless in her drafty corridor.
I have heard a siren sing
at One Fifth Avenue.
I have seen the White Goddess dancing
in the Rue des Beaux Arts
on the Fourteenth of July
and the Beautiful Dame Without Mercy
picking her nose in Chumley's.
She did not speak English.
She had yellow hair
and a hoarse voice
and no bird sang.
I am leading a quiet life
in Mike's Place every day
watching the pocket pool players
making the minestrone scene
wolfing the macaronis
and I have read somewhere
the Meaning of Existence
yet have forgotten
just exactly where.
But I am the man
And I'll be there.
And I may cause the lips
of those who are asleep
to speak.
And I may make my notebooks
into sheaves of grass.
And I may write my own
eponymous epitaph
instructing the horsemen
to pass.


I live in New Mexico,
the Land of Enchantment
in a southwestern-style house.
I value my personal life,
husband, teenage son, and two dogs.
I manage a business from home;
a jackrabbit manages the property.
I am working on a tax return,
which is due on April fifteenth.
I'll finish it earlier this year
because I am habitually late,
and then resume anagrams.

I was born in a Cleveland hospital
with an unbearable name at birth;
I won't reveal the name to anyone.
I came from a "heathen" atheist family;
I'd sneak off to Bible school by myself.
I was an unmanageable child,
bickered with my young sister.
I gave our mother awful headaches,
or so she wanted me to believe.
I read eerie 'Nancy Drew' stories,
and searched for a hidden passage
in my grandparents' stone house,
less than a mile from our home.
I loved to assemble jigsaw puzzles,
then do them again upside down,
with no picture visible to see.
I had quite an active imagination.
I invented secret codes and games
that I played quietly alone.
I confess I was shy and fearful,
but did phenomenally in school.
I was intelligent and attentive.
I learned both violin and piano,
rode horseback in shows,
and rode piggyback on my father.
I went harness sleighing in winter,
made tree houses in summer.
I had a pleasant childhood.
I played baseball with local boys,
until a freakish incident
when I got hit in the head with a bat,
had a hemorrhage, headache, shiner.
I joined the Campfire Girls
(was never interested in Girl Scouts)
and made hot S'mores by the fire.
I trick-or-treated for UNICEF.
I was not a cheerleader or athlete.
I traveled to Rome and Madrid,
where I left the bullfight in tears.
I am humane, but not squeamish.
I adore animals of all kinds.

I had a crush on a friend's brother,
who lived down the avenue.
I was a bareback horsewoman.
I fell off a horse on my head
to impress him with my horsemanship--
another hemorrhage, ache, amnesia.
He came to visit me in the hospital;
I was ungainly in a tie-on gown,
too embarrassed and humiliated
to ever see him again.
I hear he became a veterinarian.
He died of leukemia later,
and I never professed my love.

In my teen years, I misbehaved,
gallivanting with friends.
I went out through the window
at night when it was dark.
I'd stuff a level bed with pillows
to look like I was asleep.
My mother turned on the light
and I ran away from home.
I hid where they couldn't find me,
in my friends' grandma's house,
while she was away in Florida.
I was apprehended three days later
when the grandma got home.
The police called my indignant father.
It was a serious infraction.
I never quite knew the reason
I was sent to boarding school;
I think it was probably behavioral,
because I was a juvenile delinquent,
at least according to my mother.
I was sent to a private school
they couldn't really afford.
I worked part-time in the kitchen
to pay the expensive tuition.
I felt like an abandoned orphan.
I was an introverted teen,
though I enjoyed serving others;
I knew it was a privilege.
I lived on the third floor of a dorm;
I can't remember my roommate.
I know we smoked hash in the closet,
behind a heavy wool blanket
hanging over a rod.
Our sweaters smelt of smoke.
I learned to understand French
and express myself in print,
but I am not verbally bilingual.
I haven't ever used the language.
I loved new philosophies.
I read Hemingway and Shakespeare.
I watched cheesy old movies
on the lower floor of the dorm.
We turned all the armchairs over,
shook out years of coins
to put in vending machines.
I drank Fanta Orange soda
and ate PayDay candy bars.
I had embarrassing acne.
I used heavy Cover Girl makeup
and mascara on my eyelashes.
I wore heather-tone fashions.
I skipped the morning chapel
to sneak off to smoke hashish.
I experimented with drugs,
and had hallucinations.
It was the year nineteen-sixty-nine
and I was "sweet sixteen".
I played pranks on dorm mothers.
I was expelled from school
right before the holidays.
I rode home in my father's car
for thirteen hours in complete silence.
Advisors permitted me to return,
but only until that year's end.

I went to the beach in the summer;
I was seventeen that season.
I found a job as a waitress
at a fishing pier restaurant.
I moved to a boarding house
with several serious surfers.
I hitchhiked for transportation.
I protested the Vietnam war,
burned my bra, was a hippie chick,
and drank Boone's Farm Apple Wine.
I was a vagabond in blue jeans,
living on my own at seventeen.
I loved bookkeeping in school,
then attended business college
for accounting and computer science.
I learned Fortran, Cobol,
and Basic Assembly Language.
I programmed an endless loop
into the full-room IBM computer
before Christmas break
and left it running for a week.
No one found out who did it.
I got involved with an older man;
I envisioned marriage to him
and thought it would be heaven.
I wore a lovely diamond ring,
but he was businesslike, snappish,
and always late to meet me.
I had been sadly mistaken.
I broke it off and vanished to heal.
I headed to Tallahassee, Florida,
hid as a long-distance telephone operator.

I met my spouse-to-be at a party
the evening Nixon was reelected.
We were drinking, commiserating,
not celebrating the victory.
I thought my husband-to-be clever,
and called him "Philosopher King".
We listened to Firesign Theatre
and erupted into laughter.
I dreamed of his magnetic blue eyes.
I observed him practicing yoga
and meditating with self-discipline,
though I was irreverent and negative.
I talked and babbled and jabbered,
and asked him to take me along
on his journeys and adventures
in search of a higher spiritual life.
He said "There's no room for another",
but I aggressively pursued it,
and eventually convinced him
that I could be a helpmate.
Exhausted, he agreed I could go,
and I quickly packed my things.
We left in a bus the next morning.
I had only a small backpack,
no baggage except my faithlessness,
which was apparently very heavy.
We overstayed our welcome
with his college friends in Austin.
We found an apartment in San Antonio,
but were unable to get employment;
we did not speak Spanish at all.
We slept on a shapeless mattress,
ate Pop-Tarts and Instant Breakfast,
and followed Watergate on TV;
fun, but "heathen" - not a spiritual life.
We ran out of most of our cash
and rode the bus back to Virginia.
He got his glassblower job back.
Our housemates got high in the evening,
served meals to yoga teachers.
I became a wholehearted vegetarian.
I adopted real spiritual behavior.
and felt very enthusiastic.

We hitchhiked to an ashram,
lived separate there as renunciates.
I woke early and took cold baths
(great for ailments and overall health).
I performed humanitarian service,
and ashram housekeeping
(the men seemed chauvinistic).
I sang elevating music,
shared peaceful chanting,
sat in silent meditation,
did Kundalini yoga, too.
Our marriage was at an amphitheater.
Relatives did not attend the service.
I had the flu, felt peevish at the time.
We had no true honeymoon.
My husband became an unshaven white Sikh,
receiving his spiritual name.
I took his name in earnest,
meaning "righteous, faithful",
although, I had real reservations.
We rolled into Espanola in a VW bus,
hearing the ashram there had a farm.
Arriving at the hacienda in overalls,
we helped a while with a harvest,
laundry, and barn chores.

At length, after several miscarriages,
I bore two healthy sons...
(I have a hunch that's enough)

Hawaiian retirement? Heavens, no!

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As a bagpiper, I play many unusual gigs. Recently, though, I had the most unusual gig of them all: I was asked by a funeral director to play at a graveside service for a homeless man. This guy had no family or friends, so the service was to be conducted in a pauper's cemetery somewhere in the back country.

As I was unfamiliar with the backwoods, I soon got lost and being a typical man, no, I did not stop to ask anyone for directions.

I eventually turned up an hour late and saw that the funeral guy had evidently gone and the hearse was nowhere in sight. There was only the digger-machine and some men left and they were eating lunch.

I felt bad and apologized to them for being late. Then I went to the hushed graveside and, looking down, noticed the vault lid was already in place. I did not know what I should do next, so I began playing.

Soon, the workers put down their lunches and began to gather round. And oh, I played my heart and soul out for this unknown man - this man who had no home, no family and no friends. Then, when I played 'Amazing Grace,' the workers began to weep. Next, I played 'Danny Boy' and they cried. Then I cried, then we all cried together. When I had finished, I packed up my bagpipes and started to make for my car. Though my head hung low, my heart was full.

As I opened the door to my car, I heard one of the workers say, "I never seen nothing like that before and I've been installing septic tanks for twenty-eight years."

Apparently I'm still lost...

Nelson Mandela was resting at home, viewing TV and sipping a beer, when he heard a rat-a-tat-tat on the door.

When he opened it, he was confronted by this little Chinese man, clutching a clipboard and yelling, 'You Sign! You sign!'

Behind him was a truck full of car tyres and exhaust pipes.

The man yelled louder, 'You Sign! You sign!'

Nelson replied irritably, 'I'm afraid you've got the wrong address,' and shut the door in his face.

The next day there was a knock at the door again. When he opened it, the little Chinese man was there with a huge delivery of brake pads. He thrust a clipboard under Nelson's nose and yelled, 'You sign! You sign!'

Mr Mandela was getting rather hacked off by now, so he pushed the little Chinaman away, reiterating: 'You've got the wrong man! Back off! I don't need car brake pads. Go away!' and slammed the door in his face again.

The following day, Nelson was asleep when he was awakened by a knock on the door. On opening it, there was the Chinaman again thrusting a clipboard in his face, yelling, 'You sign! You sign!'

Behind him were TWO very large trucks full of different types of auto parts.

This time, the tired Mandela lost his temper completely; he picked up the man by his shirt front and shouted: 'Look, I am a leader of men. I don't want auto parts! Do you understand me? You've got the wrong name! Who did you want to give them to, anyway ?'

The little Chinaman, looking very puzzled, peered hard at the clipboard and said: 'You not Nissan Main Dealer?'

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A Spring Sonnet
(Arthur Henry Adams)

Last night beneath the mockery of the moon
I heard the sudden startled whisperings
Of wakened birds settling their restless wings;
The North-east brought his word of gladness, "Soon!"
And all the night with wonder was a-swoon.
A soul had breathed into long-dreaming things;
Some unseen hand hovered above the strings:
Some cosmic chord had set the earth in tune.
And when I rose I saw the Bay arrayed
In her grey robe against the coming heat.
A pulse awoke within the stirring street--
The wattle-gold upon the pavements thrown,
And through the quiet of the colonnade
The smoky perfume of boronia blown.

A Spring Theme

Battered 'neath the thunderstorms of spring,
Shoots erupt from the seeds that we had sown.
Soon the quivery flowers have all grown,
As host to thirsty bees that sting and birds that sing.
What more might these longer days bring,
When icy northeastern winds have blown
And April's ultimate beauty is shown?
Do hibernating skunks reawaken in the shade,
And hormonal deer honeymoon in the woodland glade?
From a high oak tree bough the children swing;
Their enchanted faces shine bright!
When our outdoor toil in the garden is complete,
We meet together in spontaneous delight,
Then adore a thousand fragrances so sweet!

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[Parts of Larry Brash's write-up honoring Mey's record breaks at the 2010 Grand Anagrammy Awards are anagrammed into a multiacrostic.]

The big problem for Mey here was choosing three out of eight of his monthly winners, all gems in their own right, for the final competition. His choices were well made and the voters agreed, giving him 1st, 2nd and 3rd., a feat never previously achieved.

Mey took the first four places here. What more can be said about the man who has dominated the long categories (especially in Special) this year.

Really, what more can be said about Mey's performance this year? He performed well in every category, but shone out in the Special Category winning 9 times this year.

A Finest Sonnet to Mey
Harshal M.

A long pri m itive perception lines,
R ose mill i ons of smooth, impeccable arts,
S o it ali g hts in healthy, vivace minds,
M ore wort h be born within some eyes or hearts.
A t a cryp t ic, eerie, groggy cipher
G rant ver y ready perfect craft,
New alchemy taught from the senior lifer,
And challenge yield from open draft,
Get worthy, suave ability; highly active
Essence okay, these heroes about brewed,
Now rather lush, shaped, and attractive,
I lie in a confined peace; redeeming mood,
Until secure, how we aim to be,
Somehow, safe, though wholly apt in a high degree.

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[The subject, a eulogy for "a VIOLET by a mossy stone," is a poem by William Wordsworth (1770-1850); while the anagram is my tribute to the recently departed actress Elizabeth Taylor. The title MMXI The Lost Loves refers to the year she died (2011) and her 8 husbands. Of course, the anagram contains an acrostic constraint -- EYES OF VIOLET -- which she was known for.]

CLXVII The Lost Love

She dwelt among the untrodden ways
Beside the springs of Dove:
A maid whom there were none to praise
And very few to love.

A violet by a mossy stone
Half-hidden from the eye!-
Fair as a star, when only one
Is shining in the sky.

She lived unknown, and few could know
When Lucy ceased to be;
But she is in her grave, and, oh,
The difference to me!

MMXI The Lost Loves

Enter he, Nicky Hilton (of hotels)...
Yep, leave a drunken sod!
Engage in the two Michaels --
Suave Wilding and sweet Todd.

Oh, Debbie's Eddie Fisher then.
Fun of men and guys!
Vivid he, Richard Burton...
Involved, been with him twice!

Off to see some fans anyway;
Loves Senator Warner (Whoopee!)
Ends hence, oh, how one day?
The last was Larry Fortensky!

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[A classic sonnet anagrammed into a poem about recent tragedies that also contains 5 acrostics detailing the transformation of EARTH into HEART, which is animated below it]

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Speak low to me, my Saviour, low and sweet
From out the hallelujahs, sweet and low
Lest I should fear and fall, and miss Thee so
Who art not missed by any that entreat.
Speak to me as to Mary at thy feet
And if no precious gums my hands bestow,
Let my tears drop like amber while I go
In reach of thy divinest voice complete
In humanest affection -- thus, in sooth,
To lose the sense of losing. As a child,
Whose song-bird seeks the wood for evermore
Is sung to in its stead by mother's mouth
Till, sinking on her breast, love-reconciled,
He sleeps the faster that he wept before.

Poem of Faith

East Asia aches
And buildings break,
Roofs drifting off to sea;
The shops in center Tokyo shake,
Hit by this lunacy.

Emotions flow,
As one more blow
Reminds New Zealand's lot
How far will Nature often go
To show it calls the shots.

Eternal threats
Abound, and yet
Humanity still fights,
Relentless in the strife to set
The looming problems right:

Events like these
Have sparked the pleas
And bids of potent crews,
Resolved to soothe, from overseas,
The most unwelcome bruise.

How may we aid
Each just crusade
At once? I'll pen my view:
Remember that the ones dismayed
Tomorrow might be you.