Entries came flooding in following the invitation to submit poems about a politician and an item of clothing. Michael Foot’s donkey jacket; Harold Wilson’s Gannex mac; William Hague’s baseball cap; Hillary’s pantsuit: all featured in what was a cracking entry.
I especially enjoyed Fiona Pitt-Kethley opening line on Theresa May’s leathers: ‘Her look’s more S&M than M&S...’ There were strong performances, too, from Jennifer Moore, Anne Woolfe, Albert Black, Tony Reardon, Dorothy Pope and Derek Greenwood.
The winners, printed below, are rewarded with £25 each. The bonus fiver is Chris O’Carroll’s.
She’s a woman for all weather,
Legs resplendent in fine leather.
Has she flayed some fallen foe and tanned his
There’s no fashionista like her —
Half Posh Spice, half outlaw biker,
See her girded for a PM’s jarring ride,
See the wardrobe of a Tory
Leader rate a front-page story
When leadership’s a female occupation.
Her ensemble is a chic one,
Not a cheap, too-shiny sleek one.
How her snug look chafes at our imagination!
How the supple calfskin’s glowing!
How a niche in history’s growing
As every mind’s thigh feels the irritation.
There once was a glove
that you wouldn’t at all
have thought could belong
to a man who was tall
or planned to be building
the world’s biggest wall,
a man who was famous
for hugeness and gall,
a man who’d take on
any man, ball for ball.
So what’s so surprising?
The glove size was ‘small’.
The oddball they call Bojo has a thing for
A thing that lifts his spirit like a song.
He loves its game of hide and seek, its test of
truth or dare.
His preferential item is the thong.
He surfs the saucy ranges, in the closet of his
At Figleaves and Agent Provocateur,
Those temples of the vivid, frothy underdressed
Delirious, sans peur et sans pudeur.
In conferences phantoms dazzle Bojo’s every
Of a bottom-fondling wisp in purple lace,
Or a silky perineum-flosser, visions so intense
They veil the puzzled frown on Merkel’s face.
While diplomatic delegations wrangle, lie and
Over treaties or historic rights and wrongs
Our Bojo sits confounded by a hypnotising
The ultimate, Platonic Thong of Thongs.
When Merkel dons her trouser suit
She wears it like a superpower —
Resolved, formidable, astute.
She even has the Prussian glower
Of Bismarck in his stately prime,
This Eurowoman of the Hour.
The suit frees her from space and time.
It mends the future and the past.
Its sums add up. Its poems rhyme.
It has her enemies outclassed.
It makes the algorithms jump.
Its savoir-faire is simply vast.
Good fortune to the German frump
Who faces Putin, May and Trump.
He was the change he wished to see,
The opulence in poverty;
He dressed in rich simplicity
And made the world believe him.
His loin cloth set his country free,
And the great could not deceive him.
Through time’s dark sunshine see him pace;
Hope, love and honour light his face.
That humble dhoti grants him grace
And pleads for man’s equality.
Among our saints he takes his place
And walks in immortality.
Sometimes this nightmare surfaces:
Big Brother (Celebrity),
that scarlet too-tight leotard
as worn by Galloway, G.
What politicians sink to
for crude publicity!
Sartorially this is the pits,
faux-feline Galloway, G.
Indelibly on YouTube
blood-red and scoop-necked, overstretched,
enrobing Galloway, G.
I’m sorry to revive for you
this dreadful memory.
Now you, too, will be haunted by
red-lycra-ed Galloway, G.
Your next challenge is to supply a protest song for Donald Trump’s detractors. Please email entries, wherever possible, of up to 16 lines to email@example.com by midday on 1 February.