Ottava rima

I seem to be doing a lot of nearly-winning competitions at the moment. Must try harder. Here’s a piece of ottava rima which, so the magazine in question said (The Literary Review), nearly won a prize.

We’re having a …

A heatwave is declared when sunlight’s spotted
And journos, short of copy, find they’re sweating:
Cue pics of punters, hankies loosely knotted,
In deckchairs on some prom, but not forgetting
Some beach-babes, looking sultry or besotted,
In skimpy swimwear made of silk or netting:
The captions (which include the faithful ‘scorcher’)
Are meant to snare the amateur debaucher.

With all the passion of a necromancer
The hacks work up a thirst (you cannot slake it),
And dash off prose connecting skin to cancer;
To illustrate this, models, semi-naked,
Show off how short the very hottest pants are.
Some dogs die. Tiny children cannot take it.
The old are asked to hide inside their cellars.
Monroe is shown, to songs from the Vandellas.

Day Five arrives. As sure as eggs are ova,
The rain sheets down, and skies are filled with storming.
It’s called a ‘deluge’. Queues stretch back from Dover;
The weathermen are trashed for mis-informing;
Each sun-buff pouts, a thwarted Casanova.
Some dire leaders finger global warming.
But don’t be glum: it’s England. Please remember
We’ll have an ‘Indian summer’ in September.

Quite timely …

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