a southbound Amtrak

a southbound Amtrak
passenger and mail train gone
when the windows clear

(From an early 1990s NPR news story, heard on the car radio. Submitted by John Maruskin)

Sticks and stones

Unfortunately it is far from true…
The power of words to affect
your emotions and actions
is well demonstrated in science.

A word is not a crystal,
transparent and unchanged;
it is the skin of a living thought
and may vary greatly in color and content
according to the circumstances and time
in which it is used.

Majority Floor Leader Jim Stamas, R-Midland,
determined Lisa Brown’s comments
violated the decorum of the House,
“What she said was offensive” said Rep. Mike Callton, R-Nashville.
“It was so offensive, I don’t even want to say it
in front of women.
I would not say that in mixed company.”

Lisa Brown called a press conference, today.
She defended her use of the word “vagina”
saying it is the “anatomically medically correct term.”

Her English teacher even told her
you can’t get wet from the word water.

Each stanza from a different source: Susan Smalley, Professor Emeritus, Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at UCLA; Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr; Detroit News, June 2012; Detroit Free Press, June 2012; and Nin Andrews, Sleeping with Houdini (BOA Editions Ltd, 2008). Submitted by Joanna White.

Interview

Judge Mario Cantone of “Sex and the City” fame
Asked Miss Oklahoma
What she thought of Miley Cyrus’
Recent twerk-filled VMAs performance.

Judge Lance Bass of N*SYNC
Asked Miss Minnesota
Whether political candidates
Were carrying “Stand By Your Man” too far
By supporting their spouses.

[PHOTOS: 50 most beautiful female celebrities]

Violinist Joshua Bell
Asked Miss California
If it was the United States’ responsibility
To punish Syria for using
Chemical weapons on its own people.

TV chef Carla Hall
Quizzed Miss New York
About what message was sent
By Julie Chen’s revelation
She’d had plastic surgery to look less Asian,
To advance her career.

Miss America 2005 Deidre Downs Gunn
Asked Miss Florida
About what the country should do
About minorities having disproportionately low income
And disproportionately high rates
Of unemployment and incarceration.

Miss Florida’s answer was actually cut off for time.

From Miss America crowns first Indian American winner, Nina Davuluri, LA Times, 16 September 2013. Submitted by Mark Dzula.

Re-Verse

Redira second in defensive digs –
Retain Potter.

Dumpster fire scorches bookstore –
Mariners set sail.

Lobster too good to eat –
Zuckerberg has the world by the tail.

Corrections/Clarifications
Dead man awakens at funeral.

Plan to revive economy –
Free public workshop.

Headlines in the Monterey County Herald on the 14th and 15th May, 2012. Submitted by Neal.

Autobahn


A motorway in Germany was closed
for hours as emergency crews
scraped frozen sauerkraut
off the road.

The pickled cabbage had spilt
from a lorry involved in a crash
near Frankfurt, freezing immediately
in the cold conditions.



A news story from the ‘Weird but Wonderful’ section of the Sunday Times, 12th February 2012. Submitted by Thom.

Papa Don’t Shoot


“Papa rushed into the room”
Rola El-Halabi
told the newspaper. “He threatened us with
a gun in his hand and shouted
‘Everyone out!’ And then he shot me
in the hand from three meters.
I cried and screamed.”

Bild reported that El-Halabi split
from her stepfather as a manager
in January. “When I had problems
I could talk with him about anything,
except when it was about boys,”
El-Halabi said.
“That was taboo.”



Taken from a news story on April 3, 2011 about a female boxer in Germany, shot in the hand by her stepfather before a bout. Submitted by Marika Rose.

Faster than the speed of light

It is something
nobody
was expecting.

The constancy
of the speed of light
essentially underpins
our understanding
of space and time and
causality,
which is the fact that
cause
comes
before
effect.

Cause cannot come
after effect
and that is absolutely fundamental
to our construction of
the physical universe.

If we do not have
causality,
we are
buggered.

The words of Subir Sarkar, head of particle theory at Oxford University, in the news article Faster than light particles found, claim scientists. Submitted by Ailsa Holland.