Editorial

December 25, 2005|By WILL ENGLUND

[Poem is in the shape of a Christmas Tree]

A Man, A plan, A canal -- Time to put The isthmus back Into Christhmus? Able was I ere I saw -- Josie and Napoleon! Exclaimin', Holy-Moleyin', Ah, me; ah, well. Joyeux Noel. Palindromes are here corrupted: Madam, I'm -- interrupted! Samx yrrem, less-the-none, Front to back's only half the fun. So launch we now our fragile vessel Of holiday rhymes (well, more or lessel). But who's that on the beach? Is it King Canute Ordering back the Yuletide in his reddish suit? Don't be ridicholas. It's jolly old Saint Nicholas. And putting his finger aside of his nose, He breaks into verse, and this is how it goes: "Happy Christmas to all, and a wave of the hankie, To Joan Didion and Ben Bernanke; To Hugo Chavez and Mayor Nagin, And Jack Abramoff, that latter-day Fagin. Let there be music from holiday choirs For Zalmay Khalilzad and Harriet Miers. For Montgomery chief Mr. Doug Duncan A festive and grinning holiday pun'kin -- No, wait, that's wrong, it's not Hallowe'en -- No matter, a wreath! For Manager Guillen! For Hrabowski, Freeman, and Alsop, Marin, No colds; no flu; no gitis, laryn. Nary a glitch nor a sneeze nor a blooper For 10 o'clock anchorman Anderson Cooper; For Scooter Libby and Tom DeLay, A restful sojourn -- perhaps get away? And now that it's over, a proper adiosa To Katrina and Wilma and our own Sammy Sosa. From out of eclipse, both lunar and solar, A chance to shine for Kyle Boller; For UM's thinker, Thomas Schelling, A caroling, sure -- but, please, no belling! Game, set, match to Maria Sharapova. To Beantown fans, sorry it's ovah. In Vatican City let nothing demeaneth, The first Christmas Day of Ben the Sixteeneth; And raise a cheer from cellar to attic, For mergers and power plants and cute Mrs. Shattuck, For Joseph F. Steffen, the Young Prince of Dark, And pilgrims who swear by the gospel of MARC. Chocolate and cakes and coffee to percol, For Philip Seymour Hoffman and Angela Merkel. A garland or two for Brownie, ex of FEMA, And one for Judith Miller, and every donna prima. For sleek Afleet Alex, of Preakness brio, Plus Ben, Kweisi, Michael (a horserace trio), For Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, the Liberian prexy, And Ambassador Bolton (spare the apoplexy), For Patrick Fitzgerald, with rod and reel, And backup backstop Geronimo Gil, A mantel and fire and a big bulging sock -- And ditto for Christo, not to mention Chris Rock! It's aweigh in a manger at the Naval Academy, But not quite yet for Russian chief Vladimy (Whose Christmas comes later, Orthodox-style, The better a deep winter's night to beguile.) Now, from Dakota to Carolina -- tags say `Made in China.' So let's give a bow -- to the top guy Hu Jintao. Plus an ecumenical nod -- (ahem!) -- to Iran's Ahmadinejad. And who's not va-va-voomy -- for Junichiro Koizumi? But back to our meter, it's surely worth noting G-man Mark Felt, who fessed up to Deep Throating. For Cindy Sheehan, by the ranch down in Crawford, And monarchical Kong, for the true love he offered, And Anthony Brown, of Prince George's County -- A succulent feast and a seasonal bounty. And thus comes the end of the old man's versifying, Now he's slinging his sack and his reindeer are flying! But what of our opening palindromic intention? Does completing the circle rate not a mention? No, no! As he leaps and he loops to the stars way up there, The sleighbells all tinkling in the wintry night air, You can hear him Shout answers; You knew that He had 'em. "It's Panama! Elba! And don't forget Adam!" -- Will Englund

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