5 JUNE 1982, Page 33

No. 1218: The winners

Jaspistos reports: Competitors were asked for a rhymed poem leadenly prosaic in tone and content.

'Spade! with which Wilkinson hath tilled his lands' was surely the most leaden of Wordsworth's many leaden lines, and an impressive number of you were every bit as plumbeous and bathetic. As far as content was concerned, you seemed to be obsessed by traffic — two of the winners (if you count a steam-roller as traffic) wrote about it, and at least half a dozen others; as for tone, some of you had to be rejected because you simply couldn't prevent mica- like chips of cleverness sparkling through the base metal. Anyway, it was a splendid entry, and I'm pleased to have six good winners worth £8 each and to hand over the last bonus bottle of the Famous Grouse Scotch Whisky to Bridget Loney, whose piece almost broke my yawnometer. Our gratitude goes to Matthew Gloag and Son for having so generously provided the bot- tles of excellent whisky with which the last dozen top winners have been blessed. A short dry period will follow.

To turn now to your second question, well, The basic situation is the same: Little has changed; and only time will tell If progress has been made except in name.

In my own view — though far be it from me To make conjectures in advance of facts It all depends on how the two sides see The present issues, and how each side acts.

To some, the view looks good; to others, bad; Discussions, hopefully, are under way; There really is not much that I can add To what was said in statements yesterday. According to a reputable source, More details will be issued in due course.

(Bridget Loney)

The stations of the London Underground Are useful points for boarding subway trains. Extremely numerous, they can be found

got mugged.' By passengers who learn to use their brains. Infallibly revealed by special signs (Look out for circles with a transverse bar), They give the traveller a choice of lines.

Their platform maps will show you where you are.

The tickets, though expensive, are quite small, Oblong in shape and often coloured green: They can be purchased in the booking-hall From booking-clerks, or else from a machine. The average speed is reasonably fast, But jolts are harmless if you grip the strap; And when your destination's reached at last You safely can descend — but mind the gap.

(Basil Ransome-Davies) With reference to my telephone call of yesterday's date, I confirm that I have placed an order for a crate Of twelve two-litre bottles of detergent.

I shall be much obliged if you can, by return, Confirm this confirmation in your turn And mark your letter 'Personal and Urgent'.

(Ian S. Menzies) The puffing billy goes along The roads that have been scarred, It makes the surface smooth and strong After it has been tarred.

Then when the road's been tarred enough, It's sprinkled with some grit; For tar is such a sticky stuff That grit adheres to it.

In due course comes the moment when (Unless it starts to rain) The engine travels forward, then Reverses back again.

Thus back and forth the rollers roll To make quite certain that Each bit is smooth, until the whole Is, like this poem, flat. (A. J. Wyborn) 'I categorically state That no concordat has been reached, And I can not negotiate Once the guidelines have been breached.

'Our terms of reference must dictate (As democratically agreed) Parameters of this debate Which neither party may exceed.

'I can though say, at any rate, Their answer is derisory, And my Executive won't wait For all the parties to agree.

'And now I've told you, up to date, The situation we are in -

The rest is in the hands of Fate.'

A Spokesman ends his bulletin. (J. C. Causer) When you are made miserable by the cold wintry blast In places as widely apart as Toronto, Moscow and Belfast, You must remember that in three or four months' time A higher temperature will ensure a reasonably tolerable clime.

Nevertheless, nobody but God can foretell the precise date When the unpredictable winter will finally abate, Thus bringing to all and sundry the much desired spring About which ninety per cent of poets and birds sing.

(Robert Greacen)