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Pasted to the inside front cover of a second hand copy of The Faber Book of Comic Verse (1942) were four Ruthless Rhymes à la mode, apparently prize-winning entries in a Time & Tide London competition at some time during the Second World War, with offerings such as:

Tommy for his evening game
Set his sister’s hair aflame.
Wardens shouted at the sight,
“Wretched boy‒PUT OUT THAT LIGHT!”

Perhaps we need some for our conflicted times? (In Harry Graham’s classic Ruthless Rhymes For Heartless Homes they were mostly quatrains, but often ran to six lines and sometimes eight, ten or twelve.) So, entries, which could be up four quatrains two sestets, two octets, and so on, by 19th May please, headed Competition 45.


Lion's head carving with one red eye, one normal

My message is that’s all today,
 But June will see us out to play.