A GENT at the soiree, suave, sang
TENOR. A fierce lady knee-gripped her
CELLO, firmly, scurrying notes. He,
REGAL, stood steadfast, yet outstripped her.

La Musique, or The Cello Lesson, by Henry Ossawa Tanner. This painting didn’t get a good reception, so he painted The Pilgrims of Emmaus over it. The picture above is from a monochrome photo of the original painting.

While minding your own business…

SNAKEs sneak up on you. You may be sitting on a
BENCH, and next thing, there’s a snake begging for a few
PENCE, hissing at you, flashing its fangs. No mercy!
CLASP it by the neck and tail, twirl it and toss it!    

A sneaking snake in the Wildlife Sanctuary of Bondla, Goa
Photo: Subin Sebastian


BERET or chapeau, sir; what’s for today? Brilliant or
BLAND, witty or weighty, where do you stand? Are you
CHALK or cheese, sir, all talk or tease, sir, should you
CHECK your mood at the door, sir, near the hatstand.

Portrait of an American gentleman – and hat. 19th century.
Unknown artist

Marching as to war

Being ever so slightly jittery, I whistle a little DITTY –
or dittery, if you want it to rhyme. I march on the FLANK
of a glittery army, marching in time. I bank on the MARCH-
ing battery to keep us from harm, to give us some TEETH;
since mine are so ever so chattery – like my heart underneath.

Before the Attack – at Plevna
Vasily Vereshchagin

Today we present the new five-line DQP.

The hick dines out

FILET Mignon considers itself a superior cut of steak – don’t
GORGE it down. You’ll make it frown. Don’t let the restaurant
SINGEr distract you, though she is superior too. If a fez-hatted
TUBER-player can accompany her, and she stay sweet, consider your meat. 

Seattle-based vocalist Katy Webber and tuba-player Salamandir (of Snake Suspenderz) performing at Chumleighland tent theater on Camano Island, Washington, USA. 2009.
Photo: Joe Mabel


GLASS and HOUSE should appear in the same Quordle
is like four words in Connections making immediate sense.
for EXIST and FINAL to appear together is existent-
ial. It makes the brain dawdle – hobbled – and warble
like the magpies: Quardle oodle ardle wardle doodle!          

Denis Glover, New Zealand poet, and creator of the well-known magpie ‘warble’
that appears in one of his most famous poems, appropriately named, The Magpies.

Piece o’ me mind

FAITH! gal, yous wants yer hair cut like yer pop-star
IDYLL? Yer think I’m some magic hair stylist that can
RECUT yer hair to get that shape? Away with yer now,
take yer fancy pitchers off home to yer Mam, yer young SASSY.   

Discuss in 43 words

ENVOY, I’m now told, is an author’s concluding words:
as in ‘as death does part,’ or the end of a TREND?
SMACK me round the earhole if I say that’s for the birds:
I have cruddy endings scattered all around my STUDY.      

The good old days

YOUNG I am not; I remember with joy (not!) a
WHACK on the head or the hand (with a strap) brought
GLOOM to the school day, a kind of insouciant
FRILL (not a thrill) for some; for others a time fraught.      

Courtesy the British Museum.

Gone, and somewhat forgotten

Back in the days when we had a lion TAMER,
when the circus had no strictures to APPLY,
the tamer told the lion his bum to SHUNT;
the lion responded with a shrug and a HUMPH.

1938 Cartoon by Jorge Délano Frederick that motivated the burning of issue No. 285 of Topaze, a Chilean satirical magazine. For the full details behind this very political cartoon, check out this page. Now that the political aspect has gone into the pages of history, the cartoon suits my DQP’s purpose well.