If the federal government shuts down tonight, taking the D.C. government along with it, public libraries around the District will be closed. Which means the second annual haiku contest at the Cleveland Park branch, scheduled to end tomorrow, may not go as planned! (Timed to coincide with the Cherry Blossom Festival, contest entries must be handed in person to library staffers, the entry form says. A winner is to be announced Thursday.)

Inspired by the budget fight and the sadness that must surely be sweeping Cleveland Park right now, Washington City Paper decided to run our own contest for the best haiku about the government shutdown. After the jump, take a look at some efforts by City Paper writers. Leave yours in the comments—and for the purposes of this contest, all haiku must be one line of five syllables, one line of seven, and one line of five.

Michael Grass

Drunken Hill staffers Watching Rome burn with malaise With no BlackBerries

Jonathan L. Fischer

Last shutdown’s lesson: Zookeepers, don’t pile shit in Parking lot. Thank you!

Lydia DePillis

Giant pandas, feh NIH bacteria Are dying, people!

Darrow Montgomery

Tumbleweeds on Mall Tourists crying to be fed To the lion’s den

Alex Baca

A shutdown will be A great revenue boost for Museums that charge fees

I am so glad that I live on the third story. Smaller chance of rats!

Alan Suderman

Parking Enforcement Didn’t like you anyway Essential? Never

Megan Arellano

It’s five-seven-five? More like no more nine to five. That’s not poetry.

Rend Smith

Republicans want Cuts; we, representation Now you know how we feel, jerks

Benjamin R. Freed

D.C. made lawless chance to park anywhere and say, “Take that, Zipcar.”

Mike Madden

Recycling piles up, Trash cans overflow downtown. Feds’ gift to D.C.

William F. Zeman

This haiku couldn’t Be completed because the Legislators were…

Michael Schaffer

Garbage piling up
But red state loons are smiling
Gov’ment’s off our back
Photo by sdixclifford via Flickr/Creative Commons Attribution 2.0