Assorted Limericks

A daredevil cat they called Babs,

Scratched the noses of nine golden Labs.

"That's eight!" she announced,

And, fatally, pounced.

Tabbies should always keep tabs.


Said a mensch to a wench on a bench,

In the midst of a passionate clench,

"Hold on to your socks,

I'm not orthodox,

And my tongue is fluent in French.


Hickory, Dickory, Dock,

Set your digital clock.

Comprehend not,

Which button does what.

Mutter, repeatedly, "Fock."

The geometer, in bed, was particular.

He favored attentions testicular.

His wife would comply, 

Till at last he would cry,

"Success!  I am now perpendicular."


In D the quartet was deflated.

Down half a step they deflatted.

In E up through C,

There was no bonhomie,

So they sang it in H, and scatted.

In a similar vein, An Email to

My Piano Technician:

The treble has trouble, alas.

The bass sounds more like a bass.

High C has mutated.

D-flat has deflated.

Come help me escape this morass.

I'm not a harmony whiz.

Got no clue what Lydian is.

I don't know from hertz,

I do know it hurts

When the tonic has lost all its fizz.

Playing "Misty" I don't make it far,

Before A starts to sound more like R.

Mason would stew,

Hamlin would sue.

Till you come, I'll play air guitar.


A feckless young man from Quebec,

Tried to get into Carnegie Tech.

To his utter dismay,

They turned him away,

For totally lacking in feck.


Insouciant Sara McPhigg,

When told of the fire in her wig,

Merely yawned, as she fried,

And remarked, as she died,

“Souciance isn’t my gig.”


If your batter sticks to the griddle,

Better not fiddle and diddle.

It's perfectly lawful,

To unstick your waffle,

With two or three teaspoons of piddle.


Legions pillaged and gored,

Ransacked, caroused, snored.

Their rutting and plunder,

We file hereunder:

A horde with a hoard whored.


An over-confident gnat,

Met his end with a terrible splat.

In a bungled maneuver,

On a flight through the louver,

What he thought was a slit was a slat.


On the Vineyard the poets all rue,

That Nantucket has less work to do.

Whereas “-inyerd” is drear,

“-ucket” is clear,

On the rhyme that will surely ensue.


Give me short shrift if I’m wrong,

Nonetheless my opinion is strong

That it does seem unfair,

To a word so foursquare,

That a shrift can never be long.


“He’s beyond the pale,” Gram would grumble,

And my gullible ear would stumble

Over, What was this bond,

Between lofty “beyond,”

And a bucket—so finite, so humble?


A stoic magician named Steve,

Having lost both arms in a sheave,

Leaves his viewers nonplussed,

For they know that he must,

Have nothing at all up his sleeve.


Said the waiter to Abigail Schmeel,

Our special is free-range veal.

Or, if you prefer

Something with fur,

Our free-range vole is a steal.


Chad, a shad, is shod

In Uggs.  While Rod, a scrod,

Wears Foster Grants,

And Hilfiger pants.

They don't care if you think this is odd.


A shad would wear Uggs if she could.

Her sense of couture is quite good.

She'd show off her bod

To the cod and the scrod,

As a well-shod shad surely should.


At a show Mr. Shaw lost his shoe,

And asked Mr. Shay what to do.

Asymmetrically shod?

Said Shay.  Very odd.

You should shed the other shoe too.


Which Shaw shyly did, ‘neath his seat.

Doffed his socks as well, which was neat,

For when the curtain came down,

Shaw happily found,

He could now applaud with his feet.


The psychiatrists come on a ship

To Cape Cod, to unwind and unzip.

They've a dock of their own,

Locally known,

In the summer, as Freudian Slip.


A downpour on mountain terrain.

A strap breaks under the strain.

The carriage a wreck,

The king breaks his neck.

In the rain, a rein ruined his reign.


Just how PACKED, you may ASK, can a LIM’-rick be?

Us-ing MAX-i-mum SYLL-a-bles LE-gal-ly?

Well, the AN-swer is KNOW-a-ble.

And the SYLL-a-bles GROW-a-ble.

For-ty NINE is the MAG-i-cal NUM-ber, see?


As for minimum syllables, ah.

Thirteen is the limerick law.

Using just those,

What you get, I suppose,

Is a limerickette, in the raw.

As in:

Thanks to me,

As you see,

This verse

Is terse

As can be.


If you please, 

Watch me squeeze,

This verse

More terse

Than a sneeze.


Chuck wrote verse.

World-class terse.

No pad.

Not bad.

Could do worse.

Artist Limericks

Mondrian throws his glass of Chablis,

At the canvas, and cries, “Stupid me!”

He had managed to mangle

A crucial right angle.

It was off by half a degree.


Buying paint for his bedroom (cerise),

Pollack slips on a small spot of grease,

The paint gallon shatters,

And splatters two ladders,

Which now cost a million apiece.


After painting a square canvas brown,

Josef Albers steps back with a frown.

Then, widening his eyes,

“Eureka!” he cries,

And turns the whole thing upside down.


Her eyeball is faintly ajar.  

Her breast is on backwards. Bizarre.

For Picasso, anatomy

Disdains the academy.

Is that torso in fact a guitar?


In 1972,

Escher headed upstairs to the loo.

But was caught in the grip,

Of a huge Mobius strip

Full of lizards. I swear this is true.


Though increasingly desperate to pee,

He found “Up” would suddenly be,

Down. Very weird.

So he died, as he feared,

Of a distended bladder, you see.


In thirty seconds or fewer,

Calder twists his imprimatur,

Into various wires,

And contrives, with mere pliers,

A cow. And a coil of manure.  


As a tot, Michelangelo drew

Seven saints overhead in the loo.

But his mother liked stenciling,

And covered his penciling,

With repeats of a pink cockatoo.


In research since Munch has been gone,

A shocking conclusion was drawn.

The actual name

Munch wrote on the frame,

Wasn't "The Scream" but "The Yawn."


My dots are too large, Seurat thought.

So he plucked at his brush till he got

Down to one single bristle.

“Ah, oui,” he cried, “this’ll

Be just what I need for my Jatte.”

At realism, the abstractionist proposes,

We should scoff and all hold our noses.

Still, we hoi polloi

Rather more enjoy

A bit of Grandma Moses.

The birthday clown festoons

The party with dachshund balloons.

Slowly burning

At how he is earning

So much less than Jeff Koons.

There Once Was a Man from Wherever

Are there limerick laws that declare,

That this man must be from some where?

What is it worth

That this guy is from Perth,

If he could just as well be from Bel Air?

There once was a man from…wherever.

Is this place-name convention so clever?

Or does it just fill a gap,

With a rhyme from a map,

And is thus an unseemly endeavor?

Say your fifth line ends with “eureka.”

And the second with “dash of paprika.”

No rhyme for line one?

Do this and you’re done:

“There once was a man from Topeka.”

Poughkeepsie, Pluto, Purdue,

Nantucket, Nome, Timbuktu.

If God ever pondered

The syllables squandered,

He’d banish us all to haiku.

Poets, beware. You will rue

Dwelling on where, and not who.

These locations do not

Further the plot.

Plus, Rand McNally might sue.

Rhyming with Consonants

A poet from East Halifax

Was obsessed with special effects.

For example, “fix”

He would rhyme with “fox,”

Or with “fakes.”  Folks, these are facts.


You say only vowels make a rhyme?

He says consonants, too, love to roam.

Let your brain then make room,

For a rhyme like rum,

And look: there’s still rim and ram.


Fear not—our poet’s no fool.

He’ll sniff out a “rhyme” without fail.

Such as fall, fell, feel, fill,

And fowl, foul, file, foil.

He never runs out of fuel.


Feigned, fanned, fawned,

Fend, fiend, fund,

Finned, fond,

Find, phoned.

Something can always be found.


It’s a highwire act, and fate’ll

Intervene, if you don’t have the fettle.

But somehow the feat’ll,

Never be futile.

Well, sometimes, perhaps, but not fatal.  

Thus we can happily construct:

A beached and desperate trout,

To find water, broke into a trot.

A definite treat,

To see such a trait,

Especially in downtown Detroit.


A couple, spooning in Spain,

Grabbed a taxi and went for a spin.

But they tragically spun,

And both broke their spine,

And never again could they spawn.


As I age my hair becomes blonder,

And my diet boringly blander.

I grow steadily blinder,

And afraid of a blunder,

Like catching my beard in a blender.


The crowd has about had its fill,

Of this ref, whose calls are all foul.

We denounce him in full,

But for him that’s just fuel.

Boos cannot, I feel, foil a fool.


Farmer Hoid who'd had bees 'round his head,

Wore a hood in his field when he hayed.

But then when he hoed,

He neglected to heed

The hornets, who then stung his hide.


A lass, Eloise, paid less

Than fourteen bucks for a dress.

But the lace came loose,

On account of the lice,

So she leased it to Liz at a loss.


So this boar goes into a bar.

Sees this polar bear from afar.

Says the boar, "Have a beer"?

Says the bear, "Let's get bare."

So they do, at the bear's place.  Burrr.


A gnat and a newt in a net,

Seemingly doomed, were not.

Said the gnat, “You will note

The net’s loosely knit.”

So they fled in the night. Neat.