sharing a poetic LIFELINE with the world

Posts tagged ‘Limerick’

A Few Poems for the Holidays

Saint Nick’s Christmas Excess

snow One Christmas night, fat old Saint Nick
ate so much roast goose he got sick,
thus was forced to belay
that night’s ride in his sleigh,
rushed the gifts all to FedEx. How slick.

Next Christmas, when faced with a chimney,
he muttered, “I will not be able to shimmy
down that narrow slot,
with a fire so hot.
I’ll go in the front door, by Jiminey.”

What Happens Christmas Night

Do you wonder how, in just one night,
Saint Nick can make such a long flight?
He sends some gifts by mail,
some others by rail,
which makes his sleigh load quite light.
I’ve noticed that Saint Nick’s a bit
big around for him to fit
inside ur chimney, Christmas night
struggle must be quite a sight.

Perhaps he oils his nice red suit
all over so that he can shoot
right down the chimney. Then you’ll see
he’ll cut his hand and sprain his knee.

I guess that all those aches and pains
will hurt so much that he’ll complain
that getting down was such a chore
he’s going to leave us by the door!

White Christmas

Winter wonderland of woe
all we have is snow and snow.
Piles and piles of slushy glop,
mushy, wet and nasty slop

Wets my socks and wets my shoes
numbs my toes and shorts my fuse
Watch it snow and wish for Spring,
no more snow and shoveling.




More on Limericks

Cover of "The Limerick"

Cover of The Limeric

I love rhyme. I love limericks, and I’ve written quite a few. Here, since I now have the perfect excuse,
are a few new ones.

Here’s one:

There once was a young lad from Kyoto
one evening while viewing a photo
saw a face so grotesque
it resembled a desk
and was sure he had seen Quasimodo.

and another:

One evening while cooking some rice,
a lass went to look for some ice.
When she failed to return,
the rice started to burn.
The poor lass had to cook her rice twice.

A note on meter in limerick:

The feet (metrical feet, not the things at the ends of your legs) for a limerick is typically an anapest
dum, dum, DUM or an amphibrach
dum DUM dum
with the first, third, and fifth lines consisting of three feet of three syllables each, and the third and fourth consisting of two metrical feet.

Edward Lear popularized the limerick,  but in contrast to modern limericks, they contain neither humor nor  a punch line, and the first and last lines were often the same.

Although Mr. Lear wrote some limericks
I’m thinking they really are gimmericks,
First and last lines the same
make them seem pretty lame.
and of humor there’s nary a glimmerick.

And here’s one about Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick:

Expressing intention to pass
on a third term, the governor of Mass
saw his influence ebb.
It’s all over the web.
Is he planning to seek greener grass?

A Series of Limericks: tips included

Limericks are not my strength. Try as I might, I cannot spin them off the top of my head. It took me all day to get two decent ones. If you’re not familiar with the form, I found a good guide on by Grace Fleming: How to Write a Limerick. Here are a few tricks I use to get through them:

  1. Do the first two lines (the setup) and the last line (the punchline) first. All these have the same rhyme, and gives you the frame to work with. Then fill in lines three and four (transition) which only have to rhyme with each other.
  2. Use a rhyming dictionary! I use The Scholastic Rhyming Dictionary. Helps for getting out of tight corners when you use a word with not very many rhymes.
  3. Along the last lines, sometimes you have this idea you want, but can’t find workable rhymes. Like in my second limerick below, I wanted to do “Sang for her supper” but could NOT get a decent follow up. Solution: find a synonym. A thesaurus is a handy tool for poets.
  4. If you still struggle coming up with something, give yourself a theme. Write about a friend, or a book character, or spin off a fairy tale. Have fun with it!

Without further ado, here are my two Limericks.

Little Red Riding Hood

Little Red Riding Hood (Photo credit: lllllT)

There once was a red-hooded girl
Who through the dark woods did twirl
‘Til a sound made her scream
And fall in a stream
Turned out it was only a squirrel

There once was a girl from Cancun
Who couldn’t carry a tune
Her song for a meal
Made a werewolf reel
And now she howls at the moon

Make Visible: Focus on Form: Really Bad Limericks

I wrote these today.  I’m not one to write limericks.  I’m not real comfortable with the form.  The last one is for a special friend of mine.

Here goes nothing!

Presenting Really Bad Limericks:



There was a girl from Savannah
Who had the most terrible manners
She never said please
And often would tease
Even those who tripped on peeled bananas.


There was a man from Seattle
Who got in the rottenest battles
If he sat next to you at a bar
Best to take yourself very far
From his brass knuckles, used often on cattle.


Ocean Shores

There was a woman from Ocean Shores
Who only saw open doors
She was so positive
That God was the causative
With only good things in store.



There was a lady from Orlando
Who was all about the Can-Do
Collages, poems and short stories
Productive, even with her health worries
Wish I had her ducks in a row.
“Savannah,” “Seattle,” “Ocean Shores,” and “Orlando” © Anne Westlund


“Make visible what, without you, might perhaps never have been seen.”~Robert Bresson, French Film Director



Tag Cloud