Limericks were popularized by the artist Edward Lear (1812 – 1888). They rhyme aabba. These are my original limericks.
What qualities are inborn in a spy?
A treacherous hand, a furtive eye.
Men of gnomic aspirations,
Fertile libidos, splashy libations,
But most: a fool’s insistence to die.
An Ant in a Shoe
There once was an ant in a shoe
Who said I’ve got nothing to do
Then a man came along
And he put his shoes on
Now that ant’s nothing more than a goo.
A boy was once born in Afghanistan
Near the peak of a Hindu Kush mountain
He came during a short, gentle spring
To a mother who would sing
And he became a kind and gentle man.
The Architects of Espionage
The dour architects of espionage
With greedy eyes doth sabotage
Their own lightless souls
Their own kingdoms of coal
And raise in their place a palatial mirage.
A man lived in Ecuador’s Embassy
In London by the Thames and the sea
Now no one’s sure where he’ll go
But there’s one thing we all know
Where ever he’s next is rent free.
April 11th, 2019 Julian Assange is arrested.
There once was a beaver named Weaver
Who met a young furrier named Cheever
He said your tail’s like a paddle
But it would make a nice saddle
So he chopped off his tail with a cleaver.
The Big Crocodile
There once was a big crocodile
Who lived on the banks of the Nile
He said I love to munch and to crunch
And eat children for lunch
It’s the youth that make living worthwhile.
The Black Hole, Messier 87
There once were supermassive black holes
Whose hearts were darker than coal
Some folk found them odd
And tied them to God
Hoping they’d shine light on the soul.
April 10th, 2019 The first image of a black hole is published.
The Blind Man Who Saw Through Lies
There once was a man with no eyes
Who nevertheless saw very well through most lies
Whether the lies were subtle or bald
And whether they soothed or appalled
Before the blind man they had no disguise.
The Boll Weevil
There once was a cotton boll weevil
Whom all the farmers called evil
When it ate all their cotton
They called the bug rotten
And sprayed Aldrin until it weren’t legal.
There once was a place called Bordeaux
With lamplighters who set streets aglow
Every dark night
They’d bring on the light
And in so doing they’d cast a shadow.
Boxing and Dance
There once was a very fine marriage
Made from man’s footwork and carriage
The marriage wed boxing and dance
In a beauty-and-beast type romance
And spanned the two fields with its fair bridge.
May 4th, 2019 (Cinco de Mayo weekend) Canelo fights Jacobs
The Bright Butterfly
There once was a bright butterfly,
Who made cheerful the air of the sky,
Three wicked children of kings,
Tore off its fair wings,
Though not even they could ever say why.
There once was a woman who ran
Till a board implied she was half a man
They told her to decrease her hormone
By limiting testosterone
Or she would be permanently banned.
May 1st, 2019 The IAAF rules that South African runner Caster Semenya must medically decrease her natural levels of testosterone to run the 800 and 1500 meter races. Semenya subsequently refuses.
There once were a sister and brother
Whose antics annoyed their poor mother
She said Now you had better behave
Or I’ll send you both to your grave
A phrase she recalled from her mother.
There once was a Chilean named Bean
Whom a cook tried to force through a screen
She said You’ll make a fine hash
Once you’re smashed and you’re mashed
But her words were drowned out by his scream.
The City Girl
There once was a girl born in the city
In a neighborhood both dark and gritty
Her mother gave her books and red bows
Her father called her his lovely rose
And she grew up to be both bright and pretty.
There once was a coronavirus
And news of it did much to tire us
All the games were postponed
And the children sent home
So the disease’s demise was desirous.
March 12th, 2020: President Trump cancels flights from Europe to the United States due to COVID-19, popularly called the coronavirus. The following day, the NBA postpones its season, following a positive test from Utah Jazz player, Rudy Gobert.
There once was a jester in court
For whom punning was his favorite sport
He said to the queen
Now I think it’s obscene
The way that you move in your court.
The Covetous Queen
There once was a covetous queen
Who wanted everything that she’d seen
She hounded the court
Until they gave their support
To render her blind as a bean.
The Dead Shot
There once was a corpse on a cot
Whose body did nothing but rot
One day a distiller moved in
He added yeast like for gin
And said I’ll name my new drink the Dead Shot.
A Doctor Named Chris
There once was a doctor named Chris
Whose surgeries went always amiss.
He said with a shake of his head
I’ve left another one dead
The families will have to get used to this.
An Enormous Snake
There once was an enormous snake
Who ate children who passed by the lake
He said if they weren’t so good raw
I’d still fill my craw
I’d just have to learn how to bake!
The Fisherman’s Wife
There once was a fisherman’s wife
Who caught a fish in the prime of its life
She said with a grin
I’ll not see you again
And she cut off its head with a knife.
The Fleet Girl
There once was a girl with no feet
Who nevertheless was really quite fleet
She raced an arrogant man
Who sneered as he ran
Until he lost by a foot in the street!
There once was a deadly disease
Who traveled far and wide on a sneeze
It said Don’t wash your hands
For there are many fine lands
That I am still very anxious to see.
The Girl Who Did Handstands
There once was a girl with no hands
Who nevertheless loved doing handstands
She’d stand on the stumps of her wrists
As if they were fists
And wave her legs in the air for her fans!
The Green Iguana
There once was a green iguana
Who loved to smoke marijuana
When he smiled his lips curled,
When he smoked the smoke furled,
And he lived in a state of nirvana.
A Grim Slaughterhouse
There was once a grim slaughterhouse
That would kill anything from a cow to a mouse
One day a woman went there and said,
I’m very miserably wed,
Do you think you could butcher my spouse?
The Incredible Prude
There once was an incredible prude
Who was too shy to even bathe nude
She’d bathe in her clothes,
And she’d cover her nose,
For she thought that her nostrils were lewd.
The Lumberjack and the Trees
There once was a grove of old trees
Who grew tall living life by the seas
Along came a strong lumberjack
Who took them down with a whack
And left stumps as tall as your knees.
The Mad Man
There once was a mad man named Jim
Who hurt everyone close to him
After he found a wife
He took her life
You can’t trust a mad man my friend.
A Man Named Ajmal
There once was a man named Ajmal
Who couldn’t be trusted at all
He said to a girl who was near
Won’t you come here my dear?
Then he bashed in her head with a maul.
The Man of the Prairie
A boy was once born on the prairie
In a bleak night’s blizzard in January
The drifts blew high against posts
And the wind howled like wild ghosts
He grew to be a hard man and solitary.
The Man Who Loved Beer
There once was a man who loved beer
And he drank till he was filled up to his ears
He hiccuped and laughed
And said, That’s a mighty fine draft!
I think that I’ll drink it all year!
A Man With No Legs
There once was a man with no legs
Who dearly loved to eat eggs
He said Give me ten hens
And I’ll never be hungry again
But they gave him no hens now he begs.
The Maniacal Maid
There once was a maniacal maid
Who prepared a cyanide marmalade
She spread it on toast,
On the ham, and the roast,
Then set them on the table she’d laid.
Notre-Dame de Paris
There once was a cathedral in France
Recognized by all at a glance
One day it was consumed by a fire
And down fell its spire
It shall be rebuilt and elegantly enhanced.
April 15th, 2019 The Cathedral of Notre Dame Catches Fire
The Orange Cantaloupe
There once was an orange cantaloupe
Who said in a voice full of hope
Oh please do not pare me
Oh please will you spare me?
To which the fine family said Nope.
The Pennsylvanian-Era Pig
There once was an archaeological dig
On which they found a Pennsylvanian pig
They said How bizarre!
This pig is too early by far!
So they baked it and ate it with figs!
The Pied Piper of Hamlin
There once was a man with a pipe
With pants of a kaleidoscope type
When the mayor reneged
He played a cruel gigue
And left the townsfolk to gripe.
There once was a planet called Earth
The only on which there’d been birth
Its residents there
Breathed water and air
And never understood what life’s worth.
The Political Scene
There once was a political scene
Where politicians were awful and mean
They loved to berate and to hate
And when they called themselves great
The people wished they’d get COVID-19.
There once was a king’s wicked son
Who thought cruelty was nothing but fun
One day a thing made him sad,
And he felt so confused and so mad,
That he torched a convent of nuns.
There once was a princess named Mary
Who was frightened of anything scary
One day a lion came by
And he made the girl cry
And then he left nothing to bury.
The Proud Porcupine
There once was a proud porcupine
Who was well pleased with his needles and spines
One winter he became ill
And he lost all his quills
Now he feels like he looks like a swine.
There once were some rebel Pizzanistas
Who were as zealous as the Sandinistas
These rebels put their pepperoni instead
On the underside of the bread,
And called themselves pizza artistas!
There once was a cruel queen and king
Who forced a man to dance and to sing
Once the man was too sick to leave bed
So the royalty cut off his head
There’s always a reason to sing.
A Sarcastic Girl
There once was a sarcastic girl
Who refused to give sincerity a whirl
She said, I’m sure sincerity’s great,
Just so clear, open, and straight
For it I’d trade diamonds and pearls.
The Scorpion in the Shower
A scorpion once lived in a shower
Lying still there for many an hour
When along came a bare-ankled girl
Who turned the tap with a twirl
Now she beds in a grave with white flowers.
The Sheep Herder’s Daughter
There once was a sheep herder’s daughter
Who hated to see the sheep slaughtered
She said Oh please spare the ewe
But her father sliced it in two
So she drowned herself deep in dark water.
A Sleepless Night
One night a girl couldn’t sleep
She tossed and she turned in her sheets
She lay awake in her bed
Her hands by her head
And heard her ancient house creak.
There once was a bad educator
Whose style made the students all hate her
She was vulgar and mean
And very often obscene
She thought her harsh words made her greater.
The Termagant Wife
There once was a termagant wife
Who jabbed her husband with a dull knife
She said I must have been crazy
To have married someone so lazy
To which he agreed, You have been all of your life.
The Three Magicians – The Amateur Magician
There once was an amateur magician
Whose spell made a common apparition
From a deep, white fog
He brought forth a huge dog
That had not a jot of ambition.
The Three Magicians – The Grim Magician
There once was a grim magician
Whose countenance was hard and patrician
He produced a wild storm
And drew forth a skeletal form
That had long ago seen the mortician.
The Three Magicians – The Playful Magician
There once was a playful magician
Who brought his happiest ideas to fruition
He’d make rainbows at night
For his children’s delight
And he made the moon sing like a silvery musician.
A golfer once won at the Masters
Then met with private disasters
He hurt his wife and his spine
He lost his luster and shine
Then returned to please the forecasters.
April 14th, 2019 Tiger Woods wins the Masters after not winning a major for 11 years.
There once was a blonde president
Who always seemed unsoundly bent
His comments on Twitter
Felt sniveling and bitter
And his words too vulgar for print.
Two Adventurous Friends
There once were two young friends
To whom adventure did always attend,
They lived a wild life,
Walked the edge of a knife,
And hoped the days would never end.
Two Scornful Armies
Two scornful armies embrace in cataclysm
With death to grace their nihilism,
Like frosted roses on a cake
Like two hearts coupled just to break:
War’s inferno blurs in disinterest’s dulling prism.
Two Young Lovers
There once were two young lovers
Who disappeared each night under covers
They’d reappear at the dawn
With all the night gone
And wonder whether she’d be a mother.
An Unusual Fellow
A man with two hearts and two heads
Said to the other If I die are you dead?
The other said Well probably
But maybe just wobbly
Though I’d rather you live longer instead.
The Violent Boy
There once was a violent boy
Who thought the world was only his toy
He began every fight,
And made girls weep from his spite,
And he grew into an old man with no joy.
There once was a violinist named May
Who practiced her songs night and day
One day a thief stole her violin
And she said, Lord above that’s a sin,
Why is it that You’re hindering my way?
The Voiceless Owl
There once was a voiceless owl
Who thought it made him less of a fowl
He said Oh if I were not mute
Then I would do nothing but hoot
I’d give my wings to utter a vowel.
Shine, shine oh bitter light
Upon the soldier battle-bright
Through rocket’s array
And ghastly fray
Thy light the tracery of our night.
The Young Mallard
There once was a young mallard duck
Who couldn’t say quack so said cluck
The chickens just loved him
The ducks all just snubbed him
And the woodsman took him home to be plucked.