Tag Archives: nature

“Mockingbird”

The sound of car alarms above my head,
Then card’nal calls around the lightning rod
Inspired my search for brilliant card’nal red.
I saw instead what’s beautiful and odd:
A forest full of sounds and frantic song
Escaping from a single mockingbird.
As though he meant to say, “This life’s not long
And, while it lasts, it’s often quite absurd,”
He played a crow, a robin, and a horn
And jumped between the roles at rates so fast
That moments after ev’ry sound was born
Its span of life among the clouds had passed.
He strove to share the songs he’d kept inside
Instead of hoarding them until he died.*

 

*I know that he was likely trying to attract a mate…

“To Sea, or not to Sea?”

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“Whale of a Tale”
A man with no vessel to sail
Once attempted to ride on a whale.
When they rose from a dive,
He was barely alive
And his skin was becoming quite pale.

“Sea Shoes for the Sea Legs”
A person who worked on a ship
Was wearing some shoes with no grip.
Since no swimmer was he,
When he fell in the sea,
The man regretted making that trip.

2 limericks by Paul Burgess…2 limericks about the sea in which there are no puns about “seamen;” I deserve a medal (j/k) 😉

“Garden Birds” Revised

Mourning Dove

We rarely used to notice common birds
Invited now into the yard to feed.
“That’s a mourning dove!”, and other words,
We pin to birds we’ve seen in guides we read.
This matching of a species with its name—
“A woodpecker! On the fence’s rail”—
Has quickly turned into a fav’rite game.
Unlike the birds confined in wiry jail,
These welcome visitors remain at ease
While hunting worms in grass, enjoying grain
The feeder holds, providing songs in trees,
And taking baths in pots that catch the rain.
These birds, who in our garden daily roam,
Are part of what has made this place a home.

an Elizabethan sonnet by Paul Burgess

Odd Couples

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Note: This series of absurd limericks was inspired by the odd love affairs in Ovid’s *The Metamorphoses*.

“Cut Friends”
There’s a man who’s convinced that a knife
Has agreed to becoming his wife,
But the love that he’s made
To the handle and blade
Has endangered his limbs and his life.

“Herpetological Heartache”
There’s a man who resides by a lake
Who has fallen in love with a snake.
When he asks for a kiss,
It replies with a hiss,
And his heart then begins to ache.

“A Bride from Hell”
A gal who in Hell did reside
Was once asked to become a man’s bride.
Although eaten by worms,
She agreed to his terms,
And he’d nightly repose by her side.

“Cocky”
A man who resides by the docks
Has become so enamored of cocks
That he’s tossed into fens
All his chicks and his hens
To ensure he’ll be alone with the cocks.

“Of a Mouse and Man”
A man was in love with a mouse
And suggested she become his new spouse.
With a ring made of cheese,
He proposed on his knees
But was told she’d not marry a louse.

 

5 limericks by Paul Burgess

“Cocky” was originally posted as the 12th entry of my “5 Limericks a Day” series: https://paulwhitberg.wordpress.com/2014/05/30/5-limericks-a-day-to-keep-the-dr-away-by-paul-oburgess-entry12/

“Absurd’s the Word”

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There’s a person whose greatest of joys
Is attempting whatever annoys.
Like a horse, he will neigh*
And oppose all you say
While he’s boasting of days he destroys.

*a pun, of course, on “nay”.

A drunkard’s devising a plan
To ingest all the beer that he can.
On the river he’ll float
Without using a boat,
For he’ll soon be so buoyant a man.

There was an old man on a plane
Whose behavior was wholly insane.
He removed all his clothes
And then sucked on his toes.
‘Til the pilot had landed in Spain.

A man who enjoyed a good laugh
Decided to buy a giraffe.
When struck by its tongue,
He punctured a lung
And found it more painful to laugh.

There was once a grumpy old owl
Who regarded all men with a scowl
To describe her in words,
It was said by some birds
She “was foul as the foulest of fowl*.”

*chicken-like bird; owls are not considered fowl

5 limericks by Paul Burgess

 

 

“Two Deaths”

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“The Death of a Bee”
While slowly closed the automatic door,
A bee remained between it and the floor.
No warning sign inside his head had flashed.
Without alarm, he stayed and soon was smashed.

“The Death of a Spider Mite”
With light and careful touch, I gently steered
A spider mite—who in my book appeared—
Towards the door and thought he’d safely fled
…Until I saw the page was streaked with red.

[2 poems by Paul Burgess; posted previously as part of the following entry: https://paulwhitberg.wordpress.com/2014/05/22/3-nature-poems-by-paul-burgess/

“Goldfinch”

a sonnet by Paul Burgess

American Goldfinch

Upon reflection it would make no sense,
But when I saw you feeding near the tree,
I nearly ran to close the open fence
Though knowing that to come and go you’re free.

Invading space around my ribs and heart,
The panic rested only when I paused
And knew that Master Fear had shown his art
Replete with terrors nothing real has caused.

My heart becoming calmer in my chest,
I thought, “How very odd, insane, absurd
For fears about my dog to manifest
As fears about that little garden bird.”

What magic matches anxious minds for tricks?
What else can make a snake of harmless sticks?