Tag Archives: wit

“THE GRASS IS GREENER”

“The grass enclosed inside a neighbor’s fence
Appears a brighter shade of healthy green
Than that of grass you raise at small expense.
But if you played his* role inside this scene,
You’d think your former ways had made more sense.
[For less possessed is less to tend and clean.]
…The shade of grass won’t matter anyhow,
Unless you are a hungry horse or cow.”

*that of the neighbor. Once again, poetic license is my poor excuse for ambiguity.

[from “A Treasury of Cliches for Aspiring Stars” (which, of course, is part of The New House of Fame by Paul “Whitberg” Burgess

 

“CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR”

“If you’ll just take a closer, longer look,

You’ll see that juicy, appetizing bait

Conceals a sharp and rust-encrusted hook–

Which neither tastes nor feels too nice or great

To fish it raises from a peaceful brook

And places on a human’s dinner plate.

Unless you’d be a caught and eaten fish,

Proceed with caution when you make a wish.”

[from “A Treasury of Cliches for Aspiring Stars” (which, of course, is part of The New House of Fame by Paul “Whitberg” Burgess

 

The Wit and Wisdom of Byron

I am having such a good time reading Byron’s Don Juan would like to share some passages from the first canto of  what might be the language’s most enjoyable long poem. [The witty lines are so sharp and smooth that one often forgets that the stanzas are in the exceptionally difficult ‘ottava rima’ form.]

ON LOVE

1.116
Oh Plato, Plato, you have paved the way
With your confounded fantasies to more
Immoral conduct by the fancied sway
Your system feigns o’er the controlless core
Of human hearts than all the long array
Of poets and romancers…
1.117
…But who, alas, can love and then be wise?
Not that remorse did not oppose temptation;
A little she strove and much repented,
And whispering, ‘I will ne’er consent’—consented.
1.65
…Yet he was jealous, though he did not show it,
For jealousy dislikes the world to know it.
1.62
Wedded she was some years and to a man
Of fifty, and such husbands are in plenty;
And yet I think instead of such a one
‘twere better to have two of five and twenty…

On Humans [and especially “progress”]

1.129
What opposite discoveries we have seen,
Signs of true genius and of empty pockets!
One makes new noses, one a guillotine,
One breaks your bones, one sets them in their sockets…

1. 132
This is the patent age of new inventions
For killing bodies and saving souls,
All propagated with the best intentions…
[These] are ways to benefit mankind, as true
Perhaps as shooting them at Waterloo.

1.133
Man’s a phenomenon, one knows not what,
And wonderful beyond all wondrous measure.
‘tis pity though in this sublime world that
Pleasure’s a sine and sometimes sin’s a pleasure.
Few mortals know what end they would be at,
But whether glory, power or love or treasure,
The path is through perplexing ways, and when
The goal is gained, we die you know—and then?

Miscellaneous Passages of Extraordinary Wit:

1. 183
None can say that this was not good advice;
The only mischief was it came too late.
Of all experience ‘tis the usual price,
A sort of income tax laid on by fate…
1.77
Sweet is a legacy, and passing sweet
The unexpected death of some old lady
Or gentleman of seventy years complete,
Who’ve made ‘us youth’ wait too, too long already
For an estate or cash or country-seat…
1.83
…A quiet conscience makes one so serene.
Christians have burnt each other, quite persuaded
That all the apostles would have done as they did.

1.218
What is the end of fame? ‘Tis but to fill
A certain portion of uncertain paper.
Some liken it to climbing up a hill,
Whose summit, like all hills, is lost in vapour.
For this men write, speak, preach, and heroes kill,
And bards burn what they call their midnight taper,
To have, when the original is dust,
A name, a wretched picture, and worse bust.

World-Transforming Innovation

“A Devious Dealer”
A dealer’s devised a device
For transforming his foes into lice
That he puts in the hair
Of the buyers who dare
To insist that he lower his price.

“Jack and Jill”
A doctor invented a pill
That can turn any Jack to a Jill
But turns not a Pam
Into Harry or Sam
For reasons unclear to me still.

“[They Call Me] Dr. Bug”
A chemist invented some drugs
For transforming his foes into bugs.
Some exist now as bees,
While others, as fleas,
Are residing on dogs and in rugs.

3 limericks by Paul Burgess

“Jack and Jill” appeared in my earlier post: https://paulwhitberg.wordpress.com/2014/06/02/to-change-your-life-forever/

And “Dr. Bug” appeared in my earlier post: https://paulwhitberg.wordpress.com/2014/06/07/dr-bug-and-the-skunk-man-read-steinbeck-while-stopping-at-a-mole-hole-on-the-way-to-church/

A Pimp in the Garden*

2 tasteless limericks and a tasteless quatrain about pimps
[By Pimpin’ Paul Burgess…at the lowest point of his artistic career;)]

A Pimp in the Garden [parts I and II]
“Part I”
I have heard that a pimp is a man
who will water the plants when he can.
He is fond of the ‘hose’,
and it’s said by his bros
that of gardens he’s quite a big fan.

“Part II” [aka the ruh-ruh-remix]
Said a pimp, “Why would anyone think
that a person wants ‘hose’ that won’t kink?
Now, exchange these, my bros,
for some kinkier ‘hose'”
[He]then departed from Gardening Inc.

“A Pimp and a Bee—A Fable on the Value of Obsessive Consumerism”
A pimp once came across a bee
Prepared to start a stinging spree.
The pimp, alas, it could not sting—
For blinding was his shiny bling.

*The politically correct version would not work with the meter:

*”A vendor of adult pleasure is a human being
who will water the plants when he or she can.
He or she is fond of the water-spraying device (“hose”, which is homophonous with a derogatory term that vendors of adult pleasure and artists of spoken ‘music’ enjoy using in reference to women)
etc…

[Blame my wife for the terrible “Pimp” limericks…I was watering her plants when the terrible pun on “hoes”/”hose” begged me to write a limerick in which it was featured…]

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/

“Undiluted Nonsense”

“G.O.A.T.”
The people from a nation of note
Elected to office a goat.
“He’s not nearly as bad
As the humans we’ve had,”
Said those who for that creature did vote.

“Holy Abstinence”
A devout man decided for Lent
That he would not be paying his rent.
While the priest did approve,
The landlord said, “Move!”
And away that good man was then sent.

“Nuns Gone Wild”
Said a monk to a sisterly nun,
“I suggest some immoderate fun.”
So they counted their beads
And then planted some seeds
While enjoying the light of the sun.

“Mother Fu…Lover”
A person was trav’ling in time
When he drank some tequila with lime.
Then he slept with his Ma
And became his own Pa
Which is odd but not considered a crime.

“Buzz”
When a man was inhaling a breeze,
In his nostrils entered some bees.
Though the bees didn’t sting,
And he felt not a thing,
He now buzzes with every sneeze.

5 limericks by Paul Burgess; “Buzz,” “Mother Fu…Lover,” and “Nuns Gone Wild Are New.” I previously posted “G.O.A.T” and “Holy Abstinence” on days 1 and 2 of my “5 Limericks a Day” series: https://paulwhitberg.wordpress.com/2014/05/16/5-limericks-a-day-to-keep-the-dr-awayday-2/

https://paulwhitberg.wordpress.com/2014/05/15/5-limericks-a-day-to-keep-the-dr-away-day-1-2/