Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Skip To The End

Double dactyl, written for a contest with a theme on "Time":

Skip to the End
Tickety Tockety!
Jason the Clockwatcher
Has eight more hours until
He can go play.

Temporal oddities!
Mentally done but just
Starting the day.

Metrical Feet

I was doing a quick refresher this morning on metrical feet in poetry. The first thing I noticed was that "metrical feet" sounds like a contradiction in terms. There are no feet in the metric system, or so I thought. Turns out, "feet" in verse are not the 12-inch variety of feet, but are small groupings of syllables matching various stress patterns. Getting this basic fact straight, I thought the rest would slide right into place. I couldn't have been more wrong.

Investigating further, I found that the names of these feet are very misleading. You'd think the names of metrical feet could at least match the meter they are defining. Take, for instance, the anapest foot. An anapest foot is two unstressed syllables followed by a stressed syllable, as in "macaroon" (mac-a-ROON). Wouldn't it just make sense if the word "anapest" could follow this pattern (an-a-PEST)? I am sad to say this isn't the case. "Anapest" is pronounced (AN-a-pest) which actually follows the stress pattern of a dactyl. And it gets worse. Read on and see...

Friday, December 16, 2011

OEDILF: Earned Income and Economic

Definitions of Earned Income and Economic, submitted to the OEDILF:

My earned income's exceeded by bills,
Though I don't live a lifestyle with frills.
I've low earning potential;
Some help is essential,
So remember me, please, in your wills.
Economic: relating to money,
Like my bank account. Ha! Now that's funny...
Well, both tragic and comic.
I've defined economic
Very poorly; at least it was punny.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Tom Swifty Limericks

I submitted a few Tom Swifty limerick definitions at the OEDILF.

Since the acci'ent, Tom has felt blessed,
And his 'octors have all been impressed.
Though his Ds are unsung,
He still speaks (with no tongue).
"No big 'eal," Tom demissly expressed.

(dee-MISS-lee): humbly


In a zeppelin race overseas,
The French team veered left from a breeze.
"I've got this one bagged,"
Herr Tom blimpishly bragged,
"I beat left-leaning Frenchies with ease."

You are blimpish if you could be described as being proud of your ultraconservative nationalist views.


"I am holding nine ants in my palm,
And I've pledged to be gracious and calm.
I won't harm these poor strays."
This benevolent phrase
Was benignantly spoken by Tom.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Double Dactyl - Take Two

My second try:
Limerick Gimmerick
Jason of Pendleton
Tried double-dactyls while
Fearing the worst.

They're all bass-ackwards cuz
He's used to anapest
(Dactyls reversed).

Monday, November 14, 2011

Double Dactyl - Pogonophobia

For a while, I've maintained that the purest form of poetry known to man is the limerick.

Today I learned of a form that may just rival the limerick - the double dactyl. Lines 1,2,3,5,6 and 7 are made of two dactyls (BAH-bah-bah). Lines 4 and 8 have one dactyl followed by a single syllable, and they rhyme. Line 2 is a person's name and one of the lines in the second stanza has to be a single word.

Here is my first try, I wrote about my good buddy, Ben Gibney:
Fuzzily Wuzzily
Benjamin Gib-a-ney
Grew him a beard which was
Coming in fine. 
Then he found out he had
He can shave his, but he'd
Best not touch mine.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

OEDILF: Electromagnetic Pulse

EMPs can blow circuits and breakers,
Make blackouts extending for acres,
And turn gadgets to toast.
At least one group can boast
That it won't affect them—that's the Quakers.

Monday, October 10, 2011

OEDILF: Cystis

Another limerick about cysts, this one defining another form of the word: cystis.

My sister once asked, "What's a cyst?"
So I gave her the general gist:
"An old word for this blister
Is cystis, dear sister,
Like your face." Then my nose met her fist.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Math Quiz

I entered this one in a contest where the subject was "Eraser"

Math Quiz

In arithmetic, he wasn't strong.
This math quiz was taking so long.
It was hard to divide.
Still, he tried till he cried,
but the answers kept coming out wrong.

He would solve and immediately doubt
if he'd taken the most proper route.
He'd retry, but alas,
by the end of the class,
his eraser was simply worn out.

The bell rang. The quiz was now due,
but his sheet was a sad sight to view.
There was nothing but air
in assorted spots where
the eraser wore all the way through.

The tests were collected and sent
to the teacher for grading. She went
through each page in the stack
and then handed them back.
He saw his grade: ninety percent!

He pondered his luck with a frown...
To the head of the class from class clown?
Was he smart? Well not quite,
every one he got right
had shown through from the next paper down!

Sunday, October 2, 2011


I ordered a milk. (Yeah, I'm nerdy.)
What the bartender brought me is curdy;
It's lumpy and thick.
What's the date on it? Sick!
This expired in May—1930!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

OEDILF: Ear Lobe

My definition of ear lobe as submitted to the Omnificent English Dictionary In Limerick Format

Late last night my poor ear lobe was mugged
When my daughter purred this as we hugged:
"I love you, Daddy dear,
Could you lend me your ear?"
I said, "Yes," so she grabbed it and tugged.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


If you like eating tripe, good for you.
I can't stomach the smell; I eschew!
And although I don't crave it,
If bribed, I might brave it.
Still, I'd wonder, just who's eating who?

Monday, August 29, 2011

OEDILF: Effluvia

Definition for the word 'effluvia'
It was her, and of that there's no doubt.
Her effluvia pummeled my snout.
She was eating old beans
And inflating her jeans;
I stopped breathing and gladly passed out.
Effluvium is a noxious emission of vapor. The plural form of the word is effluvia.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Here's a new limerick submitted to OEDILF for the word 'cyst'. So far, no comment. I wonder why?

Seems the gift of good skin has forgone ya.
Now a lump filled with pus grows upon ya.
We'll just lance it and twist
And pinch down on that cyst,
And we'll pray we don't get any on ya.

Thursday, August 4, 2011


My OEDILF definition for crookbacked:

Once a crookbacked old man in my store,
As he left, dropped his keys on the floor,
So as manners dictated,
I retrieved them and waited
With a hunch he'd be back through the door.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


Here's another submission I put in at the OEDILF, this time a definition for the word disafforest, which means "to remove all the trees from"

She owned cedars majestic and lauded. 
They've been logged. She's been badly defrauded. 
No, she didn't need wood, 
She just misunderstood 
When they asked, "Disafforest?" she nodded. 

Thursday, July 28, 2011

An Ode to Baggy Pants

One of the projects I'm involved in is an online dictionary in which every definition is given in the form of a limerick. Authors can draw random words from a list of words that need to be defined and today I got the word "cullyism" which defines as the state of being a cully. I had to look up "cully" which means a fool.

The image that immediately sprang to mind was of a teenage boy I saw the other day struggling to cross the street. He was carrying a bag of groceries with one hand and the other hand was clenching the waistband of his jeans which were sagging about 10 inches below the height you'd expect to find them. I thought about giving him some helpful advice that would make carrying his groceries much easier: Pull your pants ALL the way up BEFORE tightening your belt. I just laughed at him instead.

Here is the limerick I submitted for the word "cullyism":

Define cullyism: Being a fool.
That's not me, cuz I'm hip. Yep, I'm cool.
I wear big baggy pants
That fall down when I dance.
I'm the awesomest kid in my school.

I must constantly hold up my britches,
and ignore my poor nose when it itches.
I don't understand fully
Why you call me a cully.
Does my fashion sense leave you in stitches?

Friday, July 22, 2011

Friday Sonnet

I wrote a sonnet for every day of the work week. Here's the last (and probably least. :) )
Friday Sonnet 
It's the end of the week
Almost time to go home
Today ends the streak
Of 'productivity syndrome'. 
I worked hard all day
Trying to get some things done
And I'm happy to say
That I'm still number one 
At stalling and waiting
And doing it later
I simply am stating
I'm a shirker of labor 
To all the work I have left undone...
I say, "It's five o'clock...gotta run."

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Thursday Sonnet

Thursdays I just start mailing it in. Evidence of this fact:

Thursday Sonnet
We should eat turkey once a week
And not just once a year.
I'd eat ev'ry part (but not the beak)
And wash it down with beer. 
Thursday's the day that I propose
We eat this weekly feast.
Because as far as events go,
Poor Thursday has the least. 
Lethargic Fridays would be implied,
(You'd need a day to recover.)
Thanksgiving would fall right in stride
So whaddaya say, turkey lover? 
How do we make it official? I don't know what the laws be.
Thursday needed a lift ever since the last episode of Cosby.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wednesday Sonnet

I wrote a sonnet for every day of the work week. Wednesday's a good day, it's all downhill from here.

Wednesday Sonnet 
We sit upon the weekly crest
It's the point of no return.
Too late to cry or be depressed
So onward we sojourn. 
You could take a moment to reflect
On lessons newly learned.
Or maybe consider this row of days wrecked
A span renounced and burned. 
Whatever the case, it's now downhill
There's no way to go back.
Foot off the brakes, roll forward until
We go flying down the track! 
I have vague memories of Monday, you were such a grump.
All's forgiven because as of noon, we've made it o'er the hump!

Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M.
Addams Family Wednesday Wig

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Tuesday Sonnet

I wrote a sonnet for every day of the work week. Tuesday was a little harder to write about than Monday, but I found some things to complain about. Here's Tuesday's:

Tuesday Sonnet 
They say Tuesday's child is full of grace
I would say that it's a disaster.
There are two events I don't embrace
That make Tuesday a glum downcaster. 
Tuesday's the day, in most of the States
When they hold primary elections.
Where we extract from a few inmates
Our "favorite" bad selections. 
And as if that wasn't bad enough,
We not only pick the nuthatches,
The second Tuesday of every month...
The release of Microsoft patches! 
Now, I know pols are needed so that we can have laws,
But, I wish Bill Gates could patch D.C.'s intellectual flaws.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Monday Sonnet

I wrote a sonnet for every day of the work week. Why not the weekend? Sonnets aren't fun like limericks. Sonnets are work. I take the weekends off.

Here's Monday's:
Monday Sonnet
If your headache is bad,
It's about to get worser.
The fun that you had
Is just a precursor... 
To the fun you won't have
Once it's time to clock in.
There's no balm and no salve
That can quiet the din... 
That clangs in your head
Once the work week's begun.
But at least you ain't dead,
And the man hasn't won. 
So shake your fist and stick it to 'em.
Mondays, we all have to go through 'em.

Monday, Monday
Manic Monday
Come Monday
Licensed Garfield The Cat "I Hate Mondays" Classic Coffee Mug/Cup Adorable Collectible

Thursday, July 14, 2011

A Banquet Server Holding a Veggie Tray

I wrote this back in May. I changed it a little bit since then but it still has the same... um... flow?

A Banquet Server Holding a Veggie Tray
My big platter's contents were unique.
I displayed to a jittery geek
Who hopped foot to foot,
Grabbed a white bulbous root,
Like an onion, saying, "I'll take a leek!" 
And then off to the loo he did flee.
Later on, he returned back to me.
Saw my tray and proceeded
Eating pods that were seeded.
I said, "Tell me sir, how was your pea?" 
So we laughed, and guffawed, and we shared a fuss
At the double entendre 'tween the pair of us.
Then he said with a wink,
"Sir, I would hate to think
What you'd say if I had the asparagus!"

Anchor Hocking Presence 3-Piece Multi-Use serving Tray-Deep Serving Tray with Egg Insert and Veggie Insert

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Got Gas? - A Sonnet

I'm mainly a limerick guy, but once in a while, I try my hand at something new. Here's one of the first sonnets I tried. There are probably a million technical things wrong with this, but it mostly rhymes. And for a limerick guy, that's the main thing.
Got Gas
The tank's getting low
The needle's on 'E'
And I already owe
A gold mine to BP. 
So I look at the prices
Anything under four bucks?
I'll be eating beans and rices
Because this gas guzzler sucks... 
...My account dry and flaccid.
On the verge of poverty.
I'll need an antacid
'Cuz this gas is killing me.

I used to fill my tank with a fist full of ones
But now I have a choice between crying or writing puns.

Why Are Gas Prices So High?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Screetching and Stomping Lessons

This also was written for a contest, I tied for fourth. The challenge was to write about something regarding "lessons."
Screetching and Stomping Lessons
One hundred dollars
come out of each check
just for screetching and stomping,
but, ah... what the heck. 
My kids screetch the fiddle
(aka, violin)
and I pray the poor teacher
let's them come back again. 
And they stomp and they stamp
in their new clogging shoes,
and I pop some more asprin;
this headache's bad news. 
But I just grin and bear it,
'Cuz I'm a proud dad
And now, three years later...
this isn't half bad. 
Their fidd'ling's more fidd'lish
Even "Charlie Daniels"-esque,
And their feet stomp the rhythm,
It's not so grotesque. 
I'll keep paying for lessons,
though they cost more than gold,
so the kids can entertain
their dear Dad when I'm old.

The Clog Dance Book (1921)


 I wrote this for a contest and got an honorable mention. Just a few days before writing it, the family actually had sat down to our first game of Monopoly, so it almost is a true story...
No, Monopoly isn't too speedy
And the deals you make often are seedy.
Common sense then, forbids
Me to teach to my kids,
But I did, and it made their dad greedy.
Now, my daughters are sweet little dears,
They're eleven and nine (in earth years).
So we sat down on stools
And I taught them the rules,
An hour later, someone was in tears.
I was mean and I pushed and I bossed,
Played to win, didn't care what it cost.
But my kids are too smart.
Despite daddy's black heart,
The next thing I new, I had lost.
So a word to the wise from a guy
Who's afternoon plans went awry:
If you can't stand to lose
To your kids, then don't chose
Monopoly, they'll see you cry!

Monopoly Disney Edition

This Insister and the Out-Sister

Some poems take a long time to write. This one took about a month. (I took a 29-day break in between the first and second verses.)
The Insister and the Out-Sister 
She insisted on careless key twisting.
Now she's mad and locked out and it's misting.
And her sister's locked in...
Who's "in-sister" again,
If the "out-sister" did the insisting? 
The out-sister became more demanding.
To the door took a tool used for sanding
To sand clear through the wood.
The in-sister is good,
But her sister's the one who's out standing.

Mr. Handsome Pants

With a title like that I can only assume my wife was writing a poem about me, although later in the poem she actually confirms it by naming me by name. If you've seen me in person you might have some objections to the title but keep in mind, she is saying that my pants are handsome...not necessarily me. I do have handsome pants. Without further ado...

Mr. Handsome Pants, by Glory
My Mr. Handsome Pants
is the bomb
He's the only person who
can make me calm
When problems start and
troubles arise
he looks at me with his
caring, green eyes
then he wraps his
big strong arms around me
kissing and holding until, sadly,
I have to pee
Jason Talbott, my man
is my best friend
Since I'm not much of a poem writer
we are now at... The End.

Awww.... thanks, hun. I disagree,'re a great poem writer. Sorry I posted your poem on a blog called Sub Par Poetry it seems totally inappropriate now that I think of it. Still I'm going to click on the "Publish Post" button...

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Why I Started a New Blog

I already have two blogs going full swing:
  • I write Star Wars Retold... In Limericks where I am retelling the entire Star Wars Saga, from the opening crawl on The Phantom Menace to the celebration on Endor in Return of the Jedi, entirely in limerick format.
  • I also write Rephrazer where I take common phrases, song titles, and famous quotes and rephrase them a little bit... okay, a lot. I find words that are either obscure, multi-syllable, or technically correct but odd sounding. What results never sounds better than the original, but we do get to learn some new vocabulary.
So with two active blogs going, why on earth would I need a third place to write stuff? Well, in addition to Star Wars limericks, I also have been writing a lot of other poetry -- Some of it is limericks, some sonnets, some I don't know what to call it. Most of it isn't really any good (hence my blog title) but who knows, someone somewhere might enjoy it. Also, my wife wrote a really cool poem about me that I'll probably post on here just to share it and have a place to keep it (since I probably will end up losing the little scrap of paper that she jotted it down on.)

So there, that's my excuse and I'll just go with that, for now.