Archive for March, 2011

Squirrel Limerick (Tanka Too)

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

From time to time, sundry animals (squirrels, raccoons) find our New York City home alluring. While these incidents provide great fodder for poetry and prose, I could live without them. If only…

Our latest animal invasion involves a stubborn squirrel who has taken up residence in an upstairs window AC — the AC that cools my tiny writing-room. Consequently, Mrs. Squirrel (I fear it’s a she) has become a constant companion.

The good news is that our squirrel nuisance has given birth to two poems — a limerick and a tanka. Both poems were also inspired by Big Tent’s prompt to write about being scared of an animal. (I’m more annoyed than scared, but close enough.)

The limerick pretty much wrote itself, but the tanka was a bigger challenge. Why? Because I felt compelled to use the three words (loud, persuasive, riches) dictated by today’s Three Word Wednesday prompt.

First, my limerick:

Dear Squirrel
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Squatter-squirrel, please scat — go away.
This is my house — no wildlife! Okay?
And stop building that nest
In my AC, you pest!
It isn’t a squirrel chalet.

And now my tanka:

Loud screams and clamor
unpersuasive to squirrel,
planting nest riches
under my window AC,
her womb, I fear, rich with life.

(Also posted at I Saw Sunday and Write A Letter Wednesday, which asks for letters to a pet. Once again … close enough.)

Author’s Note: You can find more of my animal humor here and my squirrel humor and verse here.

UPDATE: Happy Squirrel Appreciation Day, January 21st!

Limerick Ode To National Poetry Month

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

April 1st is coming. Are you excited yet? No, I’m not talking about April Fool’s Day, although that’s pretty cool too. But April 1st is also the start of a month-long celebration of poetry in the U.S.A. — National Poetry Month (not to be confused with World Poetry Day.) Many online poets celebrate by writing a poem each day, and they announce their poetic participation over at NaPoWriMo.

So will I be writing a limerick a day in April? Damn right … with the occasional haiku, tanka, quatrain, or butterfly cinquain thrown in to spice things up. And of course I’ll be posting my weekly Limerick-Offs and Limerick of the Week contests every Sunday or Monday.

Here’s my Limerick Ode To National Poetry Month:

Limerick Ode To National Poetry Month (April 2011)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Dear poets, it’s time to prepare
For our April-long poetry fair.
We’ll write verse ev’ry day.
Not on Tax Day? Okay.
Just be sure that you read, write, and share.

Here are some good poetry sites that plan to celebrate National Poetry Month in a big way with daily prompts: Big Tent Poetry and Poetic Asides. Additionally, Writers Island will be providing a daily spot to post your April poems. And if that’s not enough, some sites offer daily prompts all year long, such as The Teachers Corner and Dodge Writes.

Moreover, New York City is holding two poetry contests in honor of National Poetry Month: NYC’s second annual Twitter poetry “Poetweet” contest and its “Poem In Your Pocket Day NYC” Facebook page “Envelope Project.”

If you know of any other National Poetry Day events, contests, and/or prompts, feel free to post them here in the comments section. Thanks!

Newsy Limerick 2

Monday, March 28th, 2011

Newsy Limerick
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Restricting your diet of news
To outlets endorsing your views
Reinforces beliefs
And bias and beefs.
Why bother? You might as well snooze.

(Prompted by this circular poetry writing prompt.)

Author’s Note: I just realized that this limerick could just as easily fit in my other blog where I post political humor and satire.

Shy Limerick (Limerick-Off Monday)

Sunday, March 27th, 2011

Once again, it’s Limerick-Off time. And that means I write a limerick, and you write your own, using the same first line. Then you post your limerick here and, if you’re a Facebook user, on Facebook too.

The best submission will be crowned Limerick Of The Week. (Here’s last week’s Limerick Of The Week Winner plus three Honorable Mentions.)

How will your poems be judged? By meter, rhyme, and cleverness. (If you’re feeling a bit fuzzy about limerick writing rules, here are two excellent resources: OEDILF on Writing A Limerick and Speedy Snail’s Limerick Rhythm and Meter.)

I’ll announce the Limerick of the Week Winner right before I post next week’s Limerick-Off. So that gives you a full week to submit your clever, polished verse.

I hope you’ll join me in writing a limerick with this first line:

A gal who was painfully shy…

or

A man who was painfully shy…

Here’s mine:

Shy Limerick
By Madeleine Begun Kane

A gal who was painfully shy
Had a crush on a very cute guy.
When she fin’lly let on,
He was rude — said “Begone!”
You want fairy tale endings here? Why?

Please feel free to write your own limerick using the same first line and post it in my comments. And if you’re on Facebook, I hope you’ll join my friends in that same activity in my Facebook Limerick-Off post.

To receive an email alert whenever I post a new Limerick-Off, please send me an email requesting the alerts. You’ll find my email address on the upper right sidebar, in the “Author” section just below my Limerick-Offs button. Thanks!

Limerick Of The Week (2)

Sunday, March 27th, 2011

We have a new Limerick of the Week winner, based on submissions (on this blog and on Facebook) in last week’s Limerick-Off. I’m very pleased to announce the winning Limerick of the Week and three Honorable Mentions:

Congratulations to Johanna Richmond, who submitted two excellent limericks. Johanna wins Limerick of the Week for this clever verse:

A woman was terribly late
For her first in this century date.
She later confessed
She skipped getting dressed
And skyped in her natural state.

And congratulations to the Honorable Mention winners (in random order) Edmund Weisberg, Phyllis Sterling Smith a/k/a Granny Smith, and VerseBender. Here are their respective Honorable Mention limericks:

Edmund Weisberg:

A fellow was terribly late
Having died in the midst of his date,
Leaving diners aghast
At the lurid repast,
As his date polished off ev’ry plate.

Phyllis Sterling Smith a/k/a Granny Smith:

A fellow was terribly late
Understanding the current debate.
When told that inflation
Would ruin the nation
He asked, “Are we all overweight?”

VerseBender:

A fellow was terribly late
Which didn’t sit well with his date.
“My promise of heaven
Was valid at seven
But promptly expired at eight.”

Congratulations again to all the winners for your wonderful limericks. And thanks to everyone for your fun submissions. There were so many good ones, narrowing them down to the best four was quite a challenge.

In the next couple of minutes I’ll be posting a new Limerick-Off, which gives you yet another opportunity to win Limerick Of The Week.

Mental Haiku Duet

Sunday, March 27th, 2011

Left brain or right brain —
Which am I? The one, I fear,
that can’t remember.

*****

Creative options
seem nearly unlimited —
overwhelmed, I freeze.

*****

(The 2nd haiku was prompted by Writer’s Island’s unlimited and Sunday Scribblings’ nearly.)

Salute To Satire

Saturday, March 26th, 2011

Salute To Satire
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Funny,
yet insightful,
making people ponder
as it soundly zaps its targets.
Witty,
subtle, pointed ammunition
aims, fires, amuses,
inciting us
to think.

(Author’s Note: This is a Butterfly Cinquain. The syllable count is 2, 4, 6, 8, 2, 8, 6, 4, 2. At least, I hope it’s a Butterfly Cinquain — I’ve never tried writing one before.)

New York Haiku, Legal Haiku, And Tanka Too

Friday, March 25th, 2011

Excited tourists
stop and stare, awed by Times Square —
forget they have feet.

*****

Sleepless, hollow eyes
gaze at legal opinions,
but see student loans.

*****

Windy documents
written to persuade judges —
endless legal briefs.

*****

Libraries, once hushed,
quiet playgrounds of the mind,
kept calm and silent
by strict ground rules, now drown thought
in playground cacophony.

*****

(Thanks for these four prompts: New York, hollow, paradox, and hush. Posted at Monday Memories.)

Ode To Breakfast (and a Caffeinated Haiku)

Friday, March 25th, 2011

Did you know that today, March 25th, is International Waffle Day? Me neither. And if you feel compelled to celebrate waffles twice each year, National Waffle Day and the waffle iron patent are celebrated on August 24th.

So why am I telling you this? Because I’m obediently rising to the challenge of writing a poem about breakfast. And I stumbled upon all this waffle nonsense while doing some poetic procrastination.

*****

Ode to Breakfast
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Oatmeal breaks my fast
when I arise,
though it tastes like paste
in breakfast guise.

Why not something else
I don’t despise?
Cuz I hate each choice
those chefs devise.

Waffles, eggs, French toast
grits — some may prize.
But hot oatmeal’s quick.
So enough with the “whys.”

*****

While I’m at it, here’s a haiku about my favorite morning (and afternoon and pretty much all day) beverage:

Coffee never tempts,
but denied cappuccino
then call me verklempt.

*****

Man In Flight (Limerick)

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

Man In Flight
By Madeleine Begun Kane

A fellow with bus’ness in Rome
Ended up on a plane ride to Nome.
The mix-up occurred
When someone misheard
Him moaning, “I want to go home!”

(Written for Jingle Poetry’s Trips, Travel and Vacation prompt.)

Orchestrating Haiku

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

Symphony of black,
my uniform for decades —
stage no longer mine.

*****

Harmonics converge
in a dissonant parade
of the marching bands.

*****

(Thanks for the uniform prompt.)

Limerick Ode To a Vigorous Old Lady

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

Limerick Ode To A Vigorous Old Lady
By Madeleine Begun Kane

An old grandma with spring in her walk
Moved so quickly that people would gawk.
When asked if a gym
Was the source of her vim
She said, “No — Jim, Kim, Henry and Hawk.”

(Posted at this spring prompt and at Poetic Asides’ spring prompt.)

UPDATE: July 23 is Gorgeous Grandma Day.

Limerick Ode To Print Newspapers

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

Limerick Ode To Print Newspapers
By Madeleine Begun Kane

It appears that print papers are dying,
Cuz few are subscribing or buying.
Print magazines too
Keep saying adieu.
Who’s happy? The trees — they’re highflying.

(Written for Theme Thursday’s paper prompt and Miss Rumphius Effect’s tree prompt.)

UPDATE: May 16th is “Love A Tree Day.”

Dear Calendar

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

Dear Calendar (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Dear calendar, why are you lying?
You claim that it’s spring. I’m not buying.
We had one lovely day,
But now snow’s on the way.
You’ve betrayed us — there’s no use denying.

(Inspired by this spring prompt and, of course, the damn New York City weather. Posted also at Write A Letter, Jingle Poetry’s deception and misrepresentation prompt, and at Poetic Asides.)

Inseparable From Silliness

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

As you can see from this verse, I’m inseparable from silliness:

Inseparable
ventriloquist and dummy
joined at the quip.

Inseparable
honeymooning newlyweds
joined at the lip.

Inseparable
masochist and sadist
joined at the whip.

Inseparable
gambler and his bookie
joined at the tip.

Inseparable
compulsive gambler and debt
joined at the Strip.

Inseparable
the hop and the jump
joined at the skip.

Inseparable
Jewish moms and their children
joined at the guilt trip.

(Written for Writers Island’s inseparable prompt)

Discontented

Monday, March 21st, 2011

Discontented (2-Verse Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Some say, “Content cries out to be free.”
Oddly, that’s what some users decree.
Whether poetry, art,
Software, songs from the heart,
They deny there’s a rightful payee.

They think copyright laws are oppressive.
They deem fees, even tiny, excessive.
But if they don’t get paid,
Their attorney brigade
Will surely become quite aggressive.

(Sunday Scribblings prompts us with the word free.)

Late Limerick (Limerick-Off Monday)

Sunday, March 20th, 2011

Once again, it’s Limerick-Off time. And that means I write a limerick, and you write your own, using the same first line. Then you post your limerick here and, if you’re a Facebook user, on Facebook too.

The best submission will be crowned Limerick Of The Week. (Here’s last week’s Limerick Of The Week Winner plus three Honorable Mentions.)

How will your poems be judged? By meter, rhyme, and cleverness. (If you’re feeling a bit fuzzy about limerick writing rules, here are two excellent resources: OEDILF on Writing A Limerick and Speedy Snail’s Limerick Rhythm and Meter.)

I’ll announce the Limerick of the Week Winner right before I post next week’s Limerick-Off. So that gives you a full week to submit your clever, polished verse.

I hope you’ll join me in writing a limerick with this first line:

A fellow was terribly late…

or

A woman was terribly late…

Here’s mine:

Late Limerick
By Madeleine Begun Kane

A fellow was terribly late
To a job meeting key to his fate.
The job seemed a lock
Till he mis-set his clock,
But at least he remembered the date.

Please feel free to write your own limerick using the same first line and post it in my comments. And if you’re on Facebook, I hope you’ll join my friends in that same activity in my Facebook Limerick-Off post.

To receive an email alert whenever I post a new Limerick-Off, please send me an email requesting the alerts. You’ll find my email address on the upper right sidebar, in the “Author” section just below my Limerick-Offs button. Thanks!

Limerick Of The Week (1)

Sunday, March 20th, 2011

In last week’s Limerick-Off post I announced, as an experiment, a Limerick Of The Week contest. Basically, the best limerick submitted here and/or on Facebook using my upset first line, would be crowned Limerick Of The Week.

Well, my experiment worked even better than I’d hoped — so well, that I plan to make this a weekly event. In fact, you submitted so many excellent limericks, that choosing a winner was tough. But I rose to the challenge and I’m really pleased to announce this week’s Limerick Of The Week Winner plus three Honorable Mentions … just in time for World Poetry Day.

Congratulations to Phyllis Sterling Smith a/k/a Granny Smith. She submitted several fine limericks and hereby wins Limerick Of The Week for this one:

A fellow was very upset.
He’d climbed mountains in highest Tibet,
Taken loans without fear
To pay Sherpas, buy gear.
Now he can’t climb his mountain of debt.

And congratulations to these Honorable Mention winners (in random order) David Lefkovits a/k/a Dr. Goose, Versebender, and co-writers (not to mention married couple) Catherine Palmer and Ron Mardix. Here are their respective Honorable Mention limericks:

David Lefkovits a/k/a Dr. Goose:

A fellow was very upset
And filled with remorse and regret
That, instead of The Times,
His limerick rhymes
Appeared in the local Gazette.

Versebender:

A fellow was very upset
About words he had come to regret
Like calling her Dee
When her name was Marie
In the heat of a passionate sweat.

Catherine Palmer and Ron Mardix:

A fellow was very upset
Online he did meet a brunette.
When they kissed at her door
He but fell to the floor.
Her male package he’d never forget.

Congratulations again to all the winners for your wonderful limericks. And thanks to everyone for your fun submissions. In the next couple of minutes I’ll be posting a new Limerick-Off, which gives you yet another opportunity to win Limerick Of The Week.

Limerick Ode To World Poetry Day — March 21st

Saturday, March 19th, 2011

So far, March has been a big month for celebratory limericks. I’ve already limericked about International Women’s Day, Daylight Savings Time, Pi Day, and St. Patrick’s Day. And now it’s time for a two-verse limerick celebrating World Poetry Day, which falls on March 21st:

Limerick Ode To World Poetry Day
By Madeleine Begun Kane

On World Poetry Day write some verse,
Or in poetry reading immerse.
Try a lim’rick, haiku,
Sonnet, ode, clerihew —
Something witty, or languid, or terse.

On World Poetry Day have some fun:
Compose quatrains, blank verse, or haibun.
Double dactyl, sestina —
The poet’s arena
Will even permit you to pun.

UPDATE: I discovered and corrected some serious errors on Wikipedia’s World Poetry Day page (Google’s top entry for the World Poetry Day topic.) The most glaring error was made more than a month ago, on February 15th, by someone who apparently was manipulating Wikipedia on behalf of a UK-based “global grocery and general merchandising retailer” named Tesco. All references to UNESCO, which had declared March 21st to be World Poetry Day, had been changed to TESCO.

I was stunned that nobody was monitoring Wikipedia well enough to catch and correct this error, and that it took me, an infrequent Wikipedia user, to fix it.

So let that be a lesson to people who rely on Wikipedia. While it’s often useful, it’s far from the gospel. And if you find errors there, be a good Internet citizen and fix them.

One more thing — I urge all poets and writers who are at all publicity-minded, to create their own Wikipedia page. Here’s mine.

UPDATE 2: Commenter Tilly Bud inspired me to combine my two limericks, turning them into a two-verse limerick. Thanks, Tilly!

Insincere Limerick

Friday, March 18th, 2011

Insincere Limerick
By Madeleine Begun Kane

“I love when you buy me cute ties.”
“That petite fits you fine — it’s your size.”
“Your acting is great.”
“Your cooking’s first rate.”
Ah, the charm of those little white lies.

(Inspired by Jingle Poetry’s deception and misrepresentation prompt.)

UPDATE: I just found out that April 30 is National Honesty Day. It’s celebrated by politicians … just about nowhere.