Strained Limerick (Limerick-Off Monday)


It’s Limerick-Off time, once again. 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.)

How will your poems be judged? By meter, rhyme, cleverness, and humor. (If you’re feeling a bit fuzzy about limerick writing rules, here’s my How To Write A Limerick article.)

Please note that due to the holidays, this Limerick-Off will run for two weeks, instead of one. So I’ll announce the Limerick of the Week Winner two weeks from today, on April 27, 2014, right before I post the next Limerick-Off. So that gives you a full two weeks to submit your clever, polished verse. Your submission deadline is Saturday, April 26, 2014 at 11 p.m. (Eastern Time.)

And since you’ll have two weeks, I’m offering you a topical alternative: In addition to your regular challenge, you may write a limerick related to any April holiday, using any first line. And of course I’ll present an extra award — one for the best holiday-related limerick.

And now, getting back to your regular Limerick-Off challenge, I hope you’ll join me in writing a limerick with this first line:

A woman whose budget was strained…*


A singer whose voice sounded strained…*


A fellow had struggled and strained…*


A woman whose mood was restrained…*

*(Please note that minor variations to my first lines are acceptable. However, rhyme words may not be altered, except by using homonyms or homophones.)

Here’s my limerick:

Strained Limerick
By Madeleine Begun Kane

A chef who had struggled and strained
To serve noteworthy food appeared drained:
“I’m losing my shirt,”
He said, scarfing dessert.
Seems his rep (and his shirt) had been stained.

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 on my Facebook Limerick-Off post.

To receive an email alert whenever I post a new Limerick-Off, please email Subject: MadKane’s Newsletter. Thanks!

UPDATE: July 25th is National Culinarians’ Day.

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72 Responses to “Strained Limerick (Limerick-Off Monday)”

  1. Mark Kane says:

    A woman, once gagged and restrained
    Seeks sex till her passion is drained.
    She needs the “right” Master,
    If not, pure disaster!
    For you see he must first be ordained.

  2. Steve Whitred says:

    Another nice limerick Mad, thanks for always providing such great examples.

  3. Brian Allgar says:

    Queen Elizabeth struggled and strained
    To serve wine to the guests who complained
    That the drink had run out.
    How she splashed it about!
    She never could pour, but she reigned.

  4. Brian Allgar says:

    The tenor was vocally strained
    By the high notes that he had attained.
    He became a castrato
    With thrilling vibrato,
    But lost rather more than he gained.

  5. Brian Allgar says:

    While having his missus restrained,
    Her husband, the werewolf, explained:
    “She makes such a racket
    She needs a straitjacket,
    At least till the full moon has waned.”

  6. Brian Allgar says:

    “My quality cannot be strained”,
    Pleaded Mercy, on being arraigned.
    Said the judge: “You’re a menace!
    ‘The Merchant of Venice’
    Won’t save you”, and ordered her chained.

  7. Brian Allgar says:

    Ham loved to be tied and restrained
    While his mistresses whipped him and caned.
    But one had a stammer
    And thought he said “Hammer”;
    She left him completely no-brained.

  8. Craig says:

    “You are guilty of meter that’s strained,
    And of puns that are terribly pained –
    You’ll be struck twenty times
    For your crimes against rhymes;
    Please step forth to be Madeleine-caned.”

  9. Judith H. BLock says:

    A woman whose mood was restrained
    Knew anger would be nothing gained.
    He was cruel, not mischievous,
    To her pain, was oblivious,
    But she seethed inside, just the same.

  10. Judith H. BLock says:

    A singer whose voice sounded strained,
    Realized that she should have refrained
    From singing like Callas
    Bel canto, so wondrous,
    She thought nothing feigned nothing gained.

  11. Judith H. BLock says:

    A fellow had struggled and strained
    He knew that he should have refrained
    Trying to catch a bunny
    Easter gift to his honey,
    He saw his idea was harebrained,

  12. John Sardo says:

    A woman whose mood was restrained
    Of her actions last night she explained.
    She was feeling quite mellow
    And bedded a fellow
    Whose undying love was quite feigned.

  13. John Sardo says:

    A woman whose mood was restrained
    Insisted on virtue maintained
    A guy plied her in vain
    Yet through all she’d refrain
    “I’ve been there before,” she explained.

  14. John Sardo says:

    A singer whose voice sounded strained
    For a week from singing refrained.
    But it did him no good
    As the audience stood
    When he missed a high C and complained.

  15. John Sardo says:

    A fellow had struggled and strained
    To pay for debts when he campaigned
    He begged a rich donor
    Who called him a moaner
    Now to debt this fellow is chained.

  16. Brian Allgar says:

    They asked why my Dad’s been restrained
    From approaching Bill Gates. I explained
    That his eyes become crazed,
    Turning glassy and glazed –
    At the mention of ‘Windows’, he’s pained.

  17. Bill Klein says:

    The rock singer’s voice sounded strained
    And his facial contortions looked pained
    He was surely a sight
    ‘Cause his pants were too tight
    From all of the weight he had gained

    But a trouper he was, and refrained
    From explaining the pain he’d sustained
    When he ventured to shout
    The Spandex gave out
    ‘Til only his jockstrap remained…

    But still he sang on, never waned
    Although it had become quite plain
    That this idol of youth
    Was too long in the tooth
    He could not contain gain and stay sane

  18. Steve Whitred says:

    “Your humour’s become too constrained”
    The limerick-offers complained
    “Would it hurt anyone
    If you worked in a pun
    It might help if you got MaryJaned”

  19. Judith H. BLock says:

    A woman whose mood was restrained
    Stayed quiet while she was arraigned.
    Yes, she did shout
    With citizen’s clout.
    For that she was being detained?

  20. Asked my wife, as the noodles I strained,
    “Change of menu?” “Yes dear,” I explained,
    “Every night we’ve Foo Yung’ed,
    “Up with eggs I’m just bunged!”
    “Ah! So that’s why tonight, you’ve Chow Mein’ed?!”

  21. Chris Doyle says:

    “I prefer my koala tea strain’d
    Through the Mersey,” Will Shakespeare explain’d
    In response to a blighter
    Who said to the writer,
    “It’s puns that keep folks entertain’d.”

  22. Craig says:

    “A behind that is barely restrained,
    Is a gift to mankind,” he explained.
    “When a girl wears a thong
    Not a thing can go wrong …”
    (So he thought, before he was arraigned.)

  23. Craig says:

    “Your client should not be restrained,
    Your request to dismiss is sustained!
    He should not be in jail
    Just for looking at tail –
    That’s the judgment I’ve just ‘ass-ertained.’ “

  24. Chris Doyle says:

    At the Best Little Whorehouse, Tex strained
    Through his twenty-third hooker and gained
    Their “Top Client Award”
    For the number he’d scored
    And the ounces of semen he’d drained.

  25. Fred Bortz says:

    The G.O.P.’s mercy is strained
    No matter how much it’s explained.
    The poor feel the wrath
    Of Paul Ryan’s new math,
    While the plutocrats’ fortunes have gained.

    Their philosophy stands unconstrained.
    By the facts, it can never be stained.
    Give the wealthy more dough
    So the bubble can grow
    ‘Til it bursts, and our jobs are all drained.

    My sarcasm might be restrained
    If a flicker of hope still remained
    That the voters will rise up,
    Tell Congress to wise up,
    That demagogues won’t be retained.

  26. Mark Kane says:

    From its onset their marriage was strained.
    The reverend when cornered explained,
    “I’m doing G-d’s will,
    While drilling each Jill,
    I’m hearing it’s all been ordained.”

  27. Brian Allgar says:

    (A postscript to Craig)

    But the judge’s reaction was strained
    When the facts of the case were explained,
    For the girl with the ass
    Was his own teenage lass:
    “He is Guilty! The verdict’s maintained!”

  28. Brian Allgar says:

    The Song of the MCP

    “My libido is quite unrestrained
    And my lechery deeply ingrained.
    I’ll even make passes
    At girls wearing glasses
    Provided they’re cute and well-trained.”

  29. Jesse Levy says:

    A man on the toilet had strained
    and then he quite loudly complained,
    “I need lots more fiber,
    to be like the Khyber
    and Pass all this stuff unrestrained!”

  30. Craig says:

    With the hatch on the silo he strained
    Then fell in when he got it unchained.
    They just found him this morn
    Under three tons of corn –
    Yes the poor guy was firmly ingrained.

  31. Fred Bortz says:

    A two-fer

    After one week of matzah, he strained
    To egest all the stuff that remained.
    The whole town heard him how-l
    From the pain in his bowel.
    Alas, he’d from prune juice refrained.

  32. Fred Bortz says:

    Here’s to matzah ball soup, steaming hot.
    And the unleavened crackers you’ve got.
    Seder night, for a treat,
    Maybe brisket for meat,
    And some tzimmes stewed up in a pot.

  33. Jen Harris says:

    A woman whose budget was strained
    Decided her man could be trained
    To sell blood and spunk
    And much other junk
    Until he was utterly drained.

  34. Said the rabbi, “Commandment from heaven
    Says you have to get rid of your leaven
    By Nissan 14.”
    What on earth could he mean?
    I drive a Toyota 07!


    “Here’s breakfast,” I said. Kitty purred,
    Then said to me, “Don’t be absurd!
    This week I may nibble
    Just unleavened kibble…
    It’s Pussover. Hadn’t you heard?”

  35. Konrad Schwoerke says:

    “My orangutan must be restrained
    while he travels by rail,” I explained.
    “He’s a really great ape
    and won’t try to escape,
    but you see, he has never been trained.”

  36. Konrad Schwoerke says:

    Oops! Didn’t mean to leave the “wrote:” on that last one. Here’s another:

    By the light of the moon, Batman strained
    as he fought with the Punster till brained.
    Then he fell, fast and far,
    and went splat, on a car.
    This, which once had been waxed, was now Wayned.

  37. Elisson says:

    Now it’s Pesach. The thing that I dread,
    Comes from all that damned unleavened bread.
    For whenever I eat,
    It sets up like concrete,
    And I spend all my time in the head.

  38. Elisson says:

    Thus I sat, and I strained. O, I strained,
    And regretted not having refrained
    From eating the matzoh
    That ties guts in knots-ah
    Whether plain or when slathered with chrain.

  39. Easter comes when three cycles attune
    Seven weekdays, the sun, and the moon
    As night’s length equals day’s
    Past the moon’s fullest phase
    On a Sunday, some time before June

  40. Fred Bortz says:

    On April’s fourth Friday, the breeze
    Reminds us to celebrate trees,
    Which respond to our callin’
    By releasing their pollen.
    Yes, Arbor Day’s cheer is a sneeze.

  41. Johanna Richmond says:

    Odysseus puled as he strained
    ’Gainst his pole while the Siren song reigned:
    “Charybdis will beat me
    Or Scylla will eat me
    By trip’s end, I’m bound to be drained.”

  42. Val Fish says:

    For Lent I’ve given up the booze
    But I’ve got a bad case of the blues
    A large G and T’s
    Crying ‘Drink me, drink me!’
    It’s an offer I cannot refuse

  43. John Armstrong says:

    Relationships are severely strained
    By actions that remain un-named
    How can they be resolved
    and grudges be dissolved
    if “You know what you did!” is maintained?

  44. Rachael says:

    A lady had struggled and strained
    to lose all the weight she had gained,
    but her plan had its flaws
    and included malt balls,
    So what little she lost, she regained.

    He preferred his potatoes well strained,
    but her interest in pleasing had waned.
    So he often sat down
    to eat with a frown,
    his displeasure barely restrained.

  45. Brian Allgar says:

    Easter Sunday: on tottery legs,
    Food and water both drained to the dregs,
    I was stranded with Clara
    In deepest Sahara,
    So we ate all the East Tuaregs.

  46. Johanna Richmond says:

    Odysseus puled as he strained
    ’Gainst his pole while the Siren song reigned:
    “Soon Scylla will eat me,
    Charybdis will beat me
    In time, I am bound to be drained.”

  47. Johanna Richmond says:

    The Tell-Tale Jelly Bean

    I was sure my young daughter would beef —
    Thought she’d blubber and call me a thief
    When a blush-colored bean
    On my workspace was seen —
    But instead, to my utter relief,

    She made not a scintilla of a stink;
    Smiling broadly, she gave me a wink.
    “When the rabbit took flight
    Said my daughter, “last night,
    I instructed him: mommy likes pink!”

  48. Johanna Richmond says:

    If King Lear had preferred a restrained
    Show of love over one that was feigned,
    Fate may still have brought down
    All that rained on his crown
    But lengthened the time his crown reigned.

  49. On Walking to Work on Walk to Work Day

    Walked to work once – about couple miles.
    ‘Long the way there were plenty of smiles;
    For it’s humorous, see,
    To step into some… sheesh!…
    With black wingtips and spats, climbing stiles.

  50. Brian Allgar says:

    It’s Easter. We’ve run out of money;
    Our rabbit’s regarding us funny.
    We can’t afford lamb,
    And we’ve run out of spam –
    She suspects she’ll become roasted bunny.

  51. Konrad Schwoerke says:

    I won’t dwell on these puns that seem strained,
    ’cause apparently none have complained.
    I will strive to let go,
    and be good, even though,
    to be clear, like a window, I’m pained.

  52. Tim James says:

    A woman had struggled and strained
    To keep her young beau entertained.
    With all of that sexing
    She found something vexing:
    Who suspected that *that* could get sprained?

  53. Diane Groothuis says:

    In Australia we are not restrained
    In wishing more often it rained
    And Koala tea
    s a new one on me
    I probably haven’t been trained.
    3 mins · Like

  54. madkane says:

    Reminder: This Limerick-Off runs for an additional week. So feel free to continue posting “strained” and holiday-themed limericks through Saturday, April 26th, both here and on my Facebook post. Thanks!

  55. Johanna Richmond says:

    When, achingly, April unfurls
    Pink sapphires and rubies from pearls,
    And its breezes redeem
    Our old courage to dream
    Let us celebrate women and girls.

    Although Easter and Passover do
    To remind us to bloom and renew,
    And acknowledge our past,
    There were mysteries vast
    Stirring awe before Christian and Jew.

    Take Eostre, from “austron,”: “the dawn”
    Still sacred, forgotten — not gone…
    The bright eggs children dye
    And the Bunnies that fly
    Are from this lovely grand-goddess drawn.

    April’s glory can make mothers pine
    For a day when the female divine
    Feels as real as the male —
    Fewer people would fail
    To appreciate daughters like mine.

  56. Bob Leggett @LimerickBob1 says:

    A lady’s voice was strained
    As she patiently explained
    To the man who’d just put
    His case on her foot
    That her anger was unconstrained

  57. Bob Leggett says:

    A chicken traversed the A1
    In the sweltering midday sun
    You don’t have to try
    To tell me why
    I just wanted a hot cross pun

  58. Brian Allgar says:

    “So how are you planning to spend
    This beautiful Easter weekend?”
    “Oh, just hanging about
    With a thief and a lout,
    But I’ll see you on Sunday, my friend.”

  59. Konrad Schwoerke says:

    His tumescence could not be constrained
    as her bottom was lovingly caned.
    When he told her to strip,
    what he saw made him flip,
    and so neither erection remained.

  60. Konrad Schwoerke says:

    As a VETERAN of holiday fêtes,
    I should PASSOVER most of those dates.
    I wish SAINT PATRICK would,
    or the PRESIDENT could,
    in the NEW YEAR, rescind what awaits.

    A nor’EASTER could whisk them away,
    if ALL SOULS would endeavor to pray,
    and God LENT us his strength;
    then I’d LABOR at length
    to put THANKSGIVING foremost each day.

  61. Tim James says:

    My lim’ricks are all, as a rule,
    Distillations of culture and cool.
    I’m an artist who shuns
    Smutty sex talk and puns.
    And if you believe that…April Fool!

  62. P Diane Schneider says:

    A woman whose budget was strained
    Tried to lose weight but she gained
    To be quite concise
    Her only real vice
    Was eating buffet when she trained

  63. Said Will, with a hint of despair,
    “I really do wish I could share
    A seasonal verse…
    But (unprintable curse)!
    Tell me WHAT season? WHICH season? WHERE??”

    “Mid-April, we should’ve thought twice;
    But the weather was so freaking nice
    That we said, ‘Now the days’ll
    Be warm. Plant the basil!’
    The very next day, we had ice.”

  64. Konrad Schwoerke says:

    When Mark’s bawdiness can’t be restrained,
    does dear Mad feel her contest’s profaned?
    Does her presence of mind
    turn to anger that’s blind?
    And if so, does dear Mad have Mark Kaned?

  65. Val Fish says:

    A woman was feeling restrained
    To the bedpost handcuffed and chained
    Powerless to fight
    She gave in to her plight
    With passion pure and unconstrained

  66. David Goldberg says:

    A woman whose budget was strained
    Had no toilet, and so she explained:
    My garden’s my potty;
    I go and get squatty
    And water my plants till I’m drained.

  67. Diane Groothuis says:

    My poor little brain has been drained
    I’m slow and I’ve been poorly trained
    But I feel like a dill
    Re the Koala tea’s ri(dd)le
    Now the “Quality of Mercy’s not strained”

  68. Kirk Miller says:

    Topical alternative limericks for Earth Day, April 22:

    On Earth Day it seems there’s a dearth
    Of folks who respect our land’s worth.
    It’s a major disgrace
    How our planet’s defaced.
    Type of people I like? Down-to-earth.

    To the one that has given us birth,
    Be respectful and show what’s she’s worth.
    We’ve been somewhat errant;
    Neglected our parent.
    Please be kinder to our Mother Earth.

  69. Ailsa McKillop says:

    With some noise in the background, I strained
    To hear as my brother explained
    How (like mine) had increased
    His blood pressure, at least
    Twenty points, and we’d both some pounds gained.

    In the kitchen I fussed and complained
    The cookbook at length of arm craned
    A presbyopian squint
    Cannot help with small print
    Which is light, on dark background contained.

    My impulse to cook had fast waned
    I ate steak that was GRASS-fed, not grained
    I’ve lost, in all truth,
    Some premolars of youth
    But incisors at least I’ve maintained!

    I could fume, but I’ll keep it restrained
    From expletives I have abstained.
    Old age, when it comes
    Has some unwelcome chums!
    Small wonder I’m feeling so drained!

  70. Konrad Schwoerke says:

    “Our rivalry must be constrained,
    or the end will be bad,” I maintained.
    “Like those biblical siblings
    with their trivial quibblings,
    you ain’t able to take being caned.”

  71. Ailsa McKillop says:

    To reach treble C, I now strained
    After G4 my poor voice just waned
    I sing lower key
    (Reaching down to C3)
    So the choir a tenor has gained.

    (A true story. There is an appalling lack of proper treatment in the UK for hypothyroidism, and one side effect of this condition can be a deepening of the voice. I used to sing in the mezzo-soprano range, but am now a tenor. On the plus side, tenors are like gold-dust to choirs.)

  72. madkane says:

    Thanks so much everyone for another fun week of limericks. This Limerick-Off is officially over. And the winner is…

    Congratulations to the Limerick of the Week Winner, Holiday Limerick Award winner, the Facebook Friends’ Choice Award Winner, and the Honorable Mention Winners:
    Limerick of the Week 161.

    But you can still have lots of limerick fun because a new Limerick-Off has just begun: Limerick Disguise.