Limerick Nest (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 Labor Day holiday, 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 SEPTEMBER 7, 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, September 6, 2014 at 10 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 Labor Day or any other September 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 discovered a nest…*


Our children are back in the nest…*


All our kids have at last flown the nest…*


A fellow had feathered his nest…*


It’s best not to foul your own nest…*


There’s a syndrome that’s called “empty nest…”*

*(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:

Limerick Nest
By Madeleine Begun Kane

A zoo-keeper feathered his nest.
At theft he was one of the best.
He was cagey and knew
Not to crow to his crew.
Getting caught’s for the birds, he’d assessed.

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!

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97 Responses to “Limerick Nest (Limerick-Off Monday)”

  1. gary hallock says:

    This syndrome that’s called “empty nest.”
    Is never, by jailers, expressed
    Once cons are paroled
    They may leave the fold
    But most will come back for arrest

  2. Brian Allgar says:

    Father claimed to have feathered his nest
    And would leave us a handsome bequest.
    But he’s now in the ground;
    Only feathers were found,
    And we sneezed as we laid him to rest.

  3. Brian Allgar says:

    The fellow was robbing their nest
    Of their eggs, and the hens were distressed.
    They were out of their wits
    So they pecked him to bits –
    He’d forgotten his pullet-proof vest.

  4. Brian Allgar says:

    The wasps had constructed a nest
    By our window. I felt very stressed,
    But my wife, skilled at tantra,
    Just muttered her mantra
    For Buddha to clobber the Pest.

  5. Brian Allgar says:

    The young bird in my pillow-filled nest,
    As she sucked on my wotsit, confessed:
    “I’m afraid to embark
    On this swallowing lark –
    It’s no joke when you tell me ‘Ingest!’ ”

  6. Brian Allgar says:

    The monster’s no longer “Loch Ness’d”,
    For pollution has shrunk her. Compressed,
    As a tourist attraction
    She’s now just a fraction,
    The size of a pilchard, at best.

  7. Brian Allgar says:

    (Christopher said on Facebook that the idea of meeting a dinosaur is rather fanciful. That’s all very well, but …)

    I’d discovered the dinosaur’s nest,
    But her children all jumped on my chest.
    It was meal-time, you see,
    And the diners saw me
    As a welcome consumable guest.

  8. Judith H. Block says:

    A woman had feathered her nest
    With quality, only the best!
    When it came to guys
    It was no surprise,
    His excellence was what she stressed.

  9. Brian Allgar says:

    An Englishman’s home is his nest;
    From a castle, he’s sadly regressed.
    But rampant inflation
    Has crippled the nation.
    Who did it? The Tories! You’ve guessed!

  10. Judith H. Block says:

    Deep in the woods I found a nest
    Of guns! Scared me, I must confess.
    I’m not here to loot!
    So he didn’t shoot.
    In a perfect case of beau geste.

  11. Brian Allgar says:

    When Capone had been Eliot Ness’d,
    “The Untouchables” ended their quest.
    What to do with his booze?
    Said their leader, “I’ll choose
    The champagne, you can drink all the rest.”

  12. Brian Allgar says:

    The banker had feathered his nest
    With the money that fools would invest.
    When he fled to Nevada,
    He told them “There’s nada –
    Your money and I have gone west.”

  13. Judith H. Block says:

    A rich guy helped her feather her nest..
    Was this love or fulfilling a quest?
    The cost was quite dear.
    But was this sincere?
    And not merely a case of beau geste?

  14. John Sardo says:

    A woman discovered a nest
    The hare was an unwelcome guest.
    She loved rabbit stew
    Which she’d down with a brew.
    But the hare was a br’er who soon she’d detest.

  15. John Sardo says:

    A woman discovered a nest
    Of birds of succulent breast
    She baked a pie crust
    And then loudly cussed
    When the flock flew up and then messed.

  16. John Sardo says:

    A woman discovered a nest
    Of blackbirds who settled to rest.
    Four and twenty she’d spy
    Said a tasty bird pie
    They’d make which she’d quickly ingest.

  17. Brian Allgar says:

    Roger Thornton fell into a nest
    Full of spies who would give him no rest.
    When he found himself caught
    On Mount Rushmore, he thought:
    “A mistake to go North by North-West.”

  18. All our kids have at last flown the nest.
    Now my wife and I walk ’round undressed.
    It may sound benign,
    but it isn’t so fine
    when a kid’s an unannounced guest.

    All our kids have at last flown the nest.
    My wife and I now enjoy rest.
    But like Mae West’s old line,
    “Come up and see us sometime..
    but make it later than sooner”, we jest.

    All our kids have at last flown the nest.
    But not really, it’s only a test.
    They reserve the right
    to return any night
    that life has them too overstressed.

    Randy Mazie at

  19. Edmund Conti says:

    How lovely and empty the nest
    The birdies had flown east and west
    But now they’ve returned
    The B’s that they’ve earned
    Left those offering jobs unimpressed.

  20. P Diane Schneider says:

    A woman discovered a nest
    Of jokes that were left by a guest
    She’d been in arrears
    So she changed careers
    Now a stand-up comedienne with zest

  21. yt cai says:

    A pirate climbed in the crow’s nest
    To scout for the crew’s next conquest
    But the night was too deep
    And the scout fell asleep
    In the brig he’s now under arrrr-rest

  22. Jon Gearhart says:

    I invited her back to my nest
    For Monopoly, purely in jest,
    But she jumped at the Chance,
    Thrust her hand down my pants,
    So I grabbed her Community Chest!

  23. Jon Gearhart says:

    “If you ever should feather your nest,
    Choose the feather that weathers the best.
    You should only use eider,
    Duck down.” I replied her,
    “Eider that or what else, you big pest!”

  24. Jon Gearhart says:

    “Since we’ve gained our new empty nest,”
    Said Tess, “I’m a demon possessed!
    We’ve boinked on the table,
    The couch, floor, and Mable
    The cat’s tail and more!” she confessed.

  25. Jon Gearhart says:

    You’re finally leaving the nest.
    I wish you and yours all the best.
    Once you find you a bimbo
    With legs spread akimbo,
    I’m certain you’ll rise to the test!

  26. Allen Wilcox says:

    It’s hard not to foul your own nest
    With boxes and books and the rest.
    If there’s something you’ve lost,
    There’s an increase in cost.
    It’s not simply a search. It’s a quest.

  27. Jon Gearhart says:

    I’ve happened upon a large nest
    Of eggs in my brain. As you’ve guessed,
    I’m sitting here hatching
    These lim’ricks and scratching
    My head wondering, “Which is the best?”

    Please delete other version after your much deserved time off.

    Note from Mad Kane: Done. :)

  28. Jon Gearhart says:

    For first-timers, leaving the nest
    Can be quite a daunting, hard test.
    It gets better, of course,
    Once you’re down on all fours
    And your boyfriend gives you his warm best!

    This one too, Mad. Thanks!

  29. Jon Gearhart says:

    A smart thermostat called Google’s Nest
    Has been touted to be the next best
    Thing out since sliced bread,
    But it isn’t. Instead,
    When hacked, it’s quite bad, as you’ve guessed.

    Google’s Nest

  30. Byron Ives says:

    The bra is a kind of boob’s nest
    The big ones are safe there, but pressed
    So I set them free
    And they fell on me
    And now I feel like I’m blessed.

  31. yt cai says:

    Practical jokes in the birds love nest
    Put their relationship to a stern test
    When he pulled out Sue’s chair
    She fell quite hard right there
    In French Legion is now her beau jest

  32. Byron Ives says:

    The triplets got kicked from their nest
    Two boys and a girl, dispossessed
    They walked, but she faltered
    Her huge boobs, un-haltered
    The brothers then each walked abreast

  33. Edmund Conti says:

    Our nestlings have all flown the nest
    Each one on his personal quest.
    Budapest? Bucharest?
    Everest or Key West?
    No, they moved to the basement. (I jest.)

  34. Byron Ives says:

    They finished with sex in her nest
    He put on his shirt and pants, pressed
    She then gave him grief,
    ‘Cause he’d been very brief
    He had clothed, but now he was dressed

  35. John Peter Larkin says:

    A woman discovered a nest
    which left her highly distressed.
    Though just a small bird,
    he must not have heard
    she hadn’t invited a guest.

  36. Byron Ives says:

    Our moocher just flew from the nest
    Go on! Go mooch from the rest!
    What now! You’ve a bug?
    And needing a hug….?
    Well, ahem, Mom’s soup IS the best…

  37. Allen Wilcox says:

    Our children are back in the nest.
    We thought we’d have time for a rest.
    The darlings are frightful,
    Sadistic and spiteful.
    This must surely be some sort of test.

  38. Brian Allgar says:

    She was laid in a feather-filled nest,
    And she found herself roughly undressed
    By a swan – it was Zeus,
    Who gave Leda his juice.
    Now she needs a paternity test.

  39. Brian Allgar says:

    The birds are asleep in their nest,
    And the sun slowly sinks in the west;
    It’s a wonderful life …
    Till I’m called by my wife:
    “Have you emptied the bins?” What a pest!

  40. Jon Gearhart says:

    You can’t judge a bird by its nest,
    So I think observation’s the test.
    If it’s chick, goose or duck,
    It will quack, honk or cluck.
    This whole subject is fowl at best.

  41. Kiran Parekh says:

    There’s a syndrome that’s called “empty nest…”*
    Suffered by parents whether from LA or Budapest
    When kids take flight
    Parents begin to fight
    Will their marriage survive this acid test?

  42. Val Fish says:

    Our kids have at last flown the nest
    But I’m far from feeling depressed
    I’ve a new lease of life
    As a submissive wife
    His master is more than impressed

  43. Kirk Miller says:

    On Labor Day, rest from your work.
    I said, “That is wrong,” with a smirk.
    “Rest from work; Labor Day.
    Their two meanings,” I say,
    “Are opposite; drive me berserk.”

  44. Jon Gearhart says:

    Repeat parties at Legionnaire’s Nest,
    A bar out here in the Midwest,
    Feature fellows whose legions
    Know Pam’s nether regions
    Cause Pam usually nethers each fest!

  45. Byron Ives says:

    I once found an old hornet’s nest
    I flung it at wifey, in jest
    I thought it deserted
    Her welts must have hurted
    My own stinger now is at rest

  46. Byron Ives says:

    Our daughter would soon leave the nest
    My wife had been worried and stressed
    “I can’t sleep!” she would wail
    “Then I’ll take you to jail!”
    “The charge: resisting a rest.”

  47. Brian Allgar says:

    Though the cannibal lived in a nest,
    He would boast that he owned an ice-chest.
    “That last girl that I ate?
    With my new, up-to-date
    Little fridge, I’m still keeping abreast.”

  48. Brian Allgar says:

    The serpent had climbed to the nest
    On a sinuous chick-eating quest.
    But the eagle swooped down,
    And her beak split his crown;
    Now her fledglings have much to digest.

  49. @Brian, Edmund, Kiran

    I rise from my bed unrefreshed.
    In nightmares my brain is enmeshed.
    What’s so bad it would keep
    Me from comfort and sleep?

    (Sorry, but it had to be said! :) )

  50. The chicken, to get to its nest,
    Tried crossing the road. You’ll have guessed
    That, because it was black,
    It was shot in the back
    By the cops for “resisting arrest”.

  51. Of the covers, I’ve made me a nest,
    And I come out at no-one’s behest.
    Robin Williams is dead…
    There’s that journalist’s head…
    Now there’s Ferguson. Fuck, I’m depressed.

  52. Tim James says:

    For a certain ex-Gov who’s currently in the news…

    Bob McDonnell has feathered his nest
    At a wannabe big-shot’s behest.
    Now he’s taking the tack
    That his wife is a whack.
    (Bet his marriage bed’s getting a rest.)

  53. Jon Gearhart says:

    Investors can feather their Neste
    By expanding out where they invest.
    If they started with Mobil,
    They could get more global
    And Finnish with one of the best.


  54. Brian Allgar says:

    English holidays during September?
    If there are some, I now can’t remember.
    My holiday rhyme
    Must be some other time …
    I think there’s a date in December.

  55. Brian Allgar says:

    Will, you’re correct that that’s how THEY say it, but it’s not how WE say it. When did you last hear anyone say ParEE?

    P.S. Good to see you back in action.

  56. Brian Allgar says:

    Furthermore, Will, Edmund’s rhyme word wasn’t Budapest but Bucharest, so he at least is in the clear.

  57. Brian Allgar says:

    I’ve jusht been attacked and aggreshed
    For the way I pronounsh Budapesht.
    But after shome wine
    I am almosht in line,
    And the whishky takesh care of the resht.

  58. Stand down, Tar and Feather Committee!
    I ask for forgiveness, and pity:
    After twenty-five years,
    It still moves me to tears
    To remember my favorite city.

    (PS —
    Though for whisky the tastebuds rejoice,
    I believe a more practical choice
    Is a swig — if it’s handy —
    Of palinka brandy
    To find your Hungarian voice.)

  59. Allen Wilcox says:

    Our chidren are back in the nest,
    A contingency we had repressed.
    Between that or park benches
    Leaves us back in the trenches.
    We hope that it’s all for the best.

  60. Allen Wilcox says:

    All our kids have at last flown the nest,
    Which leaves us a little bit stressed.
    We live on a diet
    Of absolute quiet.
    Conversqtion had clearly regressed.

  61. Allen Wilcox says:

    All our kids have at last flown the nest.
    The negatives leave us distressed.
    But with nothing to hide,
    On the positive side,
    We’re no longer compelled to get dressed.

  62. Jon Gearhart says:

    I must tell you about my Aunt Faye.
    She’s had 9 kids with one on the way.
    Due to pop any day,
    So please think of Faye
    As you rest while she’s laboring away!

  63. Bill Klein says:

    A woman who’d seen that a nest
    Had been built ‘twixt her left and right breast
    Cried “Alas and alack!
    There are birds on my rack!”
    And with zest swept the pests from her chest

  64. John Armstrong says:

    To not foul one’s own nest
    Is a policy that’s passed the test
    But politicians never learn
    And the bridges they still burn
    If they’re not re-elected, we’ll be blessed

  65. Brian Allgar says:

    Will, in all seriousness (if this can conceivably be thought of as the right place for such a thing), I’m off to Budapest on Sunday – not, alas, for pleasure, but for reasons connected with the “day job”. I’ve been there twice before, and loved it. I don’t expect to have much time for gallivanting on this occasion, but I hope at least to be able to fit in dinner in an outdoor restaurant overlooking the Beautiful Brownish-Grey Danube.

  66. Brian Allgar says:

    Another city for Will:

    In France, all the women are free;
    You just say “You viens avec me?”
    But if you are gay
    Then you may have to pay –
    Why d’you think that it’s called “Gay Paris”?

  67. Brian Allgar says:

    Ooops! Metrical slip in line 2. Better as:

    You just ask them “You viens avec me?”

    Now back to the suitcase-packing.

  68. Jericho says:

    A woman discovered a nest
    Where several eggs were at rest
    She squatted on top
    Without thinking they’d pop
    And then left without cleaning the mess

  69. Fred Bortz says:

    Today I submit the fi-nest
    Limer-ick of this week’s poet test.
    I ac-cent the wrong places,
    Upset homeostasis,
    And declare, “Look how far I’ve progressed!”

  70. Fred Bortz says:

    With prizes, I’ve feathered my nest.
    My limericks: always the best
    And on weeks when Mad Kane
    Thinks they stink, I complain
    With verse, ever worse, to protest.

    She will say, “Your acCENT’S not hoNEST.
    And your rhythm leaves me unimpressed.”
    I reply, “Dear Ms. Mad’leine,
    It’s intended. My addlin’
    Your brain is the goal of my quest.

  71. Fred Bortz says:

    Edited and improved version:

    Today I submit the fi-nest
    Limer-ick of this week’s poet test.
    I ac-cent the wrong places,
    Upset homeostasis,
    And de-clare how far I’ve progressed!

  72. Fred Bortz says:

    Talk Radio’s consummate honor
    For a Jewish show, the “Rush Hashana,”
    Is porkless baloney
    On “wry” with some phony
    Illegal drugs or marijuana.

  73. Susan Settje says:

    There’s a syndrome, it’s called empty nest
    And the victim’s are often a pest
    To the kid’s who have flown
    To a life of their own –
    ‘til the day they come “home” for a “rest”.

  74. Konrad Schwoerke says:

    “I’ve been thinking of leaving the NEST;
    Seems I made a wee goof,” I confessed,
    “But it’s really not bad
    (In a way it’s quite rad);
    See that beautiful glow to our west?”

  75. Judith H. Block says:

    The revered Labor Day Parade-
    Alas, feels too old and too staid…
    See half naked women dancing
    At Carnival, feathered prancing!
    Who cares what the workers get paid.

  76. Judith H. Block says:

    The much esteemed Labor Day Parade!
    Its meaning and value got waylaid.
    Where’d the politicians go?
    To Brooklyn to see the Show:
    West Indian Carnival Parade.

  77. Judith H. Block says:

    I hope the Union movement ain’t dead.
    Proud people march for roses and bread.
    Labor was the alpha
    But now most go to the
    Brooklyn Carnival Parade instead.

  78. Judith H. Block says:

    So important all workers belong.
    To get protection that is life-long.
    Bonding is the key:
    The Union does, indeed, make us strong

  79. Judith H. Block says:

    Ah, el Pueblo unido
    Jamas sera vencido!
    For justice and rights.
    We must win the fights!
    This is our stand, this credo!

  80. Jon Gearhart says:

    We’d all like to better our nest,
    So we labor to further our quest.
    We work toward our goals
    Slowly killing our souls–
    For one day, can’t we give it a rest!

  81. Jon Gearhart says:

    I’ve decided to try at all cost
    To get my wife’s story acrossed,
    So I often write plays
    When she works holidays.
    Today’s play’s, “My Love’s Labor Day’s Lost.”

  82. Konrad Schwoerke says:

    “What’s that syndrome when kids leave the nest,
    And your wife will not give you a rest?”
    “I’m no specialist, though
    From what little I know
    Nymphomania seems to fit best.”

  83. Jon Gearhart says:

    I’m here now to bargain for you
    So you won’t (and you can’t) yourself do
    And all that I ask
    For this tiny task
    Is your money, your vote, and soul too.

    And here’s what you get in return
    A lesson that’s not hard to learn
    A raise in your wage
    Raises dues and your rage
    As your check’s less than you used to earn

    Whenever the wages get bumped
    The price at the register’s jumped
    Your money’s worth less.
    You’re “better off”, I guess,
    But just how as of now has me stumped.

    Devil’s Advocate

  84. Mark Kane says:

    I rarely stray far from the nest,
    Perhaps cuz I hate being dressed.
    But my wife wears a shirt —
    The hot little flirt!
    I’ll need to get THAT off her chest.

  85. Wilson F. Engel, III says:

    A broker had feathered his nest.
    His condor plays bested the best.
    But then came the crash
    When he lost all his cash.
    His margin calls took all the rest.

  86. Wilson F. Engel, III says:

    A woman discovered the nest
    That her husband shared with the rest.
    She wired the place,
    Posted pix to Face-
    Book and Twittered until he confessed.


    If the home is considered her ‘nest,’
    And the kids have done well and progressed,
    When the count drops to two
    And her focus is you,
    In all likelihood YOU she’ll divest.

    Several decades, her feelings repressed,
    Caused her female mind to congest.
    So we’re done now because
    (just believe me) it does
    Absolutely no good to protest.

    @Kiran mentioned the great ‘acid test’
    Of a marriage. More like an Inquest!
    “After years of your slop,
    We have come to full stop—
    I consider you naught but ‘egest.’ ”

  88. Jon Gearhart says:

    My Labor Day off was quite nice.
    The fact I got paid should suffice,
    But, now looking back,
    It throws me off track.
    To fix it, we ought repeat twice!

  89. Jon Gearhart says:

    Today, kids would find it quite trite,
    After Labor Day, not wearing white.
    I’d take any wagers
    That all the teenagers
    Would say folks and clothes weren’t too bright!

  90. Tim James says:

    Mad gave us a seven-day stay
    A Labor Day verse to assay.
    I may sound like a jerk,
    But that’s way too much work!
    I’ll bear down when they pass Goof-Off Day.

  91. Jon Gearhart says:

    We’d all like to better our nest,
    So we labor to further our quest.
    We work toward our goals
    Slowly killing our souls–
    So this Monday please let arseholes rest!

  92. Byron Ives says:

    Now what shall I cook in our nest?
    A rabbit!, skinned, gutted, and dressed
    My wife wants him whole
    But halved is my goal
    Splitting hares is what I do best

  93. Dear Empty Nest Parents: Good news!
    Say goodbye to those college kid blues.
    The way things are goin’
    Statistics are showin’
    When school’s done they’ll come live with youse.

  94. Byron Ives says:

    My friend said his son flew the nest
    To live in a commune out west
    Raising chickens and cattle
    Of his bliss he would prattle
    A cock and bull story, I guessed

  95. Allen Wilcox says:

    A woman at ease in her nest
    Had had triplets and then she confessed,
    “I went into shock,
    But then I took stock.
    It’s a good thing I have a third breast.”

  96. There’s a syndrome they call “Empty Nest.”
    Kids move out and the folks get depressed.
    But relief is in store
    As it seems more and more
    They move back when they’re poor — that’s no jest.

  97. 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, the Holiday Limerick Award Winner, the Facebook Friends’ Choice Award Winner, and the Honorable Mention Winners: Limerick of the Week 179.

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