Posts Tagged ‘rhymes’


February 21, 2016 Leave a comment



Of all the frights I’ve had in life

There’s none unnerved me worse

Than that dreadful night of terror

That I heard the mummy’s curse


While in the Pharaoh’s pyramid

With only candlelight

I happened on an ancient scroll

Wrapped in a bundle tight


Then I read with trepidation

Its hieroglyphic verse:

“Beware, O foul defiler, now

You’ll hear the mummy’s curse!”


Then from a stone sarcophagus

Against a darkened wall

Emerged a fearsome mummy

Who stood immensely tall


Wrapped head to toe in linen

Hate blazing from its eyes

It stalked me like a tiger

As I whimpered wretched cries


It backed me to a corner

Then things went from bad to worse

As to my utter horror

I heard the mummy curse


“You mother-bleeping robber

You thieving sack of bleep

How dare disturb my Pharaoh

In his everlasting sleep”


“Be gone you bleeping infidel

And mark my words with dread

If you show your worthless bleep again

And I’ll crush you bleeping head!”


Then to its stone sarcophagus

It shuffled in reverse

No, I’ll not soon forget the night

I heard the mummy curse!


March 18, 2014 3 comments

‘Twixt pinafores and semaphores

And petit fours and such

There’s often some confusion,

But I wouldn’t worry much


For here’s a way to keep them

All quite tidy in your mind

And if you’ll just recite this verse

No problems you will find


A pinafore’s an apron

And a semaphore’s a sign

A petit four’s a pastry

Of much intricate design


So when you’re finished baking treats

Aboard your trusty boat

You run your apron up the mast

To signal all afloat


Then the pinafore’s a semaphore

The petit fours are here

Which makes this rhyme a poor attempt

At metaphor I fear




Raven Redux

October 30, 2012 43 comments

Recycled for Halloween 2012


One of my all-time favorite poems is Poe’s The Raven, but let’s face it, at 1086 words it is way too long.  In today’s frenetic world, who has the time to read such things. So, in the interest of making it more accessible to the schedule-impaired, and with all due respect to the original, I have undertaken a slight edit.  Here is my 68 word version of the classic.


Lonely dude about to snore

Hears a knock upon his door

What is there? A talking bird!

All it knows is one damn word

Conversation is a bore

All it says is “nevermore”

Asks about his long lost flame

Lenore, the lovely lady’s name

Bird provides no help at all

“Nevermore,” it’s single call

Lonely dude goes raving mad

Bird just sits there.  Bird is bad

Linked to One Shot Wednesday.

Performance Anxiety

April 22, 2012 19 comments


This post is linked to The Mag prompt #114 which is the image above.


What joy! At Last! An honorarium!

To read my verse at the aquarium

What angst! What pain! My poems stank!

The performance ended in the tank.




May 24, 2011 28 comments

This poem is linked to One Stop Poetry.



I took an arrow in the heart

From Cupid’s loving bow

Why the little bare-bummed archer

Picked on me I’ll never know

With his cherub face and curly locks

And dainty little wings

You’d never guess the awful mess

His little missile brings

Before he shot, I had only me,

And wanted nothing more

Now I’ve got a wife, six drooling kids,

And creditors galore

Oh God in heaven grant me this:

I only wish I might

Encounter that sweet faerie

On some dark and moonless night

I’d snatch the arrows from his back

‘Ere more harm came to pass

Then throttle him around the neck

And shove them up his … (well, you get the idea!)


Blake’s Mistake

May 5, 2011 32 comments


With all respect to William Blake

I think he made a big mistake

With Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

He didn’t get the rhyming right

Although I strive and really try

I can’t rhyme symmetry with eye!

This week’s Big Tent Poetry prompt is to do a revision. That probably meant a revision of your own work, but I thought I might try something more ambitious. How about “fixing” a 217-year old classic?

I have always loved Blake’s The Tyger (see below), but have struggled with the rhyming in this couplet:

What immortal hand or eye,
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

And this one:

What immortal hand or eye

Dare frame thy fearful symmetry

These do not rhyme…no way, no how.  I have read several explanations for this poetic malpractice.  They fall into three categories:

  1. It rhymed just swell in the English vernacular circa 1794
  2. It is a slant, half, or eye rhyme considered acceptable among poets in that milieu
  3. It was done intentionally to add emphasis to those two lines

None of these explanations satisfied me.  So, powered by Google and armed with a six-pack, I decided to investigate this mystery.  The following theory is the product of my research:

Blake, responding to an online prompt and feeling pressure to add content to his blog, was at an impasse. He had a pretty good, but imperfect, piece…there were those nagging couplets.  Try as he might, he couldn’t work it out.  He knew that his fellow bloggers were polite, supportive and unlikely to criticize. Since the clock was ticking (and in 1794 he probably only had dial up) he decided to publish as is. There you have it.

I think 217 years is a long time to go without correcting this egregious error. I can’t believe someone hasn’t done so before. You may think that’s a bit pretentious, but I see it as a public service.  Here you go:


By William Blake (and Versebender)

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye eye or hand
Could frame thy fearful symmetry a majesty so grand?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare sieze the fire?

And what shoulder, & what art.
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? & what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears,
And watered heaven with their tears,
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye eye or hand
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry a majesty so grand?

Much better!

I’m Not Afraid

May 2, 2011 37 comments

Linked to  The Purple Tree House . Vb



I’m not afraid of kitty cats

With nasty little claws

I’m not afraid of growling dogs

And slashing, gnashing jaws

I’m not afraid of bully boys

Or wriggly, jiggly snakes

And those itsy bitsy spiders

Do not give me the shakes

But little girls with pretty curls

Can make me blush and sweat

My dad says, “Son, it’s just begun

You ain’t seen nothing yet!”