January 7, 2006
Light Verse Poems about Specific People or Character Types:
The following light-verse poems are about people, named and
unnamed, individuals or types. Note that many more light-verse poems
about people are in other sections, especially under "Double
Dactyls" and "Limericks":
Sister Saint Thomas Aquinas McGraw
As I strolled through an old Catholic graveyard one day,
On a cross stern and plain as a soldier's I saw
A name like a clarion that sneered at decay,
A name full of magic, of...je ne sais quois!
It was "Sister Saint Thomas Aquinas McGraw"!
Ah, she was a strong-minded sister, I'll bet,
Who knew stronger curses than "Mercy!" or "Pshaw!"
And when she choked back her most apt epithet,
You could see how it stuck in the leathery craw
Of Sister Saint Thomas Aquinas McGraw.
None dared chatter or natter in this Sister's classes,
And if you forgot, it was "Out with your paw!"
She was fierce with the lads, more fierce with the lasses:
With the sting of her straight-edge, she laid down the law
Of Sister Saint Thomas Aquinas McGraw.
Like a tall stately ship, full-rigged in her habit,
Down the hallways she'd sail without roll, pitch or yaw,
But if something she spied out of order, she'd grab it
By its earlobe or nape: None could dodge the swift claw
Of Sister Saint Thomas Aquinas McGraw.
On her good name no scoffer could find the least dimple,
A chaste and obedient nun without flaw,
From the chill in her eyes to the starch in her wimple--
Even Mother Superior held her in awe,
Good Sister Saint Thomas Aquinas McGraw.
But what do we know of this nun after all?
Was she once a young girl? Every spring did she thaw
To see the first buds soft and sticky? Each fall
As she crunched through the leaves, did a sharp regret gnaw
At Sister Saint Thomas Aquinas McGraw?
All these thoughts crossed my mind in the graveyard that day
'Neath a bright wintry sky with the breeze a bit raw.
Ah, Sister, I'm sorry to meet you this way,
Where bare branches creak and a few hoarse crows caw
For Sister Saint Thomas Aquinas McGraw.
Or Must the Wimpled be Wimps?
Trained to be meek, nuns must be subtle too:
What can a nun, but by N-U-N, do?
[That is, by inuendo.]
Norse Snores (Nor Sleet...)
O, Norse maiden glamorous
In armor most amorous
With bulges so mammarous,
How heartily you hammer us
With screams Gotterdammerous--
O forgive, maid most clamorous,
My snoring pajammerous.
Is This The Voice...
Between the wobbly crests of her vibrato
You could sink the greater part of the Spanish Armato
Twinkle twinkle, little professor
At your own humor, quite the lesser
Of two evils, for when serious,
Uncategorically you weary us.
Twinkle twinkle, little prof.
No one laughs; did someone cough?
How I wonder from afar
If it's not unlikely that you are?
The Brief Hello
He deals in dirges, not in psalms,
This L.A. dick whom rotgut calms.
He speaks his piece and then embalms
His qualms beneath blue neon palms.
Where Did You Go, Joe Dimaggio
For Marilyn Monroe sex wasn't something casual:
That first night snuggled up with Joe Dimaggio,
All afizz like iced champagne, yet hot as toddy,
She realized that she'd slipt out of her body,
And there as in a dream all warm and glowy
She floated, quite beside herself with Joey!
A Theme In Four Movements
An old joke has it that when Beethoven told his mistress "You
inspire me!", she laughed,
Screeching "Me inspire you! Why Von! That's Ludwicrous, totally
And laughed louder: "Ha Ha Ha HO!", none of which seemed
to him funny,
Her laugh becoming the first four dour notes of his Fifth Symphony.
This isn't true, of course, for poor Ludwig
Was already in his deafness cut off bud, twig
And branch from the world of sound,
Like Prometheus, filled with the gift of fire, but bound,
For further opuses
Giving up all hopuses -
Or (to propitiate the proper) at the thought of further opi
But the tale is half true, because it was a mistress
Who relieved his distress:
She was a passionate gypsy dancer, full-bodied, but lithe,
In fact, very nithe!
It was the music of her movements that inspired Beethoven
(It helped that he couldn't hear when she'd say "Chauvin-
Ist Pig!"), and when he told her she inspired him, she didn't
say "Oh Lud, honey,
You're so Vonny!"
No, but she did throw her head back and thrust her hips forward
with loud silvery laughter,
A sound which, unheard by Beethoven, has yet echoed ever after,
For the forward thrust of hips (Bum!) upward bounced her boobs
(Bum! Bum!), which then plopped (BOOM!) - or, taken all
together: Bum! Bum! Bum! BOOM!
And these three sharp notes with their final thud did not inspire
"Claire de Loom",
But, you've guessed it!, the world's most famous riff,
That glorious opening of the Fiff
Entered Beethoven's mind
With a bimbo's bump and a grind,
More a matter of cleavage than of clef,
But nonetheless a matter of lithe and deaf!
A Gurusome Exchange
To his guru a follower whined,
"I just can't get me out of my mind!"
Spake the sage: "Just stop thinking, you nut!"
His disciple replied, "...but but but...?".
Quoth the sage, "What a terrible rut!
Can't you get your head out of your but?"
Her smile's an enigma--
"Hey, look at my gig, Ma!"?
No man ever knows her.
That model's a poser!
[Note: "Poser" -- means both one who poses, as for
a portrait, and a riddle.]
That's It In A Nuptual
The gold-digger snared her millionaire honey;
They now live in sacred matter-o'-money.
Note: The following poem is fantasy, intended, not to critique
Ben Franklin, but to have fun with him. It is based VERY loosely
on history: Franklin did invent bifocals, did produce Poor Richard's
Almanack, and is known to have been a rather lascivious fellow.
The rest is, as far as I know, pure invention: I never heard that
Franklin had any of the sexual difficulties described below. I simply
went in pursuit of a number of puns. For example, I relished the
idea of a hostile lover saying "Franklin, my dear, I don't
give a damn" (a la Rhett Butler to Scarlet O'Hara "Frankly,
my dear...") and the many other word plays the alert reader
(a figment of every poet's hopeful imagination) will find in the
following stanzas. (all-man act - almanack, add age - adage, etc.),
the elaborate rhymes and, late in the poem, the variations on some
of his proverbs.
Poor Richard's neither rich nor hard,
Despite his all-man act.
He's only hard in one regard:
Dick's dick is rather hard to find
(A trait that Solomon lacked).
To this add age, for Richard's old;
And yet, in courtship, he is bold,
For once she's dined and wined...and wined,
Poor Richard, sober, calm intact,
Will pitch his woo, first verbally,
And then his love prove, herbally
Enhanced, for he has ever been,
Frankly, limp, save what he can
Alone, with palm exact.
And as for wealth, proverbially,
A rich hard man is good to find;
Yet she may think -- if herb be ally -
That bird in hand is just the kind
Of bird she's always had in mind
(If she be dined and wined...and wined).
He tries it out: They eat, she topes,
Then early to bed and (so he hopes)
Early to rise...but his concoction
Fails! Will she, for his wee cock, shun
HIM! He'll fool her with...his thumb!
He sticks it boldly...up her bum!
"Why, Dick," she cries, "without your bifocals
You're blind. Lord knows WHERE you'll poke holes!"
He begs, "Forgive me, Dear; the night
Is young!" And she: "Go fly a kite
In a thunder storm, for there you might
Discover the spark you, sadly, lack,
What some, Poor Richard, call a knack."
He pleads, "I'd learn with your help, Ma'am!"
"Franklin, my Dear, I don't give a damn!"
(No matter that he whined and whined --
The lady would not change her mind:
The saddest words of tongue or pen
Are simply these: She'll not have Ben.)
He goes to bed alone and uses
His hand to stir the manly juices;
If herbs aren't potent, self-abuse is,
For lo! Behold his mighty tool!
Alone he's huge. It's ridicule
(Or fear thereof) that shrinks his member.
Passion flares, subsides to ember.
Next morning, healthy, sadder, wiser
(Or if not wise, famously shrewd
And prone, secretly, to be lewd),
Before his mirror, in the nude,
Aroused, what else can he conclude
But "If we aren't well-hung together
(Having flocked thus, birds of a feather),
We may each separately be
Well-hung, and also..." -- glibly he
Coins proverbs: How one in the hand
Beats two in the bush (or is it tush?)...
Proverbs pour out in a rush.
He finds a pen and writes them down;
They spread, like plague, throughout the town,
Throughout the colony, the land,
And soon he, squinting through bifocals,
Basks in fame among the locals,
Byword on the tongues of yokels
Through Poor Richard's Almanack.
But in that busy brilliant whirl
Of his new life, does he get a girl?
I'd answer that one, but why bother,
Since he's our nations Fondling Father!
Statesman Or Mad Dog?
You? Mad? You wily Arab, Arafat,
Though some may still insist you ARE a rat,
Or even - please forgive my French - a gonad,
Oh no sir, Yasser, you are no mad nomad!
Eastwood's Man With No Name
Root for Limb, Bough and Leaves
Many despise Rush Limbaugh
As if he were a pimp or bimbaugh,
But he just stands with arms akimbaugh,
Brashly trashing those who would make him baugh
His head in shame just because millions hang on his every word,
Waugh and squeak as if he were Evelyn Waugh or Rimbaugh,
While he consigns his foes to hell or at least to political Limbaugh.
Madonna? De Nada
Why are we so fascinated by what duds Madonna
Had not or hadonna?
Do we think she knows something we don't know
about SEX (TADA!)...nah,
Sex is simple - every Adonis has his Adonna,
Each cave guy drags his cave gal, blissfully
disregarding all the mudonna,
And every hairy mastodon has his hairy mastodonna,
All of which is about as stimulating as belladonna,
So, is there more than sex to Madonna? Ah donno.
Hail To The Chef?
When William Howard Taft
Stepped onto a raft
The square footage above water was halft,
But it would never even leave land
With Grover Cleveland!
Obit for Raleigh
One folly has lived after Walter Raleigh:
Discover of Cool, Camel and Pall Mall he!
Sir Walter's smokes put many in the tomb:
He hath brought many coughers home to rheum.
[Note: Antony's speech in Julius Caesar: "He hath brought
many coffers home to Rome."]
Pick a Peck of Peglegged Poopdecks
"You've got your ship, your Moby Dick,
But who'll play captain of the Pequod?"
John Huston cried, "Had I my pick,
No one else but Gregory Peck would!"
Hard to Take
We learn from James Cagney
Of a fiend's final agney:
"Listen, Copper, I ain't NObody's patsy
So you'll never take me alive, see, ya doity rat, see!"
Was Mickey Picky?
Many wives had Mickey Rooney,
For though small, he wasn't puny;
Alas, though marrying late and soon, he
Wedded not Rosemary Clooney.
...Where Seldom Wizard A Discouraging Word
Dreamed of a far land
Somewhere over the rainbow
With Vincent Minelli, who was her main beau.
A View From The Villain
Those weaselly screwed up eyes of Peter Falk -
You can't tell - does he watch you as you talk?
"O just one more thing..." ruminates Columbo...
(You think you're in the clear? You suave smug dumbo!)
Crooners - to our young, old bores,
Extinct as ancient Dinah Shores.
It's Suave At First Sight
How flaccid loll the debonair --
Asprawl their chairs with deboned air.
He Oughta Quit With Cellarity
When he feels inadequate
From rampant self-abasement,
He compensates with "attic wit"
That should be in a basement.
The polite bear a far-from-light burden,
Always needing to put a kind word in.
The sad plight of polite
Is to grope through this night
Where confused armies fight,
Guided by that poor light
Manners shed, as if strolling a garden;
To trade quips with a bright
Smile while sipping, despite
Knowing someone mistook for a jurdan
The punch bowl and so dropped a turd in.
[Note: "Jurdan" is an old word for jordan, a chamber
Hack Work With Meter
I'm an old-time New York hack -
Eat off the seat! Such a clean cab!
How 'bout them Yankees coming back!
Gab gab gab gab gab gab gab GAB
"I must not - MUST not wince!"
And so she kissed the Prince...
But he remained a frog.
Was Anne Rutledge Abe's First Babe?
Under Anne's tutelage,
Did he learn rut-elage?
If not, why, Lincoln,
Just what WERE you thinkcoln!
Did He Miss His Step, Mother?
President Abe would gladly think on
His Mom, Nancy Hanks Lincoln.
For this memento Abe gave thanks:
Not rag nor bone, but hair of Hanks.
To KNOW Liziness Is Show Business...
Liz Taylor's beauty - can it fade?
Ask all those husbands, Taylor-made.
Organized Ball (OB)
The players say "O B" -- not "ob."
Thus one might say of Tyrus Cobb,
The "Georgia Peach," he should be nick-
Named, for his meanness, OB Dick.
[Note: While a great ball player, Ty Cobb was also reputed to
be an asshole, on and off the field. OB Dick is pronounced to rhyme
with Moby Dick, which suggests, not only that he was a "dick",
but also that he shared both the greatness and the meanness of the
Those poor hippies who took Charles Manson
For their mentor have reason to rue some:
"Let's go visit!" he said -- "Put your pants on!"
Then his guruship grew quite gurusome...
I Lose Lucy
[Based on Wordsworth's "Lucy" poems]
She dwelt below the flat, above,
Of Fred and Ethel Mertz,
A Lucy whom none could but love --
Her schemes, her screams, her blurts.
A sunflower in the mid-day sun,
Assailing every eye,
Fair as a star when only one
Shines in the network sky.
A slumber did our spirits seal
(TV numbs human fears):
She seemed a thing that could not feel
The touch of earthly years.
No motion has she now, no Ricky;
She neither howls nor hurts,
Nor strives to pull off ploys too tricky
With Fred and Ethel Mertz.
She lived well-known, and few or none
Could know she ceased to be,
Since she's on Nickelodeon --
No difference we can see.
William Jefferson by day,
Or Billy Jeff for short,
To play-time intimates, BJ,
Which names his favorite sport.
Behold Peter who WILL not grow up:
Just a tad self-indulgent.
His true nature begins to show up:
Just a sad, elfin, dull gent.
What does that idiom mean,
A Sudden Sikhness
[After an assassination in India]
Her spunk cannot endear again: Descended
From Nehru, Madam Indira Gandhi's ended.
Have a Ball, Tom
Did someone scare the cast away?
There's only one in "Castaway,"
Just sporting goods for hanky-panky --
Poor Tom! Where did I put my Hanky?
Tom Hanks Rescued (Castaway)
Thanks giving --
My faith is more abstract than church or fashion:
I play with time and form: O Math, you passion!
[Note: Refers to Bach's "Matthew Passion" or "The
Passion of St. Matthew".]
Bach Finds a Mole Itch in H Molle
Was Gibt's bei meiner Ass?
Ach, please be minor, Mass!
[Note: In German, the "B-Minor" of Bach's B-Minor
Mass is "H Molle". The first line means "What's going
on with my ass?" He hopes the mass there is benign.]
Bruce Lee Watches "Kung Fu"
"Kung Fu?!" said Lee
[Note: The moves in the TV show bore little resemblance to the
Kung Fu known to Bruce Lee.]
A Rose Is A Rose Is Arrested
Your good name's petered out, Pete Rose;
From poetry, you've sunk to P.Rose.
One gamble, ever since an addict -
Your name a shambles in Cincinnatict!
Can You Topper This?
Laughed at his own jokes with
[Note: 50s cowboy star, Hopalong Cassidy, had a long, deep distinctive
Better Bed Than Ted?
Shall we stay up for Koppel late
Or turn it off and copulate?
Ted's done. (Still time to get her, man...)
Oh wait! Here's David Letterman!
Frankly, Cesar Don't Seize Her
Blue-haired Velma thought she'd got a
Brand new hit of Frank Sinatra,
Snoozed half through a Franck Sonata,
Then exclaimed, "This Crank is not our
Frank at all! Well thanks a lot! A
Lot of noise, so blank, so nada!
Cheats! I want my Frank Sinatra!"
Pardon, Cesar, ces Yanks de notres:
Ils veulent avoir le Frank sans autre.
[Note: Translation of the last 2 lines above: Cesar, Forgive
these Yanks of ours: They want to have the one and only Frank.]
...Along With Nefer-titi's Brother, Chas
Preserved here amid
His great pyramid--
Plays for Keops.
Abie's Ire Rose
Abe's words to his generals
Weren't at all kind ones:
"Please get your headquarters
Out of your hind ones!"
Putting Descarte Before The Horse
"I'm happy to say
I think, therefore I am."
Does anyone give a damn?
Sad Am Who Sane
President Saddam sat on his bottom,
Gasing his Kurds away;
Along came a coalition, and flew mission after mission
to frighten old Saddam, Oi Veh!
The Petty Pace of a Creep
Saddam Housein is
a sodomous anus.
When will he go the way of Gomorrah?
Tomorrah, tomorrah and tomorrah.
Who'd expect such bad of an
Airhead shrink named Radovan?
The too fastidious
Become fast hideous.
Elsewhere Amid Elvisware
It's hard to recall - about the age of twelve is
When I first saw him. He was called "The Pelvis".
Now 'mid the relics, by the Grace of Elvis,
The Graceland fans intoxicate themselvis.
O Pack Up Helen Traubel's...
What woman would dare to go mano a mano
(So to speak) with an operatic soprano
In re the size of the brassiere she fills?
Who would not be dwarfed by Beverly's Hills? [Beverly Sills]
[Note: Traubel and Sills, two heavy-weight (in both senses)
Sigmund, Is Your Id Icy?
When, singer, you look back at Euridice,
Freud says it's nothing more than your id I see,
But Freud's a cold fish, never torrid, is he?
It's he looks back - in fear of your idiocy.
One Robert, Two Roberts (One Bob Apiece)
Julia Roberts -- she's a model model --
Learned to strut before she learned to toddle,
Svelte enough to slip into a bottle,
No bulge, no extra chin, no fatty blob;
Only her hair can bounce -- a rule of the job;
The one thing Julia Bobs won't do is bob.
[Note: "Roberts" -- plural -- would be "Bobs"
for short, but models suffer from bob-deficiency. They are svelte
and tight, so that there's not much give, not much ass or breast
to bounce when they move -- but the hair is allowed, even encouraged
(that is, conditioned), to bounce.]
Or Maybe "Ill I am"
What said Hector at the collapse
Of the topless towers of Troy?
Family Ties That Don't Sit Well
His father in a fit of fury
Flung a fork that from his hind
Quarter briefly hung. Injury --
Slight, but lasting in his mind:
Four tiny talons, death to hide,
These were, he knows, the tines that bide.
From Ear to Ear
By yon fair mirror, deft,
My window is bereft
Of light and air - a theft
From Who made light, Himself!
Tis all my mirror's pelf -
Tis Jan Vermeer of Delft.