archie muses again

i do not see why people are so interested
boss in how tall they are for to be tall
is to be noticed and if you are noticed
great heavy shoes are apt to land
upon your carapace and leave you fractured and sore

i have read that there are human mehitabels
who try to be taller than their bones allow
and wear spiky things under their heels
which can be completely fatal to such as i

while growing tall may seem good
it is silly if the doors are not made higher
and the beds longer

although if i were taller and bigger and had boots
the gnats would fear me with cause

but being small and short is safer


Rainy Days and Happy Flowers

Dull, cold and wet days.

Incipient depression lurks.

Salvation in memories of sunny days

Recalling happy flowers.


Suddenly brightened soul

Happy smile erupting

Round-about spin

Leaping high, feet crossing.


Horizon blue edge to clouds

Raindrops gentle falling

Petal-needed moisture

Growing starts again.


Playing God

Golden Sky Dragon 

I played God today
and it was fun!
I made animals that men had never seen,
So they would stop and scratch their heads
instead of scowling.
I made words that men had never heard
So they would stop and stare at me
instead of running.
And I made love that laughed
So men would giggle like children
Instead of sighing.
Tomorrow, perhaps, I won’t be God
And you will know it
Because you won’t see any three-headed cats
or bushes with bells on…..
I wish I could always play God
So lonely men could laugh!

~~James Kavanaugh

Thank you, Ann, my friend. You are a true lover of wonderful words.

archie the cockroach has a say

With sincere appreciation of the genius of Don Marquis

why has he left the red ribbon on he is inconsiderate at times because red is for debtors and i owe no man so tonight i shall worry about spelling in red not in black and white

boss it always amuses me
when spelling is concerned
and arbitrary rules are applied
by pedants and control freaks
who are much the same group
who crush cockroaches underfoot
which does not amuse me at all

so please boss use that dictionary
of which i have eaten but few
of its pages and most of those
were the introduction and index
for i feel vulnerable when
the pedants come out to hunt

Illustrated Limerick (20) – Thoughtful


Ok, Ok, so I was feeling a bit down when I wrote this. Seven and a half years later, I guess I did see that summer, and a few since.

It’s all good.

Illustrated Limerick (18) – Very Bad!

 I admit to being guilty of breaking the Rules twice in this one. Two words invented for rhyming purposes. That makes it a very bad limerick!


Illustrated Limerick (17)

Alain Chartier

Alain Chartier – 1903
This painting depicts the story of Margaret of Scotland who is said to have kissed the lips of Alain Chartier (a 14th century French poet) while he was sleeping in her palace, to honour, she said “the mouth which elicited so many virtuous words”.
Edmund Blair Leighton

Illustrated Limerick 16 – More Marine Biology

seahorse giving birth

Illustrated Limerick (15) – A Little Marine Biology

Among seahorses, only the male becomes pregnant. The female seahorse deposits eggs into the male’s brood pouch, where they are fertilized by the male. The young seahorses develop in the father’s pouch. The gestation period for seahorses ranges from 10 days up to 60 days, depending upon the species. The young seahorses are 1.5 centimeters (a little more than half an inch) long and are born fully formed.


43 Is Too Young!

“Do not go gentle into that good night.”
So we are told by those who do not fight
But bodies grow so weary in the strife
Where cruelly mutant cells are growing rife

And after all that could be done was done
A month or two of fam’ly, friends and sun
But nature gives and takes remorselessly
And listens not to any family’s plea.

Now wearied of the constant battle strain
So tired of being tired and all the pain
Rest now with loving family at your bed
Where mem’ry stays, though your loved soul has fled.

The Shakespeare Meme

The humble meme has grown and now involves a knowledge of Shakespeare, or Francis Bacon, or Edward De Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford or whoever it was who wrote several semi-successful plays back in the 16th century.

 Raincoaster began the progression, I humbly followed and now Metro has added to the list with a wonderful exerpt from MacBlog detailing the anguish of all posters whose internet connection suddenly slows in the middle of an unsaved upload.

I wonder who will be next to join the meme or will it be necessary to tag someone  :).

Vote #1 the archive for the Best New Blog and the Best Australian Blog

Illustrated Limerick 14 – even naughtier

Viewing all those old Illustrated Limericks has finally inspired me and here is the first new effort for about three years. Vargas, of early Playboy fame, is again to blame.

vargas limerick


Limericks – How To

W. S. Baring-Gould wrote a learned treatise named “The Lure of the Limerick” which was published in 1968 by Panther books. In it he noted several facts which I must bring to my reader’s (note the position of the apostrephical).

There once was a sculptor named Phidias
Whose manners in art were invidious:
He carved Aphrodite
Without any nightie,
Which startled the ultra-fastidious!

Those ultra-fastidious should refrain from reading any further! They will be not only startled but also disturbed and shocked.


The limerick’s an art form complex
Whose contents run chiefly to sex;
It’s famous for virgins
And masculine urgin’s
And vulgar erotic effects.


Women have the same aversion to limericks as calves do to cookbooks.

And so, just in case I still have a Reader, I shall continue.

We all know a limerick when we see one. It is a simple five lined poem (usually unrepeatable). Oh yes, two of the middle lines are shorter. A real expert may have noticed a rhyming pattern of “a,a,b,b,a”.

The other thing we notice about limericks is that they trip off the tongue.

“Two fries and a hash brown to go, some hotcakes and syrup I’ll stow with three nice big Macs in takeaway sacks. Now how much for this do I owe?

Is that with a coffee today? On a tray or is this takeaway? That’s ten ninety five, take care how you drive, enjoy your meal, have a nice day.”

Both the above sentences are perfect limericks excepting for the layout. That is the secret of the limerick. It uses, not the Iambic rhythms of formal poetry, but the Anapestic rhythms of normal speech.

With that in mind, let’s look at the rhythm closely along with one of my own compositions. I do hope the ultra-fastidious have left by now!

dih-DAH dih-dih-DAH dih-dih-DAH
dih-DAH dih-dih-DAH dih-dih-DAH
dih-DAH dih-dih-DAH
dih-DAH dih-dih-DAH
dih-DAH dih-dih-DAH dih-dih-DAH

That SHIRT looks beCOMing on YOU
BeCOMing inDEED is the VIEW
But, IF, like your VEST
‘Twas I on your CHEST,
I’d CERtainly BE coming TOO!

That is the classic 34 syllable limerick. Of course sometimes it is necessary to add extra syllables especially at the end of a line. If you do, watch the rhymes. The “hanging syllable” should be a “dit” and should fit in with the rhyme scheme. This limerick (39 syllables) has a hanging final syllable on evey line. (The final line DOES scan, but with difficulty in the middle)

A problem the Good Book addRESSes
On workers it tries to impRESS’s
That serving two MASTers
Creates big diSASTers
‘Tis worse then to serve three mistRESS’s

(This was not re a menage d’quatre. They were thoughts about attempting to work on a night of three one act plays with three different directors – all female. All I wanted to do was to play with the lights!)

The same applies at the beginning of lines – sometimes an extra “dit” at the start is necessary. I try to work a “double dit” that can be slurred together.

Of course the main thing about a limerick is that it has a surprise at the end. The old “sting in the tail” which highlights a great short story. Sometimes this sting can be increased with a little creative rhyming. Creating new words just for the rhyme is outlawed by Bylaw 837a. Most limerickers ignore all the bylaws :)

No need to feel bad or have grief
Explaining, I’ll try to be brief
If you’re not put off
The next time we boff
I’d much rather be underneaf!

That is the end of the lesson. All you need now is some inspiration, a few ‘orrible “double ontongs” and a sense of the ludicrous. A dirty mind helps as well.

Good limericks always become anonymous in their oral transmission. Here is my favourite modern limerick. It was written by a very good American limericist. (Technically imperfect as a study of line five reveals)

While playing strip poker with Kate
I found I’d developed a straight
But only to six
And Katie restricts
Her folds to those with an eight!

So I tossed in my hand – – -

Ok, I’m off to try to put Britney into a limerick! In the meantime, the ultra fastidious can come out of hiding again.

Olde English Novels

I am busy writing a “Limerick How-to” for the reader who wanted to learn how to write limericks.. In doing some research, I stmbled across the following.

In my favourite Limerick Newsgroup we converse in limerick form. Tiddy Ogg is, I think, a Somerset man and, when not imbibing scrumpy, writes some of the most inventive poetry (and limericks) I have read. Back in 2000 he wrote a limerick which turned into a conversation.

Tiddy Ogg (in Feb, 2000) wrote:

Tom Hardy had ass well endowed
For making farts putrid and loud.
That’s why he’d be found,
Creating that sound,
So far from the madd(en)ing crowd.

Ærchie replied: Tom Hardy had a sort of contemporary – – – -

Dick Blackmore once played the bassoon
His farting, it kept him in tune
When told that his trills
Suited meadow and hills.
He left and played on Lawn an’ Down

Ærchie – Tiddy will know what I mean

“Kitten” asked:

Well can you fill me in Tiddy please?
(And that expression is only to tease)
What does he mean?
It’s clear to be seen
This Native must Return overseas

Tiddy replied

Old Arch, ‘neath Australia’s moon,
Oft sings a peculiar tune.
Though hard to perceive
His gist, I believe
He’s talking about “Lorna Doone.”

(Sorry, never read it.)

And Ærchie commented

Oh, Tiddy, go straight to the top.
To miss reading Lorna’s no blot.
This young Exmoor maid
Don’t even get laid;
(I was the class swot, read the lot!)

Illustrated Limerick (13) – Naughty is in the eye of the beholder



Once again the limerick proved the master of the writer. Often I go into a limerick, knowing where I want to go. Normally somewhere male and suggestive and, dare I say, pornographic. The rhyme and the rhythm took over and led me in a direction I had not anticipated. Suddenly it was not about my reaction to the image. It became about the feelings of the imaged person.


The sheer voluptuous enjoyment of the moment. There is no seduction, no flirting, just a savouring of “now”.


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