Michael R. Burch

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Double Limericks and Double Dactyls

This page contains double limericks, a rare triple limerick, and a new version of the double dactyl that I invented, called the "dabble dactyl."

The Platypus: a Double Limerick
by Michael R. Burch

The platypus, myopic,
is ungainly, not erotic.
His feet for bed
are over-webbed,
and what of his proboscis?

The platypus, though, is eager
although his means are meager.
His sight is poor;
perhaps he’ll score
with a passing duck or beaver.

Keywords/Tags: limerick, double limerick, humor, light verse, nonsense verse, platypus, beaver, duck, proboscis, myopia, myopic, sight, eyesight

The Better Man: a Double Limerick
by Michael R. Burch

Dear Ed: I don’t understand why
you will publish this other guy—
when I’m brilliant, devoted,
one hell of a poet!
Yet you publish Anonymous. Fie!

Fie! A pox on your head if you favor
this poet who’s dubious, unsavor
y, inconsistent in texts,
no address (I checked!):
since he’s plagiarized Unknown, I’ll wager!

“The Better Man” is a double limerick originally published by The Eclectic Muse

Hell to Pay: a Double Limerick
by Michael R. Burch

A messiah named Jesus, returning
from heaven, found his home planet burning
& with children unfed,
so he ventured: “Instead
of war, why not consider cheek-turning?”

Indignant right-wingers retorted:
“Sir, your pacifist views are distorted!
Just pull the plug quickly
on someone who’s sickly!
Our pursuit of war can’t be aborted!”

I once provided the second stanza to a famous limerick, turning it into a double limerick …

A wonderful bird is the pelican;
His beak can hold more than his belican.
He can hold in his beak
Enough food for a week,
Though I’m damned if I know how the helican!

Enough with this pitiful pelican!
He’s awkward and stinks! Sense his smellican!
His beak's far too big,
so he eats like a pig,
and his breath reeks of fish, I can tellican!
—second stanza by Michael R. Burch

The next two poems form a double limerick with separate titles …

Time Out!
by Michael R. Burch

Hawking’s "Brief History of Time"
is such a relief! How sublime
that time, in reverse,
may un-write this verse
and un-spend my last thin dime!

Time Back In!
by Michael R. Burch

Hawking, who makes my head spin,
says time may flow backward. I grin,
imagining the surprise
in my mother's eyes
when I head for the womb once again!

This is another double limerick with separate titles …

Toupée or Not Toupée, That is the Question
by Michael R. Burch

There once was a brash billionaire
who couldn't afford decent hair.
Vexed voters agreed:
"We're a nation in need!"
But toupée the price, do we dare?

Toupée or Not Toupée, This is the Answer
by Michael R. Burch

Oh crap, we elected Trump prez!
Now he's Simon: we must do what he sez!
For if anyone thinks
And says his "plan" stinks,
He'll wig out 'neath that weird orange fez!

Not all double limericks are light affairs …

Self Reflection: a Double Limerick
by Michael R. Burch

for anyone struggling with self-image

She has a comely form
and a smile that brightens her dorm...
but she’s grossly unthin
when seen from within;
soon a griefstricken campus will mourn.

Yet she’d never once criticize
a friend for the size of *her* thighs.
Do unto others—
sisters and brothers?
Yes, but also ourselves, likewise.

Double Limerick: No Bull
by Michael R. Burch

There once was a multi-pierced Bull,
who found playing hoops far too dull,
so he dated Madonna
but observed, “I don’t wanna
get married ... the things she might pull!”

So this fast-thinking forward named Rodman
then said to his best man—“No problem!
When I marry Electra,
if the ring costs extra,
just yank a gold hoop off my knob, man!”

Triple Limerick: Attention Span Gap
by Michael R. Burch

What if a poet, Shakespeare,
were still living to tweet to us here?
He couldn't write sonnets,
just couplets, doggonit,
and we wouldn't have Hamlet or Lear!

Yes, a sonnet may end in a couplet,
which we moderns can write in a doublet,
in a flash, like a tweet.
Does that make it complete?
Should a poem be reduced to a stublet?

Bring back that Grand Era when men
had attention spans long as their pens,
or rather the quills
of the monsieurs and fils
who gave us the Dress, not its hem!

Officious Notice: I have invented a nonce nonsense form: the "dabble dactyl." A dabble dactyl starts out like a double dactyl, but forgets the rules and changes horses midstream. Anyone who prefers order to chaos should give the dabble dactyl a wide berth and also not sow any wild oats. Otherwise, “A little dabble’ll do ya.” — Michael R. Burch

Double Dactyls
by Michael R. Burch

Jesus Christ’s enterprise
leaves me in awe of
the rich men he loathed!

But why should a Sadducee
settle for trifles?
His disciples now rip off
the Lord they betrothed.

Donald Dabble Dactyl #1
by Michael R. Burch

Ronald McDonald
cursed Donald Trump, his
least favorite clown:

"Why should I try to be
funny as Donald? He
gets all the laughs,
claiming upside is down!"

Donald Dabble Dactyl #2
by Michael R. Burch

Wond’ringly, blund’ringly
Ronald McDonald
asked, “Who the hell
is this strange orange clown?”

“Why should I try to be
funny as Donald? He
gets all the laughs,
claiming upside is down!”

Donald Dabble Dactyl #3
by Michael R. Burch

45th president,
or erstwhile manse resident,
perched on a throne

of gold-plated porcelain
matching his orange “tan,”
bombing Iran
from his twittery phone?

This famous limerick inspired my Einstein “relative” limericks:

There was a young lady named Bright
who traveled much faster than light.
She set out one day
in a relative way,
and came back the previous night.

I recently learned this poem was originally penned, in a slightly different version, by Arthur Henry Reginald Buller; his limerick appeared in *Punch* (Dec. 19, 1923). I find it intriguing that one of the best revelations of the weirdness and zaniness of relativity can be found in a limerick. I was inspired to pen multiple rejoinders:

The Cosmological Constant
by Michael R. Burch

Einstein, the frizzy-haired,
said E equals MC squared.
Thus all mass decreases
as activity ceases?
Not my mass, my ass declared!

by Michael R. Burch

Relativity, the theorists’ creed,
says mass increases with speed.
My (m)ass grows when I sit it.
Mr. Einstein, get with it;
equate its deflation, I plead!

Relative Theory I
by Michael R. Burch

Einstein’s theory, incredibly silly,
says a relative grows, willy-nilly,
at speeds close to light.
Well, his relatives might,
but mine grow their (m)asses more stilly!

Relative Theory II
by Michael R. Burch

Einstein’s peculiar theory
excludes all my relatives, clearly,
since my relatives’ asses
increase their prone masses
while approaching light speed—not nearly!

Relative Theory III
by Michael R. Burch

Relativity, we’re led to believe,
proves masses increase with great speed.
But it seems my huge family
must be an anomaly;
since their (m)asses increase, gone to seed!

The Heimlich Limerick
by Michael R. Burch

for T. M.

The sanest of poets once wrote:
"Friend, why be a sheep or a goat?
Why follow the leader
or be a blind breeder?"
But almost no one took note.

Caveat Spender
by Michael R. Burch

It's better not to speculate
"continually" on who is great.
Though relentless awe's
a Célèbre Cause,
please reserve some time for the contemplation
of the perils of EXAGGERATION.

Parting is such sweet sorrow
by Michael R. Burch

The universe is flying apart.
Hush, Neil deGrasse Tyson’s heart!
Repeat, repeat.
Don’t skip a beat.
Perhaps some new Big Bang will spark?

Low-T Hell
by Michael R. Burch

I’m living in low-T hell ...
My get-up has gone: Oh, swell!
I need to write checks
if I want to have sex,
and my love life depends on a gel!


A much-needed screed against licentious insects
by Michael R. Burch

after and apologies to Robert Schechter

Army ants? ARMY ants?
Yet so undisciplined to not wear pants?
How incredibly rude
to wage war in the nude!
We moralists call them SMARMY ants!

Dot Spotted
by Michael R. Burch

There once was a leopardess, Dot,
who indignantly answered: "I’ll not!
The gents are impressed
with the way that I’m dressed.
I wouldn’t change even one spot!"

Clyde Lied!
by Michael R. Burch

There once was a mockingbird, Clyde,
who bragged of his prowess, but lied.
To his new wife he sighed,
"When again, gentle bride?"
"Nevermore!" bright-eyed Raven replied.

The Dromedary and the Very, Very Work-Wary Canary
by Michael R. Burch

There once was a dromedary
who befriended a crafty canary.
Budgie said, "You can’t sing,
but now, here’s the thing—
just think of the tunes you can carry!"

The Mallard
by Michael R. Burch

The mallard is a fellow
whose lips are long and yellow
with which he, honking, kisses
his bawdy, boisterous mistress:
my pond’s their loud bordello!

The Trouble with Elephants: a Word to the Wise
by Michael R. Burch

An elephant never forgets
and thus they don’t make the best pets:
Jumbo may well out-live you,
but he’ll never forgive you,
no matter how sincere your regrets!

Ding Dong ...
by Michael R. Burch

for Fliss

An impertinent bit of sunlight
defeated a goddess, NIGHT.
"Hooray!" cried the clover,
"Her reign is over!
But she certainly gave us a fright!"

The Limerick as Parody

Marvell-Less (I)
by Michael R. Burch

Mr. Marvell was ill-named? Inform us!
Alas, his crude writings deform us:
for when trying to bed
chaste virgins, he led
right off with his iron balls ginormous!

Marvell-Less (II)
by Michael R. Burch

Andrew Marvell was far less than Marvellous;
indeed, he was cold, bold, unchivalrous:
for when trying to bed
chased/chaste virgins, he led
right off with his iron balls ginormous!

Here's a limerick about one of the universe's greatest ironies: the lack of rhyme words for "poetry" and "limerick." I almost solved the latter, but fell a bit short:

Shelved Elves
by Michael R. Burch

I wanted to rhyme with “limerick”
and settled on “good old Saint Slimmer Nick”
about a dieting Claus,
but drawing no “ahs!”
I glumly rescinded the trimmer trick.

To show the flexibility of the limerick form, it has often been used for political purposes, and to expose, satirize and savage charlatans. Here are are two such limericks of mine:

Baked Alaskan

There is a strange yokel so flirty
she makes whores seem icons of purity.
With all her winkin’ and blinkin’
Palin seems to be "thinkin’"—
"Ah culd save th’ free world ’cause ah’m purty!"
Copyright 2012 by Michael R. Burch
from *Signs of the Apocalypse*
all Rights and Violent Shudderings Reserved

Going Rogue in Rouge

It'll be hard to polish that apple
enough to make her seem palatable.
Though she's sweeter than Snapple
how can my mind grapple
with stupidity so nearly infallible?
Copyright 2012 by Michael R. Burch
from *Signs of the Apocalypse*
all Rights and Violent Shudderings Reserved

I have even written limericks about religion, mostly heretical limericks:

Pell-Mell for Hell Mel
by Michael R. Burch

There once was a Baptist named Mel
who condemned all non-Christians to hell.
When he stood before God
he felt like a clod
to discover His Love couldn’t fail!

Why I Left the Religious Right
by Michael R. Burch

He's got Jesus's name on a wallet insert
and "Hell is for Queers" on the back of his shirt
and he upholds the Law,
for grace has a flaw:
the Church must have someone to drag through the dirt.

There was an old man from Peru
who dreamed he was eating his shoe.
He awoke one dark night
from a terrible fright
to discover his dream had come true!
—Variation on a classic limerick by Michael R. Burch

There once was a poet from Nashville
which hockey fans rechristened Smashville,
but his odd limericks
pulled so many weird tricks
his pale peers now prefer Ogden Gnashville.
—Michael R. Burch

There once was a poet from Tennessee
who was known to indulge in straight Hennessey
for his heart had been broken
and cruelly ripped open
by an ice-hoarding Dame of Paree.
—Michael R. Burch

Here's one for the poets:

The Beat Goes On (and On and On and On ...)
by Michael R. Burch

Bored stiff by his board-stiff attempts
at “meter,” I crossly concluded
I’d use each iamb
in lieu of a lamb,
bedtimes when I’m under-quaaluded.

Here's one for the Flintstones:

Early Warning System (I)
by Michael R. Burch

A hairy thick troglodyte, Mary,
squinched dingles impressively airy.
To her children’s deep shame,
their condo became
the first cave to employ a canary.

Early Warning System (II)
by Michael R. Burch

There once was a troglodyte, Mary,
whose poots were impressively airy.
To her children’s deep shame,
their condo became
the first cave to employ a canary.

Donald Trump Limericks aka Slimericks

Viral Donald
by Michael R. Burch

Donald Trump is coronaviral:
his brain's in a downward spiral.
That pale nimbus of hair
proves there's nothing up there
but an empty skull, fluff and denial.

Stumped and Stomped by Trump
by Michael R. Burch

There once was a candidate, Trump,
whose message rang clear at the stump:
"Vote for me, wheeeeeeeeeeeeeee!,
because I am ME,
and everyone else is a chump!"

Humpty Trumpty
by Michael R. Burch

Humpty Trumpty called for a wall.
Trumpty Dumpty had a great fall.
Now all the Grand Wizards
and Faux PR men
Can never put Trumpty together again.

White as a Sheet
by Michael R. Burch

Donald Trump had a real Twitter Scare
then rushed off to fret, vent and share:
“How dare Bernie quote
what I just said and wrote?
Like Megyn he’s mean, cruel, unfair!”

15 Seconds
by Michael R. Burch

Our president’s sex life—atrocious!
His "briefings"—bizarre hocus-pocus!
Politics—a shell game!
My brief moment of fame
flashed by before Oprah could notice!

Trump’s Golden Rule
by Michael R. Burch

Donald Trump is the victim of leaks!
Golden showers are NOT things he seeks!
Though he dearly loves soaking
the women he’s groping,
get real, 'cause he pees ON the meek!

Cancun Cruz
by Michael R. Burch

There once was a senator, Cruz,
whose whole life was one pus-oozing schmooze.
When Trump called his wife ugly,
Cruz brown-nosed him smugly,
then went on a sweet Cancún cruise!

Anchors Aweigh!
by Michael R. Burch

There once was an anchor babe, Cruz,
whose deployment was Castro’s bold ruse.
Now the revenge of Fidel
has worked out quite well
as Cruz missiles launch from his caboose!

Canadian Cruz
by Michael R. Burch

There was a Canadian, Cruz,
an anchor babe with a bold ruse:
he’d take Texas first
and then do his worst
to infect the whole world with his views.

Eerie Dearie
by Michael R. Burch

A trembling young auditor, white
as a sheet, like a ghost in the night,
saw his dreams, his career
in a poof!, disappear,
and then, strangely Enronic, his wife.

Fortune named Enron "America's Most Innovative Company" for six consecutive years, but the company went bankrupt and vanished after its accounting practices were determined to be fraudulent.

The Vampire's Spa Day Dream
by Michael R. Burch

O, to swim in vats of blood!
I wish I could, I wish I could!
O, 'twould be
so heavenly
to swim in lovely vats of blood!

The poem above was inspired by a Josh Parkinson depiction of Elizabeth Bathory swimming up to her nostrils in the blood of her victims, with their skulls floating in the background.

Updated Advice to Amorous Bachelors
by Michael R. Burch

At six-thirty,
feeling flirty,
I put on the hurdy-gurdy...

But Ms. Purdy,
all alert-y,
kicked me where I'm sore and hurty.

The moral of my story?
To avoid a fate as gory,
flirt with gals a bit more whorey!

This is limerick cycle or limerick chain.

"One should ALWAYS abstian
from a limerick chain!"

Mating Calls, or, Purdy Please!
by Michael R. Burch

Nine-thirty? Feeling flirty (and, indeed, a trifle dirty),
I decided to ring prudish Eleanor Purdy...
When I rang her to bang her,
it seems my words stang her!
She hung up the phone, so I banged off, alone.

Still dreaming to hold something skirty,
I once again rang the reclusive Miss Purdy.
She sounded unhappy,
called me “daffy” and “sappy,”
and that was before the gal heard me!

It was early A.M., ’bout two-thirty,
when I enquired again with the regal Miss Purdy.
With a voice full of hate,
she thundered, “It’s LATE!”
Was I, perhaps, over-wordy?

At 3:42, I was feeling blue,
and so I dialed up Miss You-Know-Who,
thinking to bed her
and quite possibly wed her,
but she summoned the cops; now my bail is due!

It was probably close to four-thirty
the last time I called the miserly Purdy.
Although I’m her boarder,
the restraining order
freezes all assets of that virginity hoarder!

Teeter Tots
by Michael R. Burch

For your spuds to become Tater Tots,
First, artfully cut out the knots,
Then dice them into tiny cubes,
Deep fry them, and serve them to rubes
(but not if they’re acting like snots).


A randy young dandy named Sadie
loves sex, but in forms reckoned shady.
(I cannot, of course,
involve her poor horse,
but it’s safe to infer she's no lady!)
—Michael R. Burch

There was a lewd whore from Nantucket
who intended to pee in a bucket;
but being a man
she missed the damn can
and her rattled johns fled, crying: "Fuck it!"
—Variation on a classic limerick by Michael R. Burch

Here are three "linked" Nantucket limericks of mine, forming a triple limerick:

There was a coarse whore of Nantucket
whose bush needed someone to pluck it
’cause it looked like a chimp’s
and her johns were limp gimps
too timid to touch, suck or fuck it.

So that coarse, canny whore of Nantucket,
once muff-shaved, decided to shuck it
—that thick, wiry pelt
that smelled like wet felt—
and made it a toupee for Luckett.

Now Luckett, once bald as an eagle,
like Samson, stands handsome and regal
with hair to his ass
that smells like his lass,
but still comes when she calls, like a beagle.
—a triple limerick by Michael R. Burch

Ribbing Adam
by Michael R. Burch

“Dear Lord,” fretted Adam, depressed,
“did that tart really rupture my chest?”
“Yes she did,” piped his Maker,
“but of course you can’t take her,
or I’d fry you in hell, for incest!”

Shotgun Bedding

A pedestrian pediatrician
set out on a dangerous mission;
though his child bride, Lolita,
was a sweet senorita,
her pa's shotgun cut off his emissions.
—Michael R. Burch

Untitled Limericks

There was a young lady from France
Who’d let cute boys poke in her pants:
They'd give her the finger
Where she'd let them linger
because that's the point of romance!
—Michael R. Burch

There once was a girl with small boobs
who would only go out with young rubes,
but their dicks were too small
so she sentenced them all
to kissing her fallopian tubes.
—Michael R. Burch

A coquettish young lady of France
longed to have lusty men in her pants,
but in lieu of real joys
she settled for boys,
then berated her lack of romance.
—Michael R. Burch

A virginal lady of France
longed to have a ménage in her pants
but in lieu of real boys
she settled for toys
& painted pinkies to make her bits dance.
—Michael R. Burch

A germane young German, a dame
with a quite unpronounceable name,
Frenched me a kiss;
I admonished her, "Miss,
you’ve left me twice tongue-tied, for shame!"
—Michael R. Burch

A germane young German, a dame
with a quite unpronounceable name,
gave me a kiss;
I lectured her, "Miss,
we haven't been intro'd, for shame!"
—Michael R. Burch

A germane young German, a dame
with a quite unpronounceable name,
French-kissed me and left my lips lame.
I lectured her, "Miss,
That's a premature kiss!
We haven't been intro'd, for shame!"
—Michael R. Burch

These are risque poems that are not limericks ...

Cunt, while you weep and seep neediness all night,
ass has claimed what would bring you delight.
—Musa Lapidaria, #100A, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Golden Years?
by Michael R. Burch

I’m getting old.
My legs are cold.
My book’s unsold and my wife’s a scold.
Now the only gold’s
in my teeth.
I fold.

Trump Limericks aka Slimericks

The Nazis now think things’re grand.
The KKK’s hirin’ a band.
Putin’s computin’
Less Ukrainian shootin’.
They’re hootin’ ’cause Trump’s win is planned.
—Michael R. Burch

Trump comes with a few grotesque catches:
He likes to grope unoffered snatches;
He loves to ICE kids;
His brain’s on the skids;
And then there’s the coups the fiend hatches.
—Michael R. Burch

Trump’s Saddest Tweet to Date
by Michael R. Burch

I’ve gotten all out of kilter.
My erstwhile yuge tool is a wilter!
I now sleep in bed.
Few hairs on my head.
Inhibitions? I now have no filter!

the best of all possible whirls, for MAGA
by Michael R. Burch

ive made a mistake or two.
okay, maybe quite more than a few:
mistakes by the millions,
the billions and zillions,
but remember: ur LORD made u!

where were u when HEE passed out brains?
or did u politely abstain?
u call GAUD “infallible”
when HEE made u so gullible
u cant come inside when Trump reigns.

by Michael R. Burch

The world’s first antinatalist limerick?

Life comes with a terrible catch:
It’s like starting a fire with a match.
Though the flames may delight
In the dark of the night,
In the end what remains from the scratch?

Time Out!
by Michael R. Burch

Time is at war with my body!
am i Time’s most diligent hobby?
for there’s never Time out
from my low-t and gout
and my once-brilliant mind has grown stodgy!

Waiting Game
by Michael R. Burch

Nothing much to live for,
yet no good reason to die:
life became
a waiting game...
Rain from a clear blue sky.

Nipples' Ripples
by Michael R. Burch

Men are scared of nipples:
that’s why they can’t be seen.
For if they were,
we’d go to war
as in the days of Troy, I ween.

Devil’s Wheel
by Michael R. Burch

A billion men saw your pink undies.
What will the pard say to you, Sundays?
Yes, your panties were cute,
but the shocked Devil, mute,
now worries about reckless fundies.

A Prude Goes Nude
by Michael R. Burch

She wore near-invisible panties
and, my, she looked good in her scanties!
But the real nudists claimed
she was “over-framed.”
Now she’s bare-assed and shocking her aunties!

by Michael R. Burch

Will Ohtani hit 65 homers,
win the Cy Young by striking out Gomers,
make it cute and okay
to write KKK
while inspiring rhyme-challenged poemers?

Will Ohtani hit 65homers,
win the Cy Young by striking out Gomers,
prove the nemesis
of white supremacists
while inspiring rhyme-challenged poemers?

Will Ohtani hit 65 homers,
win the Cy Young by striking out Gomers,
cause supremacists
to cease and desist
while inspiring rhyme-challenged poemers?

Keywords/Tags: limerick, limericks, double limerick, triple limerick, humor, light verse, nonsense verse, doggerel, humor, humorous verse, light poetry, bawdy, ribald, irreverent
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