Light Verse?


I’ve been going through what seems like a ton of old letters, plus the drafts of my replies; the idea being to get rid of most of that stuff so my kids and/or grandkids won’t have to deal with it when—as the saying goes— “the time comes.”  During this recent purge, I came across a scrawled attempt at comic verse that I had mailed to my younger brother some years ago in Virginia for his 69th birthday. Here it is:


A man named Ernie

Lived by the tracks,

Ate little kids

Instead of snacks.

He was so mean

It was often said,

He’d never die

Just stay in bed.

He lived so long

(In the hundred-threes),

Then he finally did go

With brand new knees!

I know it sounds a bit like one of those “Burma Shave” series of “poetry” signs on the side of the road that I used to love to read as I whizzed past. His 75th birthday is coming up later this month and I’ll call him, as usual, and I plan to recite the verse to Ernie when I do.  This year, I want to see if he remembers it, and if he does, I’ll ask him to remind me what he thinks of it. I have the feeling I’ll have to once again justify myself by saying, “Hey, it’s the thought that counts.”

Copyright © 2014, Jim Sizemore.

2 Responses to Light Verse?

  1. Florence Newman says:

    Reminds me of Edward Lear’s “nonsense” poetry–I hope Ernie does live into his “hundred-threes.”

  2. Jim says:

    To know Ernie is to love him . . . especially if you knew him when he and I were as innocent as we were in that photograph. These days, well, you know how that goes . . . Thanks so much for your comment, Flo. Ernie will be thrilled. As for the Edward Lear reference, I happen to be re-reading my paperback copy of The Oxford book of Comic Verse, which contains three pages or so of his famous limericks; also much great material by other favorites of mine such as Lewis Carroll, Dorothy Parker, Don Marquis and, of course, Anonymous.

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