Definitely Limericks: Be-Bh

A beachcomber finds on the shore
Old fishing nets, driftwood and more:
The delicate skull
Of a sand-covered gull,
And cuttlefish bones by the score.

I admit it: I’ve borne a slight grudge
Over how my accountant would fudge
My investment returns,
Which is why he now earns,
From this window, the tiniest nudge.

A furry young bear cub took fright
Coming home with his family one night:
“My porridge was eaten!
They’ve broken my seat, ’n
They’re still in my bed that’s just right!”

When I asked, as my cranium bled,
“Mister, why are you hitting my head?”
He said, “Ain’t got the heart
For the testicle part,
So I’m beating yer brains out instead.”

This demo I found on my desk
Is superlative pop, Beatlesque
In its harmonies and
Its guitars—what a band!
It’s a shame the lead singer’s grotesque.

When bedding a bedouin, try
To keep up with his wandering eye,
For this Arab’s nomadic,
And sex is sporadic
With any perambulant guy.

“It’s bedtime, Pop—tell me a story!”
“Here’s the Lesson of Joe Pescatore:
He ignored his don’s wishes,
And sleeps wit’ the fishes.
So memento, young Michael, your mori.”

O, shall I compose thee a sonnet?
I worship thy hair, and what’s on it...
(’Tis not what I said;
There’s no bug on thy head,
So no need for the bee in thy bonnet.)

The beetroot’s delicious and red,
Like a burgundy turnip that’s bled
On your fingers and palms.
It delivers its charms
In a chutney, or pickled instead.

It grows happily under your feet?
When it’s roasted, it’s pleasant to eat?
Yes and yes? Yet you said
That the tuber ain’t red?
But then how can this veggie be beet?

The answer: it’s a yellow-fleshed Burpee’s Golden, which has shot
to the top of my list of Favourite Vegetable Variety Names.

Logicians who see that you’re leaning
To “raising” will start intervening:
Such begging the question
Will give indigestion
To any who know its true meaning.

An argument that begs the question assumes that its central point is already proven, and uses this in support of itself. “You’d have to be crazy to believe that. Look at Joe: he’s crazy, and he believes it.” To the annoyance of philosophers, however, the term is now widely used to mean “raises (or prompts) the question”.

This giraffe I made isn’t a winner—
Its neck should be longer and thinner,
And all those pink dots
Were a poor choice for spots—
But at sculpture I’m still a beginner.

“You bewdy! A goal! That’s worth six!”
“Nah, it’s just a behind, mate; his kick’s
Sent it past the tall post
Through the outer ones. Most
Referees would call one point. The pricks.”

An Aussie rules ref wouldn’t be likely to mistake a goal kick for a behind,
but you never know with those bastards.

The truth of it started to seize us:
We knew that the blizzard would freeze us.
Captain Scott scrawled his notes.
It was too much for Oates—
Out of him, the thought scared the bejesus.

In Belgium, the Eurocrats play
In a palace of chocolate all day,
Then swan around Brussels
To gobble the mussels
And waffle the evening away.

“Captain Haddock! It’s Snowy! He’s dead!
Rastapopolous shot off his head!”
“Why, that Visigoth! Vandal!
Iconoclast! Scandal!
Never mind. Here’s a sheepdog instead.”

A Belgian sheepdog, naturally.

Leaders of great bellicosity
Respond with a hellish ferocity
To any attacks:
For example, Iraq’s
Gone to hell with ferocious velocity.

The hilarious verse of Hilaire
Is replete with dénouements that scare:
Lessons painfully learned,
Such as “liars get burned”.
Moral: children, be good, or beware.

Hilaire Belloc is best-remembered for his Cautionary Verses and other poems for children.

Beltane is pagan desire
Made flesh: as the flames travel higher,
The May Queen parades
From the tall colonnades
With her drummers and maids by the fire.

The ancient Celtic spring festival of Beltane (bel-tane) has been revived in modern times in Edinburgh. On the night before May Day, dozens of performers gather under the imitation Parthenon on Calton Hill and are followed from bonfire to bonfire by scores of tourists, locals, and Christian protesters.

With chromium shortages banning
The use of that metal in tanning,
The French, in the War,
Were compelled to use more
Benzoquinone than they had been planning.

Quinone was used instead of chromium by French tanners during the Second World War. The compound reacts with collagen, giving leathers with a shrinkage temperature of up to 90°C.

Winona the millipede knew
The quinone she’d secreted on you
Would dissuade you from eating her:
Nothing was beating her
Millipede kill-impede brew.

Quinone (stressed on the second syllable in America) plays a role in hardening shells and cuticles in arthropods, and is also useful for fending off predators.

It’s because of Sir Tim Berners-Lee
That we’re all of us gathered here. See,
He invented the Web,
So that any old pleb
Could post any old gibberish. Whee!

As of now, I can safely attest
That to live on this planet is blessed.
Since our species began,
It’s been perfect for Man:
Of the options, it’s clearly the best.

From now onwards, though, things may get a bit shaky.

What help art thou needing to bed me?
Which surface assists for to spread ye?
Will haystacks suffice?
Would this carpette be nice?
Dost mine bed on its bedstead bestead thee?

You’re the person on whom I depend;
You’re the one I would back to the end;
You’re the port in my storm;
You’re encouraging, warm
And unparalleled: you’re my best friend.

When you’re facing a tough day ahead,
And you’re chasing a base for your spread,
Forget muffins: what most
People stuff in is toast—
Some would say, the best thing since sliced bread.

If the falling of bombs upon Slough
Seems attractive, and running a plough
Through the rubble that’s left
Wouldn’t leave you bereft,
Come, you’re ready for Betjeman now.

John Betjeman was a spirited defender of traditional England against the encroaches of modernity, nowhere more than in his 1937 poem about a certain business centre west of London.

“How’s the carpet they laid in your flat
When the old one got chewed by a rat?”
“Well, y’know if some guy
Pokes a stick in your eye—
Say a burnt one? It’s better’n that.”

“FYI, O’Neill,
IMHO, I feel
You’re a guy with no class,
And a PITA.”
“OIC, sir. Well, BFD.”

Brigadier General (BG)
Is a rank in the mil-i-tair-ee.
He’s the one that a colonel
Addresses as sir, ’n ’ll
Bellow if you disagree.

Bhopal is in Madhya Pradesh;
It’s a city where memories are fresh
Of the havoc once wreaked
When some holding tanks leaked
And the culprits all prayed to Ganesh.

BHP: an Australian giant
On the stock exchange. Scores are reliant
On its mining for ore
In the desert; far more
Than just Aussies—Japan’s a big client.

The Broken Hill Proprietary Company (incorporated 1885) was named for the New South Wales town of Broken Hill. Over the twentieth century it became a mining giant, supplying much of the steel for Japan’s car industry. In 2001 it merged with Billiton to form BHP Billiton, “the world’s largest diversified resources company”.

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