Because I have long taken a fancy to light verse, I wrote a number of nursery rhyme-like poems in my early poetry writing days because such poems are in the light verse vein, though seemingly just for children….but look at Mother Goose: if a bit of wit (in the telling) warrants a closer gander, the simplicity may not lay an egg in the eyes of grown-ups.

November 20 being UNIVERSAL CHILDREN’S DAY and WORLD CHILDREN’S DAY, I thought I would bring back a selection of those poems — say 20% of 20 — for a second childhood look. Two have been published in children’s magazines, two have not. You might even say that two of the four are for the birds. Well, as Humpty Dumpty may have shrugged after his fall, “Wall,  you can’t win ’em all.”


Free as a bird —
That’s what I’d like to be.
But, if I were a bird —
Who would be me?


The tortoise and the hare
Ran a race from here to there.
The winner, of the pair,
Was the tortoise, by a hair.


Birds build nests
Where they will —
Gutter, building ledge,
Window sill.

One I saw
Amazed me —
It was nestled
In a tree!


There was once a brave lad from Nebraska
Who went off on a trip to Alaska.
To climb up steep slopes, he bid —
But they were so slick, he slid
Almost all the way back to Nebraska!

Is word play child’s play or hard work, you ask? As both a light verse and jazz lover, I can tell you it helped to have….




  1. scifihammy says:

    Your Nursery Rhymes are great fun. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Joseph Nebus says:

    I like the bird one. I know more than a couple folks who wouldn’t mind swapping with a bird, actually, although I haven’t met any birds who were looking for a trade.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. mistermuse says:

    If I were a bird, I probably wouldn’t trade either. It doesn’t take a wise old owl to figure out human nature is (not) for the birds.


  4. arekhill1 says:

    I vote for the limerick, one of my favorite art forms.


  5. mistermuse says:

    I like limericks too, but the format doesn’t adapt to appearing in a blog like it should. For example, in the old days bc (before computers), the 3rd & 4th lines of a limerick were always indented about 3 spaces, which of course is no problem on a typewriter….but I couldn’t do that with the limerick in my post because the 3 blank spaces won’t “stick.” Thus, the 3rd & 4th lines begin even with the 1st, 2nd & 5th lines, and there’s nothing I can do about it (that I know of). I know it seems a minor thing, but poetry in general and limericks in particular are precise literary forms, and it irritates me that, for all its wonders, technology can’t do something so simple.


  6. Don Frankel says:

    Don’t ask me why this song jumped in my head other than it has an element of a nursery rhyme.


  7. mistermuse says:

    If I’m not mistaken, Don, that song is by Cole Porter – a sophisticated composer one normally wouldn’t associate with nursery rhymes, but in this case, I can see your point. In a certain sense, I guess you could describe many popular songs of that era as light verse set to music.


  8. RMW says:

    I enjoyed your rhymes very much. I still have my first book of nursery rhymes “Original Nursery Rhymes with Variations” by Anne Hope. No date but must be circa 1950, printed in England with an illustration of Bo Peep on the cover. When I was about eight my mother donated the book to some organization and she says I was so upset she had to go retrieve it! Thanks for the video, I was tapping my toes while drinking my first cup of coffee!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. mistermuse says:

    RMW, you made my day by appreciating (and toe-tapping to) the video “Rhythm in My Nursery Rhymes.” It’s a song I knew of and like, but I didn’t expect to find such a “swinging” version of it (shown with accompanying nursery rhymes) on YouTube. As you probably noticed, both the recording and the nursery rhyme pages were English, just like your first book of nursery rhymes….which I’m very glad your mother retrieved for you! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  10. inesephoto says:

    Witty and fun, thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Don Frankel says:

    Muse that’s it. Yeah, there’s a certain lightheartedness to the song and the music even though she shot her man and they hung her.

    I love the song and my favorite rendition is the one I found here by the great Nancy Wilson. I’m always happy that I managed to use her image in one of my short stories.


  12. mistermuse says:

    Don, Nancy Wilson indeed does the song justice. For some reason, I never appreciated her voice as much as I should have — perhaps because I’ve always been such a big fan of Billie, Ella, and some others who are mostly forgotten today.


  13. Leyla says:

    ohh so cute!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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