After reading the limericks of Edward Lear, the English painter and writer, I felt that I should try my hand at this popular form of humourous verse. Traditional limericks are often nonsensical and even bawdy. But why not, I thought, put in some meaning and relevance to the times? The following nautical limericks are my first attempts at the craft.

NOTE: I have used the traditional five-line structure of the limerick with a rhyming pattern of aabba. Otherwise, I have followed my own instinct and style.

There once was a priest named Riley
Who pitied the men who worked at sea;
He gave them gifts when they were at port
And preached the teachings of the Lord —
“Okay, lads,” said he. “It’s time for a selfie.”

© Barista Uno (BU)


A cruise ship captain named Francesco
Liked to show a woman some bravado;
So he sailed the ship very close to shore,
Then it ran aground and floated no more.
He was first to escape on a lifeboat — oh no!

© Barista Uno (BU)


A rich ship owner named Olaf
Was so fat he made folks laugh;
He loved to eat legs of mutton
And wouldn’t stop, this glutton —
Till he soon died of a heart attack.

© Barista Uno (BU)


There was a seaman with a lovely wife
But had a mistress to spice up his life;
During a storm his ship sank and he died.
When his lover hugged his coffin and cried,
The angry wife kicked it with all her might.

© Barista Uno (BU)


There was a manning agent named Carlie
Who made a pile sending lads off to sea;
He strutted like a peacock around town,
But in truth, he was a thieving clown —
Stealing dollars from seamen was his S.O.P.

© Barista Uno (BU)


An ageing boatswain named Mar
Sat drinking alone in a dingy bar;
A woman offered him a good time,
But he didn’t want to spend a dime —
She left, muttering “Stingy old tar.”

© Barista Uno (BU)

~ Barista Uno

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