"The Laughing Violinist" and "The Happy Violinist" by Gerrit van HonthorstTurn a Joke into a Poem—Poetry Challenge The Society December 8, 2020 Humor, Poetry, Poetry Contests 70 Comments Poet Susan Jarvis Bryant challenges her fellow poets to adapt a favorite joke into a poem with meter and rhyme. Enjoy her examples and then post your own joke-turned-poem into the comments section below. . Pony Tale My heart used to hanker for horses (that bright equine blaze of delight) till that dastardly day when dark forces turned my thrill to a bone-chilling fright. Oh, the trauma that followed the error of mounting a proud chestnut colt, who became a wild-eyed, bucking terror determined to throw me and bolt. He whirled and he tossed and grew sour. My fingers, they slipped from his reins. I was dragged till Walmart switched the power straight off at the parking lot mains. Now I’m banned from that store ride forever. To be honest, I don’t really care. I won’t straddle a pony—not ever! I would much rather wrestle a bear. . . Laid Bare Today I paid a pretty fee to see My future swirl within a crystal sphere. A symphony of summoned wizardry Took twenty pricey minutes to appear. It sang in tones that only pros would know And glowed in luminescent chartreuse light. It scattered mystic seeds for seers to sow In words that whispered of tomorrow’s plight. My fortune-teller peered beyond her veil; With eyes that rolled she told me I would choke On gummy bears. My clammy skin grew pale. My death was but a punchline to a joke. With foresight, my headstone will simply say: “Killed by Bears”—no more, no less—no way! . . NOTE: The Society considers this page, where your poetry resides, to be your residence as well, where you may invite family, friends, and others to visit. Feel free to treat this page as your home and remove anyone here who disrespects you. Simply send an email to email@example.com. Put “Remove Comment” in the subject line and list which comments you would like removed. The Society does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or comments and reserves the right to remove any comments to maintain the decorum of this website and the integrity of the Society. Please see our Comments Policy here. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) 70 Responses Michael Coy December 8, 2020 Groucho’s Gefilte Always the same little hash joint. For lunch, the identical dish – in Kremzer’s, on Mott and Delancey, potatoes and yiddisher fish. His real name was Julius Henry, but “Groucho” is how he was known. His whim was to lunch in the corner, unsmiling, unnoticed, alone. So in comes a true-born impresser, a back-slapping man about town. He’s towing some Princeton professor, and eyeballs the vaudeville clown. Finagling faux introductions, the forte of showbusiness sharks: he’ll astonish the ecrivain manque … “I’ll get you an entree with Marx!” He gives it the big how’s-it-going, the Princeton prick shuffles his feet. But Groucho, unseeing, unknowing, uncaring, continues to eat. “This man wrote ‘The Vanderbilts’, damn it!” (incipient panic attack). Without looking up, answers Groucho, “The Vanderbilts – did they write back?” Reply Gail Root December 8, 2020 Bravo! I like that Groucho. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant December 8, 2020 Michael, very well done! Thank you for rising to the challenge so magnificently! Reply Joseph S. Salemi December 8, 2020 Jack and Jill Went up the hill, Each with buck and a quarter. Jill came down with $2.50– They didn’t go up for water. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant December 8, 2020 Joe, I much prefer this version of the nursery rhyme… how naughty! Reply Beverly S Stock December 8, 2020 I love it! Thanks for the laugh! Reply ntracylinda December 10, 2020 Untamed Wishes If all wishes were horses, even beggars would ride. Maybe then I would take pride in my longing for the Queen. I fall, I walk, I talk, I get quiet, I quit. For the Queen cannot be my Queen. For the Queen, is living a routine. A chain that shall not entertain a mere nothing. Just maybe if wishes were horses, even me I would ride with her majesty. Mike Bryant December 8, 2020 Night Terriers I suffer from insomnia, Each night I burn in Hell. Strangely, I’m agnostic and Dyslexic – I can’t spell. I toss and turn all through the night; My head is in a fog, Deliberating over the Existence of a doG. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant December 8, 2020 Mike, you are barking mad! That makes two of us! Reply C.B. Anderson December 9, 2020 Right! The one about the dyslexic agnostic insomniac who stayed up all night wondering if there really was a dog. Love it. Reply Joseph S. Salemi December 8, 2020 Why The Chicken Crossed the Road A chicken crossed the road one day, We never figured why… (Not for lack of effort, nor Of willingness to try). Some said it was to find a mate, Some said it was to eat. Some said it was to get some shade From summer’s torrid heat. No one knew just why the hell This chicken crossed the road– Perhaps he had some chickenshit He needed to unload. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant December 8, 2020 Joe – this is utterly hilarious. I always thought these chicken-crossing-road jokes were rather pointless, and now I know different! Here’s to the wonder of poetry! Reply Russel Winick December 8, 2020 Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road? Why did the chicken cross over the road? To get to a place less corrosive. Where a chicken was free to cross roads as it pleased, Without anyone judging its motive. Norma Okun December 8, 2020 Mr. Salemi, the chicken who crossed the road, has always been a funny joke but now we know he had something to deposit on the other side of the road. Reply porpoiseboy December 9, 2020 THERE WAS A YOUNG CHICKEN THAT CROSSED THE ROAD HE WAS JUST TRYING TO REACH HIS ABODE HE WAS HIT AS HE CROSSED BY A CAR & THEN TOSSED INTO A RESTAURANT AND HE’S NOW ALAMODE Reply Lesley Reifert Hughes December 9, 2020 I love it. Thanks for the first giggle I’ve had today. Lesley Hughes Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant December 8, 2020 That’s What It’s All About! For ages I’ve been fighting dance addiction, The Hokey Pokey’s causing excess friction. My marriage was once joyous and so sound – If only I could turn myself around! Reply Beverly S Stock December 8, 2020 Can’t stop smiling! Thanks. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant December 8, 2020 Beverly, we could certainly do with a bit of cheering up in these tough times – what better way than poetry with a grin. 🙂 Reply Rohini Sunderam December 8, 2020 How does a cat (If you fancy that) Differ from a comma Can you tell your momma? With a smile so bright She said, this is right: A cat has its claws At the end of its paws And a comma is a pause At the end of a clause. For a rhyming joke It’s a joke bespoke. And I’m all admiration It’s about punctuation. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant December 8, 2020 Rohini, I love it – homophones used to their absolute best! I wish grammar was this fun when I was a kid. Thank you! Reply Russel Winick December 8, 2020 Statistics The experts use statistics, But often that seems fickle. What good is proof that average people Have one testicle? Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant December 8, 2020 Russel, very clever and highly amusing! Thank you for the grin! Reply Norma Okun December 8, 2020 Charlotte Bronte wrote Jane Eyre Over one hundred years ago in 1847 Jane was an orphan and hired by Rochester to teach his little girl Adele He fell in love with Jane And society frowned on poor girls marrying the rich landlords Despite that Rochester could not help loving Jane He read his horoscope It said do not be a dope. He threw a party to impress And invited his fiancé And thought to disguise himself As a gypsy and for pure entertainment He pulled it off and not one of his friends knew it was him His Fiancé came in sat down and found out Rochester did not have the money she thought he had. She knew right there and then she had nothing To gain by marrying him. She believed the fortune teller’s lies and packed her bags. Dressing himself as a gypsy to find out his instincts were right The girl was nothing but a fortune seeker Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant December 8, 2020 Norma, “Jane Eyre” is one of my favorite nineteenth century novels and you have put a whole new twist on it – thank you for your input! In fact, it reminds me of a humorous poem I wrote on “Rebecca” by Daphne Du Maurier – another of my favorites. I apologize in advance for any offense it may cause – please put it down to an offbeat sense of humor 🙂 Who the Hell is Rebecca? “And he went on eating his marmalade as though everything were natural.” ~ Daphne du Maurier, Rebecca Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again Hellbent on my intent to vent my spleen and then Eradicate Rebecca and proclaim the name More vital to the title of the author’s pen. Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again With spite enough to fight for rights to rule and win A place in Danvers’ grace without the raw disdain Of such a bicker-picking, knicker-twisting grin. Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again; Robust of voice, I’d made the choice to claim my reign With rigid rod to tame each sod who cast false blame; I’d grown the balls to strut the halls of my past pain. Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again Where haughty hubby, Maximilian, deigned to claim He’d lost his nameless, mousy spouse of scattered brain – And gained a snippy, cocky chappie known as Wayne! Reply Norma Okun December 8, 2020 Dear Susan, I have read Rebecca written in 1937 as well. And have been impressed with the book. However my interpretation is that the new” nameless” Mrs. DeWinters was afraid of Mrs. Danvers who was obsessed with her and even said, Rebecca in a rage killed a horse. She seemed to have no compassion and abused her power. Tragically lying about being pregnant and enraging Mr. DeWinter to the point of killing her. I think your take on the book is a bit confusing to me. I don’t know who Wayne is. Sorry about that. I am happy that you wrote about the book, but I don’t get the meaning of your poem. Anna J. Arredondo December 8, 2020 Calculated Success Three colleagues — a mathematician, A physicist, and statistician — One weekend last fall Decided to all Embark on a bow hunting mission. When they spied a 12-pointer that autumn, They unquivered their arrows and shot’em; Some fell short (not so strong), Some fell equally long — So the stat-man exclaimed, “Guys, we got’im!” Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant December 8, 2020 I love this one, Anna, from the clever title to the giggle of a closing line. Bravo!! Reply Sally Cook December 8, 2020 Tender Is The Thigh I know a man devoted to A meat that thrills him through and through. Not.drumsticks fried, or chicken tenders, .Soup or gumbo he remembers– Oh no, he wants those chicken breasts, But always calls them chicken chests. Size Forty-seven DDD – A nice size, but too much for tea He’ll saute them, have them for dinner, .Worst kind of hypocrite and sinner. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant December 8, 2020 Sally, you have done this challenge proud. You had me laughing out loud by “Size Forty-seven DDD –/A nice size, but too much for tea” – hilarious… and then, the closing couplet… a thigh-slapping delight that has the breast punchline ever! Thank you! Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant December 8, 2020 BELL BOY Pavlov made a booking at a chateau by the sea To have a charming evening of romantic harmony. His chic Dalmatian girlfriend, who had snuck into his heart, Begged for his betrothal after orders à la carte. While quaffing pink Champagne and scarfing finest caviar, He heard incessant ringing from a phone behind the bar. The escargot would have to wait along with legs of frogs. To hell with love eternal – Pavlov had to feed his dogs! Reply Joseph S. Salemi December 8, 2020 Susan, there’s a typo in line 5 – it should be “scarfing,” not”‘scoffing.” Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant December 8, 2020 Oops, it’s another of my British words. To scoff in British English means to eat quickly and greedily. I have never heard the word “scarf” in the eating sense, only the wearing round the neck sense. I will most certainly change it, and thank you for giving me another word to add to my ever-increasing lexicon. David Watt December 9, 2020 All at Sea I went to the doctor last Monday. He asked me “From what do you ail?” I replied “Every morning at six; Precisely, and never with fail, I empty my bladder completely; And that’s my embarrassing tale. The doctor said “No need to worry, Your malady seems rather pale. It’s normal to wake every morning And spout like a surfacing whale.” “That isn’t the issue good doctor. The reason I came here to wail Is because I don’t wake until seven, Adrift in a sea, without sail.” Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant December 9, 2020 David, you have elevated this hilarious joke to new heights! I am laughing out loud at, “ It’s normal to wake every morning/And spout like a surfacing whale.” Thank you for brightening my morning! Reply Mike Bryant December 9, 2020 Day Tripper I bought a pair of shoes in town last night. My sneaker dealer said, “They’re dynamite!” Today, I’m trippin’ everywhere I go. What did he lace them with? I’d like to know. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant December 9, 2020 Mike, I bought some shoes from the very same guy – the heels were spiked and way too high! Reply Mike Bryant December 9, 2020 I’ll Never See Red I just found out I’m colorblind. I never had a clue. The diagnosis blew my mind, It came out of the yellow. Reply Jeff Eardley December 9, 2020 “Our inmates take a Brandy with Viagra, It helps them through the night,’” the Warden said. “The Brandy sends them off to sleep so quickly, The other stops them rolling out of bed.” Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant December 9, 2020 Very funny, Jeff – that warden has those hardened criminals under control. Reply Jeff Eardley December 9, 2020 Our science teacher’s passed away His face we’ll see no more For what he thought was H2O Was H2S04 Reply Talbot December 10, 2020 Two onions met and fell in love, And married in the greatest bliss; They soon thereafter had a child: Perfection! Not a layer amiss. But one bright day outside their home, Their wondrous, little child was hit; They found him broken in the street, And feared he wouldn’t make it. They bore him to the Surgery, And dad rolled up and down the hall, While mum sat crying in a chair, And thought about her child’s close call. At last the surgeon shuffled out, Kind-eyed as he was able; “Sir and ma’am, I have bad news: Your son’s a . . . vegetable.” (Veggie-table is the pronunciation I’ve in mind, by the by.) Reply Mike Bryant December 10, 2020 OK… the mispronunciation makes that pretty funny… Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant December 12, 2020 Thank you, Talbot! I’m crying with laughter – onion jokes have that effect on me. Reply Paul A. Freeman December 12, 2020 Olfactory Humour I met a fellow down the Ship and Bell who said, “My faithful canine hath no nose.” Quod I, “Most strange! How doth your poor dog smell?” And he replied, ” Much worse than you’d suppose!” Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant December 12, 2020 Paul, this joke is so much funnier as a poem. The opening line and the archaic language make it hilarious – well done and thank you! Reply Paul A. Freeman December 13, 2020 Thanks. It is a particularly good challenge you’ve set us. Susan Jarvis Bryant December 12, 2020 How The Cow Ate The Cabbage In the days when an ankle was classed as erotic and a traveling circus was labelled exotic, an elephant broke from the caged and the barred to graze in Great Grandma’s amazing backyard. Having slipped the confines of that cramped circus cell, it grew weary from plodding and hungry as hell. It was then the beast spotted Gran’s sweet cabbage patch and halted to feast on the flourishing batch. Now Granny, short-sighted but far from infirm, had never clapped eyes on a stray pachyderm. With its swishing appendage and penchant to dine she thought it no more than a roving bovine. Having duly discovered the beefy leaf-thief, she called up the cops to impart all her grief with a rare explanation in the realms of absurd, for this cow was a few moos removed from the herd. “Sheriff!” she cried, “There’s a cow in my crop; it’s picking my yield with its tail and won’t stop! When it plucks up each cabbage, my cheeks are aglow – because where this cow shoves them, you don’t want to know!” Reply Paul A. Freeman December 13, 2020 Your yarn is great fun of how granny was suckered, or perhaps she was fooled by its lips that were puckered. Reply Paul A. Freeman December 13, 2020 Caribbean Comedy Unto the Western Indies did I take a vacation, my wife’s first time trip abroad. Asked Alfred, down the Dog and Duck, “Jamaica?” “Heck, no!” quod I. “Twas of her own accord.” Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant December 14, 2020 Paul, I love this! “I take a/Jamaica” – ingenious! LOL Reply Yael December 13, 2020 Definitely the best thing since sliced bread, these poetic jokes. Thanks for taking us there Susan, and thank you to all the contributors. This is fun! Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant December 14, 2020 Thank you, Yael. You gave me the confidence to push forward with this, and I’m glad I did. We could all do with a laugh in these troubled times – it’s the best medicine, indeed! Reply Jan Darling December 15, 2020 Dear Susan – My finger suffered a seizure (or perhaps it has been tippling) and it entered the joke several times. Please wield your feared editorial digit and remove all but the first entry. Thank you. You continue to entertain and amaze me. Jan Jan Darling December 15, 2020 The Invitation ‘Your Rawl Highness’ read the letter ‘would yuz do a favour please We’re planning a grand big opening – we’d like yuz to hand us the keys. It’ll be posh, with cucumber sarnies and we’ll all turn up in our best We’d love to see ya out here – yud be our honoured guest.. ‘We’re just a little township in the middle of the sticks Kev will do the write up and Bluey takes the pics Don’t wear nothin’ fancy , we’re not big on city rags But we will clean up the sheepyard and bag up all the dags. ‘We’ve never seen no rawlty ‘cos we’re far from city streets We’re mostly cattle farmers, growin’ fodder and some wheats. But jeez, we’d love to see ya sitting with us on a bale We’d treat yuz to a barbecue washed down with our best ale.’ The letter gave location and the date and time as well It was posted, came the answer ‘he’s comin’! bloody ‘ell!’ Prince Charles approached his mother to ask her sage advice On how he should be dressing – she’d been to Orstralia twice. ‘Wear your regimental uniform and don’t forget to take a hat You’re off to Gundagindi? Where the fock’s that?’ ‘Thank you Mummy’ gushed our Charlie and off he went content Straight to the Palace milliner, a dapper little gent. The Prince arrived with time to spare mid seas of waving flags He was thrilled to find the locals not averse to shooting stags. The hall that he was opening was full of heads of beasts And trestles groaning with the goods presented for all feasts. Shortly he took off his hat and placed it on a chair It was a warm and furry thing, far too hot for wear He wondered why Her Majesty had recommended that And why she’d clearly said to him ‘Wear the fox hat’. Jan Darling ‘ Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant December 15, 2020 Jan, I love it! Thank you for taking up the challenge with this crown-jewel of a poem. ❤️ Reply Jan Darling December 15, 2020 Thank you Susan – I feel very flattered. I am your greatest fan. Paul A. Freeman December 15, 2020 Comic Couplet No 1: “Why did that bike fall over that you hired?” “Quite clearly,” I replied, “it was two tired.” Reply Paul A. Freeman December 15, 2020 Comic Couplet No. 2 “What has four wheels and flies? (This joke doth suck!) The answer is, my friend, a garbage truck.” Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant December 15, 2020 Paul, I’m thoroughly enjoying these comic couplets – keep them coming! Reply Jan Darling December 15, 2020 Elevated Memory Once I made love in a lift with my cousin Not just once but more like a dozen We were both young and silly We’re not really ‘hillbilly’ From floor one to floor forty We knew it was naughty But today this memory bedevils We were wrong on so many levels. Jan Darling Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant December 15, 2020 Jan, you have elevated this challenge to delightful new heights that have me giggling like a naughty schoolgirl. Great stuff! Reply Paul A. Freeman December 21, 2020 Donald J Trump’s Visit to the Sistine Chapel The Pope said, “Michelangelo painted the walls and the ceiling.” But Donald knew this was fake news, Or so said his famed sixth sense feeling. The Pope was having fun with him, So he said in a moment of hush, “A Teenage Ninja Turtles’ flippers Cannot possibly wield a paint brush.” Reply Amrita Valan January 1, 2021 Ten blind men getting together seems a little bit mammoth, a tall tale Feeling up a pachyderm, didn’t these Body fetishists know to kiss, not tell? I suspect these men had a leader A one eyed interceder brokering a deal, a go between, Maybe the elephant was white, costly tusker, a mastodon neither keen nor fit to be seen. Reply Ryan Watch January 4, 2021 Yeast I baked some cookies for the feast. Baking them was a cinch for me. Thank goodness they do not have yeast. If you ask me why I hate yeast, I’ll answer you quite honestly “I tried baking bread for a feast.” “Twas the error that I released That turned the bread coarse and ugly All because the bread had yeast.” Whoever thought to use that beast To add in many a pastry? I’ll never use it for the feast! My baking career has decreased Caused by my dreadful enemy That hauntingly frightful piece of yeast. My yeast baking days have long ceased And yet my treats are still tasty. I baked some cookies for the feast. Thank goodness they do not have yeast! Reply Paul January 4, 2021 That’s what She said. Reply Rhonda Thompson January 5, 2021 There once was a bear named Harry He was always on the hunt for a berry He was the one with the hat And we could see by his scat That he settled at times for a cherry Reply Jan Darling January 6, 2021 Rhonda, your bear with the digestive problem is probably related to my bear who was the hero of what I remember as the first joke I heard and loved when I was about 3. Algy met a bear The bear was bulgy The bulge was Algy. Reply Ryan Watch January 13, 2021 Bumps and Thumps 1. Ba-bump, Ba-bump, Ba-bump. I heed the rhythmic thump Of the iamb Upon my dainty hand; Tapping to the meter 2. Ba-bump, Ba-bump, Ba-bump I hear the beating thump Of my slipper Trying its best to stomp The scampering cockroach. 3. Ba-bump, Ba-bump, Ba-bump Yet here’s another thump; Above my room The neighbors loudly romp And never seem to stop. Reply Norma Okun January 20, 2021 There was hardly anyone there Today a president became inaugurated. He was sworn with a raise of his hand and held a bible. He did not look happy at all he looked as if he was stunned. His white hair was standing on ends. As the wind was strong on capitol hill. He held on to his wife as he walked. With his children and grandchildren He smiled at some and even greeted some. He is now in the oval office. And what it took to get this inauguration kept from arms and angry people All was filled with police and blacks because they are the ones that matter. The construction of the wall has been stopped. Without them no grapes are picked in California For almost free and there are not enough hands to pick the fruit under the hot sun And the grapes are happy and full of wine. Enjoy the next years because for as long as in California there is almost free labor. The United States can keep all the riches and the bitches laughing away at the people who elected them even if they had to Use all of the military to make it happen. ©2021 by Norma Okun Reply Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.