My response to the Poets on the Page poetry prompt: Blessings, Curses, or Limericks?
In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, I stepped away from my usual free verse and tried my hand at some limericks. Named for a city in Ireland, this form has a particular rhythm and rhyme sequence that I find very challenging. I tried to incorporate something Irish in each rhyme:
A leprechaun ninety years old
Thought his nephew exceedingly bold.
He hitchhiked to Wicklow
And slid down a rainbow
And found there a great pot o’ gold.
A lawyer defending in style
A spy who had stolen a file
Asked the judge for recess
For his client to dress,
But he fled to the Emerald Isle.
A happy man started to prance
While his friends looked at him all askance.
He said, “Do what you feel.
Me, I’m stepping a reel.”
And he calmly continued to dance.
A sharpshooter packing a pistol
Walked into a tavern in Bristol.
He said, “What’ve ye got
That won’t cost me a shot?”
And they poured him some Waterford crystal.
Getting back to St. Patrick, he was not, as you might think, born in Ireland, but in Britain. When he was sixteen years old, he was kidnapped by pirates and taken to Ireland to be sold as a slave.
For six years Patrick worked for his master, and while he worked he contemplated his life so far. Ashamed of his sins, he prayed and meditated, asking God’s forgiveness. One day he received a vision that his time enslaved in Ireland was over and his ship had come in. He escaped from his master and walked 200 miles to a port (some say it was Wicklow) where he gained voyage back to England.
Years later, he returned to Ireland, where he introduced Christianity.
Legend has it that Patrick drove the snakes out of Ireland. But the Irish climate is not conducive to the reptiles. More likely, he subdued the Serpent (Satan).
Stained glass window depicting St. Patrick was photographed by Nheybob.