A Little Collection of Light Verse

by Scott Emmons
illustrated by Chris Harding


Guest Poet


Edmund Conti

Edmund Conti lives in Summit NJ where he divides his time between night and day. 
His two sons, inspired by their father's success in the poetry field, have become engineers.  His wife Marilyn
doesn't mind his writing verse as long as he takes out the garbage.  Edmund hopes to become famous for his
Bananagrams, a word game involving rhymed couplets and anagrams.  Meanwhile  he would like to rest on
his laurels, but has only one laurel to rest on—winning the Willard R. Espy Foundation prize for
light verse in 2001.  He would like to thank his....why is that music playing?.....oh, never mind.


By St. Mark’s Square our long boat glides
But, hungry, I’m unheeding.
I love to take gondola rides
For intra-Venice feeding



I love you, O Auberon Waugh,
Although I cannot tell you orally
For your last name it sticks in my craw
And it may be I’m rhyming immorally.

I love you, O Auberon Waugh.
I love with a love that is lawless.
I love every last little flaw
(Assuming, of course, you’re not flawless.)

I love you, O Auberon Waugh,
With a love that wants more than a bright rhyme.
I love how I hope you will laugh
When you happen upon that last sight rhyme.

I love you, O Auberon Waugh.
It’s the sound of your name that I revel in.
I once loved your Maw or your Paw
(Whichever of them was called Evelyn.)

I love you, O Auberon Waugh.
Oh my love please, O Auberon Waugh, be.
Is your Englishness starting to thaw?
If it is then may I call you Aubie?

I love you!  I love you!  I love you!
You are warm.  You are wise.  You are witty.
So, how could I feel less of you—
Posthumously reading this ditty?



Life was peaceful
on the Tiber.
No on feared
asbestos fiber.

Romans built the
Appian Way
without advice
from E. P. A.

No Ralph Nader
going on a
crusade for safety.
Pax Romana.

was quite a pain
but didn't have
an acid reign.

No immigrants,
advised the omens,
and no hyphen-
ated Romans.

Terrorists in
distant regions—
dealt with swiftly
by the Legions.

Rome eternal.
Why so great?
Was no welfare

Roman women
caused no strife.
Knew their place
like Caesar's wife

Let Nero fiddle,
Cicero strum.
as Romans dump in
Mare Nostrum.

Goths and Vandals
made their grim pact
without environ-
mental impact.



Da dum da da dum da da dum
Da dum da da dum da da dum
Da dum da da dum
Da dum da da dum
Da dum da da F-word da dum!


(with one unsightly sight rhyme)

Eric the Red
Discovered America, it’s said.
(Or was it the other one,
His son?)

E. B. White
Knew how to write.
He would flow when Strunk would ebb
And, besides, was the first on the Web.

Vida Blue
Do you remember who
He was?
He pitched for the A’s.



Holly B. Hallaby is tall for her height
But Holly behaves like everyone might
If everyone’s head was screwed on tight.
Hallaby doesn’t throw pencils in class,
Look out the window or spit in her glass
Or fail to go to bed early at night.
Hallaby’s head is screwed on tight.

Hallaby doesn’t play catch with the cat
Or tell her big sister she’s getting too fat
Or tell her friends stories worse even than that.
Holly B. Hallaby cleans up her room
Returning to Mother the mop and the broom
Never sneaks up from behind with a “BOOM!”
Giving her poor little brother a fright.
Hallaby’s head is screwed on right.

Now, Millicent Morton is not very nice
She’s not made of sugar, she’s not made of spice
She’s made up of meanness and often is rude.
Her head is in danger of coming unscrewed.

While Anthony Ackerly isn’t afraid
Of any big boy in the whole second grade
But Anthony happens to be in grade four.
Anthony’s head should be screwed on some more.

Our Holly belongs with the best of the bunch
She doesn’t throw food when she’s eating her lunch
She doesn’t throw tantrums and won’t throw a punch.
She isn’t too dainty—she likes to climb trees
She doesn’t say ‘gimme,’ she always says ‘please’
She works very hard for her A’s and her B’s.
She sleeps in her room without any light.
Hallaby’s head is screwed on right.



You wonder why
I’m grieving?
She said goodbye
Without leaving.



People who tell you that reading’s for sissies
Were never assigned James Joyce’s Ulysses.

The Law tried to help you by calling it porn
But a learned District Judge merely viewed that with scorn.

As for the sex scenes, the book seems to need them.
However, our judge notes, you don’t have to read them.

Since the sex is redeeming and therefore might bore you.
I made it my mission to read the book for you.

The first page says only these words “Stately plump”
If you get through that then you’re over the hump.

Starting off with a large capital “S”
And finishing, yes, with a capitalized “Yes.”

And in between those, just what have you got?
Leopold Bloom wandering, wandering, that’s what.

It’s June the sixteenth in Dublin fair (and ugly).
Oh yes, you say, Bloomsday.  (Don’t say it so smugly.)

Wandering and wandering and wandering, you see
That it’s kind of like an Odyssey.

Meanwhile, Readers, home raising the ante,
Hugh “Blazes” Boylan has Molly flagrante.

Bloom’s doing Dublin so it hardly amazes
That Leopold’s Molly is going to Blazes.

Glad that you missed this? Here is my guess.
Yes, I think, Yes, I know, Yes, indeed, Yes.



Ernest M. Hemingway
Wrote so his prose was not

Nothing about it is
Crisp and clear writing and
Yes, it is good.



Those days can't be topped
Of that we've no doubt
When we turned, tuned and dropped
On, in and out.


First you have your natal day.
Then, later on, your fatal day.

All written content on this page copyright Edmund Conti.