The famous series of limericks dates back about a century: you can read the first four in the challenge at Yesterdaysisland.com/limerick-challenge
Every year we issue a new challenge to our readers to continue the saga. In 2020, we ran a pandemic series, with 24 stanzas submitted by readers. This summer we are starting with a lengthy submission by the legendary poet The Portly Bard.
To submit your own limericks, email them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org; we’ll be pleased to share them with our print and digital readers.
The Song of the Nantucket Bucket
Pa’s a legend unnamed in Nantucket,
now reknowned for his cash in a bucket,
whose endowed daughter Nan
met a devious man
who was mining for “gold” where Pa stuck it.
After faking romance with fair Nan,
he convinced her to rob her old man
and once Nan had snuck it
a trip to Pawtucket
with the cash—to dump Nan—was his plan.
She’d return as the prodigal daughter
to bemoan all her error had taught her
and be welcomed with grace
to her father’s embrace
like a lamb being saved from its slaughter,
And the man would set sail with Pa’s money
in search of another young honey
and a tropical clime
where he’d while away time
getting used to the rain turning sunny.
But far wiser than he had suspected,
the old man had the scam well detected
“Keeping Nan will be fine,
but that cash is all mine,”
he told both as he left them dejected.
Then forsaking his Yesterday’s Isle,
though he said it was just for a while,
Pa moved to Manhasset
with pail and cash asset
to begin empty-nesting in style.
But he’d angered Miss Nan and her man
who then said “We’re amending your plan,
as price for misgiving
try emptiness living,”
as away to New Haven they ran
With Pa’s pail and his cash in their car,
though before they had gotten too far,
to create a false trail
they divested the pail
and instead used an old earthen jar.
But then Pa took a bit of offense
and surprisingly used common sense.
He reported the crime
and then wasted no time
in declaring his legal intents
to recover his now famous pail
and the cash it contained without fail,
to strike Nan from his will,
and have her foot the bill,
and then serve out a sentence in jail
while he’d cleverly manage to seal
an incredible marketing deal
for the “Piggy Pail” banks
he inscribed with his thanks
for his Nantucket fame so surreal:
“Store your dream not your cash in this bucket.
Mine for gold that you’ve earned when you’ve struck it.
Though it might take a while,
just remember to smile
and be glad when you find your Nantucket.”
Pa has since, in a rare show of kindness,
admitting to love being blindness,
said Nan was to blame
but able to claim
by birth her contrary inclined-ness.
Although humor continues unfolding,
and the Bank of Nantucket is holding
all Pa’s cash, his fair Nan
now again seeks a man
though no scoundrel that Pa would be scolding.
And as for his pail getting older
(and legend of rhyme that’s extolled her),
the size of the tale
now proves without fail
the Whaling Museum should hold her.
And Pa is convinced he’s enabled
Nantucket to proudly be labeled
of Magical Style
Where Stories and Stays Become Fabled.”
And he thinks he belongs here among
all the art Joyce and Johnson have hung
on each gallery wall
as the works that recall
how the songs of Nantucket are sung
by the talented women and men
re-creating again and again
enchantment and glory,
the landscape and story,
that Nantucket forever has been.
And Pa thinks our fine dining cuisine
—the Dune, Topper’s, and Galley Beach scene—
should feature tossed salad
befitting his ballad —
“Pa’s Bucket of Nantucket Green.”