There Once Was a Man from Nantucket
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A New and Lighthearted Challenge for the Times


For decades, Yesterday’s Island/Today’s Nantucket (now celebrating our 50th year!) has challenged readers to add to the original Nantucket Limericks. The ORIGINAL limericks, not the ones that make us blush. You can read them here along with more recent additions.

While we all shelter in place here on Nantucket Island and elsewhere, we are challenging folks to submit new chapters of this Limerick Challenge about life on Nantucket during the pandemic. We will publish the best online AND will select some for prizes — gift cards to businesses on Nantucket.

EMAIL YOUR ENTRIES TO US at with the subject line of “Nantucket Limerick Challenge.”

Remember: limericks should have five lines that follow the rhythm in the example below.

Here’s one to get this challenge started:
There once was a man from Nantucket
Who kept all his TP in a bucket.
When the stores ran out,
He wandered about
Giving squares to all who would tucket.

Our first entry was written by Michael Alvarez:
There once was a man from Nantucket
Who told the apocalypse it could “Suck it!”
So he sheltered at home,
And dared not to roam,
Less he ends up in Hell via hand bucket.

And the second was written by Mary Longacre:
At home on my self-quarantine
For fear of the Covid-19,
I’ve finished my chores,
And now I’m so bored.
It’s only 11:15!

Received on March 26 by CJ & Jenni Lanktree…
There once was a man from Nantucket
He grew daffodils in his bucket
When the flowers appeared,
He knew Spring was near,
But this virus pandemic does sucket!

And by Diane Tomas…
There once was a man from Nantucket
Who loved clams so much he said shuck-it.
When the cupboards were bare,
He had not a care,
Cuz he had his rusty old rake and his bucket.

Just in from Bob Lyons…
There once was a man from Nantucket
Who’s scallop knife was so sharp he could shuck it.
When the high tide rolled in,
And his waders wore thin,
He retreated to the pub and said #$&@ *&.

And a new chapter in from C. McConnell…
There once was a woman from Surfside
Who was all out of rice for her stir fry.
“I’m afraid to go out
To the store,” she did pout,
She called Faregrounds for delivery curbside.

Doug Harris from “across the pond” in the UK penned 2 verses…
Like everywhere else, in Nantucket
The virus got loose – ran amok, it
      Refused to rescind
      For those standing downwind,
Oh so many not able to duck it.

But the fellow we know from Nantucket
Has emptied the cash from his bucket
      And filled it with bleach
      Disinfection to teach –
The way, with a virus, to chuck it.

Here is another limerick written by Mary Longacre:
Nantucket’s an island we know
Where plenty of summer folks go.
But during this spring,
We’re all sheltering,
So hope not to see them now, though.

And a new chapter by Richard Pykosz:
They said “stay at home” in Nantucket,
Yet out to the beaches we truck it.
But I ask your assistance,
in keeping your distance,
There’s just one roll left, I must pluck it!

Here’s another new (and seasonal) chapter by Mary Longacre:
So Daffodil Weekend is shot
Figawi, Wine Festival – not
We try and we try
To keep spirits high
At least we can always buy pot!

And the rather mysterious “Portly Bard” penned a series of 4 limericks for us:
There once was a man from Nantucket,
Who toted an alcohol bucket.
So a hand he immersed
Would no longer be cursed
By COVID done in where he stuck it.

‘Twas a story folks loved to retell
So he built and filled buckets to sell
And acquired his wealth
By preserving our health
Doing business as “Alco-Haul Well.”

And that led to hermetically sealed
Sterile wipes to dry hands he had healed,
That he cleverly made
So they’d biodegrade,
Which he knew to so many appealed.

It was anchors aweigh as we say
For his profit on opening day.
When crowds began telling
The world he was selling

And the “Portly Bard” continues his part of the tale:
But it didn’t end there, he was part
of Nantucket’s historic restart
when he proved from a barrel
he could fashion apparel
that would keep us together apart.

Even Paris said “C’est magnifique!”
to the billow of clothing unique
and the profit so bloated
at Nantucket’s now noted
“Social Distance Insistence Boutique”.

To his swimwear, reaction ecstatic
seemed to flow from the liners pneumatic,
a life-saving design
for those braving the brine
with a confidence far more emphatic.

So with marketing sense rather smart– 
by appeal to the beach-going heart  —
with his suits labeled “DareWear,”
that featured safe “AirWare.”
he had sales going off of the chart.

We have 2 more entries to add for the weekend:
All the shops of the Grey Lady have closed
At least it’s Spring and no one has froze
But if this doesn’t end fast
And become a thing of the past
Folks will be wiping their butts with a hose.
–Sent in by Laura Keane with credit to Craig D’Andrea

There once was a man from Nantucket
Who saw covid was on Town docket
He said to his friends
Hope this nightmare ends
And we all end up back with “Our Tucket.”
–Sent in by Jennifer Satterfield

During the time of the plague on Nantucket,
Some from America decided to chuck it.
They sheltered in place
On this clean wind-swept space,
Wearing Nantucket Red masks to duck it
–Sent in by Rod Starbuck Learned
Wichita, KS  (Edward Starbuck’s great-13th grandson)

We’ve summer’ed each year on Nantucket,
Forty years in a row and can’t duck it,
Now we’re barred from the isle,
Caused by virus a while,
To COVID 19 we say “$@%* @&“!
penned by Bruce McBrearty, Osprey, FL

Visit this page frequently to see the new “Man (and Woman) on Nantucket during the Pandemic” limericks. We’ll add them as we receive them. Remember to include your name and your city & state.

Articles by Date from 2012