Didactic Doggerel

A Truly Jumbo Shrimp

It’s said a jumbo shrimp’s an oxymoron.
A shrimp’s a little thing you put red sauce on

And gobble by the dozen boiled or fried.
Some of us could eat more if we tried.

Enter the tiger prawn, a new crustacean
Not native to these parts. They say it’s Asian.

The prawn has a voracious appetite
And is inclined to get into a fight

For food with native breeds, the white and brown.
This fact is causing fishermen to frown.

The foot-long Asian packs plenty of muscle.
He’d be the winner in a shrimp-league tussle.

The tiger loves what French calls “fruits de mer.”
We’d say a “seafood platter” over here:

Oysters, crabs, and shrimp. It makes you shudder.
The tiger eats his cousins for his dinner!

From any angle, that sticks in my craw.
For cannibals there ought to be a law.

The tiger’s tasty, though, and a sweet deal
If you consider that one is a meal.

If tiger drives the natives out of town,
He may acquire a dubious renown.

Wouldn’t it be wry, a real reversal,
If we called people shrimps who were colossal?


(Copyright 2018 James Mansfield Nichols. All rights reserved.)

About JMN

I live in Texas and devote much of my time to easel painting on an amateur basis. I stream a lot of music, mostly jazz, throughout the day, and watch Netflix and Prime Video for entertainment. I like to read and memorize poetry.
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6 Responses to Didactic Doggerel

  1. Eric Wayne says:

    I enjoyed that, and I rarely read poetry.

    Liked by 1 person

    • JMN says:

      Thank you! I’m careful to label my versifying “doggerel” and not poetry. These things I call “didactic” bubbled up in a certain context, and I’m putting them out there because they still amuse me. I want to find out more about what you do. I was struck by a graphic in the recent post of yours I read that looked like some seriously striking painting.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Eric Wayne says:

        I’m going to go with your “doggerel” being poetry. There was some pretty good music in that shrimp poem.

        Liked by 2 people

      • JMN says:

        Just found this. Extremely high praise. Thank you! I have felt for years that one writes (or paints, whatever) for two or three persons who matter. It’s a rare privilege to have that audience. I aspired to be a poet into my late twenties. It was a sour reckoning to move on from that to the messy business of earning a living. The transition will crop up in my journal, I’m sure. Best regards to you.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Eric Wayne says:

        Yeah, I imagine trying to have a career as a poet is next to impossible and harder than being an artist. It’s a medium, like photography, that anyone and everyone can do and butcher, and few can tell the difference in the results. Also, unlike an image, it takes obvious time to digest a poem. It takes probably as long for a good painting, but people can get some sense in an instant. Poetry you have to slowly savor.

        Liked by 2 people

      • JMN says:

        Excellent points all. I keep forgetting who said it, but one of my favorite quotes (by a poet) is “It’s much easier to write poetry than to read it.” I’m fairly content now to be a consumer of poetry with my little memorizing projects and all. But it’s hard to stay away from the scribbling!

        Liked by 2 people

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