(Illustration: Eric Shansby)

It’s jokes-retold-as-poems time again

For some this causes pleasure; others, pain.

Today, an added challenge for the skittish:

Pronunciation here is sometimes British.

The Neighbor’s Confession

In the style of a Shakespearean sonnet

“I’ve done a dreadful thing and must admit it,”

The e-mail from old George, next door, began.

“When you were out of town, I fear I did it —

I used your wife. I am a guilty man.”

“Your wife is yours; to help myself, unjust!

(It’s sad to say: At home, I do not get it.)

I pledge to you I’ll win back all your trust. ...

And be a better neighbor, to my credit.”

Up leapt the man, raced over to his spouse

“You DARE to cheat on me with ugly George?

Now who’s the fool? Why, I have known the house

And bed of sexy widow Belle LaForge!”

Just then, a beep from his computer screen:

“Darn auto-correct! Your WiFi’s what I mean.”

The Son’s Ambition

In the style of an American sextet

My teenage son informed me just the other day

That his career ambition — how he wants to earn his pay —

Is by cleaning mirrors (both bathroom kind, and vanity).

Over this I chewed until it nearly stole my sanity.

When I asked him to explain this strange path he was pursuing,

He answered, “It’s just something I could see myself doing.”

The Jewish Samurai

In the style of a 16th-century heroic sonnet

Attempting to his palace glamorize,

An ancient Asian king put out some calls

To find among the land’s best samurais

The finest one to roam his royal halls.

A Chinese man, the first of three to show

Espied a fly, and quick with gleaming blade

The fly he halved with but a single blow!

Then, at the kingly feet the insect laid.

Japan is where the second man was hatched.

Another fly, another flash of sword

In quarters was this second fly dispatched!

By this new feat the king was plainly floored

Jerusalem was home to swordsman three

Again, a fly, again a steel blade flew.

But ’twas no death — the insect floated free

“Explain this failure, man,” said king to Jew.

“’Tis no great task, my lord, a fly to kill ...

“But circumcision, that requires skill.”

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