Posted by: Brad Nixon | March 9, 2018

Western Civilization Totters. We Have the Poems to Prove It.

Western Civilization is chock full of Serious Things. I’m taking a radical step, because it’s time for a break. It’s the end of a busy week packed with weighty, ponderous matters to consider. Poetry can help us weather the vicissitudes of life, right? It’s time for the first-ever Under Western Skies blog post devoted to my original poetry.

These are examples of a sophisticated, erudite form of poetry: Limericks. Each one is about a city or place I’ve featured in the blog in the past year or so. The single requirement is that the place name be used as a rhyme. Click on any place name to see a post about it.

Bologna, Italy

134 Bologna Brad Nixon (640x475)

I rode in a cab through Bologna.
My driver a woman named Sonia.
When we reached the piazza
That pazza ragazza
Just drove off and left me alogna.

Venice, Italy

Venice traghetto Brad Nixon 6341 (640x480)

A clueless young fellow named Dennis
Had his vacation spoiled in Venice.
After touring that town
And its sights of renown
He wrote home: “Flooded streets here — a menace!”

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, California

Anza Borrego Brad Nixon 6831 (480x640)

Some folks in a big Winnebago
Took a drive out to Anza-Borrego.
On a steep downhill grade
Too much speed soon they made
And they bid the road, “Hasta luego.”

Joshua Tree National Park, California

Joshua Tree Brad Nixon 6188 (640x473)

A hiker in Joshua Tree
Doesn’t rave ’bout the vast scenery.
He ignored a wise Ranger
Who warned of the danger
And sat down on a cactus, oh me.

Pisa, Italy

Pisa tower Brad Nixon 145 (480x640)

A heedless young woman named Lisa
Lost her purse near the tower of Pisa
That was bad, things got worse
With the loss of that purse,
For she’s stuck there now; she lost her visa.

Eureka, California

Redwood National Park Brad Nixon 7397 (640x480)

An eager and apt knowledge seeker
Went to old Humboldt State in Eureka.
But the hardship and strife
Of the northwestern life
Sent him packing to live in Topeka.

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Garden of the Gods Brad Nixon 120 (480x640)

I once spent a week in the Springs
And encountered all manner of things.
One of the best places:
The lovely Three Graces
Where you savor the joy nature brings.

Eugene, Oregon

Mt Spencer OR Brad Nixon 7435 (640x475)

When you’re feeling low down, beat and mean,
I suggest you head up to Eugene.
Where the forests of trees
Are caressed by the breeze
And you just feel “well born” in that scene.

Chaco Culture National Historical Park (Chaco Canyon)

Chaco Canyon Fajada view Brad Nixon 4041 (640x480)

I met an old fellow named Paco
Who was hiking the trails out in Chaco.
He had quite lost his way
Early on in the day
And he thought it was eastern Morocco.

Orange California Brad Nixon 8683 (640x426)

Orange, California

Off in Wales in a long-ago time
I went up a steep peak for a climb.
I met up on the Blorange
With a woman from Orange
Who said “Only here do we rhyme!”

And you thought I’d be stuck! There IS a word that rhymes with orange: the Blorange, a mountain in Wales. I wrote about it here.

If Western Civilization is lucky, it’ll be another eight years before I publish any more poetry.

© Brad Nixon 2018


  1. Moracco?
    As to 8 years, I think it should perhaps be 10 – one for each of those. A punishment befitting the crime, although I’d take arguments in favour of backdating the sentence to the start of your tenure here…;)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I do hope I get credit for time served. I doubt there’s any consolation in hearing that these are the BEST ones. See you in 2 years when I get out.


  2. Interesting rhymes, and excellent pictures, I really like the ones of the western united states. I know they are in your backyard, but those landscapes have so much character. What was your favourite place in Europe. Venice looks amazing from the pictures I’ve seen, but I’m sure it is way too commercial.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Some of the western sites are relatively nearby, but it’s a big “back yard.” Eugene is 880 miles north, Colorado Springs 1,100 miles east.
      Venice stands atop the places I’ve seen in this world. I’ve been back numerous times, now over a span of more than 45 years. The crowds in summer are atrocious, thanks to the cruise ships, but you should go. Go in off season. You may be chilly, but it’s a world of it’s own, unlike anywhere else. Stay in the city at least one night, and walk around in a place where there are only the sounds of footsteps, human voices and water. Every turn reveals another neighborhood. If the main squares are packed with visitors in daytime, head down a street away from the major sites. There’s a genuine city still to be seen. Thanks as always for commenting.


      • I know how big the American West is…. But at least its not like 8000 miles

        Liked by 1 person

      • Which I count as a blessing as often as possible. Thank you.


      • “Venice” is my favorite limerick. Really funny. And clever. Grazi!


      • Some will recognize that I lifted the concept from Robert Benchley, who arrived in Venice in the 1930s and telegraphed the actor David Niven: “Streets full of water. Advise.”


  3. Intrepid, that traveler named Brad
    who preferred to take good with the bad.
    Through the cities and plains
    he was heard to exclaim,
    “If this gives me a poem, I’ll be glad!”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, thank you. I don’t think I’ve ever been addressed in poesy before!


  4. […] A poetic blog post I read this week and a St. Patrick’s Day-inspired limerick contest that later arrived in my email sent me down the green limerick road for a bit of research as well as writing: […]


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