{p7, pf: it’s all birds & bees}

Netherlands 2018 453

Where there is true winter, summertime sings.

Remember the ‘flu season? Remember how we thought it would NEVER go away? Remember how much coughing we did? Rejoice, and be exceedingly glad, for great is our reward. Hello, sunshine.


A velvet-legged bee bumbled by
While skyward, the swallows swooped by
A ricochet breeze came to ruffle the trees,
As suntime bid snowtime, “Goodbye!”

Every living thing is getting busy here in Delft, The Netherlands, where we’ve been for the past ten days. Mosquitoes are certainly active, in this balmy humidity (le sigh), but also bumblebees the size of 747’s and all manner of interesting beetles and swallows and magpies and waterfowl and oh, the swans. Nasty, hissing creatures, but such grace.

With all of this vacationing going on – and the number of guests we’ve had traipsing through our rented flat – I’ve rather overfocused on the birds and the bees, and not as much on the poetry. Fortunately, this month it’s limericks, which shouldn’t take me long at all. In theory.

My very helpful houseguests all know that I have this monthly challenge. “Oh, a limerick!” they crow. “I can help with that! There was a young lady from Delft… um….” and then they run into trying to rhyme Delft three times with ANYTHING, and finally shrug. “It’s harder than I thought.” Well, yes. Yes, it is.

So, while it is violently cloudbursting – we get a couple of these a day, and then they pass and everyone goes back out for a bike ride and gelato – I shall take a moment and flog my brain for a suitable rhyme on the theme of “the birds and the bees.” Ahem.

Pond Dancin’

A waterbug skimming along
Tried to dance to an eider duck’s song
Pirouette with a turn was all he could learn –
He got dizzy and sank before long.

Netherlands 2018 66

(Technically, this isn’t quite a duck; I’ve heard it called a water hen… in common parlance, this is a coot, but does anyone know why its babies have red feathers when as adults they’re b&w? They’re a mystery…)

To a Waterfowl

A duckling is made out of fluff.
If that isn’t precious enough,
Canals where they’re found with lilies abound –
(Not “awww”-ing is actually quite tough.)


The warm air says ‘Springtime!’ – so sweet
In the market square, played on repeat
Are hand-clasps and hallos, a cheerful buzz grows
As neighbors meet friends on the street.

Invariably, limericks will wander off-topic… but, hey, jogging. Exercise. That’s seasonal, right? Right.

Netherlands 2018 33

Delft has a Thursday market and a Saturday market, and you can get bakery goods and sundries and produce at them both, and flowers on Thursday and antiques on Saturday. It is …wow. The best combination of a farmer’s market and a flea market. I could hang out and just stall-shop all day. I bought some random soaps that look like limes – enough so that I could put them on the table and someone would try to slice them. They smell amazing.


On holiday, meals are sublime
and missing a treat seems a crime.
but, a girl can mistake her longing for cake
for desire to jog all the time…

And now, back on topic…


Mosquitoes play tag in the rain.
Well, young ones do – old ones abstain.
There’s duty to do – tourists to pursue,
Before they end up as bloodstains.

(Well, one can hope, anyway.)

So, how did the rest of my Sisters deal with the birds and the bees and the limericks? Here’s Laura swooping in, Tricia fluttering over, and Sara buzzing by. We’ll zoom over to Liz, and Kelly. Andi is in the garden, trying to keep ahead of the weeds!

Poetry Friday this week is hosted at Buffy Silverman’s Blog.

12 Replies to “{p7, pf: it’s all birds & bees}”

  1. STROOPWAFELS!!!! I think I’m so in love with them because the first time I ate one was a dank and drizzly spring morning. It was magical! Balanced across a coffee cup. Swoon.

    And now that I’ve shrieked over food, I can go back and admire the poetry.

  2. I guess I need to get over to Flickr and see what I’ve been missing…what I’ll be seeing in a couple of weeks! We’ll definitely save a day for Delft.

    I was a little thrown by your four line limericks at first, but now I like them that way! What a collection!

  3. OMG! How many limericks did you write? These are amazing. I especially love the water bug poem.

    I’ve been following along whenever new pictures get added to Flickr and I’m blown away by the beauty, the churches, the art, just all of it. Wish I could join you for tea and a stroopwafel.

  4. Wow, you were on a limerick tear–and on vacation, no less. Makes me feel like a slacker! We were in Amsterdam for one lovely day–would love to see more of the Netherlands. Though maybe not the mosquitoes. These are all delightful–though I will say I have never personally mistaken my desire for cake for a desire to jog. Not once. I just love the exuberance in all of these. Enjoy the rest of your trip!

    1. @Laura: We were here last in… 1999. The Netherlands was the first place I’d ever been in Europe, and thus has a special spot in my heart. It was MAGICAL back then, but I was so overwhelmed I didn’t really SEE anything, you know? A lot of canals and cheese and a blur. Now, we came back and just are taking our time instead of racing around.

      A childhood friend moved here, and an exchange student I met also lives here, and it was a good excuse to find a “spot in the middle” for our friends from the UK to visit us (not truly the MIDDLE but no one wants to meet up in the Atlantic, oddly). I do hope you get go come back and visit Delft and Eindhoven and Gierthoorn and all the other amazing places. I am going to come back, but plan to learn the language first…!

  5. This is brilliant — you could’ve kept going and going — an entire travelogue in limerick form!!
    I love the all — the bumbling bee, the duckling fluff, the stroopwafels!
    Thank you for this….

  6. Stroopwafels!!! I can find them in the US, but they’re not as good as fresh ones. Those things are amazing. (And nothing rhymes with them, either, so I guess I can’t write a limerick about them. Phooey) Anyhooooo…..this was a fun assignment, so fun that I felt like I was cheating, whipping off three of them. I can understand why you did more…once you get in the swing, it’s hard to stop. (Earworm form, anyone?) But you also managed to capture some lovely moments, too, which I heartily admire. That Pond Dancin’ one! It just sings….and has the perfect amount of funny, too.

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