Prairie Limericks 2018

Thank you very much to everyone who took the time to write prairie limericks!  Including them all here would have created a monstrously long post, so I just chose some of my favorites.  I’d encourage everyone to go read the others in the comments section of my initial limerick post.  There are some very talented and creative writers following this blog!!  I’m very impressed and humbled.

Ah, the splendor and intricacy of the limerick…  the perfect vehicle with which to espouse the wonders of prairies.  Or to make fun of prairie ecologists.  Or both!  I hope you enjoy these spectacular examples of prairie limericks as much as I did.  If you didn’t have time to contribute this time around, save them – I’ll try to remember to do this again next year.  (Remind me if I forget!)

My prairie friend, Chris, is a meanie.
He hates trees from his toes to his beanie.
But trees have their place
in earth’s greater space
If you hate ‘em you’re just a weenie!

Sandy Benson


With bluestem so bushy and bold,
and Indian grass turning gold,
the prairie’s rich treasure
provides far more pleasure
than goods that are purchased or sold.

Linda Leinen

There’s this Helzer guy named Chris
known as The Prairie Ecologist.
He teaches us much
about prairies and such,
so his blogs should never be missed!

Chris Muldoon

I wish I had a prairie
With its own prairie fairy
She’d lay down free seeds
And magic the weeds
Making management so much less hairy

Inger Lamb

Those cows that are happily grazing,
Purport to do something amazing!
More carbon in soil,
And yet I recoil
When methane so loudly is blazing!

Jon Fisher

Whether grazing with bison or cattle,
One’s decision can cause a pitched battle.
But in prairies today,
Both grow fat on good hay,
And will rarely be felled by atlatl.

Karen de Boer

When grasses start whispering poems,
their stories at last will be known.
They gather together
through fair and rough weather —
the bluestem, the muhly, the brome.

Linda Leinen

Prairie Limerick Challenge! – Brought to you by Pete’s Plants

I spent last week in Houston, attending The Nature Conservancy’s Global Science Gathering. It was a great meeting and I came away with lots of ideas for thought-provoking blog posts.  This isn’t one of them.

One night at dinner, in the midst of a wide-ranging discussion, a friend mentioned participating in a challenge to turn scientific journal articles into poems. Without really meaning to, I immediately composed a bad limerick about the value of fire in prairies.  (I’m not really right in the head.)  Since that night, my brain keeps trying to write more limericks about prairies.  Rather than keep all the fun to myself, I thought maybe we could turn it into a communal activity.  

I felt like I needed a photo of some kind for this post.  I picked out this one, which I think looks like a happy face in the ice.  

As a result, I’m introducing The Prairie Ecologist’s first annual Prairie Limerick Contest.  Send me your best prairie-themed limericks in the comments section below and I’ll pick out my favorites to share in an upcoming post.

Here’s an example to get your creative juices flowing:

Joe loved prairies with flowers and bees,
But his poor kids were filled with unease
“We hate this,” they chorused
“Let’s move to the forest!”
He said “Sure, just get rid of the trees!”

I should mention, this contest is sponsored by Pete’s Plants, a totally fake company that offers everything you need for establishing a backyard prairie garden or large-scale grassland restoration project.  In addition to their sponsorship, Pete’s Plants even provided their own limerick (below). Thank you to Pete and all his staff!