The Oxymoron Poem

I used to love this silly poem when dad would recite it to us.  He loved poetry and he loved nonsense.  So it was a perfect fit.

Ladies and Gentlemen!  Hobos and Tramps!

Cross eyed mosquitoes and bow legged ants!

Admission is free, please pay at the door.

Pull up a chair and sit on the floor.

I stand here beside you to sit down behind you

To tell you all something I know nothing about.

One fine day in the middle of the night

Two dead men got up to fight.

Back to back they faced one another,

Drew their swords and shot eachother, .

A blind man came to see fair play,

A dumb man came to shout hurray!

A mute onlooker shrieked in fright

And a lame man danced at the ghastly sight.

A deaf policeman heard the noise

And came to arrest the two dead boys.

A paralysed donkey passing by

Kicked them all and made them fly.

Knocked them through a nine inch wall

Into a dry ditch and drowned them all.

If you don’t believe this lie is true

Ask the blind man.  He saw it too.

(There are other versions, but this is the one I remember.)

38 thoughts on “The Oxymoron Poem

  1. That’s great. I taught poetry as part of library classes I gave to montessori kids years agao, and in nonsense verse I had this one, but the whole first part I hadn’t seen before. They’re fun to make up yourself as well.


  2. I learned a shorter and slightly different version as a kid. The part that’s different: There is going to be a ladies meeting, strictly for men. The admission is free so pay at the door. There are plenty of seats so sit on the floor. Now let us get down to history. That’s all I remember ; – )


  3. I love thus bit of nonsense. Thank you so much for sharing. Thank you for visiting my blog today. I appreciate the time you took to stop by. May your day be filled with joy and peace.


  4. I`ve not heard that before thank you. What came to my mind was `Yesterday, upon the stair I saw a man who wasn`t there. He wasn`t there again today. I wish that he would go away`. 🙂


  5. I loved your longer version! What fun it is!
    I’m going to try and memorize a version that blends yours with the one I know from childhood:

    One bright day in the middle of the night,
    Two dead boys got up to fight;
    One was blind and the other couldn’t see,
    So they called the devil for a ref-er-ee.
    Back to back they faced each other;
    Drew their swords and shot each other.
    A deaf policeman heard the noise,
    And he beat the life out of two dead boys!


  6. A version from back in the “50s:
    “Leadheads and jellyfish, bedbugs and mice, cross-eyed mosquitoes and bowlegged lice. I stand here before you, not behind you, to address you, not to undress you. Last night about 8 o’clock this morning, an empty truck loaded with bricks sped slowly down the back alley, ran over a dead cat and almost killed it. Rushed it to the hospital and found the nurses sick. Looked up 10 stories down, saw the doctors eating vinegar with a paper fork made of iron . . .

    Liked by 1 person

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