June 23, 2022

Two Rediscovered Limericks

I’ve been going through old papers and came upon some poems I have never made public. The poems—limericks, actually—were written in April 2006.

The two poems below were written by me with the help of a friend. A decade and a half later, I cannot remember just who contributed what to them.

Robert W. Duncan
Robert W. Duncan
Some context: The poems refer to Robert W. Duncan, who was the Episcopal Bishop of Pittsburgh in 2006. Duncan had been plotting the removal of the diocese from the Episcopal Church. Two years later, he partially succeeded, separating a majority of its parishes from the diocese but failing to abscound with the diocese itself and a smaller number of its parishes. The schism was effected only after the Episcopal Church had already deposed Duncan a few weeks earlier.

For readers unfamiliar with recent Episcopal Church history, I should explain that “a canon named Vicky” in the second poem refers to Vicky Gene Robinson, a canon and gay man who was elected Bishop of New Hampshire. (Why Bishop Robinson has an odd Christian name is another story.) Bob Duncan opposed homosexuality and the ordination of homosexuals. The church’s stance regarding homosexuals was a major rationale Duncan cited justifying his schismatic actions.

Finally, the word “nawab,” also in the second poem, is likely unfamiliar to most readers. It is pronounced with the accent on the second syllable. It is a synonym of “nabob,” a more common word but one that would have created an inferior rhyme.

The poems—

Bishop Bob #1

There once was a bishop named Bob
Who was unfulfilled by his job;
To be a big fish
Was his passionate wish,
So he’d lie, cheat, deceive, plot, and rob.

Bishop Bob #2

There once was a bishop named Bob
Who yearned to become a nawab;
Soon a canon named Vicky,
Whose sex life was icky,
Spurred the bishop to seek a new job.

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