Selections from Father Goosenagle by Col. Stoopnagle

[Editor’s Note: In his 1945 collection of nonsense poems, Father Goosenagle, Taylor (writing as Colonel Stoopnagle) demonstrates his talent for writing Edward Lear-esque pieces.  Here is a sampling from that book.]

Goosenagle Himself

At tennis, he is so absurd,

His game’s a crazy sort:

He hits himself across the net

And bounces on the court.


And when it comes to fishing,

His method, I will quote:

“I anchor in one spot all day,


And walk around the boat.”


The sidewalk’s nice and dry,

And his shoes are clean and neat,

so he steps down from the sidewalk

And splashes in the street.


He owns a great big telescope

With lenses, case and all;

But peers into the larger end

To make the big stuff small.


The way he makes a sandwich

Is quite beyond belief:

He puts one slice of bread between

Two slices of roast beef.


When guests come calling at his house,

He greets them with ‘Goodbye!’

And as they go, he says ‘Hello!’

Oh what a silly guy!


When summer comes,

With all its heat,

He puts galoshes on his feet;

His underwear is long and red,

A fur cap covers up his head.

But come the Winter,

Cold and drear,

No clothes at all

Is his career;


No wonder people

Stand and stare --

Our hero’s like

A polar.  Bare.



I. O. Ewe 

Someone swiped a female sheep

They couldn’t find a clue,

So the rancher bought another one

And gave his I. O. Ewe.



Wise Crock 

A crocodile now lives the life

Of Riley, on the Nile:

When he wants some radio,

He twists his croco-dial.



Did You Ever See? 

Did you ever see a pine-u-porc,

A backward porc-u-pine?

His head is where his tail should be,

A mighty strange design!

So when he fin’lly gets somewhere,

He’s back where he departed;

He thinks he’s where he thought he went

But hasn’t even started.



The Cedar 

Out in my yard grows a tree that’s a cedar

She keeps right on growing, yet I never feed ‘er!



Ptarm on My Hands 

I’ve tried to get in touch with a ptarmigan,

Ptarm and ptarm igan,

But THIS grouse

Is a louse!



The Kang Who Garoo 

The keepers built a bigger cage

In the animal house at the zoo;

Then fed the kang so much meringue, she

Garoo and garoo and garoo!



No Taxes 

No taxes, no rent,

No worries no more,

Just stands there, all bones,

On a museum floor;

No problems at all,

Nobody to roar at,

So what in the world

Is a dino--so--saur at?



Aard to Take 

The aardvark’s an animal

Whose name is fun to say;

He’s first in the dictionary

(Reason -- double A) --

One thing I’d like to see:

A cage out in the park,

With a conscientious aardvark,

Very aard at vark!



Blah, Blah! 

Blah, blah, white sheep,

Have you any chops?

Croak, croak, green frog,

Have you any hops?

Oink, oink, black pig,

Have you any ham?

Flow, flow, blue stream,

Have you any dam?



T. P. Tale 

When an Indian’s slee P,

He heads for his T. P.



Rancor’s Away 

Captain Jones and First Mate Smith

Were fighting on their tanker;

“Let’s be nice,” said Jones to Smith,

And so they dropped their rancor.



Great Big Oaks 

Great big oaks from acorns grow,

Then acorns grow on oaks;

Great big men from babies grow,

but then they’re known as folks.




Grandma does things backwards, --

The way she uses yarns!

Sitting in her arm-chair,

She’s always socking darns.


When salesmen come to Grandma’s door,

To sell Sa-po-lio,

SHE sells THEM her currant jam,

At fifty cents a throw!


Grandma’s eyes are getting bad,

Two pairs of specs she’s choosing;

One she puts beneath her chin,

The other’s just for losing.


And when the day is over,

She has a funny look,

Turns the pages of her bed

And hustles off to book.


[Stoopnagle, Colonel.  Father Goosenagle.  New York: Crown Publishers, 1945.]



Page created November 14, 2006.  Copyright 1998-2006 by Richard D. Squires.