Mixed Metaphors, Clichés and Proverbs



A leopard cannot change while the sun shines

/it is clear/

all that glitters in its spots will cross the bridge

before the swine//

so desist from putting your cart ahead to skin a cat!


There’s more than one way to lose one’s best friend,

/believe me/

don’t cast your pearls far from the tree.

Heed my advice//               good things come to those

who hang him.

Make your hay and spare my rod.

One man’s meat is not gold and an apple

never falls

to catch the worm.

If one man’s dog is another man’s poison, why does the early bird not bite

the hand

that waits?

/and is not heard/


This is in partial (and inadequate) response to a prompt by Bjorn over at dVerse Poets. He invites us to mix our metaphors, but I’ve chosen some proverbs and sayings, which produced some unusual insights when jiggled and matched anew. The formatting isn’t quite right – it just doesn’t work on the screen/online as it does on my notebook. Here’s to the superior power of the printed page!


35 thoughts on “Mixed Metaphors, Clichés and Proverbs”

  1. Perhaps the format wasn’t what you’d have dreamed of, Marina Sofia. But there’s a lot to reflect on here. I think that’s what’s wonderful about metaphors, proverbs and the like. There’s so much there to mentally digest…

  2. You aligned yourself bang on with Bjorn’s advice about cliches; whipping up a joyous ride through the chaff-gardens, madhouses, funhouse mirrored chambers, & Lewis Carroll tea parties. I like the lines
    /good things come to those/who hang him/. For some reason I first read it /who hangs me/ which is even more macabre.

  3. Oh, I will have to read this a few times…..to piece together the parts of the puzzle!
    Great exercise in creative writing….while I struggle to make two words rhyme!

  4. Ah, very clever crafting here, Marina Sofia; I recognize many of those mixed cliches, and I like the way you wove them together. I especially like ‘don’t cast your pearls far from the tree.’

    1. Thank you, Linda. I read a publisher’s comment recently about how difficult it is to do justice to poems in e-books, because you can be so much more adventurous with the printed page.

  5. Oh what fun it was to ride in a one hoarse open slay….The formatting often does not cooperate but in spite of it, the mixed metaphors and different views of a metaphor worked wonderfully well!

    1. Do you know, I really thought as a child that there was some slaying involved in Jingle Bells, and didn’t understand why everyone loved that so!

  6. My God I try to desist, but sometimes you just gotta bite the hand…
    Anna :o]

      1. Yes, so many of our metaphors have their origins in farming and animals, but that’s not so pertinent now-days. Perhaps the “he’s a real 404” a web link with nothing in it, type of expression is more like what will be used in the future. What do you think ?

  7. Really enjoyed this. Wondered what was coming next! And really thought provoking – some of their origins are quite bizarre, I’d imagine! Thank you for making me smile! x

Do share your thoughts!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.