The 2023 Tramping Calendar Haiku and Limerick Competition – chapter 2

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  • #55091 Reply
    Tony Gazley

    The Inaugural Tramping Calendar Haiku and Limerick Competition 

    by Harry Smith

    Chapter 1. Struck by an inspiration.

    As regular readers of this website will know, every year Tony Gazley produces a tramping calendar. And every year I somehow get roped in unwillingly to review it. For the last two years I have miraculously managed to avoid it, but now the nightmare is back. “I assume you are really keen….” says Tony in his email to me informing me of my participation, in a tone of voice that brooks no argument and suggests that some Cockney heavies will be coming around and knocking over the vases with long drawn-out exclamations of “oops” if I dare to say no. So it appears I am stuck with it.

    How can I ease the agony, I found myself wondering.  Looking back, I remembered that for the 2020 calendar I wrote the review as a long poem or rap, and Aimee Paterson responded with a nice concise haiku. And then inspiration struck. “That’s it!” I cried. “I can get …

    Chapter 2. Saving the vases.

    …the punters to write the review themselves, and even make it fun!” Brilliant! And so for this year I proudly announce the
    Inaugural Tony Gazley Tramping Calendar Haiku and Limerick Competition. 
    The idea (apart from sparing me some work and saving my vases) is for club members to compose limericks or haikus corresponding to the photos in the calendar.  I’m sure there is a lot of hidden literary talent out there!

    A pack-rafter floats on a lake;
    It’s the Tasman, without a mistake.
    I hope they don’t fall in,
    That would be appallin’
    That water’s damn cold and opaque.

    What is a limerick?

    I’ve sure everybody knows what a limerick is, but just in case you don’t, it’s a five-line verse-form in running triple time which rhythmically goes something like this:
    diddy DUM diddy DUM diddy DUM
    diddy DUM diddy DUM diddy DUM
    diddy DUM diddy DUM
    diddy DUM diddy DUM
    diddy DUM diddy DUM diddy DUM
    The number of unstressed syllables at the beginning and the end of the lines can vary slightly, as long as it maintains the triple time rhythm.
    Lines 1, 2, and 5 have to rhyme with each other, as do lines 3 and 4. 
    Generally in a limerick, lines 1 and 2 set the scene, lines 3 and 4 provide a development, and line 5 provides a denouement or punchline.
    The best limericks are usually humorous, witty, or clever. It’s not really a form for deep philosophical contemplation.

    A bridge in the night
    Dissolving into darkness;
    Leads to adventure.

    What is a haiku? 

     A haiku is a Japanese three-line verse-form in which

    #55098 Reply
    Watson (Dr)

    To cross a long bridge at night
    Will certainly give you a fright
    It’s likely to sway
    Or even give way
    So why not just wait till it’s light.

    #55197 Reply

    Excellent Watson! But could I suggest that “in the night” would scan better than “at night”? You have to take care of the small details if you hope to win a prize!

    #55198 Reply
    Watson (Dr)

    What defines you Sherlock is that you pay attention to what isn’t there, not just what is. I know now why you had Inspector Gregory stumped.

    And I thought I had nailed that one – it was to be my winning entry in the competition. But you are right as always – and now my next attempt will have to be better.


    #55199 Reply

    That’s right Watson – pay attention to what isn’t there, not just what is. Remember the curious incident of the dog in the night!

    #55200 Reply

    Do Dogs in the Night
    Cross swing-bridges silently
    without warning barks?

    #55201 Reply
    M Hudson

    Dogs hate wire bridges
    Their small paws slip through the gaps-

    #55229 Reply

    Very good Mrs Hudson – a worthy effort. It even perhaps contains a hint of the symbolic or metaphorical meaning which is found in many good haikus.

    #55265 Reply
    Tony Gazley

    Ngauruhoe and Red Crater

    #55385 Reply
    Misunderstood Cockney Heavy

    Give us a break, Guv!
    It ain’t all beer ‘n’ skittles
    bein’ a ‘eavy!

    The prerequisite
    broken nose an’ facial scars
    is ‘ard to aquire,

    the pay is lousy,
    an’ we don’t get overtime
    smashin’ up vases.

    That Gazley geezer’s
    always orderin’ us off
    on his little “jobs” –

    a vase or two here,
    a reluctant writer there –
    always on the go.

    An’ then we ‘ave to
    clean up all that broken glass
    an’ them pools of blood –

    no time for a rest,
    to sample the wine of life
    an’ smell the roses.

    An’ you know that “oops”?
    Sounds easy, don’t it, Guv’nor?
    Easy, my left foot!

    Takes years of practice
    to get that menacing tone –
    ask ‘Arold Pinter!

    And the rhymin’ slang?
    All that “pork pies” and “jam tarts”?
    That “trouble ‘n’ strife”?

    It’s all Greek to me,
    but the clients expect it
    so what can you do?

    But sometimes I’ll say
    “Welsh rarebit” or “quiche Lorraine”
    just to confuse ’em!

    They don’t mean nuffin’ –
    just a spot of humour for
    us Cockney ‘Eavies!

    But the worst bit, Guv?
    The very worst bit of all?
    Want me to tell ya?

    The worst bit of all
    is the gnawin’ inner doubt,
    the long sleepless nights,

    the endless anguish
    of knowin’ that all you are
    and ever will be,

    the only reason
    you wuz put upon this earth
    with other geezers,

    the only reason
    you appear in this ‘ere post
    on this ‘ere website,

    the only reason
    for your existence at all
    in this ‘eartless world

    is to be some clown,
    some stock cartoon character,
    some comic relief.

    #55429 Reply
    Misunderstood Cockney Heavy

    ‘Ello all you tramper geezers! Misunderstood Cockney ‘Eavy ‘ere again. I thought I’d ‘ave a go at this ‘ere limerick lark! ‘Ere’s one about that nice photo right up at the top – the one wiv 2023 tramping NZ calendar written on it. Let me know wot you think.

    That climber there’s ‘igh in the ‘ills.
    Then ice-covered ‘ills gimme chills!
    They make me go BLIMEY!
    They look quite unclimby!
    But it’s ‘ow all them climbers get thrills.

    #55430 Reply
    Misunderstood Cockney Heavy

    Oooooops-a-daisy! That shoulda been “Them ice-covered ‘ills”, not “Then ice-covered ‘ills”. Ya got to be real careful wiv these limerick things!

    #55433 Reply

    How does one view and order the 2023 Tramping Calendar? It would appear the Tararuaphotos website isn’t yet caught up with the next edition!

    #55587 Reply
    Tony G

    It won’t be long now
    All will become obvious
    After chapter 4

    #55792 Reply
    Misunderstood Cockney Heavy

    ‘ello again you geezers! We ain’t ‘ad no vases to smash up this week, so I just came up wiv this ‘ere creation about them awful-lookin’ volcanoes in that photo up above.

    Them volcanic ‘ills look real scary.
    I don’t think I’ll go there – I’m wary
    Of tumblin’ in 
    Right up to me chin –
    Instead I’ll nip down to the dairy.

    An’ that track over ’em looks real ‘airy.
    An’ them gases make geezers real teary.
    If you fell in you’d bake
    Like an over-cooked cake –
    So I’ll just ‘ave a pint and get beery.

    An’ them lava flows look bleak and eerie.
    An’ the sunlight on ’em can be glary.
    An’ you’d fry and you’d frizzle
    Like an overdone riss’le –
    Or that’s what I reckon – my theory.

    That ‘ole landscape looks ex-planetary.
    All that rock an’ that ash is so dreary.
    An’ even a mobster
    Would bake like a lobster
    If ‘e fell in that ‘ole – Mother Mary!

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