Three Line Quips

I was under the delusion that I’d written more than 50 haiku over the last 6 years, though I realised I was not following the accepted guidelines/rules as I gave them titles, punctuation and the first line didn’t hint at a season. They did have a three line 5-7-5 syllable format, but after Macclesfield Creative Writing Group’s workshop on haiku and tanka (and clerihews) last Thursday led by Sandy Milsom, I’ve decided they need to be rebranded. Here are two and, from the workshop, what I hope is a haiku and an almost tanka.

Haiku 1: Masquerade becomes Three Line Quip 1: Masquerade

The fox clutched the crow

in its maw. I caught a glimpse

and saw masked Zorro.

(written 1st. February, 2010)

Haiku 26: Haiku 26th. July becomes Three Line Quip 26: 26th. July

The food is superb

at the “Fidel and Raul”,

two star Castro-pub.

(written 3rd. January, 2013)


snow-covered hill tops

overlook wind farm forest

sprouting from the sea

(written 18th. February, 2016)


Tanka 1: Seasons

Rime of frost on leaves,

Autumn litter lingering still.

Soon the time to dig,

turn the clammy soil like worms

in search of precious harvest.

(written 18th. February, 2016)









Oh, no. Now it’s Limerickets. These were dashed off for last Friday’s Alderley Park Cricket Club annual dinner and wisely kept under wraps. Martin Losse and Robin Farmer hold the Ist. XI career records for bowling and batting, respectively.


It’s a funny old game is our cricket:

2 teams, bat and ball on a wicket.

Till mid-20th. Century,

it was Players and Gentry,

yet no other ball game could lick it.


And characters from Grace to the Don

hitting hundreds or bowled out for none,

took it all in their stride,

bouncer, yorker or wide,

and the flame of their fame still lives on.


I grew up in the age of the quickies:

Wes Hall; Michael Holding, so slick his

nickname was “Whispering Death”.

The crowd to a man held its breath

whilst the batsman tried not to shit brickies.


To play for Yorkshire with Fiery Fred,

you had to be a Tyke born and bred.

Residence qualifications

now make us United Nations,

so that’s the way forward instead.


Our Test teams have all kinds of blokes:

Trott, Pietersen, Morgan, Ben Stokes.

Thank the Lords for the latter,

a magnificent batter,

a joy to the eye with his strokes.


Yes, this cricket’s a funny old game

which is played by the crême de la “crême”.

It makes our boys into men,

and turns them right back again

when remembering their heroes by name.


I’m thinking of Losse and Farmer,

the former with spin a snake charmer.

Robin, batting or keeping,

into record books leaping,

self-belief the crux of his karma.

2 Limericks for TW

On learning that Terry Wogan was from Limerick, who could resist coining a 5 line tribute or two!

A jovial broadcaster, Sir Terry

was full of bonhomie and merry.

First in line for top Brit.

for his humour and wit.

By all he’ll be sadly missed, very.


That silky-voiced chuckler, Sir Terry

was born in far Limerick, not Derry.

Now we’re all woebegone,

‘cos T. Wogan has gone

and the sparkle in Radio 2’s “perry”.