Amplifying a recent comment, I give you what is essentially a guest post by “richardelguru” (thus, “I” = richardelguru, not Cuttlefish):

Some years ago, and for one of my silly radio essays, I invented (unless anyone can come up with an earlier attestation) the hairimeraku.
As its name suggests, this is a bastard of the limerick and the haiku.

All (or possibly more) than you ever wanted to know about the form is hereand here.

Anyway, due to the lack of violent public protests, I am thinking of wheeling the damn things out again for ‘Hairimeraku Trek III: The Wrath of Camus’ and it occurred to my innate writers’ laziness that If I solicited some from others it would save me absolute minutes of effort.

Anyone up to it? I’ll of course credit any submissions (Hey! If it fills space with even more lack of effort…)

If you can’t be bothered to follow the links (and I don’t blame you)
“…the hairimeraku consists of seventeen on (a term that can be loosely translated as ‘syllable’) rhyming upon the fourth, eighth, eleventh, fourteenth and seventeenth on, in the pattern AABBA; (this is a damn sight easier to do in Japanese where almost all words rhyme, than it is in English translation where hardly any of the buggers do) and finally having it’s kireji (the caesura-like grammatical break), usually on the eighth on or fourteenth on, or occasionally on the eleventh on or rarely on the fourth on or indeed on the seventeenth on; and even finally-er, the best of them having both seasonal and salacious aspects as befits their combined ancestry. …”
A certain amount of hypermetricallity is tolerated (especially with feminine endings and extra-especially in the last line).

Autumn rain drips,
Walking girl slips.
Yobs cry “Ha!
“Boo!” and “Ya!”
—Foolish quips.

A young lady,
Name of Sadie,
Cherry pit
Wants to spit
Somewhere shady.

Or this which investigates propriety frankly though enigmatically:

See that girl there
Climbing the stair.
She should know,
Crowd below…

Come on, especially The Lord Cuttle himself, and post some here and become … what’s the word?… Famous? Notorious?? Ignored???…

Frankly (Cuttlefish back here again), I think this is fantastic. So I’m going to leave it here on the front page, and let you all have at it while I grade papers and essay tests. And with luck, I’ll be so annoyed with grading that I will fling myself headlong into hairimeraku. And yes, you can post them in Japanese. And by all means, follow those links; having invented the sepielle, I am frankly fascinated by the evolution–or perhaps, in this case, the hybridization?–of verse forms.


  1. says

    Grading papers
    After capers:
    Each line is
    F minus…
    Bring vapors.

    Teacher annoyed
    Remembers Freud:
    Always worse
    When in verse…
    Mark it void.

    What bodes ill next?
    Bad essay text.
    Read and weep,
    Slice it deep,
    Feel less vexed.

  2. says

    Of course now I’ll have to justify “the Wrath of Camus”

    Albert Camus
    Hit by gnu doo:
            Cried “In Spring
            “Aardvarks’ll fling
    Now gnu too!”

    Doesn’t quite do it, though it does manage the correct plural for game animals.

    BTW thank you for the re-post sans riposte. :-)

  3. zackoz says

    Supreme Court nods

    At calls to gods.

    Bye bye the gate

    ‘Twixt church and state.

    Silly sods!

  4. CatMat says

    Somewhat topical, if technical:

    Secret pipe needs
    Keep-alive feeds
      Client asked
      More than tasked
    My heart bleeds.

  5. says

    Maybe I’m an idiot, but I can’t find any way to contact you privately so this will have to do. It is regarding a comment you left in my blog recently on my thoughts regarding a letter written by Jonathan Swift. I have taken your comment seriously and have tried to examine your claim, but I find it wanting. It is true that Swift is a satirist (I said as much in my own introductory line of the man) but to then suppose that everything he writes is therefore satire… it is like saying that since Swift is a poet (also true), he can only write poetry. And judging from his religious affiliations (he was the Dean of St Patrick’s Cathedral) and his other works (like An Argument Against Abolishing Christianity), I sincerely and respectfully think that you might have erred in your characterisation of Swift in reference to his A Letter to a Young Clergyman.

  6. says

    Don’t tell me Swift wrote Hairimeraku!!
    (Though, on reflection, that last comment is probably aimed at someone other than me)

    I’m off to England for a few days, but I may get a chance to work on essays.

    Is everyone, apart from k0k s3n w4i, OK with me including their contributions (with the attribution as their posting name)?

    The piece will be broadcast on the syndicated Weekend Radio sometime in the future (since the past is already taken, but otherwise I never really know exactly.)

    Now I’m just waiting for hairimeraku with the breadth (if not the length) of a Paradise Lost, or an Inferno or that thing by Vergil about the weapons and diseases of the dog (How does that one start “Arma virumque cano…”?)

    And, yes DC I am looking at you! :-)

  7. Cuttlefish says

    “In the beginning”
    Too much sinning
    Paradise lost
    Christ crossed
    –God winning

    “Abandon hope”
    The damned grope
    Nine Hells
    Concentric shells
    –Ask the pope

  8. CatMat says

    Who can it be
    who tends to see
      spring in air
    – Wait, that’s me?

    @richardelguru, I at least have no problem with that.

  9. zekehoskin says

    Rancher won’t pay
    Gunslingers play.
    Might is right
    If you’re white –
    Mooching’s okay.

  10. zekehoskin says

    Sorry,misread the rules.

    Rancher won’t pay
    Gunslingers play.
    Might is right
    If you’re white –
    Mooch away.

    No more extra syllabubble.

  11. outeast says

    He swore love then
    Time and again
    Mocked my fears
    Gave my tears
    To other men

    His eyes held wide
    My lover lied

  12. outeast says

    do not demean
    my chosen scene
    and obscene

    agonized squeals
    herald my meals
    for in life
    all is strife
    and alleles

  13. says

    From ‘somewhere in the south of England’ as they used to say (in WWII IIRR)…
    Wow FTB is the cat’s whiskers and the fount of all knowledge and wisdom.
    People here really do contribute!

    The fish, cuttle,
    Wiley, subtle.
      Not a fish,
      Nor a knish…
    Sad rebuttal

     Bubble, bubble,
     Toilet trouble.
      Oh what Woe!
      I must go
     On the double.

  14. says

    And of course Our Mutual Mastercuttle rose effortlessly to the Miltonic-Danteësque challenge. I sense the two of them rotating merrily in their graves over their combined waste of all those extra lines.

  15. rikitiki says

    Unsure of form
    Am I getting warm?
    Trying to rhyme
    Taking the time
    So, hey, what’s the harm?

    Maybe I’ll sing
    To hear how it swings
    Between each verse
    (Could sound quite worse)
    Give it a fling!

  16. rikitiki says

    I’ve no dispute
    Use my name – cute!
    Though my rhymes’ lame
    Part of the game
    I’ll contribute

  17. rikitiki says

    Lucifer fell
    Straight to Hell
    For his freethought
    God’s wrath he caught
    Freedom is swell

  18. rikitiki says

    Got himself drubbed
    Back in time
    Did no crime
    Aye, there’s the rub!

    Wanted to be free
    Of servitude, see?
    God took offense
    (’cause he’s quite dense)
    Unblessed trinity.

  19. CatMat says

    Springtime disease
    Pollen in breeze
      This way flies
      Itchy eyes
    – Think I’ll sneeze

  20. zackoz says


    Says MacBeth’s wife:
    “Beth, take king’s life”.
    Duff wins the bout
    Beth moans “Life is nowt”.
    Wife uses the knife.


    Brave but dull
    His trust is null.
    Iago sly
    Dez must die –
    Othello the gull.


    Dead his sire,
    To Hamlet’s ire.
    Poison’s served
    For some, deserved,
    But *all* expire.


    Lear names his hour,
    Resigns his dower.
    Daughters betray,
    Lear flees away.
    So, don’t cede power!

  21. Emu Sam says

    Some old verses in a related form.

    An enthusiast poet
    Wrote limmericks as haiku to show it
    Could be done wellish,
    Though it was hellish
    To let a Tweet fad grow it.

    A limeraiku sublime
    From two split haiku in two and three lines.
    Fourteen syllables
    Twice sent legible
    And grouped in limmerick rhyme.

    Cerulean sky. A tree
    Eucalyptus white, Graceful curves and me
    Painting a picture
    Solitary lecture
    Of an elegant tall tree

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