Utenzi on the Deck

Image result for garbage truck

Cool on the deck, I sit and think,

a dump truck empties food and drink.

Its progress measured by a stink,

my mind recalls past memories.

See the source image

Water trickles into the ponds,

they are not fringed by palmy fronds.

Nor pretty iris, a la monde,

they fade, play tricks or just to tease.

See the source image

Somewhere out there might be a poem,

meter quick or maybe slow’em.

Today, gonna see new locum,

he’ll diagnose me for this wheeze.

See the source image

The ponds stop running, silence reigns.

My chest still heaving, from the pain.

Is that a blog trying in vain,

to write itself, the pain to ease?

Written in the Utenzi, Swahili style; aaab, cccb, dddb.

Continuing thehobartchinaman’s protest of western appropriation of Japanese style.

Why not jam English syllables into any culture?

Here’s an example in Swahili

See the source image

Comparatively Haiku, looks like this in Japanese:

ともかくも あなたまかせの 年の暮れ

Tomo-kakumo/ Anata makase no/ Toshi no kure

Rules for English haiku are:

  • Three lines and a preferably 5-7-5 syllables
  • Kigo is unnecessary. It’s okay to have just sense of season
  • Using a mark of dash(-) or colon(,) as “kireji”(read below)
  • A theme is not a thought or concept but a matter
  • Avoiding a description and prose.

Folk I don’t see any/many of these


Modern Tale of Thoughtlessness

a person standing in front of a building

For readers beyond Australia, thehobartchinaman provides reference to a Melbourne tragedy.

Four police apprehended a Mr Pusey for speeding. A semi trailer then ploughed into their parked police car. They were all killed. Mr Pusey was a little distance from the accident scene, relieving himself. Mr Pusey rendered no assistance to the dying. Instead, he mocked and photographed the dead and dying and recorded his foul mouthed diatribe.

Perhaps, sending videos and pics to mates wasn’t his best move.

He was charged with outraging public decency.

Having now has his day in court he was sentenced to serve nine months. With time already spent  in custody he’ll be out next week.

Balancing public outrage with sentencing under the criminal code is a tricky issue.

Whatever, the outcome the public will never be satisfied.

Read and weep.

Richard Pusey sentenced for filming dying police officers after Eastern Freeway crash https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-04-28/richard-pusey-sentenced-for-filming-police-eastern-freeway-crash/100099402

The Work Illusion — VenzVox

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Thanks to Venzvox for provoking thoughts about futility. Her Work Illusion Blog called to mind my former life.

Ultimately she is thankful to millennials for helping her see the ‘folly’ of making work her life.

But she lived in different times. Times when loyalty, dedication and selflessness were valued. Times when a vocation might mean a life time dedication, a drive to do best for others, to prod and prompt student to achieve better.

The current attitude she praises in millennials, maybe, suits the times.

I’ll not be here then, but if I’ll be beastly careless of the outcomes for the students of the millennials current teaching. Perhaps many of those will have moved on from teaching to a more prestigious role, rather than be dedicated to a enduring lifelong goals. Things change fast now. When millennial teacher’s students start a ‘working’ life will Amazon just be a river in Brazil?

Venzwox learning that we are dispensable, is a salutary lesson. My experience in being retrenched after 28 years salted my experience. [Salutary and salt are from different roots]. The dedication I felt to the company I joined was cloaked in the paternalism of the times. You worked hard, they looked after you. Over years the bottom line and accountants began to rule the roost. Stakeholders rule. The two way contract between employee and employer interrupted by HR folk who Venvox speaks of. When I was retrenched, an HR junior flew from Sydney and retrenched me in the frequent flyer lounge at noon before catching the 14:40 flight back for an afternoon team meeting. I never saw the guy I reported to for the previous eight years, then or again.

As she concludes:

“So, I say to the millennials, well done. You have the attitude to paid work that we should all have; you don’t treat it as your life, you treat it as part of your life and my generation should listen to you…”

I can agree, in part.

Work, paid work, is such an interesting phenomena in the Developed world. We define ourselves by it, we cloak ourselves in it and lose ourselves to work.  And for what? I am a high school teacher and have long believed that my dedication to my work could help a willing student achieve their career goals…

The Work Illusion — VenzVox

Lessons from the Weather

There are somethings you learn and some you don’t.

Ability to react in a crisis is an art.

Suburban Sydney was suffering a weather beating. Rain bucketed down with a ferocity rarely seen. A major electrical storm blanketed the city from the west before moving out to the Pacific

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The proceeding hail was tennis ball size, then came the rain, possibly a half year’s rainfall in an hour. Roof drains blocked with hail and could not cope with ensuing deluge. On the sawtooth roof water surged out of the gutters cascading in a series of waterfalls along the factory’s internal length.

Tony Camada, an Italian immigrant was the shift foreman. He had the swagger of a man risen through the ranks. One of the first non Anglo Aussies to have made it to foreman. “Sorry to bother you,” he plaintively murmured, awakening me from sleep.

“No worries, what’s the problem there,” I replied in my most supportive factory superintendent voice.

“There’s something wrong somewhere,” he answered.

For some unknown reason this phrase has subsequently haunted me. I didn’t know what to say. I pulled on my work clothes and drove the seven kilometres to the plant. Through the eerie darkness of the factory, I found dazed operators sitting around smoking, bemoaning with Tony whatever had happened.

“The water, she come everywhere, nothing work, no light, no power, ” a stunned operator said

See the source image

Pressing a panel control switch, I was zapped. Thankfully these were 12V circuits. Raiding the cleaning closets I went round the plant restarting equipment with the handles of dry brooms.

I can’t now recall how long it took to have the place back up and running.

However, I’ve been left with that ever so helpful motto when things are bad, really bad.

Fact mixed with resignation.

When faced with any problem, you should always define the issues.

“There’s something wrong somewhere”.

Heroes, Who’s Yours?

Japanese Tattoos – The Persistent Hero | Toshidama Japanese Prints

Heroes, we all have them.

Recently I mentioned W Edwards Deming as one of mine.

In current news, the word hero is sprinkled about willy nilly, like too much salt on fries.

You’ll have read, seen or heard many of these tales.

Hero has lost/changed its meaning.

Please, take the time to view this video. It captures my definition of a real hero. This 50sec video will be your best investment of time today.


Hero might have been used appropriately in this report.

Hero is not mentioned.

To me Mayur Shelke is a real hero.

Along with his coworkers, I applaud him.

I’m doubting he’s going trend on Twitter, get a Go Fund Me page or get a spot on Dancing With The Stars.

The applause from his mates and thanks from his employer will just have to suffice.

I’ve written to the Ministry of Railways of the Indian Government to extend my admiration to Mr Shelke.

Seems to me a more personal gesture than a rant on FB

Sunday Dinner Date

Gad, a restaurant review, must be running out of topics!

Read on, there might just be a point to this …….. palette appropriation!

A tiny suburban takeout, with a few bare laminate tables. Sometimes gems can be found in outlying suburban spots.

The professionally presented pics on the menu arrayed dishes most likely not prepared at S*****
The miso was heavy handed, karaage portions bigger than a gob full, rather than more delicate bite sized pieces,. The gyoza tough skinned, fillings oily and the tempura burnt crisped, more panko batter than fluffy. Fried tofu had a chewyness to the skin, the centres hardened. Sushi rolls were unappetizing and old, the rice lacked soft springy freshness, the fillings uninspired. The rolls were carelessly and unevenly sliced mimicking the sashimi cuts. The salmon sashimi portions were sliced into six uneven pieces when four evenly cut pieces would have sufficed. Were they aiming at  smoked salmon paper transparent thinness?
Surprisingly each dish arrived in a substrate of sauce, possibly soy, which denied the diner the of choice of condiment.

Our experience lacked the presentation and ambience, renowned in even the most basic  eating places in Japan.
No green tea complimentary or otherwise was offered. Nor water. On this night we found the service careless and offhanded.

Eating out is an experience for many senses. This wasn’t.
Our experience was perfectly summed up with a dessert of deep fried banana fritter, the go-to infamous palette cleanser at 70’s Australian Chinese restaurants.

Served with two scoops of Neapolitan ice cream, this piece de resistance completed the appropriation. Thiis was the culminating reveal.

Whilst commending Asian creativity  and ingenuity in pushing cultural boundaries, S**** has much to consider, especially with Chinese appropriating Japanese palette

Didn’t they think anyone would notice or could it be that Anglo Aussies find difficulty distinguishing one Asian from another? Do they all look the same?

Spot the difference

We wouldn’t recommend the place for a hasty lunch takeout, and certainly not a dinner date.
We wish them well.

Disclaimer : thehobartchinaman is not a food critic. He has previously admitted to not being the Bard of Avon.

Sunday Utenzi

Readers were promised further epics of derring-do in the reactionary Swahili Utenzi poetic style. Truth be told it’s more a reaction to the drivel passed off in the West as haiku.

Utenzi is a form of narrative poetry in Swahili consisting of four line stanzas, with each line having eight syllables. The last syllables of the first three lines rhyme with each other, while the fourth line has a rhyme that is constant through out the whole of the epic.

Anyhow, we’ll plod on and force our rhymes into the newly selected form, might even check round for other national styles to appropriate.

Water trickles in both ponds,

Flies buzz around our palm tree fronds,

I suck on a sweet sour lozonge,

Growing older but am I wiser?

Read Ezi Berlin +1.00 Reading Glasses | BIG W

It comes to me, that as time passes,

More frequently I seek my glasses,

Eschewing Google, can’t give an arse

Germany’s problem with a Kaiser.

Fear and loathing in the Tory Party - » The Australian Independent Media  Network

Scott from marketing, our PM,

Has risen over lesser men,

His taste of power just a trend,

Proving yet a bald faced liar.

Utenzi’s a most trying form,

Not to be tackled when forlorn.

Like haiku squashed to suit the norm,

Minds turn to a meter higher.