Three Senryu

commentary by Tom Lynch and Paul O. Williams

The following is commentary by the judges of the 2000 Haiku Society of America Gerald Brady Senryu Contest, in which these three poems were honourable mentions. First published in Frogpond XXIV:1, April 2000, page 88.

Valentine’s Day—

she reminds me

to fasten my seatbelt +

Michael Dylan Welch

What has become of the passions of early romance? Small gestures of caring, little naggings, and yet not without sincere sentiment. (TL)

before the guests arrive

I straighten

the straight cushions

Michael Dylan Welch

Who can’t read this poem and think, “been there, done that”? One needn’t be a finicky housekeeper to relate. The senryu, it strikes me, is more about the nervousness we feel when important visitors are coming than a comment on overzealous housekeeping per se. (TL)

a lull in her hands—

the hairstylist asks

how I part my hair

Michael Dylan Welch

How many of us dive into our work and plow ahead only after awhile to wonder what we are doing. The hairstylist, sure of her skill, has realized she is beyond her depth for a moment and is caught up short, and has to ask what she should be doing. The way line one is expressed seems both natural and yet original—very nicely done. (PW)