National Poetry Month


The following senryu are three-line poems focused on human nature as opposed to haiku, which focus on the natural world. They have been put into single lines to save space. Each individual senryu line is separated by a comma.

Ukraine on My Brain – Headline Senryu

Some headline senryus, Kyiv and Bucha, in today’s news
Armies of Putin, still murdering and shootin’, Kyiv people leave
Russian soldiers left, potato vodka bottles, empty and bereft
Burned tanks today, Molotov cocktails thrown, fire works its way
Boozing and bombing, bottles before and after, leave no laughter
Putin’s spring rain falls, fire flies from the sky, Mariupol massacre
Into Ukraine, Western donations flow, Putin’s army on the go
Across Ukraine, too many dead, many footprints in the snow
Sunflower painting, St. Michael’s* flag above, Ukraine bleeds
Putin’s bloody stain, only dead explain, Ukraine on my brain.

*The flag of Kyiv shows the patron saint of Kyiv, Archangel Michael, holding a flaming sword in his right hand and an oval shield with a cross on it in his left.

A short poem now by a living Irish American poet. Kay Ryan was U.S. Poet Laureate from 2008 to 2010. She is the first openly gay female poet laureate. She taught in community colleges for many years. Ryan has won many awards, fellowships and prizes, including a National Humanities Award from President Barack Obama and a Pulitzer Prize for Poetry on April 18, 2011.

Crocodile Tears
The one sincere crocodile
has gone dry eyed for years
why bother crying
crocodile tears.

“Crocodile tears” is a false, insincere display of emotion such as a hypocrite crying fake tears of grief. The phrase derives from an ancient belief that crocodiles shed tears while consuming their prey, and as such is present in many modern languages.

Joey ‘Pepe Batbon’ Connolly (Special to the Saipan Tribune)
Joey aka Pepe Batbon is a retired educator who taught in the CNMI, NOLA, and LVNV. He is a sonnet practitioner who enjoys stargazing.

Joey 'Pepe Batbon' Connolly (Special to the Saipan Tribune)

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