Senryu Poems for Mother’s Day by Students from Tinian


Here is a wonderful way to begin the celebration with Mother’s Day messages from Tinian in three languages.

These haiku/senryu are from a series of poetry workshops I conducted in the 6th grade English classes of Brenda Safer at Tinian Elementary School. Students were encouraged to write in the language of their choice. 

Of course I have a bias toward them but I must say these poems are superb. I have read thousands of these short poems written by adults, I’ve written over a thousand myself, and had some published in anthologies in Japan, England, Canada, and the U.S. These students got the poetic abstract core idea of senryu, which are haiku about human nature. I conducted a series of workshops in their classroom with two classes of sixth graders. Mrs. Safer provided an atmosphere conducive to learning. We had workshops before holidays: Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Valentine’s Day. Aside from helping them understand the poetic form itself I also told them to feel free to  write in the language of their own choice and they would not be graded with numbers or letter grades.

Their poems would be the accomplishment of expressing love and feelings toward their mothers. All the poems achieve great depth and understanding of the Japanese form of haiku and senryu. They are therefore perfect examples for our Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage. They first appeared in the Saipan Tribune on May 8, 2018. Thanks to Saipan Tribune editor Jayvee Vallejera for printing the student’s poems from Tinian and Saipan over the years.

si nana’s/ importante/ hu guiya hao—Maria King
hugging mother/ with love/ mother’s day—Ricky Cruz
mother/ sleeping/ very sweet—John Christian Guintu
hu guiya/ nanahu/ todu I tiempo—Victoria Sablan
mom/ beautiful/ inside and out—Kiran Shresta
nana/ sen bonita/ ha’anin man nana—Austin John Barcianas Sablan
wonderful caring/ sweet lovely/ mother—Karen Lagunay
mother/ sweet as sugar/ ants come—Clarence Rodriguez
mother’s day/ hu guiya hao/ nanan biha—John Eric B.
mom’s endless love/ beautiful benevolent/ there for us—Rose Cruz
beautiful like roses/ strong like steel/ mother—Ryusei Desebel
my mom/ gives me/ warm hugs—Yna Agbayani
mother/ raised me/ thankful—John Victor Ancheta
nanay/ mahal kita/ everyday—Allen Morilla
nanay/ mahal kita/ never forget that—Vince Levi C.
mom/ loving me/ all day—Bermar Lopez
happy flower/ sad cloud/ beautiful mom—Danivid Cing
mama nako/ guwapa kanunay/ gihigugma nako siya—Beverly S.F.G.
shines like a diamond/ wonderful rose/ Mother’s Day—Jeralde Aldan
mom gives/ courage/ to us—Louis Yin
always caring/ giver of life/ Mom—Sinalu Ray Cepeda
smiling star/ happy as a rainbow—Mom—Isa King Aldan
mother/ lectures me though/ wise—Isshori Gurung
mom/ without her/ no love—Elvie Dominguiano
I want to skydive/ she says no/ overprotective mom—David Mendiola
my mom/ loves me/ always—Tara Diaz Pascua
makes us stick together/ center of our family/ Mom—Tasi Long
mom/ so sweet/ sugary chocolate—Axl M. Ong
mom/ hardworking/ thank you—Jared King
mother’s love/ all I need/ family—Vincent Manibusan
dad/ loses things/ Mom finds them—Jeremiah Hofschneider
mother’s endless love/ beautiful kind/ always there—Dilasa Karki
mother thank you/ for teaching us/ being there—Yoshiko Crisostimo
our mom/ very strong/ fights for us/ Ishalaine N. Khan
mother / cuddles me/ from fear—John Mark Palilio
mom and I/ totally bonding together/ worth it—Ashley Gwyneth Jumao-as
motherly love/ world wide/ much sweetness—Marina Joyce Chant
angel/ my light/ Mom—Dhan Miguel N. Robles
mother/ kisses me/ every day—Victor Sablan 
mama/ stay with me/ I need you—Savannah Sandbergen
mom/ brought me/ to life—Eddawn Loriel Labador
mom/ loves me/ ‘til the end—Su Hyeon
mother gone/ never forgotten/ by her five Cesareans—Joey Connolly

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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