September 2016


UHTS collected works

Editor's Choice Senryu

I took over as the senryu editor of cattails with this edition. And what an overwhelming and full hearted reception I have been given from all poets that submitted some especially wonderful works! I am truly honoured and humbled. Of these, I have tried and picked out six that stood out after many readings. I ended up with about a dozen senryu at the end that I kept returning to. With great difficulty, I have pared them down to half a dozen.

airport pickup...
he asks how much
baggage I have

Julie Warther

The seemingly innocuous question, perhaps posed by the cab driver, has so many connotations. Does that remind one of an indiscretion when on a trip? Or is it just before embarking on a trip, maybe to get away from a difficult situation? All of us have baggage that we carry around, often unnecessarily so. This is often brought to the fore by a passing unrelated comment by someone. A fine senryu Julie Warther!

—UHTS cattails Senryu Editor Shrikaanth Krishnamurthy, United Kingdom             

on the bath scale...
taking off
her glasses

Đurđa Vukelić Rožić

This one definitely brought a chuckle each time I read it. Did the person take off her glasses to take that much/little weight off? Or was she avoiding the obvious so she could read what she wanted to without the glasses? A lovely reminder of how we humans resort to obviously silly things, knowingly fooling ourselves in order to keep our happiness and feel-good factor. Thank you for this senryu Đurđa Vukelić Rožić.

—UHTS cattails Senryu Editor Shrikaanth Krishnamurthy, United Kingdom             

the youngest
leaves for college
extra bird seed

Joy McVane

This senryu portrays the "empty nest" very well. Parting from a child is always emotional and painful for a parent. This would be even more acute when it is the last child that leaves home, making the nest truly empty. I see a mom that is still wanting to feed and nourish her child and transfers that urge to feeding birds in the garden. What a poignant senryu by Joy McVane!

—UHTS cattails Senryu Editor Shrikaanth Krishnamurthy, United Kingdom             

hospital elevator
the doors open
to another story

Simon Hanson

Hospital elevators are like train bogies/compartments. Those in hospitals, in particular, breed kinship between those traveling together, on a shared ground of sickness to self or family. Once we get in, there is a story or two in there. We exit and the door shuts on one but opens to many other stories on the ward. Nice one Simon Hanson!

—UHTS cattails Senryu Editor Shrikaanth Krishnamurthy, United Kingdom             

one dozen
long-stemmed roses
what was his name?

Dottie Piet

The many declarations of love! The heartaches and heartbreaks! Life is full of these, and each time it feels the strongest. And these moments are filled with storing emotional cues and associations- so much so that, with the passage of time, only these remain and the other details, once important, are now buried and forgotten. Here, some guy bared his heart a long time ago with a dozen roses; oh yes they had long stems. His face is still as vivid as on the day it happened. But then, what was his name? Good portrayal of the vagaries of time Dottie Piet!

—UHTS cattails Senryu Editor Shrikaanth Krishnamurthy, United Kingdom             

always guilty
for things I did

Perry L. Powell

Ah! How true this one rings! Especially at moments when we are feeling low and vulnerable, we often torture ourselves endlessly over things we did and we didn't, and not always truly or justly. I particularly could identify with this one as my dad is critically ill presently, and I am rueing all the things I did and didn't, wishing I had done things differently. Touching senryu this one, Perry L. Powell!

Thank you again for all of you that submitted and congrats to all published poets. Let me say that every one of your works that is included in this edition could have been an editor's choice. I have only chosen what I thought worked the best for me.

—UHTS cattails Senryu Editor Shrikaanth Krishnamurthy, United Kingdom