Senryu Contest

This contest was sponsored by the Atlantic Online's Word Games section. It is now closed. But enjoy!
(Click here to go directly to the winning entries.)

This contest is inspired by WelchM (Michael Dylan Welch), a poet and haiku scholar whom your word-game hosts met in the Writers' Club on AOL. He is the editor of Woodnotes, a quarterly haiku and senryu magazine. In return for his inspiration, The Atlantic Monthly hereby offers WelchM the book of his choice from the Atlantic's online store.

Senryu, as WelchM has explained to us, is a form of poetry very like haiku but with a dash of humorous irony. (Samples follow below.) Such a poem typically has three lines and a total of about 10 to 14 syllables in no fixed arrangement. Rhymes and titles are not necessary and in fact are likely to be counterproductive. The purpose is to convey an image, one with a wryly ironic twist. Here are some examples written by WelchM displaying the great range of possibilities for humor in this little verse form:

after the verdict
the arsonist
lights up
  bending for a dime
two businessmen
bump heads
  Mexican cantina --
the waiter says
bon appetite
  hazy summer afternoon --
the smog-check mechanic
puffs a cigar
her swollen head...
the astrologer
seeing stars
  billboard lady
in a bikini --
three-car pileup
  first confession --
his parking meter
  grocery shopping --
pushing my cart faster
through feminine protection
express checkout --
the fat woman counts
the thin man's items
  visiting mother --
again she finds
my first grey hair
  the understudy
steps out from rehearsal
to view the eclipse
  afternoon mail --
the stamp from Australia
upside down
kindergarten Christmas pageant --
a wise man
loses his beard
  after divorce
the plant she left
grows on me
  clicking off the late movie ...
the couch cushion
  his favourite deli --
the bald man finds a hair
in his soup

That should be enough to give you the idea! To enter our senryu bash, mail your entry to CoxRathvon (for non-AOL players, that's Multiple entries are welcome, but for our convenience pack your poems into one piece of e-mail whenever possible (and please don't use attached files). We will send the collected entries to MWelch, who will act as Guest Host and select his three favorite entries. Senders of those three poems will each receive 5 free AOL hours (where applicable, and while they last!) and a free book from The Atlantic Monthly.
"Senryu Contest" will remain open through Friday, November 15. Winners and full results will be posted on the Atlantic's site on Friday, November 21.
--EC and HR