Triolet: Unemployment “Insurance”

Day 12, NaPoWriMo 2020

Photo by Jaime Lopes on Unsplash

Unemployment “Insurance”

Step one, lose your job in order to qualify
Step two, show your empty bank accounts
Step three – apply online, get 404, retry.
Step one – did you lose your job in order to qualify?
Step four, stock up on ramen, rice and standby.
Step five, if denied, start GoFundme to avoid blackouts.
Step one: lose your job in order to qualify,
Step two – show your empty bank accounts.


Notes:  Day 12 of NaPoWriMo 2020.  The prompt is a “challenge you to write a triolet. These eight-line poems involve repeating lines and a tight rhyme scheme. The repetitions and rhymes can lend themselves to humorous poems, as well as to poems expressing dramatic or sorrowful moods. And sometimes the repetitions can be used in deceptive ways, by splitting the words in a given line into different sentences, and making subtle changes, as in this powerful triolet by Sandra McPherson.”

I was hoping to write a funnier triolet, but I veered into a darker direction instead. I had read a few days back how Florida’s Unemployment System was essentially designed to fail.  It is ironic how the basic concept of insurance fails when you need it the most – whether it is health, travel, unemployment, etc.  On a much hopeful note, though it is also heartening to see wonderful, numerous examples of kindness and compassion.

In happier times, I wrote a triolet on my wife’s birthday back in April of 2013, titled: A Glance.  I believe it was the first NaPoWriMo I tried, when I had just started writing poems again after many, many years.

Two hay(na)ku: Greatest Dear Leader & SARS-CoV-2

Day 10 of NaPoWriMo 2020

Photo by Giorgio Trovato on Unsplash

Greatest Dear Leader

shun experts
form death squads.
of Lincoln’s
cult of personality.
lies umpeenth
time, gaslights millions.
Unproven cures,
Cover up incompetency.
Lie, cheat, disenfranchise
Steal the election.


in home
grounded by virus
vocabulary enters
lexicon – physical distancing.
little freedom,
save many lives.
little pleasures,
appreciated, when lost.


Now  new normal
for foreseeable future.




Notes:  Day 10 of NaPoWriMo 2020.  The prompt is “is another one from the archives, first suggested to us by long-time Na/GloPoWriMo participant Vince Gotera. It’s the hay(na)ku). Created by the poet Eileen Tabios and named by Vince, the hay(na)ku is a variant on the haiku. A hay(na)ku consists of a three-line stanza, where the first line has one word, the second line has two words, and the third line has three words. You can write just one, or chain several together into a longer poem. For example, you could write a hay(na)ku sonnet, like the one that Vince himself wrote back during NaPoWriMo 2012! ”

Here’s my hay(na)ku sonnet from 2015: Alternate Universe.  I was really trying hard to stay away from the whole virus and the orange cheeto thing. But, when things are front and center, it is hard not to think (and write) about it.  The two 30 words hay(na)ku sonnets just spilled out.