A Quarterly Journal of Contemporary English Language Haibun
| Current Issue | Editorial Staff | About This Journal | Submissions |
| Acceptance Criteria | Haibun Definitions | Articles | Archives | Search |

Archive: American Haibun & Haiga Volume 3

[Return to Author List, Vol 3 ]

w.f. owen


Walking guard duty around a Quonset hut of ammunition on the Marine Corps Air Station, Oahu, my high school ring tapping the barrel of a loaded M-14 rifle. Possible racial and anti-war riots threaten the base. Tropical stars trigger memories . . . The Major in boot camp warned me that this ring would snag and pull my finger off when jumping from a helicopter in Vietnam. Instead of going to West Pac, I got stuck driving a "six-by" truck in California until boredom spurred a transfer request, which could have led to the Tet Offensive, not here to paradise . . . First week on the "Rock": this sunburn from bodysurfing, tasting poi (the glue-like brown paste made from taro), hearing stories on the base from Marines and on liberty in Waikiki from soldiers and sailors on R & R, about rumors of Russian tanks crossing the DMZ, moments of unspeakable terror beside hours of boredom. Alcohol-induced loose tongues, like the kid in the bar so juiced he removes the prosthetic mask covering what was left of his face from falling on a grenade. He sticks the plastic facade on someone's arm and watches them flick it off like some dead alien in a sci-fi film . . . a faint steel guitar playing Hawaiian music wafts through swaying palms just ahead of the approaching change of guard. “Halt, who goes there?”

About a year later, while SCUBA diving off the base, near an old firing range, I lost my senior ring.

the military beach
a crab with one claw

[Return to Author List, Vol 3 ]


Copyright: All contents are the property of the contributors and contemporary haibun online. Contributors are free to publish elsewhere so long as cho is cited as the first place of publication. No content may be published or distributed elsewhere in any form or in any way without permission of the contributors. cho retains the right to republish the contents in the print annual publication: contemporary haibun.



haibun, English haibun, haibun poetry, haiku, haiku poetry, English haiku, Japanese poetry, Japanese haibun.