browsing category: Poetry

PoetrySummer 2018

2018 Untold Stories Contest Winner – “a chaplain’s assistant writes haiku” and other poems – Randy Brown

a chaplain’s assistant writes haiku

A canteen of wine
and a bag of Wonder bread.
“Have gun, have chapel.”

Like the Good Book says,
“Am I my brother’s keeper?”
Yep. His driver, too.

Chaplain always jokes:
“You do not have to believe …
but it couldn’t hurt!”

The coffee is free
and so is the fellowship.
Have a little faith?

“I don’t know, Padre—
‘40 years in the desert’
sounds like where we’re at.”


Better Hooches and Gardens

The Old Man sat with me
on the back end of an Army truck
waiting to go into The Box.

Told me he always knew
I’d somehow make a magazine spread out of this.
Maybe because making a war is like remodeling a house:

Demolition is the easy part,
every project costs more than it should,
and even the glossy before-and-after pictures

tell doubtful truths.


Author Bio: Randy Brown embedded with his former Iowa Army National Guard unit as a civilian journalist in Afghanistan, May-June 2011. A 20-year veteran with a previous overseas deployment, he subsequently authored the poetry collection Welcome to FOB Haiku: War Poems from Inside the Wire (Middle West Press, 2015). His poetry and non-fiction have appeared widely in literary print and on-line publications, including Stone Canoe, Drunken Boat, F(r)iction, and So It Goes: The Literary Journal of the Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library. As ‘Charlie Sherpa,’ he blogs about military culture at, and about military-themed writing at

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