Friday, June 24, 2011

"It's 1980 and even punk's nihilism is looking over optimistic" - Dum Dum Dum

"It's 1980 and even punk's nihilism is looking over optimistic. In the Oscar Wilde Rooms, a windowless cell in an Oxford College, Dum Dum Dum take the stage. Guitarist in balaclava, drummer with face painted half-white, half-black and a lead singer armed only with a strobe light, they play to tapes but with malevolent energy. The audience -- half skinheads from town, half rugby players who've wandered in from the bar -- begin to fight as the rugger-buggers object to having their feet pogoed on. The tape breaks down, and the singer starts pulling the skinheads onto the stage to sing "No Fun". But it's futile. On the mixing desk is a man whose main claim to fame is to have dropped acid at the South Pole. He now pushes everything through the roof and the sound itself becomes a rolling maul of feedback and echo. Serenading the mayhem in free-form, the singer strobes the crowd, catching figures in frozen postures of conflict and delight. The destruction erupts into the night. Good gig."

The gig also featured on BBC Radio 4's 'Quote Unquote' programme with the presenter announcing in standard English A skinhead when asked why he spat in the face of the Dean of Baliol College when leaving a show by punk band Dum Dum Dum said: "Just my way of saying goodnight and thanks for a nice evening"

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Two Songs of Love and Loss - Little Onion

Two reverb drenched songs of love and loss by Little Onion from the album 'Tea and Symphony'.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

CURIOUS LOVE SPLASH - Paul Conneally 2005

curious love splash

world summit to bring you weapons

a big fan not just of peace

these women never die grubby

once upon a future true heroes

finding joy in the gathering

curious love splash

blood and conservation make a bright ballet

seasonal monotone delights

poetic train giving tourists new voice

hand in hand a biting of words

paul conneally

11th april 2005

this shreadline piece was originally entitled 'a biting of words''

it was created out of cut up headlines from 'culture'

a magazine funded by the uk arts councilgiven away with tyneside newspaper 'the journal'

the artist picked his copy up in the swallow hotel newcastle-upon-tyne

the tuesday after easter 2005

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

LifeCycle - Geoff Broadway - Transform Snibston

Was a real pleasure and inspiration to work alongside Geoff Broadway for Transform Snibston. Here is Geoff's installation 'LifeCycle' and in his own words an explanation of the piece from Geoff's own website:

LifeCycle from Geoff Broadway on Vimeo.

"LifeCycle is a multi-screen audio-visual installation that explores the themes of change and transformation as they are understood and experienced by a range of people who live and work in the Coalville area. It was launched at the historic Century Theatre within Snibston Discovery Museum, Coalville, on 14th May, 2011. It was commissioned as part of the Transform project, a major arts program developed to transform how Snibston can be understood and interpreted.

LifeCycle reflects an ongoing interest in interpreting and re-articulating everyday life using film, audio and installation. This piece is based upon my journeys through Coalville, recording conversations with the wide range of people I met and capturing visual impressions of people and place. It is based upon notions of transformation and change - I asked the people I met to share with me their thoughts on the things and values we need to recognise; what we should treasure and preserve; what needs to come to an end and be let go of; what can we put at the heart of our culture and our communities.

 The video above is a screen-based version of the film used for the installation.

The installation consists of 5 back-projection screens, 5 data projectors, surround-sound system, and is controlled by 3 Mac-mini computers.

The LifeCycle commission was curated by Maurice Maguire and Carolyn Abel at part of the Transform project. Jointly commissioned artists were: Brendan Jackson, Paul Conneally, and Joanne Dacombe.

Thanks to Chris Plant AKA Colour Burst for his invaluable Quartz Programming for multi-computer syncing."

Geoff Broadway 2011

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The James Connection - A Series Of Mountain Sonnets Linked To 'Suggestions For Writing Haiku In English' by James W. Hackett

the james connection

cindy tebo marlene mountain stephen addiss an'ya gary gach debra wooolard bender jennie townsend

nancy smith paul conneally carmen sterba francine porad gary blankenship


a series of mountain sonnets

linked to


James W. Hackett

The present is the touchstone of the haiku experience, so
always be aware of this present  moment.

'this present moment'


my scrapbook of memories presently without a haiku
on this gray day the next moment a repeat of the last one hundred

looking for my watch trusting its having been here somewhere once before
meditation period that last grain slides through the sandglass

past as present present as present future as present
shadows of the past hints of the future tint the present

forgetting the past i wander in mindless ecstasy
jwh arrives in kamakura with a mean rice curry crave*
just now the hiss of sugar dissolving in hot tea
deep in thought exploring a mouth ulcer with my tongue
still part of the problem old definitions and new
making up an identity nicely packaged
under the sagging christmas tree a slip of broken ribbon
dear diary a brand new war started today


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*Sept. 10, 002, whf

Remember that nature is the province of haiku.
(Carry a notebook for recording your haiku experiences.)



mother nature calling me in the middle of the woods without toilet paper
a bigleaf maple shakes off rain my scratches run unreadable
droplets inscribing spring on leaves silence of the birds
in the dentist's chair my haiku notebook underneath the x-ray apron
swallow calligraphy leaving no traces
crossing weblets abandoned in dust between the panes
the 'province of haiku' clueless i scan maps of france and canada
shakah brah go straight to hawai'i and don't pass the parrots
she touches everything song notes in the book margins
heavy snow i put in an order for stinging nettle jeans
what's nature an angler throws a rod into the creek in anger
fishing fly 'it's not nice to fool mother nature'

daddy long legs race the winner disappears
end of winter birds at the feeder as if no time's past


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Contemplate natural objects closely... unseen wonders will reveal themselves.

'unseen wonders'


dead fly in the pitcher plant another drowning i couldn't stop
beneath the wet lumber a gray slug grows towards spring
young crippled smiling she panhandles rush-hour traffic back & forth
leaky pipe the garter snake opens its soft mouth
the homeless woman gazes at the postman
forgotten leeks left in august to return for christmas
nose to nose with the neighbor's dog i require stitches
pressured into a mammogram one breast then the other reflates
the gentlest of squirms this baby born at fifteen weeks
the swing of a golfer caught in strobe alley
mountains and caves on tv where is that long tall 'bin'
no bison but a sketch of pictographs of old
where beetles feast sap weeps from the pine's amber heart
scent of gardenias a swarm of ants on pure white petals


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Interpenetrate with nature.

Allow subjects to express their life through you.

That art Thou.



carpenter bee hole perfectly round bores into my awareness
wasps fooled by false spring paper the front porch
the times falling open at the sports pages
with hardly a cloud in luminous blue the sun in my heart
a thunderstorm splatters through the screen full of the night
paint tossed onto the canvas my random technique
humidity seeps into my pours until the autumn wind blows
that restless feeling what a relief the breaking storm
pushed down the steps the sense knocked into me
spring weather a squirrel's nest sags in the branches
symbolically female an owl in the moonlight
a fragrant breeze my step lightens
the fishmonger's call across the marketplace beautiful flies
scales iridescently flash off the blade


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Reflect upon your notes of nature in solitude and quiet. Let
these be the basis of your haiku poems.



twirling bird feeder pine and camellia nod to each other
deep into sunset when i'm without words the bobwhite
soundscape without limit in the hackett garden
homestead the whole of it spread before me at the gate
just the other animals and me a beautiful dreary day
throwing a rock from the cliff into mist waiting wait...
the call of a ring neck beyond the traffic circle
one hundred years happening right now
i put my head under the bath-water just for the sound
all's quiet this morning save our resident meadowlark
alone after mother's day transplanting gifts of flowers
footsteps echo final walk-through the empty house
at the edge of the canyon i welcome nothing
beached jellyfish becoming invisible


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Write about nature just as it is... be true to life!

'true to life'


another storm leaky roofs and widow-makers
the daylilies range and range from two to eight inches
the old hound eating cat droppings
in the apartment lease no pets allowed empty bird house
backspace key until there's nothing left to erase
woken by a dog fox at the trashcan
first one child then they all flock around a fallen nest
first pimples on the girl's smooth brow
next to the station more cherry blossoms than people
the heart-seizing beauty of night war in blue and green
darn rainbows so quickly fading always fading
end of winter ducks at the feeder no time passed
ripples spring twilight fades from each one
online problems i'd have written about dogwood leaves if not


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Choose each word very carefully.

Use words that clearly express what you  feel.

'what you feel'



i don't give a shit and call it haiku to advance art a wee bit
life and living exactly the same only different
explosion in the field my mind drifts to the milkweed pod
this silent tension of another day without any money
where is that dancer with the perfect lead missing from the center?
after destruction the healing of land body and soul comes slowly
how the surgery and scars hurt more than my spreading cancer
a one-legged marathon runner crosses the line
2 blonde 4-year-old girls at the beach each echoes what the other says
'oh! what a relief it is!' families of returned mia’s
the wet clay turning on the kickwheel as a space opens
again the first day of transmigration into an ant
sixty the relentless morph into grandfather accelerates
i wanted the iris to open yesterday a mind of its own


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Use verbs in the present tense.

'verbs in the present tense'


write here is a flower unfolding in turbulent times
if you're going to do it might as well do it now
wanting to say ‘thank you’ but feeling too grateful to
thorny rosebush the morning newspaper whose keeper you are
give worry donate fret contribute
become a part of the under layer of lilting leaves
as i write the wind detaches blossoms and sends them to my doorstep
drive to the art museum to view photographed constructions
i mistake a broom and discarded poster for art
the girl next-door arranges dandelions in a jar
our conversation about the air we're in
flight to mazatlan with loch lomond lyrics circling my brain  
map of the mall i find the value of x in the e-x-it sign
someone's sneakers still up there on the power line


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For added dimension choose words that suggest the season,
location, or time of the day.

'seasonal words'


before birdsongs the sound of the newspaper delivery boy
eleven or twelve scallions bound tightly with a rubber band
straw in the manger and strawflower bunches upside-down
roses in summer autumn winter spring
noonday sun rising cathedral window patterns on the wall
the sun slants low and things aglow in its light begin to blush
solstice uncoiling the garden hose a butterfly
dewpoint the moistness of a snake on a rock
my mother's birthday on june 21st
the bewitching hour's downpour no place to go but up
afternoon nap the centipede chooses the left nike
my new loafers the puppy's chew toy
man in the moon half full or half empty
first nasu on my dinner plate


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Use only common language.

'common language'


the cat knows i know she knows i'm talking about her
after she finds the "right word" the poet police take it away
yellow snow the jogger's foot propped on a fire hydrant
shit my shoe finds the neighbor's dog's
come see mommy come see another wormfrogbuggrub wonder
'swing lo sweet chariot' propane tanks floating down the river
after she eats one of her young the neighbor's chicken spanked
getting ready to leave the dog everywhere in my path
rubs my ankle as she pads by
muggy heat behind eyelids pinprick stars in a red sky
june full moon bright commonwealth coyote howls
dull day but a multitude of flies in the garbage
curb stone words remind me to look right
accompanying nasty face and universal gesture


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Write in three lines which total approximately 17 syllables.
Many haiku experiences can be well expressed in the
Japanese line arrangement of 5, 7, 5 syllables - but not all.

'approximate 17 syllables'


never to return the moth leaves my fingertip and flies through light rain
with daisies to plant waking to rain and birdsong at the dark window
cherry petals drift onto the potted fir tree visions of fairies
another pair of jeans in my wardrobe become the wrong size
my favorite shirt belly buttons missing ripped torn tossed
out the train window wires on the telephone poles swooping like swallows
no cow manure here a mound of earth with holes in spokewheel fashion
promised land all the rainbow i need in every color iris
last night's dream of youth trim uniforms and joining the military
perpetuation of a bad myth i'll pass on the math
mu mu mu mu mu begins the monk nantembo's favorite haiku
a picturebook farm with ten cows my favorite foreign postage stamp
seen from the freeway fish-shaped cloud descends into the lips of a hill


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Avoid end rhyme in haiku. Read each verse aloud to make
sure that it sounds natural.

'natural sound'


sifting pollen ears of the marmalade cat twitch
tiny soda pop bubbles dissipate i'm on the mend
tick tick ticks all around us dropping to the forest floor
hiss and clunks of a radiator as traffic goes by
deep in wooded hills the town spring gurgles
hammer saw and backhoe the city moves its edges
buzzing right by me a hummingbird engine
a bee foxglove in a the noise of
her only quietude is at the laundromat
raindrops cease the murmur of the river moves closer
wind not in the willow not in the pine not in the cinnamon ferns
independence day celebration rattles the trailer no sleep tonight
creaking pines my bones ache too
orange peel grins from grandma's mouth


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Remember that lifefulness, not beauty, is the real quality of haiku.



no portrait in the attic the dip and dive of swallows
'bring 'em on' now that the 2-toned are abloom the ditch lilies
kickboxing while holding hands school-age brothers
4 fireflies in a mayonnaise jar the lights go out
on canning day sour pickles in blue glass

listening to an operatic duet on the radio
day camp the smallest boy practices his throws through lunch
teen age bus boy counts his tip money for the third time
check-out clerk stops to smell the woman's roses before he bags them
the sound of bluebottles in the smell of a dead pigeon
one wing broken a sparrow flutters across the parking lot
the soldier swallows to think he might die here in iraq
windchimes' occasional ping a bird's call a sunbeam's flicker on a leaf this peaceful day
movie channel's ‘men in black’ ends with a peal of thunder


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Never use obscure allusions: real haiku are intuitive, not
abstract or intellectual.



that first splay-fingered touch a child in the autumn grass
the front doorbell another replacement window salesman
outside my kids and the blue angels screaming adrenaline rush
overwhelmed as usual i stop to smell the roses
on the restaurant table two yellow roses well almost roses
on my feet black dog twitching dreams at the window misted greens
french vanilla my moist tongue responds to the flavor
summer afternoon the boys tell stories about someday

feet tangling in the creek we remember fireflies
what's a made-up god know about sex anyway
waxing moon thinking of birds the housecat yawns
fifteen times more toxic than a rattler i release the black widow
back to the earth worms from the tackle box
westerly wind th'dust 'o bones o'them miners wha'found th'motherload


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Don't overlook humour, but avoid mere wit.

'avoid mere wit'


seen through the leaves a white-haired man dancing
turning sixty now i understand my sister 'autumn'
oh issa see how the fly doesn't wring its dirty hands
single living my imac set to laugh at my mistakes
in place of the daily haiku a text-message from the white house
balancing my checkbook the surplus becomes a deficit
figures adjusted to be in sync with the bank's
in my empty wallet a fortune
gold mulberry leaves lighten the turf my silk shell darkens
enough sense to come in out of the rain tho i didn't want it
grape stomp it feels good to be stained
a tire swing not entirely empty length of frayed rope
silent nun in watch repair shop present perfect
dear god warmed by bedcovers in my morning prayer


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Work on each poem until it suggests exactly what you want
others to see and feel

'work on each poem'


chimes of iron chain clinking against flagpole across freeway
frogs croaking soprano alto tenor and bass
the telephone rings i start the second line yet again
renga my inner child learning to take turns
creased newspapers the tired faces of commuters
the receding storm holds back dawn yet stars still dim
summer storms the pain of sighs caught up in my ribcage
oh dear the worked-on poem with a perfect worked-on look
the peacock erects its feathers for zoo-goers
57 years the a-bomb survivors still see the mushroom cloud
august 6th us television explores volcanoes
pele's tears i don't listen to his explanation
a thousand words plus a photo of his latest wife
changing clothes i've become another woman for my husband


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Remember that haiku is a finger pointing at the moon, and
if the hand is bejewelled, we no longer see that to which it

'avoid excess decoration'


july 10 it's yet another day of just being
cooler under the trees now that the planting is done
inspection over termites work clearing the yard of stumps
the sadness in grandma's blue eyes summer evening
his laughter our morning noon and night
for her rescue private lynch thanks americans and iraqis
pulled out of the lake into the boat the golden retriever
window-washer i wave too
since mom died not a thread in the sewing machine
august sun a red tractor fades in the field
sleeping all day she takes a nap at night tabby cat
students back at summer's end book-bikes-buses block my driveway near suppertime
a dandelion and two spent joints by the skate-park bench
eleven dog days left 'til labor day fleas come indoors too


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Honour your senses with awareness, and your Spirit with
zazen or other centering meditation. The Zen-haiku mind
should be like a clear mountain pond: reflective, not with
thought, but of the moon and every flight beyond...


[7/10 -8/13/03]

thunderstorms clear the pond muddy what goes around
a closer look to note the bend of the willow
in the spirit of lewis and clark our capsized canoe
reeling as the geese fly over ripples in the lake
market day i find my face in the eye of a huge sea-bream
the cat walks away only broccoli in the shopping bag
after all the greenery the long walk home
is not the haiku mind of nature so knowing no 'shoulds'?

in the garden of my childhood a small tree to pray under
pecks in watery grass while her kid plays with dandelions
clover and bees and a yellow circle under the chin
her letters lost among pictures of it's a small world
carousel music the galaxy goes round and round
fast afloat with the moon to infinity and beyond


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The James Connection was coordinated by paul conneally and marlene mountain for the marlene mountain section of the World Haiku Review which conneally was editor of at the time.

 The mountain sonnet is a form developed by paul conneally with marlene mountain which uses mountain's one line haiku link form as a usually themed 14 line poem made up of 14 one line linked haiku.

 Conneally asserts that marlene mountain is one of the most talented and influential haiku poets of the late 20th and early 21st century continually challenging readers to confront what haiku / haikai was is and might be.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Sound of Water - Thurmaston - Charnwood - Leicestershire

Interview with Jemma Bagley and Brenda Seaton about The Sound of Water Haiku Hike led by poet / artist Paul Conneally and coordinated by Jemma Bagley of Charnwood Arts.

Conneally asks Jemma and Brenda, rather than himself, to appear on the radio and talk about the work. This mediation between artist and the work and the wider public through community and media extends the scope of the piece inviting and allowing further interpretation and insights and into the work than the artist could perhaps imagine.

The work led to a publication 'The Sound of Water' and is an example of how psychogeography / splacist approaches can work to explore areas and planning schemes. Here a Section 106 planning order where the builders are required to pay for public art is subverted from the nowm when Conneally and Bagley use the builder's money to work with a group that are against the building development.

Some of the poems from the action group are then incorporated into the estate as metal haiku benches made by sculptor Richard Thornton.

The work was supported by Charnwood Borough Council.

Freedom For A Song - Paul Conneally 2010

Freedom For A Song comes from INDIFFERENT, a series of prints, images and texts, by artist, poet and cultural forager Paul Conneally. INDIFFERENT emerges from cultural forages in and around Snibston Discovery Park and the villages that surround it. The forages form part of the process underpinning Spoil Heap Harvest a piece commissioned by Snibston as part of TRANSFORM.

INDIFFERENT sees Conneally juxtaposing the poetry of the playwright and poet Francis Beaumont, who was born in Thringston, North West Leicestershire, with not frottages but presages of plant and other materials, made on a cultural forage through the Snibston Colliery spoil heap, now a country park. The artist invites the viewer to seek for pictures within the presaged image in the same way that a psychologist might ask a patient to look for images in the famous Rorschach or Ink Blot Test. What can you see? You can report back to the artist what you feel the image to be by email: or by commenting on this page using the comment form.

Throughout Spoil Heap Harvest Conneally will make psychogeographic cultural forages through the wider footprint of the former Snibston colliery which is in Coalville, North West Leicestershire. The forages and interventions will be mediated by the poetry of William Wordsworth, Francis Beaumont and the paintings of John Constable. All three of these cultural giants deeply connected with the area in ways for the most part unknown by local and wider communities.

Wordsworth lived in the area, with his whole family, for a whole year and it was at Coleorton that he first read his completed masterpiece, The Prelude, to Coleridge. Constable, Sir Walter Scott and many other famous artists and writers clamoured to North West Leicestershire to stay with George Beaumont at his home Coleorton Hall, just down the road from Snibston. George Beaumont himself was the lead benefactor for the setting up the National Gallery in London.

Paul Conneally is cultural forager in residence at Snibston Discovery Museum as part of TRANSFORM SNIBSTON.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

this hedgerow

this hedgerow
strung with stars
elderflower wine

paul conneally

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Photographs of Haiku Jam at Derby Roundhouse Japan Earthquake Cultural Day

Photographs taken at Paul Conneally's Haiku Jam and Workshop session at The Roundhouse, Derby, UK.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Haiku Jam - Six Labels

Haiku Jam - Six Labels - Paul Conneally 2011

Six Haiku Jam labels featuring haiku by Alan Summers with Japanese translations by Hidenori Hiruta

Friday, June 03, 2011

Haiku Jam - Six Haiku by Alan Summers with Japanese Translations by Hidenori Hiruta

Haiku Jam - Paul Conneally 2011

This is a phototograph of one of a limited edition series of six jars of haiku jam by artist poet Paul Conneally.

Each jar of haiku jam has a haiku by award winning haiku poet Alan Summers with a Japanese translation by Hidenori Hiruta published on it.

This Haiku Jam series has been produced for the Japan Earthquake Appeal and will be available at Japan Earthquake Japanese Cultural Day at Derby Roundhouse on the 5th June 2011 11 am to 4.30 pm


Thursday, June 02, 2011

Ten Days of R&R in Japan

Haikumania War Crimes Project follows Ty Hadman from the Vietnam battle-zone to some leave in Japan with "Ten Days of R&R in Japan" presented in eight haiku. - Paul Conneally 

R&R: Rest & Recuperation during the Vietnam war.


En route to Japan;
for the first time in a year
I'm without my rifle

Tokaido Station:
just in time, I hop aboard
the bullet train

She knows no English,
I know no Japanese,
we share a pot of tea

One of about 20 girls who waited patiently for over 2 hours for me to finish my zazen meditation.

As I sit in a full-lotus,
a Japanese tourist
snaps a photograph!

Of me!

The Zen master's
steady drumbeat .... . .
thoughts diminish

Golden Pavilion:
an exchange of smiles takes place
on the quiet path

This is the same Zen temple as described in Yukio Mishima's world famous novel, The Temple of the Golden Pavillion.

New Year's Eve
Buddhist temple:
I spend the evening learning
a new way to pray

Arms filled with gifts:
I'm unable to wave goodbye
so I bow instead

All work is copyrighted by Ty Hadman and should not be reproduced without permission from the author.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Dong Ha Haiku

Dong Ha Haiku

As part of its War Crimes project haikumania presents Dong Ha Haiku by Ty Hadman. This piece was first published in 1982 by Smythe-Waithe Press in Kentfield, CA  and remains a powerful piece of work - Paul Conneally



(Dong Ha was one of the poorest villages in South Vietnam in the province of Quang Tri, just a few miles south of the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone) near the Cua Viet River where I was stationed in the Marines with a rifle company from 2/29/68–4/3/69.)


this one last kiss
      before I leave for the war
            this winter

(Travis Air Force Base, CA
 February 23, 1968)


dusk’s darkness deepens
   along the lines the whispering
       of tonight’s password


I’ve got the jitters . . ....
no sign of movement
except these fireflies


no enemy seen
but I get a good look
at myself


the first letter
from his girlfriend arrives
she says she’s pregnant


in the rear truck
of a long convoy
the dusty road


sugarcane fields
the beautiful countryside
swarming with snipers


concertina wire
a water buffalo
wiggles through


Concertina wire is a type of coiled barbed wire used to make it more difficult for the enemy to sneak across the lines.


sweeping the road
for antipersonnel mines
the sun gets hotter


rust colored water
not even enough
to bathe with


The scarcity of water was a permanent situation. Only commissioned officers were permitted to use water to bathe. The rest of us either had to go months on end without bathing or take our chances bathing in the shallow river where enemy snipers were often waiting. I came down with amoebic dysentery twice and was hospitalized on both occasions due to having to drink the filthy water. Medicinal plants have helped me a lot over the years, but I still suffer from colitis to this day.

heavy casualties;
I don’t give a damn about
this moon tonight


survivors in small boats
looking for a new place to live
the war drags on and on


minute by minute
hour after hour
the days go by


filling sand bags in the hot sun
soul brothers singing
soul music

Filling sand bags under a hot sun in high humidity was a frequent activity. They were used mainly to build new bunkers or fortify old ones. They were also used to hold down the tin roofs of Quonset huts during the monsoons.


because of this war
I become close friends
with an American Indian




it’s quite impossible
to kill all of them —
mosquitoes attack!


Many of the mosquitoes carried malaria and other nasty tropical diseases.


crickets stop chirping
I awake
with a start!


that fat rat just stares

inside the bunker
in the candlelight

my bayonet gleams


War is HELL!
Along the DMZ
not one flower

(Khe Sahn)

The DMZ (Demilitarized Zone) separated North Vietnam from South Vietnam. The area was an eerie sight like the cratered surface of the moon. All vegetation had been destroyed by the bombing and use of chemical defoliants.


peace symbol
and the word LOVE
on his helmet


village off limits
she’s glad
I came


both armies


Tet is the month of the Vietnamese New Year and Buddhist religious celebrations and observances according to the old agrarian lunar calendar. A time of strength and strong beliefs. The Viet Cong launched their bloodiest attacks and offensives during this time. I had the misfortune of having to experience two Tets. It also marks the short but intense rainy season and monsoons.

rain . . .
& mud


rain soaked and cold
without moving an inch
I let the warm urine flow


sitting in a hole
wondering what the hell
am I doing here?


waiting in ambush . . .
our hands touch as he hands me
an extra grenade


returning to camp
with one less buddy
darkness deepens


suffering from battle fatigue,
the war came to an end
in a dream


dead bodies arrive
the soldier on duty
continues eating


Little kids yelling,
"You number One! Want boom-boom?
Want Coca-Cola?"


Boom-boom was the word they used for prostitute. They also offered bags of opium and marijuana. Absolutely nothing else except for bottles of Coke. It seems these are the three things you can find just about anywhere you go in the world even in places of extreme poverty where food and water are not available.

my 21st birthday
oh how I’ve aged
this past year

(February 9, 1969)


only ONE man


waiting for a flight out
I watch several new men arrive
and a tear appears


Written on my last day in Vietnam while waiting on the airstrip.


the crying boy
just can’t understand why
I broke his toy machine gun


I’m now back in the United States again.


Memorial Day service —
a young man prays hard


shaking his cup
of coins with vehemence
the crippled vet


All work is copyrighted by Ty Hadman and should not be reproduced without permission.


A presentation of Ty Hadman's work as part of the haikumania War Crimes Project we present "Marine Boot Camp Haiku". This piece gives us a real feeling of the often brutal Boot Camp culture that even now prevails in armies around  the world. - Paul Conneally 


Ty Hadman


     Taking the oath;
     "I promise to serve GOD
     and my country."

     standing on a set
     of yellow painted footprints
     there’s no turning back

     These footprints were to indicate where the new draftees and recruits had to stand in line while
     waiting to get our heads shaved.

     our hair is gone
     in a matter of minutes
     we look like pathetic monks

     on a bus to the barracks
     no one is allowed to speak
     a single word

     second week of training
     the damn D.I. nicknames me

     D.I. stands for Drill Instructor.

     an exhausting day
     the man beaten up badly
     stifles sobs after taps

     Taps refers to the time of rest, after "lights out!" Sometimes a sad bugle is played.

     lights on at 4 a.m.
     the last man out of bed
     gets a boot in the butt

     chow hall
     four minutes
     for breakfast

     A chow hall is a military cafeteria.

     120 men
     take a piss in 42 seconds
     "two seconds too slow ladies!"

     standing at attention
     hour after hour in the heat
     no one moves an inch

     today we were allowed
     to smoke just one cigarette
     everyone is miserable

     worse than the worst

     parade grounds
     our heels thundering in unison
     music to the D.I.’s ears

     The parade grounds is the place where military marches and inspections are held.

     pugil stick drill:

     Kill! Kill! Kill! Kill! Kill! Kill!

     Kill! Kill! Kill!

     Pugil sticks are used in training men to fight with a bayonet attached to the front end of a rifle in
     hand-to-hand combat.

     climbing up the rope
     by the time I reach the top
     my penis is hard

     twice today I was called
     a slimy dick cock sucking
     son-of-a-bitch of a bastard!

     standing guard duty
     the D.I. hiding inside
     the dipsty-dumpster

     the D.I. just waiting
     for me to make a mistake
     his sadistic eyes

     "Scarecrow! Stand up
     with your arms straight out
     until I say you can move"

     have an upset stomach,
     complain, get punched in the gut,
     then puke my guts out

     fourth week on the rifle range
     I ain’t gettin’ Maggie’s drawers
     no more

     Maggie’s drawers is the name of the flag that is waved when the marksman completely
     misses the target.

     qualifying with the M-14
     my eye and the bull’s-eye
     become one

     The M-14 is a military rifle. The M-16 was mostly used in Vietnam, but a few soldiers
     preferred the heavier, but more accurate M-14.

     Final Inspection:
     the fly on my nose refuses
     to leave me alone

     Graduation Day:
     for the very first time the D.I.
     calls us Marines

All work is copyright Ty Hadman and should not be reproduced without permission.