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Welcome to FOB Haiku: War Poems from Inside the Wire
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Welcome to FOB Haiku: War Poems from Inside the Wire

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4.48  ·  Rating details ·  21 ratings  ·  7 reviews
SHERPATUDE NO. 26: "HUMOR IS A COMBAT MULTIPLIER ..." Has your war become workaday? Does life on the Forward Operating Base (FOB) now seem commonplace? Armed with deadpan snark and poker-faced patriotism-and rooted in the coffee-black soil and plain-spoken voice of the American Midwest-journalist-turned-poet Randy Brown reveals behind-the-scenes stories of U.S. soldier-cit ...more
Paperback, 90 pages
Published November 13th 2015 by Middle West Press LLC
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4.48  · 
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 ·  21 ratings  ·  7 reviews


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Military Writers Society of America (MWSA)
MWSA Review

Fresh, profound, illuminating

Poetry is, by nature, sparsely populated with words, almost to the point of being terse. Words carefully chosen, however, can explode into the mind, creating images and understanding where none existed before. If you ever wondered about the experiences of our service members in the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, this is a must-read poetry book. It logs the humor and joy as well as the pathos and tragedy that comes as a result of serving in the Ameri
...more
Rachel Brune
Nov 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The plan was to just read a few poems here and there to prep for an interview with the author, but I ended up tearing straight through and finishing in a day. Some terrific thoughts and images; some heartbreaking and dredging up fresh decade-old memories.

For a thoughtful look at the vivid moments of soldiering and homecoming, I definitely recommend this volume.
Lance Brender
Nov 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Poetry expresses that which cannot be said any other way. In his first book of poetry, Randy Brown, known to his blog followers as “Charlie Sherpa,” beautifully and simply relates his experience of war.

As the name of the book implies, much of his work takes the form of haikus, though the author also delves into longer poetry that, both in its free meter and rhyme, often reminds me of Randall Jarrell’s The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner. The brevity of the haiku, perhaps the form’s greatest s
...more
Richard White
Jan 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Randy Brown's book of wartime poetry is different than some other war poetry you might be familiar with like McCrae's "In Flanders Fields" and Sassoon's "Dreamers". Where those seem to encapsulate war for the maximum understanding of humankind, Brown's poems are likely specifically for the soldiers he served with. There is liberal use of military jargon that reminds me of fan-targeted Easter eggs in comic book films. The average person will understand the poem, but the soldier will appreciate it ...more
Barry Alexander
Aug 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in modern war poetry, military and conflict
A short, enjoyable read. The poetry is undemanding and unpretentious which makes it accessible to a wide audience. Beneath the simplicity lies depth, beauty and a deep intellect at work. Brown's unique standpoint as writer-soldier-poet makes for compelling reading. Within minutes of looking at the Amazon preview, I knew that this was a must-buy. Despite having served in different Armies on opposite sides of the Atlantic, there are strong parallels between Randy's experiences and my own as a part ...more
David Ervin
Nov 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What I picked up thinking was going to be a humorous little adventure - as only "Charlie Sherpa" can create - I put down with a chill down my spine. This is a thematically expansive collection containing humor, heartbreak, happiness, and nostalgia. It is a fitting mix given the subject, as many veterans (this once included) can say the same as they reflect on their service. There are some gems in this work, and overall it is a genuine treasure in the canon of military literature and poetry.
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Jonathan Tennis
Apr 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An enjoyable collection of poetry (haiku and other forms) from a veteran about his experiences at war – sometimes boring, sometimes terrifying, and sometimes something in between but altogether indescribable, Brown makes as much sense of war that can be made in a poetic way. Great read. Highly recommend it.
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Freelance writer and citizen-soldier by day, and secret (writing as "Charlie Sherpa") blogger by night, Randy Brown was preparing in 2010 to deploy as the sole "knowledge manager" for an Iowa National Guard unit of 3,000 soldiers. ("Historian, librarian, lessons-learned reporter—it was sexier to say my job was 'Brigade Staff Jester,'" he jokes.) After a paperwork snafu dropped him off the list, he ...more