25 February 2013

'Boonie's Haiku Contest' to Celebrate FOB Memories

The editor of the Red Bull Rising blog has announced "Boonie's Haiku Contest," a light-hearted poetry competition commemorating the experiences of both military and civilian personnel downrange—regardless of era—and particularly those who have supported the war effort from the perceived safety of larger installations.

Entries will be judged on factors such as: originality, creativity, humor, and adherence to the specified haiku format.

"We chose the haiku not for any particular connection to Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Honduras, or any other country in which the United States has deployed the 'Forward Operating Base' ('FOB') concept," says mil-blogger Charlie Sherpa, "but for the simplicity and accessibility of the form."

"That," he says, "and it lends itself equally to both sarcasm and sincerity. I anticipate plenty of both."

Deadline is March 18, 2013. Only one submission per entrant. Entrants may, however, submit up to three haiku in a single entry. For entry methods, see below.

For the purposes of the contest, a haiku poem will:
  • Consist of three lines; each respectively comprising 5, 7, and 5 syllables each, for a total of 17.
  • Refer either to a character or characters, setting, music, and/or narrative of the TV show "China Beach," or to a similar real-life military setting, such as a Forward Operating Base ("FOB"), main operating base, Combat Outpost ("COP") or patrol base.
  • Ideally incorporate a reference to one of the four seasons, or to nature.
For example:
China Beach sunset (5)
reflections on TV waves (7)
and my Vietnam (5)
Note that the syllables of acronyms and initialisms are counted as they would be pronounced aloud. For example: "TV" is two syllables; "REMF" is one syllable.

Three prizes will be awarded:

  • Second-prize: An autographed and personalized (at prize-winner's specification) copy of David Abrams' sarcastic, surreal 2012 Iraq War novel "Fobbit."
For previous Red Bull Rising coverage of the book, click here.
  • Third-prize: A "Blue Falcon" coffee mug, from the creator of the "Doctrine Man!!" cartoon. Appearing on Facebook, the Doctrine Man!! cartoon routinely captures the absurdities,  uncertainties, and ... camaraderies (?!) ... familiar to those who have weathered staffy and stuffy deployments downrange. As Doctrine Man!! himself says: "Remember: 'Buddy' is only half the word!"
There are four ways in which to enter Boonie's Haiku Contest:

Via e-mail:
Send an e-mail to haiku AT redbullrising.com, with the poems in the body of the message. The subject line should include the words "Boonie's Haiku Contest Entry."
Via postal mail:
Send entries via postal mail to: "Boonie's Haiku Contest," c/o Red Bull Rising, P.O. Box 31099, Johnston, IA 50131-9428.
Via Facebook:
Post one to three poems as a single Facebook comment to the link dated Feb. 25, 2013 on the Red Bull Rising Facebook page, and marked "ENTER CONTEST BY POSTING BELOW IN THIS THREAD."
Via comment to this Red Bull Rising blog-post:
Please remember to sign in, however; anonymous posts will not be considered for the contest.
Other contest details include:
  • By submitting their work(s), entrants agree to allow the editor of the Red Bull Riding blog non-exclusive and perpetual rights to reprint their work(s), in any media or format, known or unknown, throughout the universe, regardless of whether or not the work(s) are recognized as contest winners.
  • All parties, regardless of military, veteran, or civilian status, are encouraged to participate. Prize-winners, however, must have a U.S. mailing address for prize delivery. APO addresses are acceptable.
  • Judges' decisions are final.
  • The judges reserve the right to substitute prizes, or to decline to name winners in one or more prize categories, should circumstances require.
  • Winners will be announced March 25, 2013.
  • Prizes will be sent to winners approximately April 25, 2013.

DISCLOSURE: The boxed set used as a prize in this competition is provided to the editor of the Red Bull Rising blog in partial consideration for otherwise unpaid technical-consulting services rendered. Red Bull Rising is the sole organizer and sponsor of this contest.

ADVERTISING LINK: Pre-order "China Beach: The Complete Series"! 62 episodes on 21 DVDs plus over 10 hours of bonus features and collector's booklet! Pre-order today for 5 easy payments of $39.99 (Price: $199.95) and get Free Shipping at TimeLife.com!


  1. Hmmm....
    It's harder than it appears - all that "trying not to sound twee' :D

    [...Reflected Memory
    falling golden from my youth
    Boonie was so hot! ]

    ergle... I'll work on that - I promise! :D

  2. Okay, here's my entry:

    DFAC sparks blood rage
    Dessert line beckons fat ones
    Made wrong, Army wrong

    No cup cakes today
    Traumatic tears you drone on
    Grunts hate you, how come?

    Silly pogue don't know
    Gunslingers don't drink lattes
    Macchiato sir?

  3. Sprint in a flightsuit
    Long tarmac, rip my crotch
    Warm Iraqi breezes

  4. #1
    China Beach sunset —
    he's carrying within him
    the blood memory

    China Beach in spring —
    lovers' kisses disturbing
    the calm of blue waves

    beyond the sunset
    under the helicopters
    a lady's silhouette


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.