Monday, July 6, 2020

New Poetry at 'The Wrath-Bearing Tree'

The author of "Welcome to FOB Haiku" has new work appearing in The Wrath-Bearing Tree, an on-line journal of culture and politics often written from the perspectives of military family, veterans, and service members. Poems there are also often inspired by recent news events and headlines.

Randy Brown's new work includes three extremely short poems. Some are only a few lines in length.

"A literary journal editor once gave me the gift of calling one of my 'micro-poem' experiments a 'koan,'" says Brown. "A 'koan' is a "paradoxical anecdote or riddle a paradoxical anecdote or riddle, intended to provoke enlightenment. Her insight helped me unlock a mystery of my own making—just what was at work in these 'fragments of bird song?'"

"I wrote the poem 'America' after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, but before the civil unrest following the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis," he says. "It is a poem that keeps changing on me; every time I think I know what it's about, it shifts on me. I resisted the title, at first—it seemed potentially too on the nose, and maybe a little hackneyed. Now, I think it wouldn't work under any other name."

The three new poems are:
  • "daily exercise (haiku)
  • "America"
  • "I tell my children"
A former magazine editor and 20-year retired veteran of the Iowa Army National Guard, Brown embedded as civilian media with his former unit in Afghanistan, May-June 2011. Brown is a past winner of the "Untold Stories" competition sponsored by Flyway: The Journal of Writing & Environment, and a finalist in the Darron L. Wright Memorial Writing Awards, administered by the on-line literary journal Line of Advance.

A former newspaper journalist, Brown encourages other poets and veterans to engage in artistic reactions to current events. News-driven poetry markets include, but are not limited to: