Simply Haiku: A Quarterly Journal of Japanese Short Form Poetry
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Spring 2008, vol 6 no 1


Another War
Garry Eaton


The bomber, with propellers and machine guns pointing north, maintains a steady ground speed of zero and a constant altitude of about twenty feet. It keeps its heading despite empty fuel tanks and a thick coat of dust on the windscreens through all the seasons, bolted securely to a concrete pedestal, like an enormous sundial in the centre of the Memorial Garden at the north end of town, where it has been since 1952. Its large wings once lifted to defend democracy in Europe and America. Now they project gentle shade or shelter for resting elders, kids at play, wandering dogs and the occasional drunk needing a place to sleep it off.

It has not always been so peaceful. Passing through town on a hunting trip in the late sixties, I saw the bomber had been defaced by a motley jumble of peace symbols and psychedelic slogans plastered over every visible inch of the fuselage. It sat behind a temporary wire fence, being repainted for Memorial Day, coming up in a few weeks. But the massive bombing raids had recently resumed in Vietnam, and even these sober, reflective ceremonies would explode into contention, with hawks and doves throwing eggs and worse. Old thunder was on course for yet another buffeting, and would need yet another paint job.

Seeking solitude this time, I stopped in town just long enough to fill the tank and buy some shells. But the disgraced bomber stayed with me.

hunting blind blues—
the same old ragged patterns
across the moon


Garry Eaton Garry Eaton is a newcomer to the world of haiku/haibun. He has been published only recently by Red Thread Haiku Sangha and by Contemporary Haibun Online. He is retired, and lives in Port Moody, British Columbia, Canada. His major literary project for the future, besides striving to improve as a haijin, is to write the biography of a once prominent American capitalist and peace activist, Cyrus Stephen Eaton, whose life and career he has been researching for several years.