Poets in wartime : Kylan Jones-Huffman
In memoriam of Kylan Jones-Huffman (USA), killed on August 21, 2003 while serving in Iraq.
the war is over for one haiku poet - seagull's cry
Paul David Mena
My prayer finished for the auspicious rebirth of a poet killed in war -- only then does the cricket begin its lonely song.
--Karma Tenzing Wangchuk
newborn calf still wet, stands, trips, stands again
display window-- re-doing her lipstick, a tired whore
raising her veil, she sips fruit juice-- the souk in summer
deer tracks by a muddy creek-- mosquitos hum
tea leaves steam on the icy compost pile winter sunrise
squirrel drinking from one small puddle-- tank tracks
perched just below Jupiter: hawk at dusk
Seattle spring-- one cherry tree blooming another not
(From www.usna.edu site)
gaunt children selling old bayonets - noonday sun
summer solstice - women in black abayas wade in the sea
twelve hour watch: the morning threat report in rhymed couplets
uncomfortable - body armor shifting on the car seat
Some of Kylan's poems are at
From an early age, Kylan Jones-Huffman showed what would be a lifelong talent for languages, learning his mother's native German along with English. "When he started talking, he was speaking both, and he knew who to speak English to and who he should speak German to," his father, James Huffman said. That natural ability with languages - he eventually learned French, Farsi and Arabic as well - combined with a voracious intellectual curiosity about the Middle East landed Jones-Huffman, 31, a spot with Naval Intelligence in Bahrain before the war in Iraq. He was on a trip Aug. 21 to Hillah, Iraq, when his SUV came under fire and he was killed. Jones-Huffman was born in Santa Cruz, Calif., while his Army officer father was serving in Vietnam. He attended the Naval Academy, where he taught history courses for two years. Before his reserve unit was called up, he had planned to go back to get a doctorate in Turkish studies. Jones-Huffman and his wife, Heidi, lived in College Park, Md.
Kylan Jones-Huffman is a Surface Warfare Officer and 1994 graduate of the United States Naval Academy (or in his words, "of this fine institution"). In order to counter the intellectual and artistic vacuum of the average Navy wardroom, he began to document his time on board ship in the form of haiku (actually a genre called haibun, a combination of prose and poetry, sort of a travel journal). In the process, he met other haiku poets (in person and on-line), improved his style, been published, and generally had a roaring good time. Oh, in his spare time he studies Japanese martial arts and teaches history -- both that of ancient Greece and Nazi Germany.