Bored on guard – Ligo haibun

Yet more a picture challenge in Ligo Haibun. I had to choose the one from Pirate as it depicts a soldier standing guard in front of the royal castle in Stockholm. Many years ago I did the same (not the same place, and my uniform was not as fancy) but I know a little bit how it feels. So the prose below is biography actually.

copyright Managua Gunn

copyright Managua Gunn



Two hours can be a time of contemplation, or just being bored. You stand there looking at people passing, not allowed to communicate, from behind a barrier of your uniform you’re almost set apart from humanity. It’s like a separate world, and your only power is to observe. Then during night everything slows down and during your solitary watch there was only a couple in love passing by, lost in their love of spring and each other, the rest of the time you count the windows of houses, just to get through those hours. And if something ever happens you have firepower and a bayonet, that you never want to use. Still those hours I spent guarding the castle still stays with me. I often wonder why I remember that boredom so much more than most stimulating parties of my youth.

alone on guard
cool metal of my rifle
counting windows


June 9, 2013

19 responses to “Bored on guard – Ligo haibun

  1. Love that!…(I did guard duty too, but a very long time ago) I think that you are forced to ponder and meditate, and even pray sometimes in that prison of duty….I don’t regret one moment of it…

  2. Ithink both your haibun, and the comment I just read make stunnning philosophical statements – very interesting indeed, and the mark of a very good writer.

  3. I agree completely with yarrpirate. For all reasons given. When we,(each of us) reflect, when there is naught to do but reflect, it is a time of both contemplation and realization that as you stand there time is passing you by (hence boredom becomes the sphere of which your memories are encased it! Excellently written!

  4. As introspective as all those hours you describe. I love the detail of the lovers passing by. When we are quiet and still those are the times we remember most, maybe because they occur the least. I love also the detail of the cool metal of your rifle. Lovely piece!

  5. “It’s like a separate world, and your only power is to observe.”
    a wonderful haibun Björn, one could really feel that it was written from experience.

  6. I can’t imagine what it must be like to stand and guard, and count windows. I like the way you summed up his inner-conflict with ‘And if something ever happens you have firepower and a bayonet, that you never want to use.’

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