the frequency hop

by Randy Brown

by Randy Brown

During World War II, Hollywood bombshell Hedy Lamarr

invented a method of encrypting communications

between a submarine and a torpedo on its way to target.


Two radios could hop around the spectrum, working in harmony,

a handshake tuned by hardware more at home

with punch cards and player pianos.


Every time I push-to-talk and hear

the synchronous COMSEC beep,

I think of that cartoonist’s quote about Ginger Rogers:


“She did everything Fred Astaire did,

except backwards and in high heels.”


Randy Brown embedded with his former Iowa Army National Guard unit as a civilian journalist in Afghanistan, May-June 2011. He authored the poetry collection Welcome to FOB Haiku: War Poems from Inside the Wire (Middle West Press, 2015). His work has appeared widely in literary print and on-line publications. As ‘Charlie Sherpa,’ he blogs about military culture at:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Lost your password?