"Semper Fi."



I remember mornings

 much like this one,
the oyster rotted

swamp stench breeze,
blowing across the

tarmac as we formed up
for a three mile

quick time march,
sometime around 5:00 a.m.

when the crack of dawn
was still squinting through

sleep clouded eyes.
Full back pack, rifle,

helmet, ammo belt and pain.
The cadence of the

drill instructor pummeling
our ears like a dentist

instructing us on filling
a cavity in our lives.

The scritch, scritch, scritch,
of many boots

meeting the pavement,
as he sang out,

"Eeelow right left,
rightyour, low right left,

rightyour low,"
While we beat feet like

lemmings to a distant war.

It was an eerie sound,

just the heavy breathing
of a platoon of men,

the clink-clank of
the metal nomenclature

on our weapons and the
rhythm of many leather

heeled appendages
all moving in perfect time.

Gooney birds above

accompanied us with
their sharp-beaked cries

of Weh-eh weh-eh,
reminding us of the f

act that they could simply
fly to a freedom we would

not know for many weeks.

Sweat trickles broke

the weary levy of our skin,
and poured down our

backs and faces relentlessly,
but  yet there was a

beauty in such order formed,
and moved quickly

across great distances.

All to prepare us for

such marches to relieve,
other troops pinned down

and dying as they waited
and prayed for fresh meat

to add to the fodder.

In what seemed

hours later, we hit the barracks,
and showered off the

salt dried perspiration,
and marched off to the

mess hall to feast
at around 7:00 A.M. on

a menu of powdered eggs,
sausage, toast, orange juice,

milk, coffee, and grits.

Sometimes we got

shit on a shingle,

creamed beef on toast,

but we ate like ravenous beasts

knowing full well that

calisthenics awaited our full bellies
Long before the chow

we so enjoyed was digested.

We learned discipline

and the value of simple things,
as we studied the many

methods to move effectively
and the many more ways

to kill or be killed.

Sometimes I long for

those days when

my life is disordered,
In a lot of ways it was

easier to be part of a machine,
simply following orders,

everything laid out for you,
where the only requirement

you had was to obey.

Thus I reminisce

on a bygone time
as I stand on my deck,

sipping coffee,
in a chill breeze of

a dying October,

at the start of

another uneventful day. 






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