“A Marine Sergeant” Tanka 630

A Marine Sergeant:

spend him wisely – goes he glad

now to his brothers.


Wrong on so many levels:

right on just the one which counts!*


  • (Rarely – but often enough – I get a fully or near-so as not worth the quibble formed piece of writing thrust through sleep’s ears at me that causes me to grope for the pen and notebook which rest under the phone with a sidewinder-type handcrank one-bulb LED light and begin the write large – more of a scrawl, really.  This is except for minor cosmetics one I like most.  I knew a United States Marine Non-Commissioned Officer like the man portrayed in the above piece.  He had expressed quietly to me inside a bunker taking artillery fire one dark and miserably wet monsoon morning he wished for a bayonet charge into a treeline for a quick, clean death and release from the tedium and terror his times now laid out for him.  He admonished me never to use his name or unit identifiers if ever I should write that story.  I never did.  I don’t know yet if he found his treeline.  Others I heard about did. One survived and later – much later – “ate his handgun.”  He father was a Marine enlisted-to-General hero who remains still a figure of controversy. The Tanka two-line form came insisting at near-sleep’s door for me to awake and add those two lines.  I am glad I did.  Too often I resort to: I’ll just remember.”  You know how that works, right?)


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