A hero’s prayer

(light's out at Parris Island)

oh god
oh god
bless our di
degraded us
at old pi
oh god
oh god
bless the Corps
that taught us
all to pray for war
oh god
oh god
whose guns
we bear
give us ears ((US propaganda filmmaker Ken Burns produced another perennial whitewash of the US war against Vietnam, perhaps better called the “US war to control the Asian opium market upon the demise of the French and British empires”. it has been argued that the managing force in this war comprised “other government agencies”. Although US journalism to this day has been “reluctant” to mention this party– and one can bet Mr Burns will not either. Canadian journalist Michael Maclear reported in 1975 for CTV what must even have eluded America’s “arch-investigators“. Burns will certainly gloat at the loyalty of the USMC. smart uniforms, presidential life guard and the mailed fist for imperial conquest and punitive actions all make the “few, the proud” what they are today.))
or scalped hair
oh god
oh god
for you we fight
snatching natives
before dawn’s light
so god
from whom
all blessings flow
while we kill
all creatures here below
oil our arms
as we arm for oil
watch our pillage
guard our spoils
till all the corpses
we piled high
will sing our praise
sing “semper fi!”

Dr T.P. Wilkinson writes, teaches History and English, directs theatre and coaches cricket between the cradles of Heine and Saramago. He is also the author of Church Clothes, Land, Mission and the End of Apartheid in South Africa. Read other articles by T.P..