Guest poem sent in by Suresh Ramasubramanian
(Poem #1110) My Rifle (The Creed of a United States Marine)
This is my rifle. There are many like it, but this one is MINE. My rifle is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life. My rifle without me is useless. Without my rifle, I am useless. I must fire my rifle true. I must shoot straighter than my enemy who is trying to kill me. I must shoot him before he shoots me. I will... My rifle and myself know that what counts in war is not the rounds we fire, the noise of our bursts, nor the smoke we make. We know it is the hits that count. We will hit... My rifle is human, even as I, because it is my life. Thus, I will learn it as a brother. I will learn its weaknesses, its strengths, its parts, its accessories, its sights, and its barrel. I will ever guard it against the ravages of weather and damage. I will keep my rifle clean and ready, even as I am clean and ready. We will become part of each other. We will... Before God I swear this creed. My rifle and myself are the defenders of my country. We are the masters of our enemy. We are the saviors of my life. So be it, until there is no enemy, but PEACE.
(USMC) The Marine Credo is the stuff of legend - a legend that is woven into into assorted books and war movies (Sands of Iwo Jima, The Thin Red Line). I was reminded of this poem when I saw Stanley Kubrick's "Full Metal Jacket", though that was another war, Vietnam instead of Iwo Jima and Guadalcanal. This was written following the attack on Pearl Harbor, and Maj Gen Rupertus was with the marines through some of the toughest fighting in world war II. I'm pretty sure the good general was deadly serious about this when he wrote it, as serious as David when he wrote 'The Lord is my Shepherd' (below). In fact, I have a feeling Gen. Rupertus had that in mind when he wrote this one. However, I *can* poke fun at at least some part of it - like the last line "... no enemy, but Peace". So peace is a Marine's final enemy, I take it? :) -srs ~Psalms 23:1-6~ The LORD is my Shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; Your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.