© Desmond Last All Rights Reserved
By Desmond Last
Also by Desmond Last ‘Angel’ see www.angelbydesmondlast.com
My poem entitled ‘Pavement Marine’ began as a concern for those men and women who know that they may die in service for their Nation. There are many but they are also a few. The majority of a Nation do not have to wonder when they see the dawn if they will see the sunset – from soldier to sailor and from Policeman to fireman they stand as our resolute guardians to danger. But they also wear the emotional trauma on their shoulders and for some the weight is too much and they commit suicide.
This is a symbol for those whose duty endangers their lives. Pavement Marine is a poem about a United States Marine who commits suicide – one of the 5,000 US soldiers and veterans who committed suicide in 2018.
I have written the poem and I hope one day to stage the story within the poem as a Rock Opera.
Why the website? I wrote ‘Angel’ and other works. I believe they have been illegally claimed by others and copied. I will develop ‘Pavement Marine’ live on-line so that you will know if it has been copied and claimed illegally.
Pavement Marine is – the stark bloody truth of war.
You will be immersed in its horror, its romance, it’s black humour and its final sadness, but most of all its meaning.
Pavement Marine will provide scholarships for those who have been traumatised by the war and assistance for families whose loved ones committed suicide because of the imprint of war.
This is the Poem I have written that provides the subject for the Rock Opera.
You wanted me to die for you.id you not?
Do you see me dying?
Each day my death for you a little nearer
You knew that which I did not.
But you never said.
No stark bloody truth you ever gave me.
I now be my own truth.
My dream of duty – a cherished pride.
You cheered me on – a triumphant vanguard
No solitude with my muted anger was ever promised.
I marched those stripes of red white and blue
‘Go get them’ you said
From your bars and Televisions.
‘Whip them boy. Give them one for me’.
My President too. Speeches to make me proud – and I was. I still am.
I lifted by your words and carried by my Nation.
‘Get the fucking medic now, Where is that fucking medic’.
Your fine words wasted on a dusty outpost of democracy.
From where my brotherhood lay to die.
‘Don’t die. You will not die. Medic. Medic where the fuck is the Medic’.
Now you no longer see me.
I am gaunt and grey, a silent embarrassment that haunts you.
I blend into the slabs of hardness I beg from.
I am your Pavement Marine.
First the bottle my solace,
Now the needle my constant companion.
‘You will not fucking well die. I brother am your love your life – fuck the medic, fuck you all’
I now shoot not my enemy but myself.
Your Federal programs my absent friends.
I love my needle like I loved my M16A4.
My life I see in my crystals of oblivious escape.
An irony of circumstances as you automate your feelings to me.
You do not hear my silent screaming as it engulfs my every thought.
It drowns my disciplined silence to your World.
A screaming disjointed harmony of my fears
It a confusion of light and dark deep swallowing sound.
Each disharmony a shudder to my mind’s fighting hole.
‘Medic, Medic’. There is no medic only me.
My hands deep inside the red hole of his chest.
Tears and anger. Cold fear my companion, my comrade now dead.
More my comrade; my brother, my union, my love and respect.
I am you America. Do you not see me?
I am that which you be and all that you will be.
America you have need of me; my stature is your belief.
I hold my head high. Your indifference will never defeat me.
For I die with ‘Semper Fi’ to my Nation.
Laughing, crying, silent, soulful that is I – all in one moment.
Your automation – a visual avoidance – your eyes never meet mine.
Your steps an echo of my solitude.
I seek to remind you.
I am the Nation.
Honour, Duty and the fight for freedoms.
I know who I am America. Do you?
Walk on by your dollars thrown at me.
I see your guilty eyes.
Is your conscience now appeased?
The worst of our Nation taunts me.
I laugh as they beat me.
I stand silent as they threaten me.
I crawl as they kick me.
I never beg for Mercy. For I am a United States Marine.
I sob alone in my loneliness.
Now I stare at my blood.
A river of escape for my pain.
With it a tide of relief.
My war with my Nation is nearly over.
The voices are calm now.
My lost brother nearby. He awaits me.
I feel the deafening tremors leave me.
I am proud. My pride alongside me – my dull and twisted heart of purple.
My duty will never die.
Now I will be at Peace.
Now you will know who I am.
Your goodbye to me? Full Military Honours.
You honour my death but not my life.
Now finally America I have your respect.
God Bless America.
This is the opening of the Rock Opera
The Opera begins with life – the Marine’s Life. Loud, Disciplined, Dutiful, In Your face and for many ‘In Love’.
Act One. The Military Band, the March, the Soldier and his wife. The Parade Sargent. (The War).
Summary: Our Marine Meets His Woman. Woman meets Marine. Marines on Parade. Where the Fuck is that Medic.
Where the Fuck is that Medic? – Once you have the imprint of a bloody brutal trauma on your mind – It never leaves you. It is your anger, your hate, your solace, your sadness, your sometimes laughter, your reason for living and why it is you want to die. That is why throughout the Opera is the dark loudness that acts a hinge to the shuttered screaming inside the fighting pit of the mind – Where the fuck is that Medic.
Song 1: The Marines enter as they chant this song. Young, Proud and with an energy that cannot be contained but must be maintained.
Do not Bullshit a Marine
The Marine has a DNA.
You cannot fuck with it
You cannot bullshit to it.
An order is to be obeyed.
The World is black and white.
Good guys live
Bad guys die.
It’s simple and it works.
It works for the USMC
Most people would love it
if it could work for them.
Song 2. Our Marine Meets His Soulmate, His Wife, His Love.
Busting Heart Proud
Heart Beat his new March
Eyes straight ahead
He ablaze with new strength
She his first love
Forever his only love
He her dependence
Her child her man
A union of love
A future of fear
How they love
More than life itself
Both tears for their goodbyes
Desperate deep nights
His thoughts of her
His death often near
Tears of that constant fear
So very alone
Marine’s wife solitude
Not a duty
But in the shadows, in the dirt, amongst the dust strewn landscape barren of any growth and with a dust that hangs in the air – he is shouting ‘Where the fuck is that medic? Do not die boy, do not die, I love you, You cannot die’.
Song 3. Living in the Shadows
The darkness is my light
Its dimness my solitude
I cannot live the crowds, the People,
For I no longer
recognise these automated emotions
I cannot see who they are
for I am not of them
You have not been
where I have delved
Into the very abyss of Hell
now forever my goaler
With my eyes shut tight,
light blinds my thought
I shiver in the heat,
I shake not with fear,
But with that day again,
again and again and again
It is my bravery
that day does partner……………. with all my fear
My fear not that I would die
but that I would never leave
Leave that day I so want to leave
Yet I want all that
which that day did bring
The Marine looks proud yet in the shadows the darkness welcomes him.
Our Marine is now ready for war.
The Marines March In, Fast, In time, The Flag of the United States of America is raised.
Song 4. You cannot know bravery without fear. Many may talk of how brave they will be but until you know that empty feeling of helplessness that is true fear then you cannot know what bravery it takes to overcome that all encompassing emotion. For a Marine as for any professional who is prepared to risk his or her life for their fellow man the bravery begins in the theatre of war. But for his girlfriend, boyfriend, husband or wife the bravery begins when they are alone.
Our Marine has left. His wife is alone. The military band are packing up. The sun is settling its day. She stands by his car.
Song 4. Our heart is one.
His memory now a fender of steel,
a glistening of his reflection
What road do I take now
Where will you be
This day tomorrow
Where will you be
When I cry for you
Where will you be
When I cry to sleep
I will wake each day
My first thought of you
Are you safe
Are you well
Each knock at door
A heartbeat of fear
I will not cry here
I will cry alone.
She leaves, the Marines stand silent. In salute of all those who bear the weight of their responsibility to their Nation and to those who they love. But the shadows never leave. She exits. As she does she walks past the man begging in the street. She briefly glances at the USMC fatigue jacket. She hears the man shouting. “Where are you my brother. Where the fuck are you. I want to join you”. She steps over the needle on the pavement……
This is ongoing…….Last written 11.7.19 9.56pm Desmond Last