The Making of a Marine, by David Scott Pointer

The Making of a Marine

by David Scott Pointer

contemplates Nagasaki
atop Mount Fuji

My story begins in the backyard of 1601 Cambridge in Kansas City, Missouri. This is where my grandmother had me train for war, socializing her only grandson to be a “good soldier.” She felt this was the only practical path for a boy from my background and social class. My deceased father had been a bank robber and scoundrel, and she aimed to make investments in me to insure a black tornado didn’t hit twice in the same place. I would practice war, and grandma would call me inside to a little tea party, then I would update her about my progress with the enemy. And so it went until I signed up for the United States Marine Corps at age 17 on the delayed entry program, and left for boot camp after high school graduation in May 1980.


War BitsWriting for Peace Adviser David Scott Pointer, child soldier

Already a
toy cannon
by the old
potty chair is
laying claim
to the Tooth
Fairy’s lands
beneath the
child’s pillow,
and overseas
three young
Marines learn
Friendly Fire’s
bullet is
dispensed as
an explosive
roar of
When I was living in Camelot federal housing authority, a friend talked to me about going to college. Jack Hill was an ex-marine and former burglar, and I think he was the only person who ever suggested that possibility to me. I started my first college class aboard an Air Force base while stationed with the Marine Corps in Okinawa, Japan. By the time I had completed my tour in the Marines, there was no doubt in my mind that world peace needed to be historically accelerated.


The Call of Contemporary Duty

Sometimes there’sWriting for Peace Adviser, Poet David Scott Pointer and friend
mere micro millimeters
between a purple
heart and a larger
posthumous award,
and at other times
a combat crew finds
itself on patrol in
Iraq carefully completing
their required tour
of duty as others
park their vehicles
out of sight, and
safely wait out each
shift ensuring that
they’ll be in one fit
piece to sign on
with Blackwater, or
pursue viable
opportunities as
our aforementioned
crew, or one like
them finds roaring
roadside blasts
earning tickets to
Walter Reed or
toe tags home.

I hope one day to see the glamour that has been reserved for war and the military bestowed upon world peace studies, so that a new generation of just people can march forward for a better planet. One of my goals as a member of the Writing for Peace Advisory Panel is to encourage kids to write world peace poems. Here’s a sample that I used to read to kids to help them get started:


A World Peace PoemPoet David Scott Pointer as a U.S. Marine

Widow Wakefield III
talked about “good intentions”
sang a good get along song,
spoke about what was wrong
in our world, her words on love,
and laughter began to flow like
blue water from the wheel of
a Missouri water mill. When
she finished speaking a military
General walked to the front of
the line shaking her hand, each
tooth in his smile was white as a
tombstone in a national cemetery

Learn more about David Scott Pointer here.


Copyright © 2012 Writing for Peace. All rights reserved.


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