Tag Archive for: WW2

Peleliu by T.K. Thorne


Writer, humanist,
          dog-mom, horse servant and cat-slave,
       Lover of solitude
          and the company of good friends,
        New places, new ideas
           and old wisdom.

This month, 77 years ago, American soldiers began a battle for an airstrip on a tiny island in the Pacific. 

I had never heard of it, but I watched a documentary where the last surviving Marines told of the battle predicted to take four days that lasted over two months—the bullets; the mud; of forcing their foes from underground positions with flames; the small strip of hard-baked dirt won at such cost of blood; and a victory that was deemed, in the end, of negligible value. 

It was a memory that haunted them and forged unbreakable bonds. One old man told of a simple offering  by his fellows that moved me to tears and to write a poem. I’d like to share it in honor of the Marines who risked and gave everything, and in tribute to the Japanese soldiers who did the same for their country . . . and in the hope that we will do war no more.




Peleliu, 1944
by T.K. Thorne



Thirst scrapes the back of the throat

tasting of gunpowder

and shattered dirt,

lips like parched earth

cracked open for an offering of blood

thirst cries out

from every cell.


We are walking Thirst

in a waking Hell,

traversing a field of Death.

Nothing here

of Home

or Cause—


Only the man to the right

And left.


One says,

“I have water.”


All turn

with longing

never felt for food

or glory

or even a woman.


With that declaration

Thirst intensifies

from burn to conflagration.


Hand atremble,

he offers his canteen

received by the next

with same and solemn fear,

all eyes watching.


One swallow,

one holy swallow

taken in sacred silence.


No one could stop him

if he took another or

drained it dry

but he takes only one,

enough to wet his mouth

but not slake aching cells.


With both hands, the communion canteen

passes to the next man.

all eyes follow.


One swallow.

only one,

all around.


 T.K. is a retired police captain who writes Books, which, like this blog, go wherever her interest and imagination take her.  More at TKThorne.com