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Misterstan
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Posts: 210
(6/4/01 7:41:04 am)
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THE OLD MAN AND THE SAILOR
By Bob Harrison
July 22, 1997
***

He was old and worn and bit forlorn as he ambled through the park,
He spoke to me and I could see that his eyes had lost their spark.
His gait was slow and his voice was low as he asked to sit with me,
And I answered him with a friendly grin, "The sittin' here is free."

He gave a smile and we talked a while and his voice was rather weak,
But his mind was strong and it wasn't long till he began to speak
Of yesteryears and I saw the tears as the mem'ries flooded through
For he spoke of times and other climes as old men often do.

He smiled at me and I could see as he glanced at my Navy blues
That he'd earned his keep on the briny deep and paid his share of dues.
I asked if he would share with me some mem'ries from his career,
He said he might if the price was right, and the price was a can of beer!

"I've shipped on subs and oily tubs, on battleships and cruisers,
Ten thousand mates and I can state not one of them was losers.
LST's on foreign seas, from Solomons to Leyte,
You name it, lad, I've been there, from Alaska down to Haiti."

"Liberty ships of paper clips, balsa wood and glue,
I saw one break apart one time and lose her gallant crew.
Marine Corps I took ashore on Tarawa and Truk."
Oh what the Hell, for quite a spell, I've had my share of luck."

"One thing more," he said, "before I move along,
There ain't no air that's quite as fair as the pipe of the boatswain's song.
And the place to be is on the sea riding a fair sea swell,
With mates like you in Navy blue who'll follow you straight through Hell."

"So here's to you and your Navy crew who take our ships to sea,
You've fought and died and never cried throughout our history.
You're heroes all and ten feet tall and your spirits never lag,
You're the nation's best and you never rest in defense of our country's flag!

He rose to leave and I believe that he seemed to move much faster,
His eyes agleam like a laser beam and his skin was alabaster,
He glowed at first then soon dispersed in a cloud of misty cotton,
A dream at most, perhaps a ghost, but not to be forgotten

---------------------------------------------------------
This poem was sent to members of the MRFA by Larry Dunn.

Stan Lambert
St. Clair Shores, Michigan


TShooters
V.I.P. Member
Posts: 197
(6/4/01 11:12:05 am)
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Great poem, Stan! Thanks for sharing it.

Sharon

dap22
Senior Chief Moderator II
Posts: 661
(6/4/01 3:16:08 pm)
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ezSupporter
Re: Sharing Poems
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Larry Dunn is a most talented man. Ya Stan, thanks for sharing that!!

homer4
Moderator
Posts: 779
(6/4/01 4:03:41 pm)
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Remember reading another one of his works someplace and enjoyed that one also. Good job Stan.
...and two hard boiled eggs.

Misterstan
Moderator
Posts: 219
(6/5/01 8:27:03 am)
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Another one about sailors by Larry Dunn.

Stan Lambert
St. Clair Shores, Michigan

----------------------------------------------------
OLD SAILORS

Old sailors sit and chew the fat
'bout how things used to be
of the things they've seen
and places they've been
When they ventured out to sea.

They remember friends from long ago
and the times they had back then
of the money they've spilled
and the beer they've swilled
In their days as sailing men.

Their lives are lived in days gone by
with thoughts that forever last
of cracker-jack hats
and bell-bottom blues
and the good times in their past.

They recall long nights with a moon so bright
far out on a lonely sea
and the thoughts they had
as youthful lads
When their lives were unbridled and free.

They know so well how their hearts would swell
when the flag fluttered proud and free
and the stars and the stripes
made such beautiful sights
as they plowed through an angry sea.

They talk of the bread ole' cookie would bake
and the shrill of the boatsun's pipe
and how the salt spray fell
like sparks out of hell
when a storm struck in the night.

They remember mates already gone
who forever hold a spot
In the stories of old
when sailors were bold
and lubbers were a pitiful lot.

They rode their ships through many a storm
when the sea was showing its might
And the mighty waves
might be digging their graves
as they sailed on through the night.

They speak of nights in a bawdy house
somewhere on a foreign shore
and the beer they'd down
as they gathered around
cracking jokes with a busty whore.

Their sailing days are gone away
never more will they cross the brow
But they have no regrets
for they know they've been blessed
'cause they honored their sacred vow.

Their numbers grow less with each passing day
as their chits in this life are called in
But they've nothing to lose
for they've all paid their dues
and they'll sail with their shipmates again.

I've heard them say before getting underway
that there's still some sailin' to do
and they'll exclaim with a grin
that their ship has come in
and the Lord is commanding the crew.
***

Larry Dunn
June 4, 2001

An Thoi/LST838 68-69
NAVADVGRP 72-73






hope6970
Moderator
Posts: 387
(6/5/01 10:33:12 am)
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Very Nice Stan, Thank You for sharing those with us.

homer4
Moderator
Posts: 794
(6/5/01 5:02:52 pm)
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He has published hasn't he Stan?

He's very good and easy to follow.
...and two hard boiled eggs.

Misterstan
Moderator
Posts: 224
(6/6/01 7:34:59 am)
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Homer,

As far as I know, Larry Dunn has not published anything to date. He does recommend a book named "Chicken Soup for the Veteran's Soul" which has only recently become available at Amazon.com. It has about 400 pages with beaucoup individual stories.

Here's another poem Larry wrote about the Sailors of the Brown Water Navy.

Stan Lambert
St. Clair Shores, Michigan
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BROWN WATER WARRIORS

We pulled them from the prime of life
To deal with death and battle strife
To fight a war that never should have been.
Just brave young men from yesterday
Who rode their boats into harm's way
To fight a war we wouldn't let them win.

These strong, young men all gave their best
Up muddy rivers filled with death
To fight a war that never should have been.
They paid their dues with blood and sweat
With sights and sounds they can't forget
To fight a war we wouldn't let them win.

They heard the taunts when they came home
Tired and wounded and all alone
From fighting a war that never should have been.
They wondered where the glory lay
For the horrible price they had to pay
To survive a war we wouldn't let them win.

The deeds they've done are history
Their war lives on in infamy
A war they fought that never should have been.
These brave, young men from yesterday
Are now old men with hair of gray
Who fought a war we wouldn't let them win.

They think about those left behind
Whose status still is undefined
From fighting a war that never should have been.
They think of all the friends they lost
And just how much their service cost
To fight a war we wouldn't let them win.

They remember the days when they all stood tall
As they honor their friends who are on The Wall
Dead from a war that never should have been.
Their knowing eyes reflect the pain
Of living the war all over again
A war they know we wouldn't let them win.

***

©Larry L. Dunn June 5, 2001
 
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