My Walk Through Arlington

I’ve come here again today, to say good-bye,
As unseen birds do sing nearby.

I don’t come here too often, since its not, my hometown.
But a more peaceful place, I have not found.

They have tours and buses here today,
But a walk alone, through the hills and trees,
Is really the only true way.

I’ve been here on cold Wintery days,
And in Summer, when thankful for the trees’ shade

There’s no one here to talk to, but I still do.
Some I have only heard of, but others I truly knew.

I’ve just about been  around, this old world
of ours, and have seen some wonderful peaceful places.
And my memories are filled with great friends,
I can still hear their voices , and see their faces.

That’s why, whenever the chance I  get,
Its to here I come,
And take my walk through Arlington..

You’ll Be Sorry !!

By D.H. Newton.. Gunnery Sergeant USMC

“You’ll be sorrrrrry” !  “You’ll be sorrrrrry ” !
Were the jeers that greeted me.
As off that Tonerville Trolly, I raced at Yamasee.

“Keep off the grass!!” Keep off the grass”!
Bellowed that slim tanned man.
But for the life of me, all I could see was sand , sand, sand.

Up until that day of life of strife.
It was the longest in my life.

There would be others worse, during my years of roams,
But that I’ll cover later, in some of my other poems.

On this first day “DI” Rosen, took us to be  deloused,
Which of course would take place in a Quonset House.

On entering, we were told that The Legend was there, and was
temporarily in charge.
And we could look, but not speak, as we ran pass,
The Old Sarge.

At that split second, I knew what I would do.
I would pause and say “adieu”

Not many know of this great man it seems,
So what ! , we knew him, his fellow Marines.

As I ran near him, I stopped, I had forgot.
“Keep moving you knucklehead”, and I boomdocker, on my rump I got.

Friends, Islands, caves and beaches have now gone, and rest,
at long last I have had luck to find.
But not one day do I remember more clearly, then when
Master Gunnery Sergeant Lee Diamond kicked me on my behind.

The Punchbowl

By D.H. Newton.. Gunnery Sergeant USMC

If you ever get the chance , and to Oahu go
Between your visits to the sand and surf,
To The Punchbowl go.

Go down into the base of it , among the crosses stand
And listen to their voices , dialects of every land.

Where have they come from, before they landed here
Your hometown and my hometown, and others far and near.

Brave warriors lay here, woman and man
And so I’m sort to say are filled with bags of sand.

So mid your suntan lotion,
And shopping for your notions

Go out into the harbor away a bit from the land
And bow your head in silence, as on The Old Arizona you stand

Enjoy your vacation , whatever land you have come from,
But before you go
Please, for them, a short visit to The Punchbowl go.

These Old Vets..

By D.H. Newton.. Gunnery Sergeant USMC
(Okinawa A-1-29)

Its quiet around the wards tonight
Silently , these old vets, put up the good fight.

If only we had more time to spend with them
Perhaps sit a spell and hold an old hand so thin

A hand that once carried a rifle with bayonet attached.
Or perhaps held the rudder, on a fast moving landing craft.

Or, standing at the plane’s open door, guided a “fifty”
As it fired on enemy planes flying by,
So many years ago when B-17’s did fill the sky.

His eyes now seem to be dull and slightly glazed,
But once were bright blue when on Suribachi
Old Glory he helped raise.

He doesn’t ask for much
Just a soft kind touch

Each of these old vets, are like pages from an old History book
Just  laying on the living room table, just waiting
For some one to take a look

The sounds they make now are different from the
Ones of their youth
When on a sandy beach, they fought hand and tooth

Where in darkness you hear now a moan or two
Try to listen, as if it were a far away lost and happy tune.

That now in his lonely dreams, he tries to remember
When once on the cold North Atlantic he was a crew member.

On that old oil tanker “North To Murmanks”
Sit, hold his hand, is that so much to ask?

Those legs that no more move, and seem so fragile and unbehaved
Once ran, and dodged and climbed and fought
In some far away cave.

Sit a spell, and with a damp cloth his forehead soothe
Where now its toped with gray, blonde curls once grew.

Don’t be afraid,
Hug ‘em, his dues have been paid

His shoulders now seem sagged and loosely hide
On those same shoulders a wounded comrade did ride

When in early morn, he slips back to his roots,
Stand erect and snap him his finial salute

Sounds of Tattoo

By D.H. Newton.. Gunnery Sergeant USMC

Its quiet around this house tonight
And my memories are in their usual flight.

As I relax here on my front porch, in my favorite chair
The house lights are out, as across the open sea I do stare.

Where will I go tonight, and walk memories lane with whom.
Who will appear to me in khaki or dress blues,
Out of these sand dunes.

What sounds will I hear, perhaps a bugle call or two,
Maybe The Charge, Reveille or my favorite Tattoo.

When at days end, before Taps, Tattoo is sounded.
It calls us all to barracks, to be with friends and comrades,
And memories are re-founded..

Some days, I sit and visit with Lee Diamond, that gentle giant, with
The goatee, and visit far off places anew.
Only Marine allowed to have a goatee, and why not !!
On his chest was that ribbon with a white bar surrounded by blue.

Other evenings Ira Hayes may be seen walking along my beach
This time, a quiet one it is, no volcanic ash or Mt.Suribaci to reach.

With these comrades, there ‘s  no need for much speech,
Nearness is all it takes.
In silence we both hear that sound again, as a Nambo the beach does rake.

Memories lane with them, is a pleasant path, on which to stroll
Here on my moonlit beach, we sometimes shiver with thoughts
Of Northern China’s cold.

Perhaps in twilight The Fullers, father and son, are seen marching,
Once again in line.
The father I knew and saw often, the son was after my time.

“Chesty Puller was a Lieutenant General, with five Navy Crosses,
His son , a Lieutenant, counted missing arms and legs as his losses.

On these cool. Balmy Florida evenings, I wait and watch
For a salute and a holler
And my porch becomes The Halls of Valhalla

Once on one evening, I visited in my dreams, under that moon
Just us two, alone
With “Manila John’ Basilone

You young folks, who have life in front of you.
When next you see an old vet, picture him in youth like you.

Tall, straight in back, firm in body and mind,
And a strong gait in walk to boot
No need to speak, just a sharp salute !!

Towards evenings, they’ll all stand, these my comrades, nod and march away,
For they have heard it too.
That sound, on those far off breakers,
That sound of Tattoo.

White Stars On Ribbon Blue

By D. H. Newton, GySgtUSMC, Okinawa (A-1-29)

The first time I ever saw him, I was perhaps twelve you see
And if not mistaken, he was close to eighty-tree.

He was a gaint of a small man , leaning on a cane.
His name I never knew,but I’ll tell you of his fame.

There had been a parade that day, and along with others,
I had marched with Scout Troop Eighteen.
After returning Our Colors ,to Roulocke LegionPost,
We usually played tag, around that old cannon,
From a far distant scene.

That’s when I first saw him, and his odd shaped cap of blue.
There were others so dressed, but alack , so few

That’s when I saw it, around his neck it hung,
On white stars and ribbon blue.
He smiled at me, and through it, came all the joys
And sorrows of his youth.

For years there after, usually on Memorial Day,
Or The Fourth of July
I’d sit along with others, around that old cannon and
He’d tell stories of youth and days gone by.

He had climbed up, and fought on Missionary Ridge,
And had been there in Chattannooga’s dew.
That’s way around his neck,
Hung White Stars On Ribbon Blue.

He spoke often of his young colonel, leading the men,
With Flag flying, and cries of On Wisconsin!

What scene of life would you ask for, if given a chance ,
To pass before your eyes at the last second of life to view?
Mine without a doubt would be, those White Stars On Ribbon Blue.

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