Saturday, April 4, 2009

Poetry Blog

I have a colleage and friend, Russ, who is a thoughtful liberal, with whom I often exchange political barbs. Russ and I share a love of traditional poetry. He writes moving, well-crafted sonnets and some blank verse that is very like Robert Frost (whom we both admire). I recommend his poetry to you--you can't get his quality verse and poetic craftmanship very often in this time of zero standards.

Russ has started a blog for writers of traditional, or "bound school" poetry, to which he kindly lets me post my efforts as well. If you are into such, you may want to visit:

He explains the name on the blog.

What made me think to post that here was receiving my April, 09 issue of Leatherneck, the Magazine for Marines, which published one of my poems, below. I haven't posted it on Tennis With The Net Up, as it has too strong a political point.

Vietnam Vets

A generation that was split
Twixt those who served and those who spit
On service, flag and country now
Grows gray and makes a peace somehow.

Our hearts are seldom filled with calm,
For memories of Vietnam
Will pulse with every beat until
The day those hearts grow cold and still.

We smile across the breech and yet,
The men who served cannot forget.
For tears may dry and bones may heal,
And memory grow less raw and real--

But comradeship still plays its part,
And scars still linger on the heart.
Our eyes tell them we’ve not forgot
That we were there—and they were not.

We watch our comrades fade away,
And know that honor had its day,
And could we now, we’d serve again.
We know who were the better men.

Robert A. Hall
Former SSgt, USMC


  1. Again, thank you for serving, sir.

    I teach English at a small, Midwest state university, and you'd never know by listening to some of my colleagues that Vietnam was over. They use the same terminology and attitude in speaking of the "overseas contingency operations" and the soldiers therein (not to the soldiers' faces, at least--otherwise, I'd likely no longer be employed).

    That attitude disgusts me. It disgusted me to read of the way you and your brothers in arms were treated. It always has, and always will bother me.

    And so, I do all I can--hold doors for those in uniform, and thank them for serving. I try to remind those who denigrate that service of how much is sacrificed for that right to speak their minds, but I'm pretty sure it doesn't register.

    Again, thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

  2. By the way, I linked to this post. I thought the piece you wrote was quite beautiful. It reminded me, in the feel of it, of some of Kipling's more introspective stuff--like "Recessional" and "If." Frost, yes, but also Kipling.

  3. Thank you. We would serve again - and may yet have to.

    U.S. Navy

  4. Our families thank you. The mainstream media wouldn’t do it. So we are trying to get important messages to the American people. This post is a suggested read at,

  5. I didn't serve in Viet Nam... just a bit too young...

    I despised the way our soldiers were treated then and how those vets are still treated now. It disgusts me to see it.

    I visited with a young Sgt in Austin Texas a few years ago. He was back from the sandbox and staying at the hotel where I was. I ate breakfast with him one morning and thanked him for serving. I asked him how he was treated and was ashamed to hear that he was called a "baby-killer" in Austin Texas.

    Thank you for serving your country and preserving my rights to freedom (such as it is). You have my undying respect.

  6. Thank you, sir, for serving our country. This poem is beautiful, very moving.