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Marine Corps Poetry: My Old Blues

When I lie down
For my last snooze,
And if I still have
The right to choose,
Just lay me out
In my old blues.

Make sure my brass
Is shiny bright,
My stripes not askew,
My hash marks
All arranged
For all the boots
To view.

My blood stripes
Smooth along my legs,
A spit shine
On my shoes.
All things must be
Very right,
When I wear
My old blues.

Place me on
A horse-drawn cart,
Lead me to my grave.
Fire for me a volley,
Tell them I was brave.
Oh, bugler,
Hold that long last note
And let it fade away,
As I will the morrow
My very final day!

Robert L. Cook


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Noble Is Our Cause

The boys are gone
As we all know
To fight a war
For some Joe
We have never seen
Nor heard
Who speaks to us
In foreign words
And swears to god
To kill us all
lest we defile the planet.

We do not understand them
Nor do they we,
Our worlds are oh
So far apart.
We know they have
Murderous hearts,
They seek to make
The world their own
Sans freedoms
As are known
By nations free
As are we.

To change a mind
Is more than challenge
Yet undaunted all are we
Who hold the
Banner of freedom
From sea to shining sea.
We pray they
Will take our offer
Of sweet, sweet liberty
For it is the greatest gift
From you and you and me.

Robert L Cook

Nobody Did It Better

Ashore they were a rowdy bunch,
They took their time to play
But once they came aboard
It was business all the way.

They manned the fifties,
The twenties and forties,
And a five-inch gun or two.
They stood their watches
Like good Marines oughta,
Their breaks were far and few.

They stood a watch at the radio shack
And watches on the brig,
They stood by the captain
In all of the action
When he was on the bridge.
When the seas were high and heavy
And the wind came blowing in,
You’d find them on the gun mounts
Oft’times wet to their skin.

Although they wore the uniform
Of regular Marines,
They were of a different breed.
They didn’t have a foxhole
From which to fire a round
And nowhere to run if they could.

They took their place
In the scheme of it all
And did so remarkably well,
Sea-going Marines
Was the name of the team
And they served their time
In Hell.

Robert L. Cook

Marine Corps Poems: The Great Generation

The called us the
“great generation”
After we fought the war.
We came home to
A grateful nation
That promised
We’d fight no more.

Our nation stands
Always ready
To fight for
Rights we adore,
And soon we were
Back in the foxholes
Defending those rights
Once more.

The nation that
We fought for
Was small,
Had little to give.

Robert L Cook
They only wanted assistance
To give them the lives
That they lived.

We spent days
Without number
In cold and blistering heat,
We conquered the foe
‘Twas not easy
To make a
A tactical retreat.
We felt no shame in our doing,
We were left unbeaten by far,
A wise man led us to safety,
‘Tis the fortunes of war.

This was the same generation
That had conquered
The foe of the East.
They left with the
Satisfied feeling,
Of stopping
The Communist beast.
They left that small nation
At peace and
Wholly intact.

It seems we cannot tolerate
A tyrant in command,
We rise up and challenge him
In any clime or land.
When e’er we see
A people
Suffer beneath the lash,
We feel we must interfere
To set them free.

We sent our Marines
Upon the scene,
In far away
They did their best
On their behest
To sweep the nation clean.
They fought a bloody battle
That lasted long
Not well.
They could not squelch
The enemy
No fault was theirs
To tell.

Our nation was not
With them,
Politics intervened.
If they had been
Left alone
There would be no loss
To atone.

So once again
They left the shores
With heads held high.
Their pride was not extinguished,
It vaulted to the sky.
They came home to a nation
That did not welcome them.
There were no parades
Or gatherings.
No happy sounding din.

Time never stops turning,
Around and around it goes.
Another nation in distress,
So off to war we go.
The Marines, as is usual,
Were first upon the scene.
They found a situation
That honed their senses keen.
With time and perseverance,
With help they won the day.

God knows what
Will happen next.
What mission they’ll
But you can bet
Your lazy ass
Who’ll be
There first.

Robert L Cook

Marine Corps Poems: If I Ever Go To War…

If I ever go to war Mom, Please don’t be afraid.
There are some things I must do, To keep the promise that I made.
I’m sure there will be some heartache, And I know that you’ll cry tears,
But your son is a Marine now, Mom, There is nothing you should fear.

If I ever go to war Dad, I know that you’ll be strong.
But you won’t have to worry, Cause you taught me right from wrong.
You kept me firmly on the ground, yet still taught me how to fly.
Your son is a Marine now Dad, I love you OORAAH, Even if I die.

If I ever go to war Bro, There are some things I want to say.
You’ve always had my back, and I know it’s my time to repay.
You’ll always be my daybreak, through all of life’s dark clouds,
Your brother is a Marine now, Bro, I promise I’ll make you proud.

If I ever go to war Sis, don’t you worry bout me,
I always looked out for you, but I can’t do that anymore,
Cause I’m a big bro to all in America.
I love you so much and you know that, Your brother is a Marine now Sis,
So wipe your eyes, I’ll be fine even if I die.

If I ever go to war my Friends, We’ll never be apart,
Though we may not meet again, I’ll hold you in my heart.
Remember all the times we had, Don’t let your memories cease,
Your friend is a Marine now, Dear Friend, And I’ll die to bring you peace.

And when I go to heaven, And see that pearly gate,
I’ll gladly decline entrance, Then stand my post and wait.
I’m sorry Sir I can’t come in, I’m sort of in a bind,
You see I’m still a Marine Sir, So I can’t leave them behind

Marine Corps Poems: MUD!

If ever there was mud,
It had to be the crud
That lay about
On Okinawa’s scene.
Of every place
They had to be,
To take a hill,
Or blast a mill,
Or march along
Some stinkin’
Piece of ground
That led to somewhere else
Just as muddy as the first,
Just so you wouldn’t feel
Let down!

You know what I mean.
I know you have seen
A place they called a road,
Where you trucked
Your heavy load
Mired in muck
Up to your bloody ass!
There ain’t no answer for it,
We all of us
Deplore it.
And there’s not a freakin’ thing
That you can do.

And when the man says “Go!”
And you have no choice
To show,
Then you cuss
The very God
That got you there.
When your truck’s stuck
In a hole,
And they tell you
To “Heave ho!”
Well, you might as well
Just crawl in there with it.

Of all the shit they throw,
As you struggle
With the foe,
There ain’t nothin’
That will chill your
Ass like the mud.
It will stop a brigade,
Put a division
In the shade,
And cause a general
To give up
His flamin’ stars!

You all remember well,
How you dodged
The shot and shell,
With your foxhole
Filled with bloody freakin rain!
And how you managed to sleep,
In that mire most
Ass deep,
Is a mystery that
They have yet to solve!

There never was a war
That was fought
From near to far,
That was
Pleasant for the bleedin’ troops!
So take my advice:
Think it over
Once or twice,
Before you sign up
For the raggedy-ass Marines!

Marine Corps Poems: A Thirty-Year Man

I’ve tramped the whole world over,
My boondockers have gone far.
From the Halls of Montezuma
To the distance of a star.

I’ve splashed ashore on islands,
I’ve climbed the distance hills.
The sand I got from foreign lands
I carry with me still.

I treasure my tomorrows,
I know not when they’ll end.
Perhaps upon a lonely beach,
Or in a city’s din.

The time I have to spend here
Be it short or more,
For all goods and purposes
Is dedicated to the Corps.

Cpl. Robert L. Cook

Marine Corps Motivational

Marine Corps Poems: BOOT

What’s a Private worth, what does it take?
Months of struggle, a Marine to make.
What he hates the best is living in stress,
All in preparation for that final test.

Drill Instructors all day long, ending their night,
And still seem to be there in reveille’s half light.
Drill Instructors all day long, always on their backs,
Trashcans flying through the air, people out of racks.

Mental-intensive combat from reville to taps,
Sing the song for Chesty and take the 8-hour naps.

Gas Chamber, Alibi Relay, smokers on the road,
Grenade range, dry nets . . . NOW you know, you toad.

Frustrated, nervous, exasperated calms,
Night sounds, live-fire, two hundred rounds.

Defensive combat holes and ambushing trails,
Separating the willing from the wannabe frails.

Shit-on-a-shingle and blouse your boots,
Now paint the rocks outside my hooch.

Humping Juliet, Oscar and up the Mount,
On the road for First Aid . . . Guide, gimme a count.

Dipsy Dumpster, Firewatch, two for early chow,
Mailcall, pugil sticks, locks in a ball.

Bore brush, boots shined, check your brass,
Military alignment and a PFT to pass.

Bends and thrusts forever, more PT, begin,
A Private often wonders — will this EVER end?

All of this and all of that and all the in-betweens,
And all of a sudden a Colonel sez,
“Congratulations, MARINES!”

Marine Corps Poems: When I Was Young

When I was young
And in my prime
And newly wedded
To the Corps,
Thought I was hot,
Believe it or not,
Or so
I have been told.

My khakis were
So neatly pressed,
My shirts both
Fore and aft.
My spit shine
Was the envy of
Each man
From first
Unto the last.

I never was
Accosted by
The guards upon the gate,
My uniform
Was always right,
Looking good,
Brass all bright.
My cap was slanted
So just right,
I was a poster boy.

I trod the streets
Of ‘Diego town
And went to
Every bar
And you can bet
My drinkin’
Was really up to par.
I could hold
My liquor,
Didn’t stagger,
Didn’t fall,
My liberties in ‘Diego
Were the best of all.

But then there was
New Zealand,
How can I e’er forget?
The cobbers
We drank with
Were buddies,
You can bet.

We drank them dry
Of Waitemata beer
And all they had
Of Scotch.
And ol’ “JD”
Was often gone
“Last call”
Did sound.
We shouted loud
For one more round
Before we staggered home.

So who’s to say
Which one is best,
The many or the few?
We were warriors
On a quest,
The proud, the brave
The Few.

Robert L Cook

Marine Corps Poems: A Sergeant of Marines

You have heard stories told
Of men that were bold,
And didn’t have an ounce of fear.
Now you can believe,
Can even conceive,
That there really are
Some members of that breed.

If you want to see the type
Of which I write,
Then join the
The United States Marines.

They make sergeants there
That are four square,
And some of them
Are really mean!
Now they don’t mean to be,
It’s just that they
Can see the faults
That dwell in you and me.

You know it hurts their pride
And they cannot abide
A Marine that is not
As he should be.
A sergeant takes you aside
And explains in words
A little snide
That you had better
“Shape up or ship out!”

It is their prideful duty,
And the Corps
Will back them up,
To make of you
What you ain’t
Never been before:
A United States Marine.

Robert Cook

Marine Corps Poems: I Found Our Flag

I found our flag a hangin’
On a small town general store.
It was faded and ragged,
A thing we do deplore.

But when I saw the owner
Asittin’ on that front porch,
I knew why it flew there
For he was a man of yore.

Beneath his rolled up shirt sleeve,
An arm of steel exposed,
The Eagle, Globe and Anchor
That was a part of
His private world.

His head was bare,
Bereft of hair,
Except for a grey expanse.
His grizzled face
Bore the trace
Of time’s slow advance.

It was plain to see
As it could be,
He was a man
Of steel.
For below the knee
You could not see
What he had left behind.

That ragged flag
Told more to me
Than I could hope to know.
It was to him
A symbol of
The land that he loved so.

The land that he had
Fought to save
In wars long gone
To pages.
No more will he
Bear arms though he
Is still courageous.

Among the men
Who fought the wars
That was our undertaking,
Let’s keep them in
Our memories
While memorials
We’re making.

Robert L. Cook

Marine Corps Poems: Seabags In The Rain

When clouds are gray and lowering
And fog obscures the plain,
I sometimes think I catch a sight
Of seabags in the rain.

I know it is a vision
Too ethereal to last,
But it brings a wisp of sadness
And a haunting from the past.

We had come ashore at Inchon
In Nineteen Fifty-Two—
An administrative landing,
Just a unit passing through.

We were mustered at the railhead,
Lining up to board a train,
When through the stormy darkness
I saw seabags in the rain.

There was no need to question
Why they were lying there
Looking lonely and abandoned
In the damp Korean air.

Their owners had gone northward
And would not return again
From where hills of bitter battle
Took the lives of fighting men.

Now when fog and darkness gather,
I rarely can restrain
My saddened thoughts of Inchon
And seabags in the rain.

Sgt. Robert Gannon

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