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The Listening Post
10/2/2006 5:12:11 PM

I have written a series of five poems as part of my therapy program for PTSD related to my tour of duty in Vietnam in 1968.  I would like to share those poems with friends at AdlandPro.  I have only shared these writings with a few of my closet friends and relatives, as they are very personal to me.  This forum will be available to viewing by all and to those wishing to share similiar original writings realated their own life trials and triumphs.

Here are the first two poems.  I will probably post the other 3 at a later date

The Listening Post


Somberly five men walk,

The darkening sky now overcast,

About their fears they dare not talk,

Knowing tonight may be their last.


Here, tonight, will be your post

The sergeant dutifully said

“Your duty to perform, to your utmost

Or the camp may soon all be dead.


At the bunker two will stay

And to the listening post two will go.”

I said, “Here I will stay if I may,

Please let it be, could it be so?”


The sergeant shook his head

“To the listening post you must go

Through the wire just ahead.

Be careful, but it must be so.


If someone comes, you must stay

Crank the phone; you must not run,

Warn the camp – begin to pray -

To hide - until the morning sun.


There can be no turning back,

Although he may closely go,

Your rifle must not crack,

For he, who comes, may not be a foe.


Thirty feet and turn left,

Through the wire and turn right,

Through the wire and turn left,

There to stay for the night.”


It sure is dark out here.

What is moving in the grass?

And that sound to the rear

As if it were breaking glass?




Woop, woop, wopwop, woop,

Distant sounds, now closer, I hear,

Don’t shoot, please stop

I am out here, alone out here.


In the distance, is that a light?

It is so cold, so dark out here.

With all my will, all my might

I cling to thoughts held dear.


It is so dark, it so cold, so cold.

Why am I in this awful place?

To memories dear I must hold

In the distance, is that a face?


No, it can not be true

It is so dark, so cold out here

She comes closer in my view

Please, she said, have no fear.


Here, she said, is my hand

Now I am here, I am near,

But, I do not understand.

Take my hand, have no fear.


Now I see, so clearly see

She is an angel, she is my love.

Take my hand, come to me

I will keep you safe, as under the

         wing of a dove     


Now, where is that moving grass?

Where are the sounds I fear?

Now, I am safe, I am safe at last

In the arms of my love so dear.


Alas, in the distance, rays of light,

As slowly dawns the sun.

The cold, the dark, the awful night

At last my tour, my duty’s done


          Charles Robinson

              – somewhere, sometime, 1968 



The Listening Post - Today


Today as I look back through the years

I wonder, at that listening post am I still?

Gone it seems are those fears,

A life, a career, a dream did I fulfill.


Still I reach for her hand,

For the hand of her I love,

But still I do not understand,

Longing for the sheltering dove.


Stay my dear, my love, at my side

Please understand, please understand,

Oft times, lonely feelings do still abide,

As I reach out, reach for her hand.


Each day dawns the morning sun,

Filled with dreams and hope of cheer,

For my tour, my duty now is done,

But why is it still so dark out here?


Together we  had a good life

Oft times, it seems, without a care,

Yet oft with trial and time of strife

Oh so hard, oh so hard to bare.


Why, my love, do I feel this way?

Once again please take my hand,

Guide me, love me each day,

But please just try to understand.


Although history now will show,

There is no need, no need to fear

For he who comes is friend, not foe,

But please my love, draw me near.


Oft times, still it seems so dark

Please my love, draw me near,

Now in a new career, I must embark,

I am so lonely, the uncertainty do I fear.

Yet, I know, for me, my Savior died,

And he guides me, keeps me day by day

If I will in him abide, in him abide,

But why, my love, do I feel this way?


Thirty-five years now have passed,

Why, I ask, can’t you understand?

You say, think not of things now past

Please understand, please take my hand


At last I’m home to your embrace,

Family, friends all did say, I did bravely fight

And now,  I know it was by his grace,

Feeling your love, and not my might.


Of the perils, of my fear, of my pain

I long to share, but none will hear

Will you listen, so peace I might gain?

Do not ask me why, but hold me near.


As I look back at that night,

And the year, that long, long year,

I try to understand, did we win the fight?  Did I do right? tell me so, please my dear.


Although, my tour, my duty’s done

The land, the fields, it was a pretty place,

So many years, yet it seems it just begun

Did we win?, begs the quest I can’t erase.


Please my love, please understand

My doubts, my fear, the need to share

As that angel long ago, hold my hand

I long to know, to feel you care.


It seems so cold, so dark out here

Please, my love, in his so perfect will

Draw me close, draw me near,

For at that listening post, am I still?


           Charles Robinson

- somewhere,35 years later


James Wright

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Re: The Listening Post
10/2/2006 10:52:25 PM

Hi Chuck, you've done some beautiful work. I see some of your history here. I was never in the military, but the boarding school I went to in Africa was much like a military boot camp. Everything had to be just so, and we all slept under the same roof, tin at that, so every time it would rain, we all were kept awake at night.

Angela Cardwell

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Re: The Listening Post
10/3/2006 6:58:02 AM

Hi Chuck,

Great poems! I can tell your true feelings are involved in the tought of the writings. My dad was in the Navy during the Vietnam war. Though he was never on land and experienced any of what you have. I would love the opportunity to share them with him.

Good luck to you,

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Bea Souza

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Re: The Listening Post
10/3/2006 7:02:46 AM

Hello Charles

These are fantastic, looking forward to reading the other three poems. It seems you have multi talents. Hope to hear from you soon.

You friend


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Robert Talmadge

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Re: The Listening Post
10/3/2006 8:54:41 AM
Thank you for the poems and the invite. The only thing I can't shake is
the feeling to turn around when someone is standing behind me.
I feel an irresistable urge to turn around and fight the person.

I don't jump when a car backfires anymore.

Robert Talmadge To follow your dream, follow your heart.

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