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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Cousin(s) (05/22/08)

TITLE: On The Sands Of Normandy
By Mariane Holbrook



There'll be bluebirds over
The white cliffs of Dover,
Tomorrow, just you wait and see.

There'll be love and laughter
And peace ever after.
Tomorrow, when the world is free.

The shepherd will tend his sheep.
The valley will bloom again.
And Jimmy will go to sleep
In his own little room again.

There'll be bluebirds over
The white cliffs of Dover,
Tomorrow, just you wait and see.

Written by Nat Burton and Walter Kent


He tossed and turned the night before the battle would begin.
Twelve thousand ships and aircraft with one mission: “We Must Win!”
Since early nineteen forty-three, the careful plans were laid
That on June sixth in forty-four, the Allies would invade.

From England on that fateful dawn, to Normandy they sped.
The air support that they received reduced their numbered dead.
My cousin Marvin was among the soldiers on that day
Who joined in the bombardment; ‘twas a massive arms display.

He lost most of his hearing from the shells that would explode.
He later earned the Silver Star for courage that he showed;
Exposed himself to German bullets time and time again,
He killed two German soldiers as he freed two wounded men.

The wounds that he received that day were greater than he knew.
He tried to keep on fighting though nobody asked him to.
While lying in the foxhole ‘midst the muffled sounds of war,
He entered his eternal home where war is fought no more.

I wonder what he thought of as he knew his time drew near.
I feel that he had peace within and died not knowing fear.
I’m sure that he remembered being baptized in the creek
And surely he recalled that God will answer those who seek.

His body was among four thousand shipped back home one day.
And then he was interred nearby; the skies were dark and gray.
The military funeral was impressive, tears were shed.
The letters from the army and from officers were read.

One day the war was over and his mother heard a knock.
She opened up the door and she received an awful shock.
The Filipino soldier, wounded, bleeding, left for dead
That Marvin once had rescued, stood there weeping as he said:

“Your son who saved my life that day was also my best friend.
I held him in that foxhole right until the very end.
He spoke of you so often while he fought to keep you free
And he became my hero on the sands of Normandy.”

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This article has been read 924 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Melanie Kerr 05/29/08
Excellent! You maintained a steady rhythm and told a heroic tale! I am sure lots of mothers had similar expereinces.
Shirley McClay 05/29/08
WOW! This was awesome.I know nothing about poetry so I have no help there.. but it was moving and powerful! Very creative.
Helen Dowd05/30/08
What a wonderful tale of bravery. We so often forget the sacrifice made by those who fought to give us freedom. Your cousin (and men like him) will remain in the hearts of many - or certainly should. Many of us had relatives or friends who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country...This story was magnificant, and so well told in poetic form. Loved it. Loved it. Loved it. You are SO talented...I liked the ending, where the young man came to your cousin's house to thank them. Great climax to the story ... Helen
Verna Cole Mitchell 05/30/08
This is a wonderful story presented in outstanding rhythm and rhyme. A keeper!
LauraLee Shaw05/30/08
I have to say it--wowzer. This is brilliant. To tell a story like this is amazing, but to set it to rhyme is masterful.
Karen Wilber05/31/08
I'm thinking that you really didn't need the song at the beginning. This poem stands very well by itself. A beautiful story.
Kate Grey06/01/08
Beautiful. The last stanza was amazing.
Sharlyn Guthrie06/01/08
This is a beautiful tribute and a touching story as well.
Cheri Hardaway 06/01/08
Masterful writing. Blessings, Cheri
Maddy Ullrich06/02/08
Beautiful poem and incredible story
Lyn Churchyard06/02/08
A reminder of how much we owe for our freedom. Beautifully told in rhyme. Perfect rhythm. Well done dear friend.
Jan Ackerson 06/02/08
The last stanza of this well-crafted poem was particularly moving.

I'm not sure that the song at the beginning added much to the entry--maybe if it were playing in the background...wish we could arrange for that!
Amy Michelle Wiley 06/02/08
I too, especially loved the last part. Touching poem.
Joshua Janoski06/03/08
Wow. Is this a true story? I have a feeling that it is. I am a big fan of World War II stories, and I have great respect for all of the soldiers who sacrifice their lives during times of war.

Though I haven't served in the military myself, I can definitely appreciate this piece. Thank you for sharing it.
Beth LaBuff 06/03/08
This is a beautifully written tribute to your cousin. What a time in our history and you've captured it well. Excellent work!
Beckie Stewart06/04/08
Wow! This was powerful and well-written. Brought tears to my eyes and gratitude for my freedom again.
Debbie Wistrom06/04/08
WOW, what a story.
Your rhymes made this easy to read. Well done!
Sara Harricharan 06/04/08
Simply wonderful! And the lyrics were great in the background-simply excellent work! ^_^
Betty Castleberry06/04/08
This made me cry. I applaud your brave cousin and every soldier who has ever put their life on the line for my freedom. You told this so well. It's a lovely tribute. Thank you.
Joy Faire Stewart06/04/08
I was deeply touched by this beautifully written poem.
LaNaye Perkins06/05/08
This was so touching, and made me cry. What a beautiful tribute to our brave soldiers. Bravo my Faith Writer friend. Bravo!