I stand alone by my gun tonight
Gazing out over the restless sea,
With straining eyes that search the void
For signs of the enemy.
In the sky above there's a million stars,
And the moon casts a ghostly glow
Which illuminates with a quiet light
Giant ships riding row on row.
Though my eyes continue to pierce the night,
My mind is far away
And I see a boy saying goodbye, farewell,
The time?... A year today.
He turned his back on home and friends;
On a girl with eyes of blue,
He turned is face to a task ahead--
One hard and grim he knew.
And during that year he learned a lot
And in mind and stature grew,
But where ever he went it haunted him,
The face and its eyes of blue.
They were there in the fogs off Frisco,
In the sky off Waikiki;
They were there looking down from Diamond Head,
And in the Coral Sea.
Many men have gone to sea to forget
Some woman's face, voice, charms,
To find hell on a South Sea night
In the longing for her in his arms.
And here am I, the same as they
Just a wanderer of the sea,
Pursued by a vision with golden hair
And eyes as blue as can be.
John "Jack" Powell (1925-2011), was born and raised in Chicago, IL. He volunteered for the United States Marine Corps during WWII and became a Sargent, qualifying as a sharpshooter. He was on a troop transport (S.S. Henderson) as a seagoing marine for 2 years and then rotated back into the infantry. He attended Sea School in San Diego, CA and he was stationed in the Pacific and Mediterranean. After the war, he and his wife Mary Lou established a life just outside of Chicago and raised 4 children. He worked for Illinois Bell in data processing for around 40 years. He loved his family, history, and traveling.