Poetry of Cpl. Conrad Russell

 Cpl. Conrad Russell, who died in 1961, was a Fourth Marine;
Company H, 2nd Battalion & Company I, 3rd Battalion.
This gifted writer is highly regarded as a
poetic spokesman of the Japanese-POW experience.
His poetry powerfully conveys the unfolding drama
as a fighting Marine and subsequently as a POW.

The Fall of Corregidor

The order came to strike all arms
That tragic and blood-soaked day.

A bell might have tolled for the island
But death has a silent way.

We felt that our souls had left us
Back in that screaming hell.

We stood with only our bodies
A drained and empty shell.

The silence that fell upon us
Was a strange unearthly pain.

I'm sure that God in Heaven
Will help us to live again.

~~ ~


Hope is an angel in the darkest night;
She bathes my soul in heavenly light.

Lovely as Spring, Or the evening star
Now an activist from afar.

Will she be at my side through the coming strife
And give me strength to go on with life?

Or will she vanish like the glow in the west
And leave me forsaken?   God knows best.

~ ~ ~

Island Sunset

The sun retiring for a night of rest
Throws shafts of scarlet back from the west
Against the palms that pierce the sky
And nod in peace to the south-wind's sigh.

The ocean's roll sheens o'er the sand
A baby caressed by his mother's hand.
I think of the sunsets that passed before
To add beauty to this beach on Corregidor.

~ ~ ~

Corregidor Soliloquy

Will time ever end
What lies beyond space?

Is immortal life
The goal of this race?

Is this earthly body
Merely a clod .....as on this
Path of peril we trod?

Is each footstep spaced
by the Will of God?

O, Science, cruel surgeon
That cuts away the poet's dreams

And pulpits weight
Answers to these queries;

I will repose
In Elysian Fields
With the Red, Red Rose.

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