A Poetic trilogy: Day is Done...The Hill...The Homeless Vet...



Day is Done
by Gary Jacobson © 2002

Day is done
Long gone weary setting sun
Resting now the gun
Far from home
Soldier boys alone
Without seeming purpose in distant jungles roam.

Breathe in the ambrosial, fragrant, nocturnal spirit
Harken to times of a monstrous demon, afrit
Sojourning in day and night split
Satan or Seraphim
Boys pay respect to War God’s solemn
In loss of light, to bless, or condemn.

Wafting smells of hell drift in pitiless specter death.
Sultry winds carry faith, burning icy in fetid breath,
Afrit riding hard on heels reeking light
Stirring about devilish wind tonight
Rising sweat of his dauntless scepter drench
Wielding embattled evil’s awful stench.

Lavish in feral night’s confusion
Slaying ideals stirring innocence illusion
Rampant disillusion reigns in abundant profusion
Stripping boys desperately seeking penance
Boys in foxholes bearing noble allegiance
Men given to sensibilities growing bitter grievance.

Hide from Afrit's fiery sword of bestial woe
Carrying souls to face reality’s foe
Showing the way the righteous dare not go.
Eat in gluttony a soldier’s pottage
Tremble from barren night a demon’s pillage
Wreacking in hearts of men a most terrible carnage.

A carnage lasting now and forever...
Hiding in deepened pits of never
In dawning moments inspiring reverence
Sparked by darkened memory of war’s circumstance.
Remembrance of what nights fought savagely bestow...
So savor life, with a flavor the protected will never know.

Day is certainly done in Vietnam...for the sun has long since set on our military involvement in that country. Yet the sun has not set on the stories that continue to unfold, born in Vietnam, unfurling yet in the hearts of men. Countless dramas continue to be played in the hearts of veterans and their families even today...this very minute! For truly, "The Nam" affected generations of the living, dead, and yet unborn. It will be a long time before the note Vietnam plucked on time's heart strings will sound its last...

So the demon Afrit still lives...today! In Afghanistan! This Satanic minion, still breathing his fiendishly putrid breath, rides hard on heels of right and light, stirring about devilish wind, yet tonight! The picture on the right (above), is of a coalition soldier standing watch on yet another sunset, far, far away, supporting the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit in Afghanistan. And the beat goes on!

The Hill
by Gary Jacobson © 2002

There is a hill so far away
Entwined mid tanglewood greenery
Nourished by battle’s blood
Knotty corkscrews fed by the brotherhood
Matted by life’s dew, jungle forces careen
Ensnaring boys betwixt and between
Battling up
The hill rising abrupt
Gaining ground
What have we found in sweet awful sound

Above the din hear still their cries
Visions of death passing before young eyes
Falling back down in loss of innocence
Paying terribly in lasting penance
For a short life of hate infernal
Fiery passing the eternal
Salvoes rain accursed from above
Abominably doomed without peace and love
An ending
Back to the beginning...

What have we gained
As devastating artillery rained
What on the hill have we lost
On mound of blood tempest tossed
Surreal peace
Demise or increase...
As we crest the summit
To death’s pit plummet
Left behind feast or famine
That a young boy’s heart gladden...

O, the sage on ethereal summit knows
Eternity’s friend or foes
Sees below dreadful clash
Men enlaced in battle’s bestial rash
Felling enemies by birth sworn
Fighting battles of brotherhood shorn
Combatant pros
Who in a twinkling chose
To march with sinister might
Entrapped in dire life or death fight

Men going where only ghosts of men gather
Mount the final attack with combat’s brother
Humping utopian heights
Going where the eternal soul egregiously bites
Bridging hadean woes along bunkered ridgeline rows
Awaiting divine judgments pristine prose
Mid battle ambiguities
Lighting the beauty of days morning
Till darkness mourning...

This day His hand will choose who lives...who dies
In wars snarled tanglewood of lies...

wounded eagle
The Homeless Vet
by Gary Jacobson © 2002

In acrimonious harmony outside my cardboard box
Late again for appointment to detox
Misfortune and calamity my pox
The crickets singing seems so monotonous
Throbbing in these times barbarous
Forlornly disingenuous.

They sing to an ambiguous apparition lying there
Still with far away gaze in a thousand yard stare
Far across the sea...back there
To an Asian neverland’s nowhere
As people pass on nearby streets without a care
Life, food, drink...home, no longer simple fare.

Old men still hump wily jungle’s to Viet Cong auspicious
Wounded eagles with pure faith assiduous
Still fighting for right with audacious daring
Giving all to the good fight naïvely baring
Bearing God awful fear burnt out in vacant eyes
Men that “the world” they loved now seemingly despise.

Men armed and dangerous gone to war’s gray hoary bedlam
Still bearing the right arm of freedom
Gone to share with the disenfranchised America’s wisdom
Called from a country more than life they love
Great innocence protected surely by powers above
Lost in war without, to find within, a peaceful dove...

Won’t you see me now
Out of step with “the world,” somehow
Forgotten in sorrow somehow
Still living life in old battlefields
Sleeping in vacant fields
Without a haven, home on my back
All life in my combat rucksack.

Once a nation’s prince with such a bright future
Lost now in life’s dizzying adventure...
Once the hope for a nation, before that foreign war
Now destitute, bridging hadean woes I abhor...
Caught up in a world where I no longer belong
Still wondering where it all went wrong...

Now wounded and tired, the one disenfranchised
The old warrior with the forlorn look in his eyes
Now hearing in cricket’s singing monotonous...
Helicopters bringing attack spontaneous
Still feeling in life...fear...death
Caught fighting still in cankered breath...

I'm still searching for the bullet with my name on it
Still fighting a war back in fetid jungle pit
Hiding from the day so long ago abandoning
Once a hero...now in resignation living
Down-and-out, indigent, penniless
Disillusioned by life seeming hopeless...

Lost still in the singing of the crickets monotonous...

"...I believe that the war is being deliberately prolonged by those who have the power to end it. I believe that this war, upon which I entered as a war of defence and liberation, has now become a war of agression and conquest." (Captain S. Sassoon in "The Times", 30 July 1917 -- 1st World war -- known as, "The war to end all war.")

"Only the dead have seen the end of war." Plato

“An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.” Ghandi

"When our hatred is violent, it sinks us even beneath those we hate." ~ Rochfoucauld

"Learn what the warriors learned, for indeed, it is warriors who have seen the evil and devastation of hatred, who first hand know the true value of brotherhood, peace, compassion and harmony among men." Gary Jacobson

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VIETNAM PICTURE TOUR from the lens and poet's pen of a combat infantryman

from the lens of a combat infantryman! This is sweet and sour reality pungent on your tongue, the acrid taste of "the Nam" caustic in your nostrils, and textures of "the Nam" imbedded in your brain as though you walked beside me in combat.

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