My heartfelt thanks to "Jami," creator of this beautiful graphic...

Poems: "A Soldier is Dying," and "On Eagle's Wings."
Song playing: "I am Hurt."

Golden Bamboo
Marine with incoming shelling, Con Thien Marines at Chu Lai '65
Golden Bamboo
waiting for the medevac dustoff

A Soldier is Dying
by Gary Jacobson © 2003

I am hurt my brother
Suffered by grace to see no morningís other
Frail spirit ripped from mortal body asunder
I've beheld my last of gloriously rising sun
A sacrificial lamb fallen before bloodthirsty gun
This hour by hatred's fiery breath undone.

Hold my hand as translucent night grows cold
Still crystalline achings, that fiercely to me hold.
O my greatest pain abide, never to see my babies grow old.
Tell my mother, I abidingly love her
Tell her I've lived life to bring no shame
Given all honor to my fatherís name.

With all my might, Iíve fought the good fight
Given honor to my country with all my might
Under heavens tie dyed skies, defending right
Under firmaments of goodness sweet liberty to bedight.
God now attend this crepuscular night
For fast falls foul fated eventide.

I've seen my last dawning...
Sunset's fiery gloaming giving fit ending,
To a young prince borne in this veil of mortal pride
Sent forth to experience war's bestial ride.
I've lived to give all honor to God, country, parents
Ever defending my principles righteous battlements.

Iíve lived the best way God and parents taught me to do
Given "the world" all respect itís due
My wordís bond held always true
Living the Master's creed
I've planted honorís seed
Rooted deep in furrows in word and deed.

O my brother, do not now tears for me weep
As fingers of death into me relentlessly seep
For Iíve done my best, my sacred duty to keep.
Now, by cruel war's blow laid low
It is a far better place to which I go
Freed from sweat, guns, hatreds enemies sow.
Marines at Khe Sahn
I'm scared, crossing to the other side from this fetid park
See this opaque world now grown dusky dark
See dreams of diaphanous glory, beside my soul embark.
Whisper again, tell me, my soldier's life was not in vain
Left behind all reason and meaning on battlefields insane
I leave behind naught but melancholy gall, fear, terror, pain.

Now my blood runs hot down cheeks molten wet
Mingled with brisk rivulets of a soldier's sweat
Death's call but a debt warriors in the end must beget.
O, what sweet peace I see waiting on the other side
What comfort given by the God of heaven
Free at last of terrestrial woes my wearied soul deride.

My very life lies congealed on clothing bled
Etched now stony cold, and red.
Lay now my broken body to rest on jungled bed
On verdant hills with whom my body soon will wed.
I've given my all to this sacred land on which I agonize
So with worms now, this sweet and sour ground fertilize.

With my body in sanctity, this holy ground I canonize
Cleanse and purify this plot with my blood baptize
Give healing peace to this sickened land war does brutalize.
To this land War gods with mighty armies rend,
I do this hour nourish with my intrinsic essence blend
My blood, kernel of my being, marrow of my bone, I to thee commend.

O my brother, sorrow not! You are my truest friend.
I know weíll see each other again ... death is not the end!
I rest on fragile gossamer wings blown in the winds
Where fallen warriors carried by archangels, heaven sends
To paradisiacal R and R in fair Eden's glen
I've left far behind this frail existence soldiers defend.

Iím going there, on death's swift wings today
To that hallowed place where for the eternities I'll stay
Where purity of heart gives angelic advantage
Where no hot dusty faces grow weary under camouflage.
So when you see something shining from a black granite pall
Reach out ... Iíll be there. Touch me on lustered heroís wall.
brothers at the wall
Iím going to a place where men do not hate you,
With every fiber of being try to kill you...
With the dust from whence you came, unite you
Gone where no more will politicians spread telling lies
No more will I watch in pain, pure innocence die.
I've gone to join charging chariots burning across your sky.

I'm going to a world of peace sweet heaven's imbue
Where sacred peace does this cantankerous world eschew
No more to fear what comes with morning's dark and dew
Where no more I'll wrestle life's thorny wait-a-minute bamboo.
I'm bound to a place that's fresh and new
Where bullets no longer sing to a warrior's ears embrue.

There I'll outlive Namís horrors, my brother
Harkening to enlightenment of our Earth Mother.
For my distraught and haggard soul do not cry
Laid down now by savage war but to die.
Grant my dying wish, ever alert to be
Keep watch in all you do vigilantly.
Marines at Mutter Ridge
Just survive, my brother, through skill or luck
Waging this worlds battle's nip and tuck.
Survive death's slings and arrows with abhorrence
Your very essence protect in watchful diligence.
Carefully, warily, always be,
Seek a more peaceful life graciously.

Now, coming night deadens my life on earth decree
Promise me...
You cannot afford your here and now to mourn for me
For though I cannot now see ... yet I plainly see
Maintain steadfast perseverance blend
Be ever tenacious, my ever friend
Persist in duty unflagging to life's bitter end.

Now I feel my failing body, fading fast
Fallen before thundering hooves of war's carnivorous beast
Soon I'll be reborn on the other side of death's profane feast
Revealed in shining array, all the days of my past...
I see in bright perspicacious Light growing dim
The light for me waiting...celestial seraphim...

Voices now heard all crackling banter
Sounding as old leaves in raining pitter-patter
Rattling as an army radio in static breaks and hisses
Incoming rounds whistling in fevered mind recesses
As ancient parchment rustling, revealing babelled blather
Snapping thunder heard in fireworks indolent chatter.

This is the worst day of my life!
Yet, this is the best day of my life!
No more will I see sorrow's tarnished rife
Fallen before combat's last blast!
Finally feeling no more pain ... my die cast!
Devine embrace of peace I plainly see ... at last!

It shines, 0 it shines ... at last!
Beam of eternal light above smoky battlefields cast
To that ethereal, holy light, holdfast
Staunch through begrimed war's combat survive...
Mid brutal spirit's sore abusive ... stay alive!

waiting for the medevac dustoff

On Eagle's wings
by Gary Jacobson © 2003

An eagle effortlessly,
Stately and proud,
Bearing nobility in dignity
Screeching pure and loud
Tis ruler of all he does see
Mid his lofty kingdom high
His crest crowned by imperial majesty
His blessings sung against an azure sky
Bearing dignity symbolic of a sovereign nation
Simply being what he most wants to be
His royalty inspiring elation
Awesome nobility, defying gravity
Rousing quivering thrills over all mortal creation.
Regal in feathered beauty.

An eagle, without seemingly trying
Venerable toughness maintains
His awe-filling cries falling
Enshrouding God's purple mountains
Majesty in his sterling stature
To His fruited plains...
With imperial kingship grandly brave
This vestige of the eternal spirit of allure
Floating free to the ethereal on nebulous airwave
Tis Americas tranquil grandeur pure.

The eagle rules over canyon byways
Bobbing buoyantly on earth's balmy breeze
Breathtaking scenes but an eagleís highways
This resilient Lord of all he oversees
Lacking all earthly care on flowing air
Sailing on zephyred winds as he may please
Skimming unchained, gliding on air so rare
Meandering uncaged on gauzy currents
Snaking disdainfully over worldly presentments
Contemptuous to warís bellicose belligerents.

Watching eagleís fly far and away
Gives mortal man but pause...
Watch when the eagle sees his prey
plummeting straight to earth, bracing beak-like jaws
Ready to crush in steel talons an errant castaway
Sheer terror grasped in his bestial claws
Poised in deadly aerobatic display
Answering to none but nature's laws
Steeply swift death to earth imparting
Suddenly darting on mighty wings to the heavens lifting.

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