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Graves at Arlington

taps at the wall
Taps for the Fallen Brave
by Gary Jacobson © October 2005
go out into that dark night
Take sweet rest now, my dearest brother
Whoís given the gift of life to another
As we play taps o'er our fallen brave
O'er a brother who went forth the world to save.

Live now in everlasting peace
With true glory that will never cease
At long last of lifeís vile torment free
Hear now taps sweet melody.
Patriotism fills my heart now melancholy
With a soldierís rhapsody
Who helped keep freedom free.

Before thee now, I bow, on bended knee
Majestic taps playing sweetly
O'er thy sacred heroes grave
Honoring thee, fallen in battle brave
Honoring he who went where angels fear to tread
Who shed sweet essence bubbling red
Thrust into a hell sweet and sour bled.

Hear now the bugle play soft and sweet
Sadly forlorn its martial beat
Taps now bestowing
Deep respect in hearts glowing
Mournful notes final honor showing
For a frail life torn wickedly asunder
Torn through warís mighty veil of thunder.

I hear your marching feet
In the honeyed melody bittersweet.
I feel your soul in air breathed free
You gave for your country.
In the bugle's solemn refrain, I see your smile
A smile that lightened your way o'er many a mile.

O, honor this patch of earth now by thee sweetened
Salute a brother sent to preserve freedomís trampled
Who gave his life for all to save
From the core of a goodly heart brave
Pay final tribute
To a man steadfast and strong, in duty resolute.

Remember his sweet memory
His life lived not for himself, but for thee
Wipe away now that lonely tear
Weep ye not over his tragic bier.
He's passed through gossamer wings of a veil sheer
Deployed to celestial courts on high
Where in repose sweet heroes lie...
Where God is nigh.

Death has no sting in victory...
Heís honored now by angels in gloried assembly
Warrior brothers forming an honor guard of glory
For from the eternities, he did not die!
Youíll join hearts and souls again, by and by
With the reunion of soldiers who finally know...
The answer to a soldiers eternal question, why?
heroes of the wall

Ode to the Dead
by Gary Jacobson © September 2005
Devoid of thought
Devoid of reason fraught
Devoid of being
Cold awareness only feeling
Blown where I felt no despair
Suddenly, peacefully, suspended in air
Facing clouds serene, in a realm of nothingness,
Cloistered in the realm of peaceful caress
Neither alive but neither dead,
To blissful shores of Nirvana led
Filled with pure contentment hanging
In pure oblivion above the earth dangling.

There was no Vietnam
For this erstwhile American fighting phenom
Just solemn peace of mind.
Mind emptied and left blind
Complete this vacuum of thought
Pure thought in a young spirit wrought
So recently come from the hating killing
Camouflage chalk my brotherís faces painting
War weaponís wielding powerful fists of suppression
Suppressive to teach ornery Cong a lesson
One of the war wolves ferocious pack
Bringing Vietnamese to their knees in bloodthirsty attack.

I knew not, nor cared not
Where I was, or why Iíd been brought
I was just there ... but where
Just floating, not wondering why
Not caring why I could so easily die
Hearing not my motherís cry
Relaxed ... listening as the angelís sing
Rising into nothing,
Slowly, calmly,
Just a low groaning hiss, amid purest bliss,
Totally released from all care
Conscious of nothing, absorbed in everything there.

One with the firmament
Serene acknowledgment
Quiet the language
Pacify and assuage
Then come from something below
Someone below groaning so.
Something below nagging, disturbing my reverie
I turned to look but could not see
That something intruding on my senses,
Raising remaining hackles of my defenses
Sounding but for a fleeting moment drawn
Then it was gone.

Then, there it was again ...
Disturbing my oblivion
Suspended calm in my abstraction
Someone groaning far below
Something but an annoyance would bestow
By time and space, removed from me
Apart from me, feeling strange curiosity
I was again in absolute, harmony
But the annoyance was gone
Like summerís song
In peace I was again contented

Then again the sound intruded
Though its nature eluded
Curiosity exuded
A third time something disturbed me ... something
Rattling intruding on my peace
Something that would not cease
That must gain release
I looked, but not all the way
Seeing nothing of which to say
Before returning to the sky to silently pray
Concords of peace totally surrounding me
Dissolved the conscious me.

Amassed as one with the great beyond
My bed a black diamond...
Yet again came the annoying groaning
Bedeviled by troublesome moaning
I looked again to see
Across the endless gossamer sea
From celestial regions on high
Bobbing in the ethereal sky
Insubstantiality intangible
In a state undefined imponderable
Yet once more I was drawn below the heavens
Where Elysium firmament leavens.

My ascent haltingly curtailed
At once overwhelmingly derailed
By inordinate despair below assailed
My estate in vaulted heavenís bewailed
Suddenly I recognized that sound
That turned this celestial curmudgeonís world around
Encroaching on my heaven bound senses
Torn away my last vestige defenses
It was me down there insistently groaning
It was me down there with grating moaning
It was me lying there from warís wounds hurting.
"Canít somebody, stop the groaning," Iím thinking.

Now escaped from a world free from pain,
Suddenly back to the nether world again
Instantaneously as soon as I knew ... I was back there
Suddenly descended from rarified air
Suddenly pulled back by something...
A cord, a tether, a silver thread, something ...
From where I could not comprehend the groaning
Not with that earthbound creature empathizing
Not mortal pain understanding
Suddenly I was in him
Torn off celestial wings of this seraphim
Come from brightest light to a world painfully dim.

It did not trouble me, or at first annoy me
There was no perceivable movement
No great accomplishment
Curious! I was simply there ... then I was here
As soon as I knew that he was me, simultaneous
Spontaneous, I was back in my body instantaneous.
Gone from one place to another in the twinkling of an eye,
Shortly come from where in sweet oblivion I die
Come back from the dead to be with my brothers
I was suddenly, simply there,
Hearing Platoon Medic Bryantís crackling voice
Through the fabric of existence tear.

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