What is America
by Gary Jacobson © October 2005
What makes this land so special
So beauteous, one nation under God shining bright
Borne in annals of right sacredly sacrificial
For all the world to see that cherish divine light.

Crowning good with brotherhood bold
America shines majestic through liberating strife
Beautiful for the eye to behold
America! America! Giving sweet breath of life...

Our land is the home of men free and brave
Men grasping for freedom’s beneficial
Precepts of fidelity, the destiny of worlds to save
Promoting radical integrity in democracy judicial.

American eyes once lived in innocence
Borne from purple mountain’s majestic delight
Guided by God’s good sense
Ordained to defend the right.

God, preserve this nation valiantly fought for
In order to preserve God-given principles
Boundless liberty by patriotism bore
Defended by the blood of heroes.

Our forefather’s, In order to establish domestic tranquility
Forged a noble Constitution to form more perfect union
Honoring freedom’s light through steadfast veracity
To share with all the world our holy communion.

Patriots held these sacred truths to be self-evident
Allegiance with reliable verity
Honor bearing American resolve as hard as granite
To secure the blessings of past and future posterity.

Worth any fight is freedom’s noble concept
True freedom does eternally true goodness cite
Sounding, bounding, from the pages of history leapt
God defend our golden birthright.

That bastion of truth seen from afar upon a hill
Whistling like wind over waving fields of golden grain
A beacon of right others may see, still
This valorous cause inalienable, aspire to attain.

Bravery is Americas motto official
Defended with glorious might on alters of right
With vision transcending the commercial
First conquering in ourselves detestable blight.

Rebuild withered hopes and ambitions of society
Keep burning strong America’s magnificent flame
Ever earnest, every action in abiding sincerity
Réclame truth and right’s bastions in richest acclaim.

Walk softly in national goodwill
With duty sworn to hold rights of others ambrosial
From the dawn of time till
The big stick is shown in might to foes adversarial.

America nobly protects morality’s liberty in law
Welcomes the downtrodden to teeming shores multiracial
Repairs in truth and justice every flaw
Whether huddling masses, or noble band of brothers celestial.

Truth is the American way enduring
Nurtured in strength knowing right from wrong
Fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, their glory never-ending
Echos from all the trees sweet freedom’s song.

America gives love like unto justice, metered in blindness
From our fruited plane, across shimmering prairie and lake
From sea to shining sea magnificence
Let mortal tongues trumpet of truth, life and liberty awake.

Teaching Our Young
by Gary Jacobson © September 2005
jump and run
We were not taught to kill
Neither sow nor reap the whirlwind’s gust
For such anger does not God’s purpose fill
To simply take another's life in demonic lust
Though bristling rough raucous the thrill
See impassioned men die before your blade in bloody dust
Killing has to be learned like a skill
Following corporate greed by law they must
Nourish with anguished blood forsaken ravine or hill
Lay down mortal lives in the carnal harvest.

Killing goes against all moral teaching
Reborn time and again in horrid night sweats
Boring eternally deep into our souls far reaching
Repaying again and again our spiritual debts
With mighty fists of suppression now groveling
Anger seared by adrenaline, war’s memory begets
Makes thousands of mothers grieve...
We need be reeducated from what parents carefully taught
To march to war so gung-ho naive
To embrace a world’s arch-fiend our weary souls bought.

Boys still wet behind the ears every generation leave
Principles by church and society religiously wrought
Sent to fight for what men tell them to believe
Going forth bravely into the mouth of guns
Despoiling the plans of grand creation
Youth’s principles too oft outruns
Advancing this sovereign nation
Marching valiantly to glory win for posterity
Caught up in the devilish action
To install on the world American democracy!

1st Cav eagle flight GI in the mist

War’s lessons
by Gary Jacobson © September 2005
O that I might decipher war’s fire and brimstone lessons
Might once more smell life’s bounteous blossoms
Once more here in the world ... beyond the dawn
Where have all the flowers gone?

I see men staring, but they don’t have a clue
What in the world has happened to me, to you
Standing silent as statues draped in bright crimson
O where, O where is war’s great lesson?

Have we learned life’s lessons, learned them at all
Or are we but sounding belligerent battle’s thrall
Young princes who answer the call, be it wrong or right
Smacking bloodthirsty lips ready for the next gory fight?

War birth’s both reason and illogical obsession
Peace in benevolence, pathological hatred’s oppression.
Intemperate youth is too ready to ride carnivorous whirlwinds
Too impatient to go wherever war’s bestial ogre sends.

From virile youth, anxious to ride life’s roller-coaster
Toasting that recruitment arm-twister
All hale the war supporter
Who lured a nation’s princes to some jungle backwater.

O, that I would not have to again fight them
But I must, in meaningless again and again regimen...
Taught at the heels of the master warrior,
Reveling uproarious in the gladiatorial fight, this preacher.

War brings battalions of students, brimstone senses to learn
Sparkling with inflamed passions in battle to earn
As war’s cantankerous contagions around them churn
Legions beset by optimism and depression on every turn.

War makes some atheists into God loving humanists
While making some God loving men atheists
Sent back from the sinful world apologists
Jumping at every sound, these war weary alarmists.

Some forever in their hearts correct lessons of war learn
They hear God’s “Peace on Earth,” for which they yearn
While others can only say, “Burn baby, burn.”
Bring ‘em on, it’s their turn to learn.

Some are controlled by the roll of the dice
In war caused by men’s callous greed and avarice.
Some repeat war’s same old mistakes with reticence
Living thirty-five years, one-at-a-time, in sublime indifference.

War does the carnal in man inspire
Brings back to life memory of Nam’s painful funeral pyre
But warriors emerge through the mouth of holy fire
Leap through heat and noxious flames burning dire.

Forevermore in old warriors the war’s conflagration influences
Having learned by the sword cultural differences.
Not with joined wisdom of thirty-five years deference
Seek the ephemeral peace, an abiding preference.

Old warriors have seen war’s rewards first hand
Know well qualities of peace, compassion, love, first hand
Helping other brothers struggle with angers
Living by the kindness of strangers.

Old warriors help others get through hellish PTSD
Help future generations to see...
Learn from veterans surviving the great holocaust called war
What war’s really for, at the core.

O, observe those who’ve ridden this bestial carnivore
Felt prolonged hatred on their soul’s bore
Felt war’s might in bruised body and spirit sore
Now vowing not to let war happen, anymore.

We send our sons across the heartbreak sea
Quite sane, well educated, vibrantly alive
We hand them a gun ... tell them killers they now be
And hope they can hell survive.

Day by day they struggle to conquer lingering depression
War’s repression of values, our nation’s constant obsession.
Learn to “Walk softly but carry the big stick,”
Fighting only a last resort, should in hearts turn war’s shtick.

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