Gary Jacobson

A SOLDIER IS DYING

I am hurt my brother
Suffered by grace to see no morning’s 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 abides; 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 father’s name.

With all my might, I’ve 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.

I’ve lived the best way God and parents taught me to do
Given “the world” all respect it’s due
My word’s bond held always true
Living the Master’s creed
I’ve planted honor’s 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 I’ve 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.

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 we’ll 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.

I’m 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… I’ll be there. Touch me on lustered hero’s wall.

I’m 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 imbrue.

There I’ll outlive Nam’s 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.

Just survive, my brother, through skill or luck
Waging this world’s 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!
Divine 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!