Gary Jacobson

A VIETNAM PICTURE TOUR – THE POEM

Come on my “Vietnam Picture Tour…”
Through lens and poet’s pen bleeding sweet and sour
Leave on your tongue songs of war
Of horrors good men abhor
From a combat infantryman who’s walked the walk,
And can talk the talk…
Take a walk in “the park”
A deathly walk scary, dawn to dark.

From a “boy next door,” comes pictures and poetry,
Of combat patrol, with the 1st Air Cavalry
Experience bone-chilling reality
To leave the taste of “the Nam”
Pungent smells of “the Nam”
Textures of “the Nam,”
Melting on your tongue,
Discordantly sung
Over the A Shau Valley
Over the A Shau Valley: Click choppers to hitch a ride to page one of Vietnam picture Tour! Guaranteed to leave the sweet and sour taste of “the Nam,” pungent in your nostrils
Clogging your nostrils,
Dying in deathly drills
Forever embedded in fevered brain
Nam’s esoteric refrain…

My goal in writing is to educate
Nam’s story to elucidate,
So, Feel like walking beside me in combat?
Get ready for a chew the fat chat,
Reliving old horrors that around every corner lie,
Wishing stories of what happened there never die.

People have no idea of the realities of grim fate,
War awaits with fears trauma Nam saturate
Dark history living on in telling infamy
Reopen now, the pall of war’s torrid story
Reopen firmly established memory.
Telling how “the Nam” changed the very direction of life
Often soured what’s good in life,
Forever in Vietnam’s hell borne strife
For young boys indelibly
For generations incredibly.

Vietnam embedded souls with a new set of senses
Altering the “good life’s” chances…
Forever
Forever to rend
Life without end
Forever…
This deep down jungle fever!

All the people of the world need to understand
How important war is comprehend.
For those taking the stand,
War will always be a determining factor
A soldier’s common denominator
A life and death dictator
Determining who we are in a worlds scheme of things
Determining life’s aspiring
Haunting life’s remembering
Life’s future limiting
Wives and children’s futures altering
Phantoms like Agent Orange breathing down their neck
Making mockery of life a living… heck!
A specter of hopelessness, devoid of all respect.

Hear a Combat Soldier’s Prayer
From the depths of his Thousand Yard Stare,”
Hear the cry from Soldiers Of the Wall
From we who have given all
In shadowed war’s pall.
Who gave our very life…
To the country we loved more than life.

Do not doom our children as their fathers…
Do not embroil a hundred thousand brothers
Plunge them into senseless battles to fight
For mistaken cause of right.
Do not shackle them to a similar fate
Suffered by their fathers in hating irate
Contending the latest series of war-to-end-all-wars!”
Teach the lessons of the history of wars
Learn of destruction of values implications,
Abiding with warring factions…
Do not send them where there’s no glory but death
Lingering in foul cankered breath
Hovering in gloom’s misery for vanquished heroes
Enduring shadowed stain forever, those,
I suppose….
If we do not learn war’s history,
Tell of war’s untold misery,
We are doomed to repeat it!
The next war inexorably we’ll get!
Again and again and again and again…

For though war is sometimes a necessary evil…
Deterring madmen contentious in greed as the Devil…
Sometimes it’s not… Sometimes there’s Vietnam!
My fervent wish is that some
Will come to understand
Comprehend where to make a stand,
To draw their line in the sand…
Better plan how to use our might
Know the score without experiencing the fight…
Think first, before we act… evermore,
Making war-no-more!