Gary Jacobson


Christian soldiers came in-country gung-ho naive
A babe in Nam’s wilderness you would not believe
Chock full of green blarney brave bluster
Wet behind the ears newbie’s full of spit and vinegar
Calloused unlicked green sprouts communal
Come to rescue mankind from despot’s carnal
Come to save the world from cankered evil
Come to bring mankind our Democracy Supernal.

Now become the seasoned veteran baptized in fire
Well immersed in saturated fears that inspire
Bearing conflagration’s sacraments of death
Reborn to war’s foul demonic breath
To prevent in the world total mega death
To preserve freedom from tyrannical avarice
I rolled the fateful dice
To restore sacred liberty in justice.

Now, I’m no more an unripe callow youth
Wizened by hellish war graven sooth
Grown old beyond my years…
Festered by war’s predatorily rapacious tears
Running war’s gauntlet of purified trial
In war’s initiatory ravages, found spiritual denial
Harvesting war’s bloody fruits the battle does reap
Still, fighting Demons who creep way down deep
For my lifelong to sacred keep.

Long ago I plunged destruction’s burning leap
Igniting my life sown to eternally weep
My soul received its vestal innocence reward
Sliced through the cutting edge of devil’s sword
Dreaming of home in mist covered mountains
Brought home dews and damps the soldier attains
Now returned to Purple Mountain’s Majesty
This true son of liberty…

A veteran’s like a lily lifted high and white
Burned by fervid suns light far too bright
Dashed on rocks below from carnal height
Nostrils still smelling combustible cordite
Yet you did not desert me
O my mortal brothers-in-arms of destiny
Though forevermore joined in suffering
Through hurtful pain distressing…

Spiritually baptized by long ago fire
Engulfed as battle yet rages higher…
I’m lost alone with brothers-in-arms
Abandoned in a world of harms
Survivors bound together in a burial of innocence
Back in a world mysterious paying penance
For what we’ve seen ~ for what we’ve done
War made our mummies of dust and bone to atone.

Gary Jacobson: Baptism of Fire