Gary Jacobson


Day is done
Long gone weary setting sun
Resting now the gun
Far from home
Soldier boys alone
Without seeming purpose in distant jungles roam.

Breathe in the ambrosial, fragrant, nocturnal spirit
Hearken to times of a monstrous demon, Afrit
Sojourning in day and night split
Satan or Seraphim
Boys pay respect to War God’s solemn
In loss of light, to bless, or condemn.

Wafting smells of hell drift in pitiless specter death.
Sultry winds carry faith, burning icy in fetid breath,
Afrit riding hard on heels reeking light
Stirring about devilish wind tonight
Rising sweat of his dauntless scepter drench
Wielding embattled evil’s awful stench.

Lavish in feral night’s confusion
Slaying ideals stirring innocence illusion
Rampant disillusion reigns in abundant profusion
Stripping boys desperately seeking penance
Boys in foxholes bearing noble allegiance
Men given to sensibilities growing bitter grievance.

Hide from Afrit’s fiery sword of bestial woe
Carrying souls to face reality’s foe
Showing the way the righteous dare not go.
Eat in gluttony a soldier’s pottage
Tremble from barren night a demon’s pillage
Wreaking in hearts of men a most terrible carnage.

A carnage lasting now and forever…
Hiding in deepened pits of never,
In dawning moments inspiring reverence
Sparked by darkened memory of war’s circumstance.
Remembrance of what nights fought savagely bestow…
So savor life, with a flavor the protected will never know.

Author’s Note: Day is certainly done in Vietnam… for the sun has long since set on our military involvement in that country. Yet the sun has not set on the stories that continue to unfold, born in Vietnam, unfurling yet in the hearts of men. Countless dramas continue to be played in the hearts of veterans and their families even today… this very minute! For truly, “The Nam” affected generations of the living, dead, and yet unborn; it will be a long time before the note Vietnam plucked on time’s heart strings will sound its last…

So the demon Afrit still lives… today! In Afghanistan! This Satanic minion, still breathing his fiendishly putrid breath, rides hard on heels of right and light, stirring about devilish wind, yet tonight! The picture on the right (above), is of a coalition soldier standing watch on yet another sunset, far, far away, supporting the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit in Afghanistan. And the beat goes on!