Gary Jacobson

HUMPING THE BOONIES

Vietnam Huey’s to war go spewing
Carrying boys for the boonies to go humping
Moving over rock and rill
Set to kill
Or be killed
On this “search and destroy” mission
To pound North Vietnam into submission
Vietcong into remission
Who knows the reason why
In this fetid war gone horribly awry

In this field of wrong
I do not belong
You say
Every day
While taking a Sunday stroll in “the park.”
Stopping only when the jungle gets dark;
Pausing only for a hot firefight
To make you pray for that blessed night.
But nobody listens
As the sweat down your neck glistens…
Permeated fears in your soul reek…
For there’s a time to act meek…
There’s a time to be mild…
But this isn’t it, not in the jungle wild.

Just put one wearied foot after the other
No time to think of home and mother
No use complaining to your mamas
‘Cause there in the black pajamas
Waiting in tall elephant grasses lies your friend
To hell your sorry backside he’ll gladly send.

Always remember you and your enemy the Vietcong
Home boys just fending off imperialistic wrong
Their jungled turf protecting
Their families in this jungle defending
It this rotting organic bliss
Aren’t the only hunters in this forest…
Tigers in the boonies roam day and night
Snakes called “Two Step Adders” don’t hiss
Just bite!

Two steps are all you get till you’re dead.
They’ll ruin your whole day it’s said.
Best watch your step tonight
For jungle creatures give strongest men fright.
They don’t care who’s wrong or right.
Snakes, fist sized spiders and black scorpions
Roam with other abominations
Like leaches, sucking blood from tough infantry hides.

Put aside your gentility
Stumbling through “the park” bleak and weary
Ideals of lost innocence grow bleary.
Grunt, just follow the leader,
Beware of that which sends souls asunder
As you talk that talk
As you walk that longest walk
Camouflaged and ready
Wobbly knees steely steady

Follow the pointman up ahead tramping.
Leading the warrior corps quietly marauding
Into shadowed abysses of hell
A place infantrymen know all too well
Hope to hell he knows where he’s going.
Forget for a moment how close you are to dying
As through the jungle he goes hacking
Till end of day in suddenly dark jungle bivouacking.

On your side two chemical demons belong
Wicked allies, the infantryman’s psalm
Through the green their daunting force creeps
In the great plan of things seeps
Raucous in minds riotous calm
Raining terror with death’s shrill song
Boys, don’t sweat the Napalm
Embrace Agent Orange, the noxious balm
For these chemical wonders are your friends
They’ll never desert you till life itself ends.

Forever Nam will play on in languishing despair
At the end of the “Thousand Yard stare,”
Vietnam’s unholy evensong
That will get you too before long
Singing the song of napalm
Playing endlessly in your mind your whole life long…
Forever at the meat of your soul eating,
Forevermore in Vietnam humping.
Forevermore constantly searching;
Still horrors reliving…

Hope the demons don’t stick with you forever life long…
Still trying to make right from wrong.
Forevermore on your heart war’s abrasion
That eternally painful aberration
Never with what was done to make acclimation.

Just put one wearied foot after the other
Lean for support on warrior brother
Hope you’ll live to see another dawn
Because life does go on
And on and on and on…
And on…