Gary Jacobson


Above a battlefield far away,
My mind in black unconscious lay.
Tethered by a silver thread in heavens sky,
Hovering in God’s palm
Twixt heaven and earth am I.

Wound in a park swing then let go,
With no more hate to seek my country’s foe.
Left behind, heart and breath careening,
No longer man but only being.

An exploding mortar spun to death and fate,
Raised me to the door of heavens gate.
Spinning on a tenuous strand of life bereft,
I’m blind to “the world” I hadn’t yet left.

Hanging dangling on a silver thread,
No longer alive -- but neither dead,
Buoyed above the belligerent crowd,
Bobbing like a cork with the sky my shroud.

Floating unfettered without rhyme or reason,
Above the earth in a peaceful season,
Drifting on currents of sweet oblivion beatified,
Heedless of nirvana’s nothingness tide.

No longer am I a soldier sustaining oppression,
War weapons wielding powerful fists of suppression.
No more to remember man’s “inhumanity to man” war,
That pitiless beast of blood, guts, and gore.

Till a voice groaning below yanked me back,
From purest light to the war wolves pack,
To tired soldier faces with camouflage painted,
To hot sweaty soldiers with Nam’s blood tainted.

Who’s that groaning below? Who can it be?
Suddenly imposed on my senses I see…It’s me!
Suddenly aware it’s me down there sighing,
At the base of the silver tether, It’s me down there dying.

From the valley of the shadow
To war’s glory unfurled,
Platoon medic Bryant talked me back to “the world.”
Pulled back from the bright tunnel of light,
Now returned to fight the good fight.