Gary Jacobson

NIGHT PATROL

Death rides night air, mimicking the day’s combat charades
Black as the heart of the ace of spades
In glimmered wings soft night blustering darkness
Spurs of gleaming stars look down on us lustrous.

Soldiers in their boots around fighting holes sleeping,
Danger of life at bay keeping, in hoary throats leaping.
Shrouded by stirring jungled tiers, alive with winds dark sigh
Heaped and sprawling boys await the next day drawing nigh.

On soft breezes, whispering elephant grass sharpens its blades
Nocturnal sounds through a weary soldier’s ear parades
Scores of angry men preoccupied with your dying, his sweet dreams sear
Fighting back lingering thoughts of death that upon him leer.

Prostrate threats peril, laid low its heroes
Listening for angered man, with a fear that comes and goes
Nourished hatred harsh, in blind killing hideous
Fearing Golgotha’s suffering curse grown brutish.

Each man together, alone in the gloom watching
Time spins so fast, yet there’s no time showing
Mid dreams and schemes of war’s shadowed game
Hovering between bravery, and death’s blinding flame.

Men hiding in dug-out battalions;
Young boys, by war made lions
Curse the concealing overgrowth green with spring
Can’t see a blessed thing of death’s killing obscene.

Weary eyes watching periled way
Perimeters dug-in, warriors mute to advancing day
Hearts plunging,
To the very core palpitating.

Afraid of awakening “proud and glorious” in hell
Life lost to cutthroats in its darkening swell
Losing their light in bottomless mud
Fighting holes filled with the brotherhood.