Gary Jacobson

SCARS OF BATTLE

Old warriors suffer grievous scars of battle
Vile drenching saturating the incidental
Come frequent as pouring monsoon rain
He would die of it, this PTSD, an agony of indolent pain
Lost in the soul’s contention of hostilities sin
Insolent whether outward or buried deep within.

Rife memories cut deep haunting scars of battle
That will forever a young prince’s humanity belittle.
PTSD wreaks mortal virtue’s culpability
Vile wounds the affront to moral sensibility
Patriotism lost in war’s measure
Lost to boyhood’s innocence a treasure.

Memories rife with soldier’s heart congeal
Battle fatigue endowed, so slow to heal
By indulgent war tossed, cherished hatred’s accost
Ridden with ravaging guilt, by violence built.
Seem the purgatory of the belligerent
Wounding the pugnacious militant.

Boots wield the ethics of warrior barons
Footprints tearing rice paddies into ribbons
Permeating ideals and standards
The senses bombards without regards
From naïve souls torn
Forever fears, in dark’ning jungle reborn.

Frail mortals to this warrior beast yield
Mired in war’s dreadful killing field
Life principles changed by it… rearranged by it
Devalued where men go, to find the bellicose foe.
Humping the nevermore breach of hell
To a place come to know quite well.

Fly, oh fly, with the wolf pack’s zeal
Beside imminent danger surreal, grotesquely real
Vanish into a century of rumor
Threatening to rob all good humor
With life on the line disregarding
With war-weapons the gentle frightening.

Lock and load machinations of destruction
Prepare yourself for coming conflagration
Steel yourself with fury borne too great to blame
Ride headlong into a storm’s motley ire insane
Hillocks of gnarled wood ruckus fire and flame
Roughing leafy domes of rogue trees to tame.

The scars of battle are bragging rites of passage
The permanent badge of courage
Etched on the soul, patriotism’s visible baggage
The indelible sign of the fight
The flexing of youthful might
Gained in times of horrendous fright.

Shiver the lost boys awake
Prime them with the breath of violence to partake
Shaken pawns in the pre-dawn of the hunt
Just a tare, this combat infantry grunt
Living outside time in the shadow of the body
Making war with ribald brothers good and bawdy.

Listen to the warrior rites and rituals
Sing songs of tempestuous residuals
Live on the shadowy side of sunset
Out of the closet of cruel war beset
Remember brothers who lie on the cold, cold ground
Mid fire and fleet and candle-light… without a sound.