Gary Jacobson

SOUTH CHINA SEA WINDS BLOW

This Christmas
South China Sea winds over my fighting hole blow
Washing over this country fermenting my soul
Cooling my brow with pungent sweet and sour breath
Acrid in Nam’s warriors fevered unto blessed death
No peace on earth here as hatred we hold
Sweating hot and sweating cold
Before my time grown so very old

This Christmas
Thunder rolls of artillery outgoing
Pass just over heads of soldiers in silent night sleeping
Looming at the bottom of the hole hunkering
Sounding not like a chorus of angels singing
Waking ever so quickly hearing artillery incoming
Rising from the dead with hair trigger’s itching
A thin fine line between crazy ‘n’ alive walking

This Christmas
Hark; every nerve on edge is listening
Every fiber tense alarming
Every sense the tiniest sound hearing
Of men out there preoccupied with my dying
I’m tired, I’m hungry, just doing my duty
Hating this insane war achingly weary
Dreaming of going home
Over that China sea white with foam

This Christmas
What horrors these foolish eyes hath seen
Quick and lively boyhood values out of sight careen
What unimaginable immorality these hands have done
With blazing fire and carols none
Dodging bullets from hatred’s gun
Sanctify last vestiges of normal sanity fled
A new set of senses for the rest of your life imbed

This Christmas
See the harrowed battle stigmas
Forevermore sights you can never forget
Brothers fast by your side you can never forget
Spirits alive or dead ingrained,
In yours hearts the battle imparts intertwined
Forevermore trying of cruel war to make sense
To understand in your lives its bloody recompense
Exacting its lifelong sorrowful penance

This Christmas
We won’t be singing hallelujahs
Where brothers face the prospect of dying young
Vietnam’s tincture staining boyhood lives wrung
With such intensity mournful in knells long ago rung
Ominously wondering at right or wrong
A toll too deep for lives lingering too long
Desperately sung peace on earth’s fading song
No joy nor glad tidings nor holiday cheer here
Not for this God forsaken year

This Christmas
Has it really been 35 years as I’m told
Seems only yesterday I fought so brave and bold
Giving my innocence for my country
Honoring patriotic duty
Yes, disillusioned I still fight the war I can never forget
With brothers fast by my side I can never forget
Will never forget

As this Christmas
South China Sea winds still over my fighting hole blow
Wash over this country fermenting my soul
Cool my brow with pungent sweet and sour breath
Acrid in warriors fevered unto blessed death
No peace on earth here as hatred we hold
Sweating hot and sweating cold
Before my time… grown so very old!