Gary Jacobson


The cruel war brings to boys a refiner’s fire
To give old warriors realization
Potently powerful deep and dire
Giving birth to mans innate manifestation
Giving a spiritual picture to change life’s view
With Divine revelatory intuition
To combat evil dregs unscathed and new
Giving life its pearly hue
So they say…

Boys gain worldly wisdom in the warrior’s plight
Become men to suffer war’s aberration
Immersed in the bloody fight
To witness first-hand the devil’s severe privation
Forged above and beyond moral wrong and right
To go into the valley of death’s intoxicating libation
To preserve with will a nation’s might
Through battle heat and conflagration
So they say…

Astute young pawns
Told war will make us better than before
Find new-found hatred spawns
Suffering the blight of hellish war
So send this boyish human foil
Enduring sheer flash and awe to bedevil
To battle’s carnal toil
Makes men who see past caustic evil
So they say…

The refiner’s fire
Will take boys made of good steel unperfected
Forged in raucous battle heat inspire
In its fiery-red furnace the bad seed rejected
Battle-fire burning off wastrel chafe for goodness sake
Leaving only the strong from the heat of war defended
Winnowing out the weak crumbling break
Previously taught faltering soft values to forsake
So they say…

War proves the mettle of a man
Sign ‘em up and ship ‘em out
Send the young boy to Vietnam
Mid primal hue and patriot’s shout
The philosophy to kill or be killed comes stealing
Wetted in the muddy bloody dew rout
Overcoming your brother’s dying gives healing
Rite of passage of the blood forever sealing
So they say…

Better stronger men emerge from the refiner’s fire
Fortified will the young warrior be
Renewed is he who escapes the devil’s ire
The world will welcome men shorn of illusions free
For a boyish laggard will have earned his stripes
Fired by the refining rapture of war’s arduous melee
Blown out his impassioned tailpipes
Profligate prodigal sons will no more idlers be
So they say…
So they say…

Gary Jacobson: The Refiner’s Fire
The mountain’s high… and the valley’s so low!