Gary Jacobson


There’s a bad moon rising
Sure to steal your light…

Once back in-the-day, moon glow seemed romantic
Where basking in its golden radiance we spoon.
Once we stood proud, free, patriotic
In a nation’s hope young flowers bloom.
Once back in “the world” naïvely plastic
We watched submarine races under a harvest moon
Once so young, loving, trusting, brave…
Mankind went forth the world to save.

Now, beaucoup trouble’s on the way
Where an ancient Vietnamese moon keeps on shining
Burning in fire and tempest, this world where I pray
Just a lonely soldier boy wishing on a silver star
“The world” of summer lightning clearly remembering
Memories of innocence, ideals, mother, my girl, my car
Now fearing a golden orbed moon distilling killing
Moonbeams in black velvet night, caught in a jar.

There’s a bad moon rising
Sure to steal your light…

Looks like we’re in for fickle weather
That harvest moon will steal whole future bright
So sag to your knees like a sunken fence brother
For a silvery glow looms over Nam’s dark dead of night
Reigning violent terrors in the night blown malicious
Bound to bring on a nasty fight
Beware that shining moon vicious,
You subpoenaed yourself to this war alright.

So let’s all watch the backs of one another, brother
Illuminating deadly ways of war venomous,
Just hope you got your shi… , uh, er, stuff together
Bathed in nocturnal bright capricious
They see me in it where I lie…
“I kill you two times, numbah 10 GI!”
Yell Vietcong lurking deadly near
Just hope you’re prepared to die
Presenting a target too clear.
173rd Airborne in the A Shau Valley
There’s a bad moon rising
Sure to steal your light…

Evil shines over the moon’s fevered breath
Clearly my demise illuminating
Exposing sneaky Charlie’s hand of death
Lurking in tall elephant grass hiding,
Sworn his dedicated role
To erase from planet earth our very memory…
To efface the enemy his goal;
Finding in mud and the blood, inhumanity.

With Charlie there’s too much doggone affinity
Leading boyish souls to spiritual death ultimately.
Mankind’s soul lays lost in the balance
With killing such a deadly art of proficiency
Arising from terrible cruelty
yet in cruelty seeking right’s good sense
Rising innate hostilities for sovereign nationality
beseeching our goodly sons to in duty recompense.

There’s a bad moon rising
Sure to steal your light…

Where war’s a real bargain of an event…
Red blood spills against faded parchment…
Body counts rise from catatonic commitment
Men in fire of battle see in combat, life’s essence
A sacred show sanitized by lies’ embellishment
Screaming yet in holy primeval conscience
Born in battlefield’s of disillusionment…
Yet all must believe in a mission’s accomplishment!

War’s passion rids
The world of those naïve and innocent
Sacrificing those still kids,
Grasping at life’s justice serenely dissident
Shower in light of moon, suspension of disbelief
Bringing in moonlight perverse, manifest destiny…
Moral fiction to earn unquestionable grief
The devil’s own arts and crafts sounding in pitched melee.

There’s a bad moon rising
Sure to steal your light…

Modern war’s waged with an illustrator’s airbrush
Raging in the pale moon eternally
A deadly precipice caught in killing field’s bush
Revealed in media’s voice-over authority
Patriotism’s weaned in moonlight hush
Fantasy returned without luxury of self-scrutiny…

Returning Vets yearn to hear cheers from loved ones
“We’re so glad you made it back
Back from the sound of guns…
Back to feel our pats on the back
Hands grasping hands
Lips touching lips
Alive and in one piece
Finding in war’s end such heavenly release…”

“Yes, a bad moon’s rising
Bound to take your light…
Pale moonlight glowing…
But I’m sure you’ll get over it alright!”
Though you’ll never forget the dying
Remembered long in keening eyesight
The flickering flame of war’s fame evermore the same
Under a cold moon chilling bright…