Gary Jacobson

WAR… WHAT IS IT GOOD FOR?

War… what is it good for?
Absolutely nuthin,” but violence begetting violence
Two sides disagreeing, in arrogance
Heeding not the adage, “Pride goeth before the fall,”
Nations bearing conceit borne of unmitigated gall
Heedless that boys pay war’s toll, from both sides give all
Horrific blood spent, harvesting egregiously forever torment
Slapping each generation with taxing war’s costs flagrant.

War… what is it good for?
But mankind’s immoral debasement
Blaring offensively loud, noisy, egregiously blatant
Unsettling generations without appeasement
Both sides thinking they’re endowed with God’s right
Towers of power in virtue, blessed in primordial might
Breeding hateful contentions without refreshing breath of peace
Breeding inhumanity without brotherly love to never cease.

War… what is it good for?
But bringing generations to their knees, to prayerfully implore
Warriors out on the point of war’s spear, walking the park
Ordinary people, suffering forevermore pain’s, indelibly sharp
Patrolling honey-dewed trails punji staked motley dark
Storing gut-deep memories that for lifetimes will last
Building pang-numbing sorrows recollections of a virulent past
Sowing the evil wind… reaping the whirlwind.

War… what is it good for?
But the will of might imposed on the head of others to pour
But loss of innocence on a foreign shore
Built on warrior’s hoary breath
Bearing grief reminiscent of death
Sent to enforce edicts of freedom
From our always righteous kingdom…
Why can’t they believe as we, are they really that dumb?

War… what is it good for?
But piling bones in a ruck sack sorrowfully sore
Reminiscent of friends cut from the tree of life, too abrupt
In war’s terrible abyss swallowed up
Boys-next-door sacrificial, to war’s conflagration grown corrupt
The whole course of their lives war’s interrupt
Naïve life killed in red smoke in a gray dawn mist…
To remember always, death by eternity kissed.

War… what is it good for?
Blood stinking in your nostrils with loathing to forever abhor
Stains on the soul that will not come clean
Minds of a buddies smells ingrained, just an 18 year old teen
Though now in a place far away from war serene
His face in his last dying horror, evermore seen
Thoughts of death ever flitting on morning’s breeze
O release me, you cry, but heaven hears not the pleas.

War… what is it good for?
But hot and sticky blood forever on your hands to deplore
Lives and economies reeling in barefaced lament
Grotesque war arousing macabre discontent
Filled with jungle rot, leaches, stinking black water you drank
Walking tightropes between courage and cowardice rank
Cold C-rations, living dread, constantly paralyzing fear
Sending off bloody bits in a poncho of a friend held dear.

War… what is it good for?
But buried memories box hidden deep to store
Memories hidden when you can’t handle them anymore
Forever hearing command sounds, “Saddle up,”
Heart pounding choppers whomp-whomp-whomp, giddyup!
Cries, “Medic, medic” – stutter of machine guns
Hearing raking fire, as hell over innocence runs
The primal scream on faces of freshly dead sons.

War destroys nations in Nam’s verdant pit
Destroys a peasant ville to save it
To prove a point…
Precepts of your way of life on others to anoint
Over loud insults assaultive from both sides hurled
Young princes dreaming of joys back in “the world,”
Back again… where life, limb and family still remain
Back where God’s morality commands to from killing abstain!

War… what is it good for?
But a bowel-binding gut-course earned in war’s seat of pity
Abhorrent greed in fiendish man’s abnormality
Nations goading hatreds in its young inspiring
Supporting violence born in killing perpetrating
Carefully taught value systems topsy-turvy turning
Life all around to Hell eroding
Life as the pathway next to you exploding!

War… what is it good for?
But destruction leveled from the center of war’s core
O the awful dread…
Telling a mother her sweet son, the heart of her, is dead…
Tearfully thanking God for sparing you
Yet cursing Him in the same breath for taking your buddy too
Guilt’s borne in steamy-hot Nam’s sweltering stew
Wafting sweet death in pungent night air blew.

War… what is it good for but mournful sighs?
Hauntings still wet an old soldier’s eyes
Reminding of good times and bad times, in Nam’s jamboree
Valiant brothers-in-arms, how they laughed so free…
Never forget their echoes…
Lost in a contentious war’s tempestuous billows.
Remember them, the valorous fallen so dear to us
Forgetting them now, gravely disingenuous.

Remember times riding war’s bestially evil carnivore.
Remember the military industrial complex does not love war…
These camp followers live on war…
Selling essentials of war to make thriving business stronger
Good business depending on more wars lasting longer
Greedily hawking combat boots, canteens, bullets aggressively
Supply and demand mosquito repellant and weapons attentively
Keeping the war wheels rolling effectively
Corporations… to the conduct of war no strangers
Promoting business as usual, these death mongers.

Remember brothers who gave their futures to Agent Orange
Battle bearing bitterroot fruit, borne virtues costly exchange
Watching napalm’s Armageddon before weary eyes appear
Now celestial trumpets through withering apocalypse hear
Old soldiers rife with misgiving from Old Nick’s evil jest
Released now from pain and sorrow fighting at heaven’s behest.
Now earned grand paradisiacal reward…
Called to guard Heaven’s castle, on the right hand of our Lord!