Gary Jacobson

WAR’S CAROUSEL

Around and Around
Again and yet again
Boys come in and boys go out
Vestal innocence trampled in battle’s rout.
Where war’s carousel will stop
Nobody knows.
In mortal combat under a jungle canopy big top
War’s roustabouts fight for life in gloom repose
As quarrelsome waves in fire and thunder crash
In this circus of the senses clash
In gladiatorial combats rising, and falling
Undulating mouths of spectacles speaking
Eloquently of love to war to hate
Vividly effervescent mankind’s dark fate
Combat acrobats juggle life and death
Many take last fervid breath
In the brutal show, Charley’s all around
Ears ache with killing’s grotesque sound
From front to back to front found.

They say brave men don’t cry.
But I’m crying
Yet still I ride the carousel
In and out of hell
To this day dreaming
Festering visions of the killing
In my soul dying
Napalmed on lonely forested track writhing.
Brimstone imbedded into my brain there
Fetid sulphur war winds blowing my hair
From hate to pity to sorrow to passionate cares
Agent Orange tears
beckons memories of the carousels revolution
Coercion to fight the crusade compulsion
Shades of patriotism rise to do it all again
Still dizzy from the ride
With no place to hide
In that foul forested pit
Without healing respite.

Unleash the horrid circus beast
Till comes the sideshow peace
Old warriors yearning for learning of love
Instilled wonderment from the master above
Running this merry go round.
What does he think of my thinking profound
From his grandstand seat watching
The best show to be found
Just on high observing.
Will I catch the brass ring
As a warriors sorrows I sing
Win an all expenses paid trip to the wall
My be all and end all
As summer turns to fall
In cacophony of Hedonistic sound
Will the victor in glory be crowned
Forevermore waking to the primal scream.
As running through fields of yesterdays I careen

Time to wonder
What did we discover
In Nam’s dance round and round.
A do-si-do locked with Charley bound
What have we learned
Or have we learned
At all.
From the darkening historic annals pall
Round and round again and again.
Have we learned enough to teach
Those who for glory of war’s carousel reach
Can we repel the hate in war hawks hidden?
Reach those who’ve not yet the war beast ridden
Repel the thought mistaken adventure does enthrall
Expose ring masters of this carnival
Living but to stump the circuit of hate
In battle’s conflagrations irate.
Honing erudite warrior skills lest they disintegrate
Honoring the ancient hoary beast abominate.

Or does our nations favored seed
Our blessed children need
To go back and do it again
To try again to win
Again and again, worlds without end.
Doomed to reap a harvest, dogs of war sow:
How can they know
If old warriors do not tell them so
Feeling duty knowledge of the beast to bestow.
Teach our children God’s loving precept
The “No man is an island” concept.
Only when this principle is rooted in the heart
Can we on eternal pathways start
To in true brotherhood grow
At last the glory of God finally know.
At last disassemble war’s carousel
Send it careening back to hell.