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Feb 18 · 46
CULT TRAPPED
There seems to be no escape.  
    The MAGA cult groupies are all queued up.
Tickets in hand, they gather their baggage
     Lining up to board the leaky ship
For a one-way trip to the bottom of the sea.

Their bags are exceedingly heavy -
    Filled with their leader's failures
Formed of laundered cash, ****,
    Top Secret document theft, fraud,
Abandonment of faithful allies
    and defenders of Ukrainian freedom.

There are no first class seats on this ship
     because there are no first class passengers.
They long ago sold off all they should value
     to stand by a creepy hotel clerk
Consumed by arrogance and self - idolatry.

Their hero arrives in a three-piece suit
     to escort them to their cabins
As soon as he scrapes the mashed potatoes
     off his corruption soaked soul

But wait - there seem to be empty seats
     Many former voyagers are turning away
tearing their tickets as they go.
      They tell how they’ve had it.
With lies and losing and treachery.

Too bad for them - for you see,
       There's no place like the ocean floor
To gurgle on the wrong side of history.
Sep 2023 · 95
Hegelian Cycles
Robert C Howard Sep 2023
HEGELIAN CYCLES

“When will they ever learn?” - Bob Dylan

Secure in the golden cradle
    Of our past, we are schooled to know
        Just who we are and ought to be.

Then gales of change toss us out to sea –
       Reeling in the crests and troughs of doubt.
             Leaving us lost and adrift
       Between heritage and revolution.

Tempers boil, ignite and explode
      Sabers are rattled then swung
            In ****** of fratricidal madness.

WHEN WILL WE EVER LEARN?

Meanwhile our fertile sun-washed globe spins on -
       Impervious to our juvenile conceits
           But perhaps saddened by our petty tantrums.

In time we wash ashore with fresh resolve
      To build new bridges, vessels and public works
            Born of vibrant craftsmanship and
      Designed for tomorrow’s travails and triumphs.

New cities rise and flourish with noble speeches
      And once more we rediscover
           Just who we are and ought to be
      Until history’s sermons are once again forgotten.

WILL WE EVER LEARN?
     And if so, WHEN
Sep 2023 · 259
Earth Song
Robert C Howard Sep 2023
EARTH SONG
In that brief interval
Between first and final dust
Comes the song.

Lying supine in my crib,
With limbs flailing,
My curious eyes meet
Those of strangers
hovering above my cradle.

They sing softly to me
And I am mysteriously calmed.

In time I too will learn to sing
The names of everything -
Of what to do and why
And learn to check the ragings
Of my feral heart.

Someday I will sing the day long -
Serenading the fruits of the soil -
Belting out tunes of celebration
Or chanting lamentations of loss and sorrow.

But now, lying in my cradle
With arms and legs flailing,
I listen with curiosity
To the mysterious music that comes
In that brief interval
Between first and final dust.

April, 2008
Sep 2023 · 63
Martial Pride
Robert C Howard Sep 2023
When men cry, “Battle!”
And bullets are flying,
How dare they call “Glory!”
While children lie dying?
Sep 2023 · 140
CASTAWAY
Robert C Howard Sep 2023
Lost,
Exiled
Far from home!
How can it be
That my former land,
Once so free and constant
Has been torn away from me?

Beyond the distant sea, my soul
Cries out for the land that beckons me
And speaks my name in every passing breeze.

I raise my eyes to the setting sun.
Whatever gods that hear my plea,
Heal the pain that burns my soul.
Restore me to that land
Where I first took breath,
Where all I love
And live for
Calls me
Home.
Sep 2023 · 65
It's Four a.m.!
Robert C Howard Sep 2023
I gazed into the dark of night
     At a solitary beacon of light.
It might have been Polaris –
     Guiding ships in their courses
Or perhaps was our red-dwarf furnace
     Peering back at me from
A thousand light years beyond

Or maybe it was just that
     Tiny smoke detector bulb,
Beaming on our ceiling like a sentinel -
    Shielding us from fortune's fickle wheel.
Jul 2023 · 69
March to Justice
Robert C Howard Jul 2023
Prigozhin was furious
      And for the first time
      In his blood-soaked life,
Told his country the absolute truth.

So he left Ukraine to
      March his troops toward Moscow -
      declaring the true reason
for the war (yes war)
      Is to massage the sick egos
      Of a few russian elites.

So call it off, russia!

Go ahead, scapegoat
      shoigu and gerasimov
      Whose lies heap up like piles of
bodies of ill-equipped russian soldiers.

Call it off in the name of Justice!
      It was always a mistake!

There were never
     ****’s to purge
Nor Ukrainian attack plans to repel.

It is not Ukraine
      Who bombs civilians.
It is not Ukraine
      Who wants to steal
Someone else’s homeland.

There are no shining
      Russian successes to glorify
      Only shoigu’s and gerasimov's
bloated egos to feed.

Why **** and die
So scumbags can have a blast?

Let the March to Justice continue
      In the re-purposed soul
             Of the russian people!
Jul 2023 · 71
Planet A
Robert C Howard Jul 2023
“There is no Planet B” – Emanuel Macron

Consider out dear earthly mother    
     Who serves us our daily bread and drink,
     Who freely gives from her slender crust    
The very stuff of farms and skyscrapers.

Every sprout that bursts by her grace    
     To form tiny clovers or giant sequoias,
     Every saint or cutthroat and everyone in between    
Owes all they have to her bountiful womb.

Given what our earthly mom is to us,    
     What should we be to her?
     Should we shower her with obedient honor    
Or gnaw off the hands that feed us?

All that we know and feel    
     Or hope will ever be
     Lives and rains and snows on Planet A    
There is no Planet B!

Robert Charles Howard
Jul 2023 · 43
Laser Alchemy
Robert C Howard Jul 2023
Robin will see Dr. Siegel now
whose deft and practiced hands
will dis-veil her clouded vision.

When I see her next and soon
A new portal will open gradually
to show her a world of reborn acuity.

The leaves will sing
With new-found lucidity.
Vivid color and detail
will wash over her horizons
And the world will be
a more dynamic place.

It all begins now
With Dr. Siegel's deft, and very practiced hands.

      Let there be light;
           Let there be color;
                Let there be visual truth!
This poem was written while my wife Robin was undergoing lens replacement surgery.
Apr 2023 · 137
Planet A
Robert C Howard Apr 2023
“There is no Planet B” – Emmanuel Macron

Consider our dear earthly mother    
     Who serves our daily bread and drink,
     And freely gives from her slender crust    
The very stuff of farms and cities.

Every sprout that bursts by her grace    
     To form tiny clovers or giant sequoias,
     Every saint or cutthroat and everyone in between    
Owes all they have to her bountiful womb.

Given what our earthly mom is to us,    
     What should we be to her?
     Should we shower her with obedient honor    
Or gnaw off the hands that feed us?

All that we know and feel    
     Or hope will ever be
     Lives and rains and snows on Planet A    
There is no Planet B!

Robert Charles Howard
Mar 2023 · 87
To Hannah with Love
Robert C Howard Mar 2023
Loss is the price we pay for loving,
     Knowing that love is the essence of life.
So when Hannah appeared at our threshold,
      Her golden coat caked in ice,
It was a resounding all around yes!
      
We said yes to her joy and beauty -
      The golden hue of her coat
Mirroring the gold in her canine soul,
      And she agreed to adopt us.

For twelve years we snuggled
     And hiked and frolicked together.
She bonded to Robin like a sewn-on shadow
     Who returned her love with abiding care,

She came to chorus from time to time
     And stood when it was time to stand.
She sighed and fluttered her eyes
     When a flute student got the feeling just right.

She loved the grandkids and always said yes
     When any child stooped to stroke her fur.

Hannah agreed to come with us
     To our new mountain home
And walked daily with her papa
     On the Big Thompson’s wooded trail.
A new place meant new friends by the score.

Who can say who rescued whom?
     We are quite certain we know.
And now, dear Hannah as we say out goodbyes
    Know that you will always live on in our hearts.

Robert Charles Howard, March 8, 2023
Nov 2022 · 323
Holiday Triptych
Robert C Howard Nov 2022
CHRISTMAS TODAY

Christmas comes gently to our mountain town,
     As softly drifting snow draws a glimmering veil
Across our forests, slopes and valleys.

Festive lights of blue, green, gold and purple
    Cast a magic spell on our streets and promenades
Where neighbors bustle about in search
    Of the perfect toy or sweater  
For a friend or cherished aunt or cousin.

The sound of bells cuts the December chill
    Rung by a volunteer Santa at his kettle
Or pealing from a steeple across the valley.

Christmas is here and the time is nigh
    To celebrate the advent of a sacred child
With joyous songs of hope and gratitude.

MEMORIES

Let us journey back to a time when we
     Curled up in the safety of our parents’ arms.

We remember

The aromas of holiday meals that filled our homes
     With the promise of the grand feast soon to come.

We remember

Aunts and uncles poured into sofas and armchairs
     Recounting slightly embellished tales of family lore
While we children dashed about the yard
     Heaving snow bombs and building the grandest snowman ever.

We remember it all -

The sounds, the scents and faces of our kin
     That taught us how to love and be loved -
For after all, memories are the sacred shrines
     Of our origins, our present and our future lives.

MOVING INTO THE LIGHT

Christmas illuminates our souls and transfigures us.
     Lost hopes are re-found and promises renewed.
A better world seems once again within our grasp
   As we bathe in the glow of fresh new possibilities.

This is a golden healing time when
    Disagreements are ushered off our stages
And supplanted by beacons of filial gratitude.

In that hallowed night of silence,
     God whispered his plan for us
And we listen in wonder as we treasure
     That miraculous night we call Christmas.

Robert Charles Howard - 2022
Christmas, bells, memories lights, family,
Robert C Howard Nov 2022
You cannot defend your Motherland    
      By ****** and pillaging
Your Ukrainian Sisterland.

Every step you press on Ukrainian soil    
    With rusty rifle in hand
Is trespassing with intent to ******.

If you are in, get out!

If you are conscripted, obey your      
      Sacred duty to defect or surrender
Before the setting of the sun.

What have the Russians given you?      
      A thin tattered uniform and
A rifle that has outdated before you were born      
     And the promise of a
Lonely dishonorable death.

If you are recruited and      
     Prefer not to return to your family
In a flag-draped box soaked

With the blood of your victims,    
     Say hell no to the delusional fool
Who beckons you to annihilation.

If you are in get out!
If called, say HELL NO!
Sep 2022 · 101
Then Go!
Robert C Howard Sep 2022
for russian soldiers squirming in the claws of evil.

Are you the new Cain?
Are you your brother’s slayer,
Fugitive and vagabond -
Exiled from your soul’s clear light?

Does the blood of your neighbors
Glare back at you
From your morning mirror?
Do the wails of children
Wake you sweating in the dead of night?

Then go!
Leave the killing fields behind.

You were not lifted from the dust
For cannon fodder!

Why obey the cackles
Of clueless commanders
With “have nots”
Stuffed between deaf ears?

Why play the part of weak-willed lemmings
Racing blindly for the nearest cliff?

It’s time for you to go!

Ukrainians do not want you dead;
They want you gonel
But if it’s death you must have
Then death you will earn.

Go now while you still have
A soul left for saving
And a body left to house it.

Go now!
Your soul is calling you home.
End War Home Peace
Robert C Howard Sep 2022
What if mother Russian woke up
From her nocturnal terrors
With rank clouds lifted
From delusional eyes?

What if she met the new dawn
With a fresh vision
Of what her nation could/must be?

What if a vicious, vain man
With lust-filled imperial eyes
Were no longer a
Curse on his people and the world?

What if the shade of
A newly passed seer
With a broad port-wine stain
Were to suddenly rise from his tomb?

He’d adopt a new name
For a newly shaped realm
Where truth and compassion
Are traded like ruples.

He’d hack up blood - soaked swords
And exchange them for tractors,
Planes and renaissance tools
And deliver war criminals
To somber halls of justice.

The clouds of despair
Would be scattered away
By the vibrant sun at its zenith.

A gladdened and grateful world
Would take deep breaths
Of the fresh air of peace and health
That a new Russia surely could bring.

What if?
Russia Peace Gorbachov
Aug 2022 · 86
Gloria in Excelsis!
Robert C Howard Aug 2022
The magic of Glory unfurls in splendor -
     Shouting with glee from majestic mountains
     Or whispering noble truths in the
tranquil murmur of a sylvan spring.

Glory shines in the wrinkled brows
     Of our ancient ones - seasoned
By the patient school of time.

Glory trembles in the stormy roar
     Of a virulent summer shower
     That brings life - sustaining rain
To every strain of flora and fauna.

We hear Glory in the ecstasy of children
     Giggling down the grassy hills
Under a sun-splendored sky.

In deepest night we gaze upward
     At the mysterious canopy
     Where the moon dances between the stars
And tunes us to our grateful anthem:

Soli Deo Gloria!
Aug 2022 · 130
The New Spartacus
Robert C Howard Aug 2022
The Bolshei has chosen the right ballet    
     To spin the tale of its homeland spirit,
But the characters IDs are all amok.

The heart of Spartacus does not      
     Pulse in putin’s hollow chest,
He is Crassus incarnate –    
     Arch-enemy of freedom and justice.

The true heart of brave Spartacus beats    
     In the torsos of the Ukrainian people
Who stand dauntless in defense    
     Of their sacred liberty and honor.

So dancers of the heralded Bolshei,    
     Do not delude yourselves!
There is no art or prowess fine enough    
    To culture-wash the blood
from the murderous hands of those    
     Who slaughter their Ukrainian siblings.

The immortal caring arms of Phrygia      
     Enfold the children of Ukraine as if
They had emerged from her very womb.

The russian people wait in pain and sorrow.      
      For their bold new Spartacus,
Who will have both steel and soul to love      
      his neighbor’s freedom as his own.
Jul 2022 · 1.8k
Under Carter Lake Skies
Robert C Howard Jul 2022
for Mark Richards

It was a spur of the moment thing -    
     One message freed us from Tuesday’s calling -
The next offered a morning's sailing.  

So rather than spray water for Rocky's plants,  
     We skimmed over Carter Lake’s, crystal waves
With steady and ample winds at our backs.

Boaters and tubers speckled the waters
      While verdant foothills smiled assent
From every shore and horizon.

Captain Richards skippered his Flying Scot    
     Toward the far off shore before tacking our
To and fro way back to the mooring ball.

In years past Mark had captained the Health works    
     For all the good folks of Pennsylvania,
But this morning he guided a much smaller tiller.

So we sailed and sailed under fairest of skies    
    In a swift and charmed little craft
Mark chose to call, Spur of the Moment.

Robert Charles Howard
Jul 2022 · 311
Richly to be Deserved
Robert C Howard Jul 2022
If I could visit magical Kyiv,
     In the bright effulgence of spring
I would feast my eyes on the
     Architectural splendors
That mirror her people’s sturdy souls.

Then I’d stroll along the Dnieper    
     Where children frolic in cool waters
I’d hear buskers playing fabled songs    
     That sprang from ancestral souls.

The intoxicating aroma of fresh borsht,
     Meats and pastries would so allure
That I would gravitate like a magnet    
     To a charming café to savour each delight.

Sunflowers and trees would be blossomed full  
     And cheerful birdsongs would grace the air.
The streets would be a blur of bikes and autos -    
     All a-scurry with the bustle of  daily enterprise.

I would exchange the required hryvnia    
     For a chair at the Municipal Opera
To weep or laugh with Bohéme or Zauberflöte      
      Or perhaps a Shevchenko work or two.

I close my eyes in prayer for the peace
      That all Ukrainians are meant to have.    
My burning soul is with you always  
       And aches to tell you, face to face
Ukraine, Kyiv, Deliverance, Peace
May 2022 · 436
Our Mountain Home
Robert C Howard May 2022
Driving westward into Estes Park
     Is like floating on air –
Snow-capped peaks ahead beckon us.
For a treasured interval,
     The aches and struggles of the world
Fade beneath the call and glory of the mountains.

The long-awaited spring is at last among us
     And the newly re-leafed trees sway in gratitude.

The sweet songs of waking birds
     Blend with the crunch of hiking poles
As the resplendent Rockies
Welcome legions of rejuvenating hikers,
     Who have come to bask in the beauty
Of our pristine trails, streams and lakes.

We hear sermons in the distant thunder
      And rush of a gentle shower
Teaching us we are in the presence
Of glory beyond all comprehension -
     Glory that precedes and follows us
Throughout the eternal march of years.
May 2022 · 109
A Place Called Ace
Robert C Howard May 2022
For my esteemed hardware teammates

Sooner and later
    They all come to Ace.
Some seem certain (even driven) -
     Others a trifle dazed.

Whatever do you need we say -
     A wrench, a drill,
a quart of Highland Breeze?
Perhaps a filter or a socket set
     Or a Flapper Flusher Fixer kit.

Serving you is our honor;
    We're here to provide means
For your visions and dreams.

Just browsing, you say?
     Then enjoy a good walkabout.
Just holler if you feel the urge.
     See you at the finish line.
Hardware. service,
May 2022 · 174
Sunflowers
Robert C Howard May 2022
The steady sunflower
     Follows and glorifies the sun
Tracking its light from dawn to setting -

Each solar tilt
     A dauntless declaration
Of self-fulfilling hope -
     Intrepid symbols of
A strong Ukrainian nation!

After the invaders have left
     In shame and failure -
Their crimes faded
     Into pointless ugly memories and
Liberty sings her triumphal anthem,

Sunflowers will break the soil
     And prevail in everlasting glory
Over all her shining fields and valleys.

Slava Ukraine forever!!
Apr 2022 · 169
Pacem in Terra
Robert C Howard Apr 2022
“The pity of war. The pity war distilled”
- Wilfred Owen

When the rising sun breaks
     The curves and slants
Of the Rockies’ eastern horizon,
     Gold and crimson rays cloak the
Western fields and mountains
     With a rich florescent mantle.

Birds greet the emergent light
    With their sweet and cheerful calls
Of greetings to the nascent day.
    A small gathering of does and fawns
Pause to graze for a spell
     beneath the luminescent sky.

Harmony, balance and peace
    Seem to rule the entire earth
But we know sadly better my friends.
    Distant cousins who would
Otherwise pass a pleasant meal
   Gun each other down
Like effigies in a sick carnival game.

How can we dare to hope?
    How can we ever dare to heal?
How can we muster the courage
    To burn our homicidal pride
On the altar of love and justice?”

Listen to the sounds of healing breezes
    Or hear a newborn infant’s cry.
We are all the same, my friends
    Beneath the gold and crimson sky
And Godparents and Godchildren
    Of all another on this azure globe
Drifting through infinity.
Morning, peace, war
Apr 2022 · 66
putin, the Hollow Man
Robert C Howard Apr 2022
With head stuffed with broken glass,
    The small ball-headed man
with cold beady eyes
     says it’s all lies and fakery.

Then let him plead his case
     In court at the Hague.
Let him explain to the judges
    How **** is help
And ****** is deliverance.

He wants to remove Nazis, he says
    But misses the easiest way –
All he needs is a mirror
    To reveal the true face of evil.

Were he to bring to that mirror
     His own personal final solution,
It would be his best shot
    At  helping the most people,
With the least effort,
     In the shortest amount of time.
Mar 2022 · 119
Empty Shelves
Robert C Howard Mar 2022
Tempers flare in russian Markets.
     Neighbors turn on neighbors -
Fighting for the final bag of sugar -
     Snatching a carton of eggs.
from a nearby shoppers cart.

This is but the surface of your pain.
     Your hard-earned coins and notes
Are worth little more than dust.
     Your cherished sons and brothers
Come home in zippered bags.

These and your every other panic
     Has a single homicidal face.
He has ravaged your beloved land.
    This blood soaked KGB assassin
Has stolen your country and your soul.

When the bombs and missiles stop
     When screams of Ukraini widows end,
Your youth and tomorrow’s hope
      will sink no longer to early graves
And the russian soul will rise from its ashes.
Mar 2022 · 170
We Heard her Singing.
Robert C Howard Mar 2022
She sang softly as she swept
     Broken glass and dust
From her bomb-littered sill.

It was the song of her people
     Rising and enduring -
Singing of brotherhood and liberty.

Throngs huddled underground
     Sheltering from explosions above
Broke into the great Ukraini song of love.

The world knows this is your land,
     Your Motherland your Fatherland -
Your daughter land, your nephew land.

Sing on Ukraini, together forever!
     Sing songs of your parents, your children
Your doctors, teachers, bus drivers .
     Tailors, mechanics, dancers!
Sing on policemen, clerks, shopkeepers
     Factory workers, farmers and actors!

Sing the music of your
     Rivers, forests and rolling hills.
Your ancestors, and your grandchildren
     Sing full voice by your side.
The world sings with you –
    cheering you on to victory.
Soon the sounds of ringing bells
     Will echo from every street and valley
And freedom and glory will once again reign.

Slava Ukraini!
     Slava Ukraini!
          Slava Ukraini!

Robert Charles Howard
Mar 2022 · 119
The Butcher of Moscow
Robert C Howard Mar 2022
Those he met say his eyes
     Would freeze his victims’ tears
And the windows of his diseased soul
     Mirror only rabid ****** and chaos.

The currency of his homicidal
     Delusions of dominion?
War crimes that russian pens
     Helped etch into global law.

His dreams of a cleansed russia
      Need no lengthy search.
To find the filthiest part to scrub
      All he needs is a mirror.

Slaughter, lies and treachery
     Fill his curriculum vita
And his country’s patience
     Has outreached its vanishing point
Say a contemptuous goodbye
     To the butcher of Moscow.
Mar 2022 · 150
putin’s Rolling Coffins
Robert C Howard Mar 2022
Every day the prime of russian youth -  
     The doctors, engineers, teachers    
     chefs and artists of tomorrow,
Climb into armored steel coffins  
     enroute to a fiery reward
for their loyalty to their flag.

The Kremlin maniac sent them there –    
      Rolling to doom in tidy rows like
Aluminum birds in a carnival arcade.
      Fodder for Putin’s imperial cannon.

The men poised prostrate on the hills    
      Have no luxury of choice.
They know what tanks are for      
      And what their missiles must do.

And so the prime of russian youth
      Is blown to waste due to a heartless fool
Who spares even less care for his soldiers’ lives  
      Than the children he sent them to ******.
Mar 2022 · 78
Roundups of Shame
Robert C Howard Mar 2022
The bravest Moscow souls take the streets
     to show their belief in life over death -
In truth over lies and repression -
    Courage over spineless complicity.

The weak and cowardly
    Put on uniforms and shields
And herd their neighbors
    Into buses and cells -
Neighbors who have decided
    It is better to serve the beating
Heart of mother russia
    In a cold and heartless cell
Than live at ease in a prison of silence.

All you uniformed traitors of justice,
     Listen to the screams in the night
     That crawl in to haunt your dreams.
They are your Ukrainian brethren
     Crying out to your lost better selves.

Muster the courage to shed and defy
     Your blood-soiled uniforms and shields
     Smash your guns and clubs to pieces
Your souls are your own to redeem.

Robert C. Howard
Mar 2022 · 83
Leave Them Alone!
Robert C Howard Mar 2022
Somewhere or rather everywhere
     Out there in the cosmos,
The God of justice and harmony weeps
     for his fratricidal children
Playing another round of **** or be killed.

This time, delusional russian lunatics
    With mass homicide in their DNA
    Have decided to slaughter
Their brothers and sisters to the west.

People of russia, throw off theses assassins,
    Bring your soldiers home
    Along with their killing machines
And leave the Ukrainians alone.
Mar 2022 · 101
Apostle of Genocide
Robert C Howard Mar 2022
sergei lavrov with face carved of limestone
knows no joy save in the mangled bodies of children
or a maternity hospital destroyed.

The russian ship of state has rammed its iceberg –
Known to the world as the Ukrainian heart.
lavrov can lie and lie and lie some more
telling the passengers it’s only a water feature
But like the Titanic, his ship is going down.

Don’t turn your back on a door, sergei,
They’re coming for you.
That limestone face of yours will erode
As cold rivers of truth
grind your lying stone into sand.

So minister lavrov, apostle of mass ******,
You are defendant No. 2 in the coming trial
The gavel will slam against the wood
And you will meet your justice.
Never turn your back on a door.
Mar 2022 · 73
A Solemn Visit
Robert C Howard Mar 2022
There was a knock on the door.
    A trio of uniformed men took off hats
And respectfully asked to come in.

The woman raised her hands to her face
    As her children appeared at her side.
Her tears knew exactly why they had come.

“It is our sad duty to report your husband
    Was killed by disobediant resisters
During our peace keeping efforts in Ukraine.

We can tell you that his service was not in vain.
     Before he died he was able to blow up
A maternity hospital and several trucks of
     Food and medical supplies
As well as dozens of other civilians.

We bring you this flag in his honor
     With apologies for the blood stains.
We can tell you for certain that none
     Of that blood belonged to your husband.”

The widow felt a tug at her skirt.
    “Mommy, where is daddy?”
Mar 2022 · 79
The Trials to Come
Robert C Howard Mar 2022
The doors will fly open without warning.
     Strong arms will encircle the bald man
Whose stare is as cold as his heart.
     The chains that bind him
Will clang and echo across the world.

More sudden doors will bring arrests
     Of his minions in soul-less ******.
They will be pulled from their desks,
     Yanked out of their tanks and turrets
And led off to their cells in chains.

No soldier with blood-soaked hands
    Will escape the consequence of his evil.
Cells walls will be draped with the
    Images of human carnage and the
Sounds of their victims will scream in their ears.

Where will they find enough chains
     For putin, and all his gutless puppets?
The russian people will lend them theirs
     The press will surrender theirs
And turn on their cameras once more.

The criminals will walk to the stand -
     Silent and un-repentent in their chains.
All of russia will sit glued to their screens.
     As one by one the gavel falls on their shame.
And the judge intones the fates of justice.

Who will step forward to lower the curtain?
    Will generals wake up in the dead of night
With the wails of innocents in their ears?
     Will politicos vote in solemn silence
To rid their state of its festering cancer.

The just of the world don’t care how or who
     Just so long as it’s soon!
Show us, don’t tell, Just so long as it’s soon!
Robert C Howard Mar 2022
A russian soldier wrote his American friend
    "This is not as they told us:
trainees don’t shoot kids and mothers."

Days later the American learned of his death.
    He had died for nothing – absolutely nothing!
And was sent to **** for even less.

Mother russia needs a new face at its zenith
    The current one's soaked in his victims' blood.
russia, wash away the stains - they are yours!
     Wash away the stains. putin must go!
Robert C Howard Mar 2022
“Daddy, why do you have to go?”
    “Duty calls Olga, I must.”
“Don’t hurt any little children, Daddy”
     “I will only do my duty, little one.”

“Daddy, you’re pointing your gun at a little girl.
     She’s just like me; Daddy don’t shoot.”
“I must do my duty, my child.?

“She IS me, Daddy, you shot me.”
     “I’m bleeding Daddy, how could you do it?”
“I’m dying, Daddy, how…could … you...”?
Ukraine, Despotism,
Jan 2022 · 1.7k
From Many, One
Robert C Howard Jan 2022
It happened in a flash.
winding down a Rocky Mountain road,
a trio of travelers,
basking in snow-draped vistas
pulled off for a photo or two.

Their tires locked into a snow bank
and after a few futile wheel spins,
the undeniable truth sank in;
they were stuck!

In moments, the slamming of car doors
echoed across the valley,
an ad hoc community of a dozen Neighbors
formed, converged and began to dig.

After a half hour of elbow grease
amid vapor clouded exhalations
and cries of,
      “straighten the wheel,”
      “slow on the gas” and
      “let’s push together now”
the car eased onto the center of the road.

No one called "meeting adjourned"
but as quickly as it formed,
our ad hoc community
dissolved into the greater band
of good folks working together
for our mutual benefit.

E pluribus unum!
After struggling during the pandemic for a new poetry I think I have found it. This poem will be the first and title of a new poetry book designed to foster unity and healing in whatever small way I can help this happen.
Oct 2021 · 118
A Journey Beyond Compare
Robert C Howard Oct 2021
On the occasion of my dear Robin’s 70th Birthday

When I wander with memory’s lens
Through the landscapes of our common journey
I see you everywhere and always.
I find you in my office – sorting out the chaos
Or helping Corinne or Tylka
Cut to their respective chases
With logical and designing hands.

I see us descending step by dusty step
into the pastel kaleidoscope of Grand Canyon,
eventually catching up with Dawn, the adventurer,
waiting for us at the canyon floor.
We are waiting together still at the hospital
for the emergence of Michael, Nate, Stephen and Grace
And see them anew as they approach
The portals of majority.

I see us in Vienna and Rome with Kathy and Dave.
Soaking up history and leaving a few vocal traces behind.

I hear the magic of your voice lingering in the air
Breathing life into the spells of Rutter, Poulenc, Handel, Mozart
And songs of my own conjuring.
I feel your guiding hand in my restless soul
That cannot help chase new, improbable challenges.

We have shared triumphs, trouble, elation and sorrow
As if the highs and lows were  
Equal rows woven into the tapestry
Of our common destinies.

In this beautiful high valley,
Graced by the Rockies opulent wonder,
My heart sings with love and gratitude
For all of our years together.
You are my everywhere and always
Through this Journey Beyond Compare.

Love, Robert – October 13, 2021
Robert C Howard Aug 2021
Earth (Pangaea)

Pangaea heaved and shifted
beneath the fire-storm sky.
Colliding plates and spewing mountains
shook, roared and thundered
under the brutal chaos
of torrential cataclysms.

In time she yielded her ire
to millennia of pacific rains -
her severed crust
set adrift across the oceans
like gigantic earthen rafts.

Jungles sprang up and terrible lizards
came, grazed and left their bones.
Forests, grains and multifarious beasts
grew and perished in accord
with their past and future destinies.

So here we are - earthbound,
tossed from our mothers' wombs -
fated to live and breed
by the grace of miracles
far beyond our ken.

Beloved mother Gaia,
from whose dust we are raised,
nurture and sustain us
and sing us to our mortal sleep.

2. Air

Air - earth's miracle brew of
     oxygen, nitrogen and all the rest
          meted out in perfect harmony.

Air - silent and still on a moonlit night -
     driver of sheeted rain on window panes -
          and winds that shake the trembling aspens.

Air - author of land and ocean squalls -
     bringer of that ominous pallor
          that presages a tornado's furor

Air - invisible aerial highway
     for majestic eagles and turbo-jets -
         medium of rhetoric and symphonies.

Air – window to the cosmos
      and our fragile life–giving broth -
          unwitting conveyer of toxic alchemy.

Keep watch my sisters and brothers:
     the air we breathe is what we make it
          or rather what we let it be.

3. Water

Water like a capricious deity
     wanders through time and topography -
     cherished and cursed for
     what it gives and what it takes away.

Gentle rains and strident gales
     sculpt rivers and streams
     through forests and plains
     bound for union with the open sea.

Diurnal tides surge and wane
     at the whim of the charismatic moon.
     Ice mountains advance and retreat;
     rock-strewns moraines left in their wake.

Turbulent currents
     soar over jagged cataracts,
     spraying pastel prisms
     across the misted valleys.

Beneath our all too fragile skins,
     secret sanguine rivers navigate
     our veins and arteries
     bathing organs, limbs and sensors
     with curative balm and sustenance.

Wellspring of all elements,
     fill our daily ladles
     and grant us the will and empathy
     to bequeath the same to our progeny.

4. Fire

Two hundred million years ago
our Paleolithic cousins
seized branches from a burning forest
and stepped into a bold new world.

By the glow of fire-lit caves,
and the scent of searing venison,
they gathered wits and tools
to craft shelters and weaponry.

Their children's children would design
forges and furnaces, factories
and build engines that run on fire.

But their anxious siblings in despair
snatched lightning from the sky
and twisted by fits of anger pride
made also muskets, missiles, bombs
and nuclear Armageddons.

Vulcan, god of nobler flames
open our blood-stained eyes
and show us the means
to stay our arson lust and
abide by the light of reason.

*Revised and integrated version, December, 2015
I am reposting this poem cycle because the piano composition of the same title is now complete. Here is a link to that composition.

https://clyp.it/0xe00hyn
Nov 2020 · 125
Veterans' Day
Robert C Howard Nov 2020
When it's all on the line,
our finest step up to hold it,

They secure that line on the ground
on the seas and in the air.

It is a life of service, risk and sacrifice
and not all return to their grateful nation.

For those who leave us,
we offer prayers of devine passage.

For those who return, whole or damaged,
no magnitude of honor can ever suffice.

Today is their banner day as are
all days from now to eternity.

America thanks you and remembers you,
now and forever.
Nov 2020 · 98
Our Presidency
Robert C Howard Nov 2020
When your name is called
and you raise your hand to swear
to pre[serve], protect
and defend us all,
the world attends your
every word and step and deed.

When your season is fulfilled,
you return to the one post
higher than that of the presidency:
citizen of the world's
most honored democracy.
Nov 2020 · 87
Time to Make the Call
Robert C Howard Nov 2020
It's time, Mr. President.
Lift the phone and make the call.
No one pretends it's easy
but the chord has been struck
and it's time to man up
and face the song that sings
from shore to mountain to shore

The tune is bitter but clear
and it's time to pick it up
and give Joe the dreaded call.

It's time Mr. President;
make the call.
Call Joe.
Sep 2020 · 88
Quoting Carroll
Robert C Howard Sep 2020
O frabjous day! Callooh Callay

My new book of poems From the Mountain to the Sea is now available from Amazon.com Hope you enjoy it!

Here is a link:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08HJ534Q8/ref=sr11?keywords=From+the+Mountains+to+the+Sea+Howard&qid=1599256110&s=books&sr=1-1
Aug 2020 · 701
Olympic Coast
Robert C Howard Aug 2020
Sea stars, urchins and anemones
     ride the tidal waters at Rialto Beach
           swirling into shallow pools -
      clad in shades of blue, emerald and violet.

Gnarls of ancient driftwood line the beach
     up to the rainforest’s edge just beyond the rise.
           Pulsing waves dash and roar against the sea stacks
       where the Pacific adjoins the California shore.

Legions of seagulls circle above
       piercing the misted air with their cries
           and the tide, beckoned by the Sky Queen,
       begins to ebb and regain the open sea.

As the sun sinks into the western sky –
       the towers of Split Rock and Hole in the Wall
            are silhouetted against the horizon
       pasteled in gold, orange and burgundy hues.

Gray whales and dolphins breach the surface
       before plunging into the sacred depths
           where the ocean beats pulse on and on -
sounding resonant cadences
       through timeless hallows of infinity.
Aug 2020 · 502
Gold and Silver
Robert C Howard Aug 2020
The lure of gold brought Fifty-Niner’s in droves
     to the Kansas-Nebraska territory
laden with packs, picks, pans and shovels -
      hell-bound for adventure and facile wealth.

Placer miners squatted beside frigid streams,
    dipping their pans and filling their sacks
with nuggets bound for the assayer's verdict.

Mine towns sprang up where the veins were strong.
    In ******* Creek, Leadville, Independence and Central City,
the valleys rang with the strident cacaphony of
     drills and explosives - burrowing shafts deep
into the ore-rich valleys and mountain slopes.

Headlamps lit and shadowed mazes of timbered tunnels
     where men piled rock high into mine cars
headed for the mammoth crushers at Idaho Springs.

Whiskey freely flowed in saloons and hotels
     where raucous miners let off steam with
every mode and cast of ***** talk pleasures

In time, the veins were spent and profits dwindled.
     When the drama ended and the curtain fell,
the miners vanished - leaving only ghost towns behind
      and a new state named for its reddish river – Colorado.
This is the second poem in a cycle called Echoes from Colorado
Jul 2020 · 338
Across the Great Divide
Robert C Howard Jul 2020
A purple veil enveloped the peaks and ridges
      along the mystical divide
           where snowpack and summer rains
      chart opposite courses toward distant seas.

Born of the ancient heave and shudder
       of oceanic and continental plates,
             the Rockies transfix our wondering eyes
        by the spell of their arcane mysteries.

So it has been for those who carved our trails
       and called their mountians by name:
             Arapaho - hoh'enii
                  Hopi - tuukwe
                        Ute – Kåib

All of these good fellow journey folk
      have listened to the same timeless airs
            chanted by murmuring streams and cataracts
       and seen hope reflected in an alpine lake.

We have heard the soaring calls of the Rockies
      on either side of the great divide
         We have heard the mountains’ healing presence
      softly whispering us to our homes.
Across the Divide is the first in a cycle of poems called Echoes from Colorado which will open my new book called From the Mountains to the Sea.

This cycle will constitute the opening my new poetry book called From the Mountains to the sea.  Should be out in a month or two
Jul 2020 · 404
Anasazi Harvest
Robert C Howard Jul 2020
As plaintive tones from a distant flute
     drifted across the mesa valley    
the sun over Spruce Tree House
     began its descent toward dusk.

Above the courtyard, Anasazi masons
     plaster-sealed the final stones
on the great cylindrical tower.
     Collisions of mano and metate
echoed across the canyon as women
     crushed dried kernals into cornmeal.
Others hummed as their skilled hands
     brushed thin black patterns onto
scores of newly crafted bowls and jars.

A young girl rushed up a ladder
     to announce her brothers' return
from ripe mesa top fields,
     carrying baskets of fresh cut
corn, squash and beans on their backs.

A summer of nourishing rain
     promised that storage cists
would be stocked well with food for
     the arduous winter ahead
and seed for the vernal plantings.

Dusk fell on Spruce Tree plaza
     as rich aromas of venison
and fresh baked flatbread
     suffused the crisp October air.
Anasazi is the fourth poem in a cycle called Echoes from Colorado.
May 2020 · 311
To Light a Candle
Robert C Howard May 2020
To light a solitary candle
may not seem like much
but will suffice to
illuminate a neighbor’s path -
obscured by the loss of day.

So we strike a match
and with charring fiber and melting wax
reveal our neighbors’ faces
glowing faintly in the shadows.

Friends gather to join
their wicks and wax with ours
spreading shafts of hope-born light -
melting despair and gloom
in consoling flames of transfiguration.

Like a lighthouse set high on a cliff,
our beacons will shine through
the dark and fog of uncertainty -

       Light to press the harm aside
       Light to safen the shaking ones

in vessels great and small
from splintering against the rocks.

To light a single candle
may not seem like much
but it can suffice.
This we can do and we will!
Apr 2020 · 347
Sanctuary
Robert C Howard Apr 2020
Where do we go for sanctuary?
Tossed by turbulent waves in storms of time,
we scramble for a leeward shore.

Where can we find security when
violent winds rise to splinter our shelters -
cursing dreams to oblivion?

How can we conjure hope
when famine, disease and bitter tyranny
stalk us in the shadows?

The answers lie within us
where means and tools for restoration live
and empathy is our guide.

Gifted with imagination’s plow,
we envision re-cultivation of the thirsty soil -
so prescribed by our creator.

We think, and so we care.
we care, therefore we act and sacrifice.
The future is our calling.

Reason, trust and community
must ever be our strong and worthy foundations
and capstones of our sanctuary.
Apr 2020 · 94
Winter Dervish
Robert C Howard Apr 2020
On a tranquil spring morning
     after the gold-washed rising sun
had yielded to the glow of an azure sky,

     the western peaks crept into view -
their crystaline white-capped peaks
     frosted by a nocturnal snow shower.

While the valley gently awakened,
     a frenetic dance swirled on the heights
choreographed by turbulent winds.

     Billowing clouds gathered like dervishes
whirling violently in a ritual tempest -
     hurling frigid sprays into the dawning sky

Down in the valley, the warming sun
     calmly consumed the remaining flakes  -
while battle raged on the peaks, unabated.

April, 2020
Apr 2020 · 109
Caritas
Robert C Howard Apr 2020
Through troubled seasons when cherished ones
      are out of sight but never out of heart,
we close our eyes and visages appear,
     from reliquaries of hallowed memories.

From exile, we gather sustenance
     from smiles or hearty laughs recalled
or brows contorted from common care -
     harvesting golden tokens of our kinship.

United beyond walls of separation
     we envision times to come
when we clasp arms again in solidarity
    and break a common loaf of bread.

For now, we chant hymns to caritas
    for all we hold dear and sacred -
conjuring not too distant seasons
    when hope and restoration regain the earth.
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