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Robert Charles Howard

August Breezes

Golden prairie fields
caressed by August breezes
softly call your name.

July, 2010

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Stylus, Radio and Broomstick

in memoriam Les Paul

You took us for a glorious ride -
beyond the lofty moon
and back to greet the rising sun.

How did you ever fathom
that a stylus, broomstick and radio
could sweep away our blues
or that you and your Mary
could clone into twenty four?

Wherever you are I hope you meet dad
who cherished your music so.
Your name was on his guitar
and your songs were etched on his soul.

August, 2009

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A Many Splintered Thing

LOVE is:
   a dopamine trip
      Paris in the spring
         a really low tennis score.

LOVE is:
   erotic
      platonic
         gin and tonic.
            
LOVE is:
   requited
      unrequited
         or a little of both.

LOVE is:
   a baby's smile
      a ruined Huggie
         graduation day.

[...] Read more

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Obama Takes the Oath

On an early November day
when the last oak leaves
clung to barren branches,
Americans from Maine to L.A.
set aside their labors
to ring the freedom bell -
one ballot at a time
and decreed the time had come.

And so on a frigid January day
an eloquent man with African DNA,
placed a hand on Lincoln's bible
and vowed allegiance to us all.

Now Barack Obama's family
resides in America's home -
wrought a few scant yesterdays past
by the arms and backs
of human chattel who
though severed from their sacred liberty

[...] Read more

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Summer Day on the Current River

for Robin on our 22nd anniversary

The placid Current River ever growing
      brightly shimmers in the mid-day sun,
its azure waters cool and southward flowing.

Buried caverns through the limestone bring
      fresh fountains pouring cold ablution
into the placid Current ever growing.

Around the bend another rushing spring
      bursts forth to lend aquatic motion
to the crystal water’s southward flowing.

Cheerful floaters revel, tanned and smiling,
      celebrating pleasant summer fun
upon the tranquil waters ever growing.

Gentle breezes set the leaves to rustling
      while time stands still for everyone

[...] Read more

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Mastodon Hunt

Spear shafts splintering beneath its collapsing hulk,
the mastodon crashed to the earth,
roared its final lament and fell silent.

Shouts echoed across the ravine.
Dark-haired Clovis hunters converged:
stripping the hide,
carving the flesh.

Others circling the carcass,
traced broken shafts to flint;
gathering them for tomorrow's hunt -
retrieving all save one.

A triumphal fire hissed and snapped,
hurling heat and smoke
high into the mid–day sky.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

[...] Read more

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Khoral Kathy

for my choral mentor, Kathryn Smith Bowers
in celebration of her 60th birthday

Ah yes dearest Kathryn –
Like Dorothy sprung from Kansas soil
always a frequent flyer
even without a plane.

She has a simple plan
to seize the core of a song:
If you wish to tap the essence
of why a Hungarian sings
It’s easy:
just pack your bags and go
to where his song was born.

What makes a motet Scandanavian
or Deutsch or Italiano?
Piece of cake:
just book your flight

[...] Read more

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