Robert Charles Howard

Rookie - 346 Points (26 DEC 1943 / Wyandotte MI)

Soul Flight - Poem by Robert Charles Howard

in memoriam Woodrow (Woody) Rifenburgh

The soft purr of a Piper Cub
drifted over Italy's southern hills.
Soul stirred by the landscape’s song,
the young army pilot gently spoke.

“It’s mighty peaceful up here.”

Touching wheels to the tarmac,
Woody shed his flight suit
for an engineer’s desk
and placed a viola beneath his chin.

For three score years
Woody molded horsehair and wire into string song
steadying the orchestra’s midriff
with the vibrations of his spirit.

On Christmas Eve he played for the coming child,
fell stricken and flew his last flight
on instruments at Memorial.

Early New Year’s morn one could almost hear
the faint soft purr of a Piper Cub
as it banked to the right around the moon
and merged with the waiting heavens.

Comments about Soul Flight by Robert Charles Howard

  • (11/11/2007 1:56:00 AM)

    It is the musicality of the telling that makes this piece so moving and yet so joyous at the same time. A beautiful tribute to a dearly loved and respected fellow musician. Sounds like he died as he lived - on a high! love, Allie xxxx (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Linda Ori (1/14/2007 2:08:00 AM)

    A touching tribute to a long lost friend. It's nice to imagine him still in flight somewhere out in the universe. Old pilots never die, they just fly off into the sunset. Beautiful piece, Robert.
    (Report) Reply

  • (7/27/2006 5:21:00 PM)

    Elegaic, intense and very moving. Your heart is in this one and it shows. You are definately a poet worthy of the name.


    (Report) Reply

Read all 3 comments »

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Poem Submitted: Sunday, July 23, 2006

Poem Edited: Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Famous Poems

  1. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  5. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  6. Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep
    Mary Elizabeth Frye
  9. I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You
    Pablo Neruda
  10. Television
    Roald Dahl
[Report Error]