Robert Charles Howard

Robert Charles Howard Poems

A shivering ball of fear
wrapped in a crust of pride
too thick for sharpest arrows
huddles alone but well protected.

The power scythe roared and quivered;

Farmers flocked to Blossburg's mines
    willing their abandoned plows
    to perpetual dust and rain.


How could I ever understand
what it is you choose
to call existence
and how could I ever

In memoriam, professor Earl Henry

Through shuttered eyes, I see you still -
dressed out in earthen tones

Delusions of immortality
vanish in a heartbeat
as earth’s colossal magnets
clutch jagged fire ribbons -

A nose is such a ruddy hoot -
sloping south between the eyes
with tubes flared out
like a hungry Hoover

A snow blower at maximum throttle
has no cyclonic edge
on a happy quintet of grandkids
assaulting a stack of presents.

A stranger ventured
across the universal chasm
setting lips and tongue
to calculated motion.

The Gods are money sound these days.
and priests have marketing degrees -
The faithful, called to worship
by giant plasma screens,

Spare no lament for the maple leaves
that, defying their impending fall,
play blazing gold and scarlet concerts
bright as Christmas brass in marble halls.

A toy locomotive
fresh red paint
on it’s wooden boiler
waits on time for completion.

Have pity on the maverick calf
who flees his mother's milk
and shuns the circle of his herd -
drifting on through sage and hills -

Narcissus leaned forward
to better view his matchless beauty
and tumbled to watery doom.

A graceful water weaving dolphin
swirls wakes of gentle waves -
a white, silver blue phantom
shimmering in the noonday sun.

As the Metrolink Eastbound
hissed to a stop at Belleville Station,
we carried our hopes
across the threshold.

for the dedicated workers of Civilian Conservation Corps, Co.696.

Near the southern coast of old Pangeia
you’ll find a park called Giant City

Well, I’m home again at last -
back from the salted sea
and after all that heavy finning,
I’m hot for a special date


In a combo, no one’s supposed
to hog the lead on every tune.

So let's all pitch in on the head,

The Brick Church Road leads to Friedens
where yesterday and today
wooden carts and steel wagons,
powered by equine legs or fiery pistons,

Robert Charles Howard Biography

I try to keep the rust away by being an active composer and have been the conductor of the Belleville Philharmonic Orchestra in Belleville IL since 1995 and of the Belleville Philharmonic Chorale since 2001. I have recently published a book of poems called Unity Tree which is available from I am a member of the League of American Orchestras and the Colorado Poetry Center. I was recently commissioned to compose a cantata called Wilderness Reflections for the centennial of Rocky Mountain National Park by the Oratorio Society of Estes Park that was premiered in June 2015. My compositions have been been performed by many professional, community, college and high school ensembles in Missouri, Illinois and other parts of the country. Six of the vocal texts are poems by Wendell berry and I wrote three of the vocal texts. I composed a Christmas cantata entitled, Radiance of the Light that was premiered by the Belleville Philharmonic Chorale and Orchestra in December,2007 and my Piano Sonata was premiered by Michael McElvain in April,2008. A video of my piano sonata can be viewed at YouTube: First movement http: // v=G_eYeqZyny4 Second movement http: // v=4vA-LN9nw9g Third movement http: // v=N6OYnYCF-mk&feature=related Here is a link to a Belleville Philharmonic Chorale and Orchestra performance of a new choral work by Charles DuMontier called Into this World: http: // v=Tq92sHhGb-A Meditation for oboe d'amore, harp and strings was premiered in Loja, Ecuador by John Walker, soloist with the Orquestra Sinfonica de Loja on Friday, June 20th,2008 with Winfried Mitterer, conducting. Poetry and story writing are a relatively new activities for me. Many of the poems posted relate directly to musical compositions. Two of the poems posted on this site, Eagles on the Mississippi and Ice Storm 2006 have been published by Straight Up Magazine. Five poems are included in the Oh What a Tangled Web edited by Elysabeth Falsund and Richard Brotbeck. For a general listing of my activities, please visit my web site at: I reside in Belleville IL with my wife Robin and our Golden Retriever and Shelty mix, Hannah.)

The Best Poem Of Robert Charles Howard

Anatomy Of Arrogance

A shivering ball of fear
wrapped in a crust of pride
too thick for sharpest arrows
huddles alone but well protected.

Grown to (wo) man,
that shivering ball,
aglow with haughty lustre,
plies the difficult art
of strutting from a seated position -
hoping beyond all fearing
that none will ever come to know
the terror behind the mask.

December, 2006

Robert Charles Howard Comments

Goldy Locks 01 September 2006

It is evident when you read Robert’s pieces that he as had a rich background in music. Presenting his motifs in a narrative orchestration – as if he’s configured them into scenes and acts, he tells you stories. Enjoy.

0 1 Reply
Meggie Gultiano 14 January 2009

Love this man very much.He is very kind, and very supportive when my piece, A PRAYER, was set into music by Stephen Paulus.Take care of you, Sir Robert.God bless you

0 0 Reply
Jerry Hughes 18 October 2008

Robert Charles Howard, I can't express in mere words my admiration...

0 0 Reply
kskdnj sajn 18 February 2007

Robert Howard's work is an inspiration. His series involving Thomas Jefferson and the 'Lewis and Clark expedition' will fascinate not only those who have aquired extensive knowledge in American history, but also to those who have not yet been quite so engaged, enchanting the reader to their own path of discovery. Robert has created a series of poetic knowledge that I hope will make its way into every history text book.

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Yvonne Rautenbach 22 January 2007

.........a real diamond

0 0 Reply
Will Barber 16 January 2007

Robert Charles Howard is an erudite poet, whose musical and intellectual sensibilities continue to astound. With humor, wit and wisdom he guides the poetic community by example. His only lack seems to be cynicism, but others may supply that.

0 0 Reply

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