Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Gathering Darkness (2012)

The Gathering Darkness (2012)

The darkness gathers on all sides,
Our allies slink away,
No hope of victory now abides,
No dawn to light the day.

And those who should have manned the walls,
Now squabble o’er the bones,
And so the culture fades and falls,
With no one to atone.

And we who cannot bend the knee,
Our people’s forlorn hope,
Come joyous, brothers, stand with me!
Bow not before the rope.

Let those who must go make a peace,
Who lack your heart and will,
From freedom’s rigors they shall cease,
And take the galling pill.

Sweet handouts make a man a slave,
As sure as lash and chain.
If freedom’s portion is the grave,
Who kneeling would remain?

So stand my brothers, proud and free,
And make a gallant fight,
That down the decades yet to be
Our doom throws freedom’s light.

--Robert A. Hall

Friday, February 4, 2011

Advice for my Granddaughter

Advice for my Granddaughter
Britnye Vela, Age 10
January, 2011
By Robert A. Hall

The world will break your heart, my girl,
Embrace it anyway.
You were a gift from God to us,
To turn despair away.

Enjoy each day you live, my girl,
For joy was made for you.
We see it in your happy smile
And everything you do.

Now live a life of honor, girl,
Of hope and faith and trust,
For duty's just a word for love,
And doing what you must.

Now live for something great, my girl,
For something more than self,
True happiness in service lies--
That is the only wealth.

Now live a life of learning, girl,
And read a book a week,
For knowledge is the Holy Grail,
You'll never cease to seek.

Now be a friend of truth, my girl,
And judge folk by their deeds,
For empty words are honeyed traps,
And lies are evil's seeds.

Don't live to make us proud, my girl,
But live so you are proud
Of everything you do in life--
And shun the evil crowd.

If reputation's lost, my girl,
Then life is but regrets,
So make your word your bond, my girl,
And always pay your debts.

If God is good to you, my girl,
And children come your way,
Don't pass support to someone else,
But parent every day.

Don't live for just today, my girl,
Or you will soon be bored,
The things in life worth having are
The things you work toward.

We do not wish you riches, girl,
By greed are many wrecked,
Contentment only comes to those
Who live with self respect.

We do not wish you ease, my girl,
Existence free of strife,
But all the joy that's found within
The purpose driven life.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Unknown Killer

The Unknown Killer:
Pulmonary Fibrosis

Robert A. Hall

It comes on us as silent as the night,
And steals a breath and then another breath,
Until it smothers out another life,
To claim a hundred lives with every day.

It still remains the killer hardly known,
That takes you softly by the throat at first,
And whence it comes no doctor yet can say,
Nor how to pry its grip from off your lungs.

And so we laugh and do the best we can
To live our lives as fully as we wish,
And hold them dearly even as they fade—
It makes the colors ever more intense.

We see the haunted looks of those we love,
And understand their helpless dread and fear,
If we are losing all, they’re losing us,
And there is naught that we or they can do.

But if our time is short, so is all life,
So still we take the gift of every dawn,
And each of us must thank the God we know,
For every breath and every day of life.

If we must cope with tanks and pills and cough,
And struggle for the very breath of life,
We want to leave our mark upon the hunt,
To kill this thing before it comes for you.

Permission granted to reprint this blank verse, iambic pentameter poem.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


I listen through the solitude
by cupping hand to ear,
to ghostly whispers borne from youth,
or is it just the wind I hear?

I wander past a fallow field
that once was winter wheat,
and soon a fragrance draws me
like a perfume touched by heat.

Toward a path lined thick with wildflowers,
among the songs of birds so clear;
thank God the noise of modern life
cannot touch me here.

As I kneel to touch the untamed earth
and breathe in this pungent air,
I wonder—was it just the wind,
or did those whispers guide me here?

--by Sandy Raschke

From Prevailing Winds, a Collection of Country and Nature Poems.
12 pgs. $5, personally signed, includes postage. Contact:
sreditor@clearwire.net for details. Sandy Raschke is the Fiction
and Markets Editor of Calliope, A Writer’s Workshop by Mail.

Posted by Bob Hall with Sandy's permission. I've enjoyed her writing in Calliope, so purchased a copy of Prevailing Winds when it came out. I wasn't disappointed.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Sonnet for Cherished Things

Sonnet for Cherished Things

There are the times when I must turn aside,
And shift my gaze from off her cherished face,
For loving other things is no disgrace,
Career and Corps and conscience too are brides.
I hold them close to love her all more,
For love will flourish where the folk are free.
In this there is no inconsistency,
For loving her and honor and the Corps
But strengthens every bond between the three.
Though there will come a day when we must part,
It’s by the things I hold within my heart,
That I’ll achieve an immortality.
The love I bear for country, Corps and her,
They will endure. I think God will concur.

Robert A. Hall
Former SSgt, USMC

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Christmas Toy

The Christmas Toy

It came Christmas Time,
But they only have a dime.

Mom and Dad woke the boy
And told him he got a toy.

It was so fun
He thought he got a ton.

He uses it so often,
He still has it in his coffin.

--Britnye Vela, Age 9
(Bob Hall's Granddaughter)