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