Verse by Caleb Mannan

If you like Robert Service, Longfellow, Tolkien, Milton, Robinson Jeffers, Whitman, Poe, The Bible, Tennyson, Ray Bradbury, life, death, Untermeyer, Pound, Donne, joy, sorrow, Siegfried Sassoon, Wilfred Owen, Robert Graves, children, beauty, Dante, Tom Waits, then set yourself down beside this fire.

Friday, December 11, 2009

VI. As I Stoop, He Rises

For Tennessee Jedidiah Mannan

As I grow old, he grows stronger.
As I become bent, he grows straight.
As I grow hard, and dull,
He comes alive with fire.

I see in his eyes the fires of great wars
And the ships of civilizations I will never see.
I see foolish bravery, and unkempt strength.
As I walk on, he follows behind me,
Just now at a bumbling run.
I kneel next to him, and caution him of the smoke upon the horizon.
He heeds my words, and throws his arms about my neck,
For he knows that I love him.
I tell him he shall be a great nation, as the stars,
And he laughs as he sharpens my spear.
One day, I tell him, I will be gone,
And so now I must tell him all I know.
Then we carry on, across the mountains,
Along the path we see laid out.
And in just so short a time, I turn to see him,
And he is grown, and a man,
And he smiles at me.
I smile, so that he will not know I am old, and tired.
But we both know that as I stoop, he rises,
And because of this, my heart is at peace.


  1. 'As I Stoop' is what I have come to call 'Legacy' verses written for or about my children, and family, and the passing on of philosophies and beliefs. I very much desire to give my children a tangible heritage that will carry on with them long after I am gone.

  2. For Tennessee 9-12-07
    My son,
    When the savage embrace has graced you,
    When you stand as a boy behind brave warriors,
    scarred arms bearing arms,
    None is taken, and none is given
    but by a great hand,
    so rejoice
    When you lay upon the grave of forefathers slain,
    know they went not in vain, but to forge your name,