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.

V. These People

These People,
They live until they die, no more, no less.
They raise their children, and their children’s children,
And return to the earth whence they came.
They weather the winter, and laugh in the sun,
And weep for their sorrows.
They live in a familiar house, with overgrown yards,
And they toil as best they can.
They cannot see beyond the screen door,
But for the great green oaks that shade their yard.
They are as the children who rise everyday, and go to play.
And for this, I commend them:
For no God, nor Demon, nor war, nor poverty
Shall keep them from this life,
Just as the oaks that shade their door.

IV. The Old Soul of the Long Lost Child

The old soul
of the long lost child shall I ever be.
The great gasp smell
of the smoke of train shall I ever breathe.
The toys I have lost in the tunnel of man
Have clearly marked my way,
The dog eared lore of children’s fare
have held me from the fray.

My children's tears, my children's laughs
With them I weave a magic raft
And sail from this smoking land of death.

The old dreams of eternal youth
are an isle affixed for me.
And I visit with the ghosts of past
And live in magic means.
Anon anon I hear a cry
from my children across the shore
And I leave the isle with a smile
To search for it no more.

My Children’s tears, my children’s laughs
They are but a magic craft
To keep me in this land of death
And I shall weep no more.

The unforgettable fire

III. The End

I live in this constant state of sadness, this constant realm of madness,
Trying to write you out of the trouble you're in.

Of Beast, and man, and death’s right hand, I write.

I wake in a constant state of turmoil, the grinding axe of turmoil

Trying to chase you to the end.

Of God and man, and angel’s hands, I write.

When will this ever end?

II. Laurels

Resting on your laurels
Is never a wise to-do
For resting on your laurels
How shall they rest on you?