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, June 25, 2010

XXXV. Wolves

They feast upon the weak and gullible, rending them apart
They tear their ‘loved ones’ flesh, animals in the making
And leave blood in the snow of their bloodlust making
And all because to be a man they must set themselves apart

They prey upon the sickly, who fall from back the pack
And there they tear down the weak to make themselves strong
And a wolf is but an animal, and but an animal can’t be wrong
But they are men and cowards in a wolf war rear attack

Men down in the valley, who sold your souls to wolves:
I am coming from the highland, with a jawbone in my hand
And if I die in my bloodletting, I don’t give a damn
God damn me in my insolence, but I’ve come to slay some wolves

Monday, June 21, 2010

XXXIV. Dragoneering

They harness the beasts to be unleashed against their own flesh and blood
Impervious to shrieks the dragon they wreak upon their country and god
All hail the keepers of the deathly reapers, for to deny them is certain doom
And the screams they wring from a human being is far worse than any tomb

These dragoneers forgo all tears to lay waste to all that stands
Their red eyes dry they harness and ride to rape and burn the land
How is it so our present foe was once a human as we?
For his craven lust has turned him thus: a rider for the demon Liege

Black helmets gleam upon the wing of the dragon whose wings beat breast
Their silent sneer and manner queer displays their crooked crest
How is it so that men stoop so low to follow these demonic wiles?
With hardened heart they rend man apart to suit their lusts so vile

Ye vile slaves in a living grave, turn back your beastly ‘slaught!
Ye dead men's eyes mirroring dead men’s cries, what is this that ye’ve wrought?
But the demon hies pay heed no cries, yet on the dragon stride
For the beast unleashed to death bequeath comes from their own insides

The land falls dark under their wicked stark, for who can suffer their ride?
The shadows they cast cause a cowering caste o’er the countryside
How is it so that men let go and monsters do become?
The dragons they tame in a guilded name rend the earth blind deaf and dumb

Ye dragoneers with no righteous fears, I pray you vengeance see
Ye manly beasts seduced by hellish feasts, may your dragons visit thee
And then you will know your wicked toll upon your own broken soul
And then you will know your own death knell upon your rotted skull

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Stone Wall

XXXIII. Flaming Youth

Flaming youth, flame you on,
With a neon flame that begets the dawn.
Yet still, I say, it comes upon
A wave of flame that is soon gone.

Flaming youth, flame you on,
With licking flames that proceed the dawn
And shall soon devour your brawn
Unless you learn to hold your tongue.

XXXII. Peace then everlasting

Peace then everlasting, shall it still my soul?

XXXI. The Paradox of Sin

If I loathe that which I am, tis’ ‘cause I do not confess it,
I cannot confess it, for I loathe it.
If I loathe that which is my truth, I then loathe nature,
For the truth we loathe is the truth that frees us.

XXX. History Has a Name

In the halls of youth, these songs are sung,
In hallowed fields the bells are rung
And step after step, rung after rung,
The ladder to the future is deftly run.

In the epochs of past the ghosts they ran
Once flesh and blood colored by the tan.
Yet step after step, man after man,
Our fathers became one with the sand.

In the breath of time I write this rhyme
The breath is gone and cannot be tied
And minute after minute, line after line,
History has a name, and its name is mine.

XXIX. The Warrior

The warrior, he came a long way, for his people, and his pride
He forged the way for his people, with them right by his side
The warrior garnered praises, monetary, and in song
And the warrior on top the temple seems can do no wrong
But the warrior looks upon the people, wreaths and song upraised
And knows e’en in his honor that it is mislaid praise
For he has seen the angel of death upon the battle planes
And the angel of death has regarded him, but never called his name
And e’en has the angel spoken from behind his shrouded cowl:
“Kill as you will mortal, for it is spoken that you shall
And I am not to touch a hair upon your armored head
But I am here to name those you claim as your dead
No arrow shall fell you, no sword shall smite you down,
Go about your business, and earn your earth’s renown
Know that it is written, upon your earthly page,
That I, Death, a humble servant, go forth and hew your way.”

The warrior looks down upon his people, and tears come to his eyes
For the warrior in the face of Death has seen life and been made wise