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.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

XLI. I Come From Blood

I come from blood.

Blood on blood on bone I come,
From rivers of blood I come.
My momma’s daddy and my daddy’s daddy
Were soldiers in the World War.
And likewise, their fathers before them
Were soldiers in the Great War.
And my daddy was a soldier
In a war that was not his own.

So blood on blood on bone I come,
A son of the Human War.

XL. Rope Woman

The goddess a braid she wove, and it fell upon her back.
Of the braid each strand she wove was made of all that is:
Of joy and sorrow, of victory and defeat, of light and dark.

There it rested upon her marble back, growing every epoch.
And from time to time, a new strand was intertwined:
Of children, of new life, of rusted love, of dark demons.

And the weight of the braid wore heavy upon her head.
And from time to time, she fingered it where it lay:
And in its weight she felt a weight she could not bear.

The goddess, a braid she wove, and it fell upon her back.
Of the braid each strand she wove was made of all that is.
Until the day the braid lay lame where she lopped it from her back.

Monday, July 19, 2010

XXXIX. I Hold no Illustrious Posts

I hold no illustrious posts
Therewith to stake my claim
And all my layman’s verses
Are in tomes oft forgot
What matters it if I am ne’er heard
Or if upon the fallow they fall?
Upon these songs my mythologies
Are built up, strong and tall
And yet, if these verses could
An illustrious post constrain
I’d that it be within the woods
With my family and my songs

XXXVIII. Last Will and Testament

I am acutely aware of my mortality
Within my children and my wife
So therefore I bequeath
My last will and testament:
My broken body I give unto the earth,
My written words I give unto my love,
My earthly possessions (little though they be)
I give unto my children
My faults and frailty I pass unto the generations to come,
Hopefully with humility,
But more than likely, with a shout

Thursday, July 15, 2010

XXXVII. Oecumenicus

Ecumenical Economy, we praise thee
Economy, god of ecumenity, we raise thee
Mammon of manna, we uphold thee

Oecumenicus, thou art our god, past, present, and future
We were warned for love of thee, yet we praise thee

‘Tis more than greed that plagues us
Or the love of being prosperous
Tis our’n god that makes beggars of us

XXXVI. Daughters of My Downfall

Daughters of my downfall, must it always be?
“Yes it must my fallen, for God smote Adam, then He smote Eve.”
Yet ye sirens, is it possible, that I may be made clean?
“If it were so, my fallen, of life we’d have no need.”

Oh daughters of my downfall, in you I confess,
I am no more a virtuous man than your beauty is not a curse.