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 17, 2010

XLIX. Goodbye

Crows in the cold morning sky
O’er skeletons and grandfather pine
Crows in the cold flat sky

Crows in the pale blue sky
Long spent tears from Odin’s eyes
Crows in the azure sky

Crows in the white winter sky
Parting lashes of Sunna’s great eye
Crows in the dawn’s white eye

Watching the crows go by
In the knife cold morning light
Waving them on, goodbye

Thursday, December 9, 2010

XLVIII. Only in Words

Only in words of purple planes are my fires quenched,
Only in routes I write myself out ' the eye of the evil finch.
Only in words on risen birds is my soul sated anew,
On sentient lips in living sips I pour my hemlock brew.

Monday, December 6, 2010

XLVII. The Sword Devours Forever

The hand begets the hammer,
The Hammer begets the sword.
And the outstretched hands cry out:
“Shall the Sword Devour forever?”

XLVI. They Pass Not Words to Their Children

They pass not words to their children,
Neither wisdom nor knowledge do they impart.
They create stunted sons and withered daughters,
Children with no lineage, a tree without its roots.
They do it not in anger, nor do they do it with purport,
But do it for lack of understanding, they fatherless as well.

My Fathers!
Why hast thou forsaken me to silence?
Why hast thou built towers with your own hands,
Yet showed me not to hew a single stone?
Why hast thou seen wars and foreign civilizations,
Yet of these things I know not?
My Fathers, my Fathers, why hast thou forsaken me?
Forsaken me and my brothers to chained tongues
And palsied guns and empirical rage of our own understanding.

They that pass not words to their children are fathers
To sons of none and daughters of the dead,
They themselves the sons of none propagating
The ignorance of their silent fathers by their own silence.

XLV. My Smoke

Over mountains has
My smoke drifted
Into the eyes of those
Who cry for their dead.
Yea, my smoke has sifted
Through the trees that ring the dead.
Over seas
My tender heart is lifted
Unto the animals of man,
Crying for their father.
Yea, my tender heart is broken
As Adam’s animals upon his sin.

With my sons I made the clearing
In horror to recoil,
Yea my smoke had drifted
To a battle plane unknown,
Broken jutting erected graves
Lying over bone.