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.

Monday, February 28, 2011

The Days of Pagan Thunder: Weyland

With iron great bands have I twisted
And wrought all that I’ve been given
Until all I’ve been given I’ve twisted
Into immeasurable shape.

With forcible sinew I’s twisted
And forced to beg what others’re given
Until all of my iron being twisted
I‘s given to violence and rape.

Woe is my iron now twisted!
Woe ‘to the urges I’ve given!
As the iron and my body lie twisted
So does my soul stand agape.

Friday, February 18, 2011

LXII. Swan

White swan rise above black sky,
Leaving the burning plains.
Fly you to your mother and sisters,
To your father up above.
As the land rises up in flames,
Take you to the sky.
For you do not belong here
In the blackness and the ruin.
You belong in Eden,
Or unfettered from the ark.
Across the face of the deep with your sisters,
Bearing all the winds,
To Cuchulainn in the south.

White swan leave the black land
To your lover up above.

LXI. Gun

The cloud sky was marbled,
The cumulous sinew of the angels descending.
The sun cut the gloom in shellshot scatter
As snow awkwardly straggled along.
The sky was black and blue and white,
Drapes ripped apart or rending.
The snow crawled out from under the sun,
And the sun hid itself again
The warcloud of the angels ascending,
The day I got my gun.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

LX. They That Have Been Broken

They that have been broken
Are they that have been raised
For just as was with Lazarus
They have seen the night then day.

LIX. The Pitiful Snow

It tries to snow
As a wounded deer
Scrambling and scared
From the roadside.
Would that I could
Take mercy upon you,
Would that I could take mercy.

The pitiful snow breaks my heart.

Monday, February 14, 2011


LVIII. Birdsong Sunrise

For Jenny Anne, my Valkyrie

Birdsong sunrise,
over these hills unto mine eyes
like my Valkrie rises.
She rises as the sun, clothed in light,
yea, my Valkyrie arises.
With babes about her garlanded,
and swaddled to her breast,
as the sun she rises.
The birds, they sing as angels,
the birds they sing for she.
Like my sun she rises,
My Valkyrie to me.


I have seen the blackness,
Yea, I have seen the crows.
Yet I have seen the valley
Where within my lover grows.

I have seen the valley,
The valley of Hamon Gog.
Therein lay the bodies
Littered by my wrongs.

Yet I have seen the sunrise
Lifting o’er the dark
And my lover astride a white horse
Bearing the Savior’s mark.

Friday, February 4, 2011

LVII. Flocks

As far up as the birds go,
They of a flock fly together.
Over the buildings and under the clouds
They of the same dark feather,
Regarding not the weather.

As high up as the Tower rose,
They of one flock smote it together.
Until the Lord uttered the words
Dividing flocks and feathers,
And they scattered hither and thither.

As high up as the tide goes
The flocks they stay together,
Perpetrating wrongs and rights
To others and one another,
The flocks of the fallen together.

LVI. Cold Night

Water frozen tendril trees,
Wind lines razor face,
My air bursting forth to gust, a warhorse nostril flaring.

Orion a sparkling jewel,
Winking salacious at Selene,
She pulls aside her black cloak and light beknights her bosom.