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, March 22, 2011

LXXI. Simon's Song

For Simon Rodia

To the unknown, indefatigable,
Stumbling toward some existent light,
I sing.

With your hands you have built towers,
Towers alone you smite.

Within the darkness thou hast labored,
Thou hast cast thy light.

To the man, the hammer, the chisel,
To the spires that they bring,
I sing.

But more so to a conquering spirit,
With which a man is give.

The spirit of self hewn horizons,
Horizons he sees and wills to live.

To the man, the spirit, and the hammer,
To the courage it brings,
I sing.

My Daddies, and My Daddy's Daddies

LXX. My Daddies, and My Daddy's Daddies

The black and white bodies
Of my forefathers prostrate upon the ground
In rigor mortis clutching
At their spirit leaving earth
Is no less sobering than the day they hit the dirt.
They with once shining eyes now dulled,
Their coarse beards caked with mud,
Their useless relics strewn amongst the grass.
These are my daddies, and my daddy’s daddies,
Now just black and white spirits
And the dirt beneath my feet.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

LXIX. A Toast for Violet

For Violet Beatrice Mannan, on the occasion of her 5th birthday

May you rise up as the willow,
Beside the willow and the pine.
As I raised a glass the day of your birth,
So you shall when I die.

May you grow tall in the valley,
Amongst the flowers and the grass.
Ever smiling back to my smoldering fire,
As the days begin to pass.

May you wander down the rivers
With the sun upon your face.
And when the crows obscure the sun,
My smoke will lead the way.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

LXVIII. Nakedness

There is a nakedness between us
That rends a great divide.
In this nakedness I hide.

Though our Father calls out to us
Our nakedness divides.
In this dark divide we hide.

For fear is simple and hope is toil-
Between them is a great divide.
Naked knowledge begs I hide.

LXVII. Hymn for Him

I kissed your bare neck as you wept
For the given up ghost of your brother.
His body was broken but his spirit was freed
To take wing o’er the face of the river.
His body was covered, though his face was unveiled
To take wing o’er the face of the river.
These lessons of death to the living so move
The Holy Spirit within as a river.

White Horse

Friday, March 4, 2011

LXVI. Golgotha Morning

Rifle hum heartbeat thrum
through the crooked trees
rising up like Golgatha’s
crooked teeth.

LXV. Wise Men

Wise men, thou art wicked,
For in this thing you boast:
The knowledge of knowledge above all knowledge,
Forgetting the least is the most.

LXIV. Days Like This We Spent My Friend

The days like this we spent my friend,
Smoke spewing dragons in the sun,
And poems and lores and epics and tomes
That else never saw light of day.
Days like this we spent my poet,
Conjuring up our worlds
Like gargoyles upon a Gothic spire,
Taking a smoke break in the sun.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

LXIII. Hawkfather

My Father appeared to me
In the form of a hawk
And spake unto me from
His throne of rock:

“My son, the time will come
When you must slay me
With your’n bare hands.
And when you have done this,
Take from my form a feather
To twine into your hair.
Then set me upon a pyre,
And let my smoke rise unto the heavens.”

Saying this, he alit to the sky once more.

And I wept, for I was all alone.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Days of Pagan Thunder: Osceola

My man heart has been broken Great Father,
And I must pass away.
I did that which I felt in my heart,
And now I pass away.
Why my father hast thou left me?
I die all alone.
I lay my head to slumber forever,
But I am not out for long.