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.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Shiva II (Vishnu)

I ponder the sea before me
the battle at my back
I close my eyes
and hear the singing sea
drown the ring of war
I am as the sea
I have no enemies
I am my only enemy
I seek in myself all wrongs
I see in others no blame
but that which I can attribute to myself
I seek to take from no one’s spirit
and they take nothing from mine
I become the restorer over the destroyer

I am become Vishnu

Friday, July 27, 2012

Caleb Mannan joins Rabble Writers writer's group

Your name is a Caleb Mannan, a Heinz 57 American writer living in Washington State. You wrote your first hot mess of a novel years ago on a dare from your beautiful bluegrass southpaw singer songwriter wife. Your three children think you are silly. Your spirit guide is your Oregon Okie grandpa who was your hero when you were a boy and died over 15 years ago. You fancy he takes the form of a crow at times. You love roughhousing poetry Tanqueray fire pine trees stars crows Miller High Life deer America music and family.
You love to write and have had your poems featured in anthologies. You are currently trying to determine if you should self publish your latest novel which has received rave rejection letters from literary agents across the States. Some of your heroes are Ray Bradbury, Tom Waits, old men, children, Robert Service, your wife, and John the Baptist. You are on a journey to make peace with the earth through writing. You want to move back to the country and own some land. The other day you spent half an hour in the backyard with your daughter watching a white balloon rise up into the blue sky until it disappeared. You see a crow. You just had a great idea you have to write down. You gotta go. 

Monday, June 4, 2012

Everybody holler! It is a good day to be alive!

The Indian elder is now decrepit and gray tailed
He sits erect in a wheelchair
his dancing legs now stiff and useless
He chants out for the children dancers
in their feathers and beaded buckskins
He chants and shouts to the white people watching
“Everybody holler! It is a good day to be alive!”
and the Indian children dancing smile at his hollering
as they weave the ancient steps
that saved their people from the plague

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Falcon (They believe and turn away)

Atop the monolithic turrets of
gothic water tower jutting
circa 1931
the falcon watches the children
playing with objects in the sun

When they spy and point up at him
he stays ever so still to fool them
 into thinking he is the tower
they believe and turn away

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Lilacs are Blooming

For A.F.

She came to the tomb
to visit her religion
yet found it bare
She lingered for a moment, unsure
“The lilacs are blooming”
the stones heard her say as she left.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Whitefish Verses

In the mountains of Montana
there is a town
whose Main St. ends at the railroad tracks

On the other end of main
is the 1st Presbyterian Church
built in 1921, still standing strong
a square brick structure with stained glass windows

In the yard of the church is a rising great pine
and in this great pine a rather large raven
is rooting and cawing
shaking the whole damn tree

Winold Reiss

Winold Reiss

Winold Reiss

He put their faces to paper
without stealing their souls
when he died
the Blackfeet honored him and
scattered his ashes
near Glacier National Park
where the world first began
so that their white German immigrant
son brother
could walk with them forever

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Our Love

Aye, m’lass,
our love does grow
as the ivy o’er the stones
Taking o’er fences, taking o’er roads,
aye m’lass,
Our love does grow.

Friday, January 13, 2012

January Chill

When we first moved to the mountains
we rolled up our pants and waded in the creek,
cold to the bone,
searching for fool's gold,
until our mothers scolded us
for the January chill

Longfellow's Beard

After last year of much 'poetry' and finishing my third novel, I grew sick of hearing myself think. After I finished my novel, and had edited and sent it to my beta readers (where it now currently resides), I felt the need to write still, but as I said before, I was sick of my own thoughts.
The solution, of course, was to read Robert Graves and some novels and write poetry that was stripped to the bone.
So, for 2012, I purpose that if I should write my verses of wheat and wildflowers, I should strip them to their necessity(and even less), to say as much with as little as I could.
I shall call this new collection of stripped verse 'Longfellow's Beard'.

That is all.