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, November 21, 2013


We boys we stood side by side
And looked death in the eye
Covered in death and grime
We men looked into each others eyes

At the end of it all we would play with one another’s children,
Uncles who had seen the war

Thursday, October 17, 2013

All is Well

I step outside under the high eaves of the tin roof dripping from the finally melting frost. On mornings like these as a boy I would chase deer into the forest and climb the tallest pine.
I take a piss outside, standing staring out over three distinct mountain lines demarcated in various blue hues, just now showing their forest details as the sun comes up over my back.
The deciduous trees glow orange and red like ancient fires captured in time amongst the pines. And for some reason I feel tears sting my eyes.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Her Voice

For my wife 

When my time has come
for the skiff to take me back over
the celestial sea
I ask for my wife to sing me out
She who has borne our children in womb song
and has created them with light and purpose
in tone of her treble,
she who has the voice of the Valkyrie
and they that cry Holy of Holies,
 I ask that she sing me out
Her voice as a river will comfort my flesh's fear
and sing my spirit on.
Though she may weep that I go before her
as she kneels beside the bed
 I will hear her song as I set sail
then see her face upon the other shore,
for time is no match for eternity
and eternity no match for her voice.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Crows on a horse's back

"Did you see that?"
my wife asked me as we passed a pasture.
"No" I replied.
"There were crows sitting on that horse's back"
she said
but I had not seen it.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Time is a Runner Beside Me

though I see only the path before me
and my years fall like the grass
I know time is a runner beside me
and in it I am born and dead
and alive

though I see the sky as a blanket
it is a blanket being unfurled
by time the runner beside me
and under it I am naked and clothed
and free

though my children race before me
as I begin to slow
I know time is a runner beside us
and we arrive at the beginning

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Stevens County Verses

Old man
fixing a barbwire fence
near your red pickup in the rain
I rejoice in you


on the right a crow takes to the air
as a coyote crosses the road from the left
I slow to let them pass
knowing this is a cosmic connection
I may never comprehend

Friday, April 5, 2013

on being a writer

In which I discuss being a writer:

American Son