To You, Little King 

 

Sweet prince of life and love,

You valiant pursuer of softness,

Drip away these cares of conformity,

Fulfilling your ethos of regality.

Gossip-drinking and fashion-minding,

Melody-speaking and self-touching,

Secret-wielding and beauty-longing,

Your world is crossed over.

Burrow not in that darkness of the middle times.

Let the muck of those youthful ages carry you buoyant

Toward the promised freedom of growing

Where potential sips you skyward.

When you slip unguarded to the realm of roughness,

Where those whose sameness appears unsame,

Nourish your soul with that nutritious masculine,

As the paragon of their sort – the manliest of machos.

A gift you are to he who shares your shadows,

And shadows fashioned smart make decent thrones.

Fear not the army you alone shall guide

With the brazen vigor of your true kind

 

If the universe can these two worlds blend

What holy union might we mend?

© Copyright 2022 Ryan Mangan

Dormant Lust

(On a dream I had)

 

A woman lay sleeping on a wide open bed

In a barren room where someone left her.

I pass the room thrice at a golden hour,

Still she lays with her form hardly changed.

 

Her eyes closed towards a naughty sun,

She had no face, only form and soul.

She was without complete identity 

And I think she means something. 

 

She not only lay there, 

but even more — she slept,

Dreaming under grey silken sheets

Frozen and quiet as Strazza could place

 

Sudden light shimmered an imaged,

A picture to imagine privately.

Within the fantasy I am full a man. 

Nature willing her nape to mine. 

 

Released from blindness I see her unchanged

Molded by the stillness of Hypnos

She was without complete identity

And I think she means something.

 

© Copyright 2022 Ryan Mangan

Sonnet on a Mass Manipulation

 

There was a man whose talents made him prince

On all our clan his folly could convince 

With foul charisma fair could he achieve

A clownish riddle had he up his sleeve

The lying creature tight a web did spin

And black resentment festered neath our skin

His grip held fast my over-practiced tongue

When fewer words against his own had sung

Upon our innocence his riddles twist

A strangling knot does squeeze its tightening fist

These years beyond, our trust in leaders feigned

Our passion we would covet now is stained. 

While he whose reputation’s sunk and burned 

It’s I who saw this wretched trope and learned. 

 

© Copyright 2022 Ryan Mangan

Read me, sip me, taste me, play me

 

Keep apart and distant.

Let this be my fantasy of your soul.

Read me, Sip me, Taste me, Play me

Turning pages of an active mind

Share for me your bookish delights

Tall tales and spun words

Which one would capture your attention

As you alone have captured mine

Which one would you fall into

As I would have you fall into me

Tea giving rise to snarled steam

Its warm breath sweet as the air 

That would twist it up in knotted clouds

Pinched by the lips

By the dew of the tongue to glass

Leaving your kiss’s key for my collection

A lipish echo to pinch against my own

Then might we match

O that I could sip at your soul

As you have sipped me up blindly

Do you dare expose your sleeping place

Where your shoulders and arms cradle and curl

Where your hair snarls and shags

Where you are swallowed into closeness

Where bony arches and fleshy leather 

Shake and tremor and life is exhaled

Le petit mort - come, and let me soak you in. 

As you have been soaked in before

Let my hands make a lute of you

To be played at the pulsing core

Let my fingers know your keys and strings

Let pipes be played of sensitive tones

Let all instruments be played by God

If God is Salvation, let me be healed by Divine love

Let Him cast our worlds to one

Where heavenly keys unlock new private worlds

Read me, I am made of magic words

Sip me, I have sipped you up in full

Taste me, you have seasoned me with flavor

Play me, as you would touch the lute

Let my reflection be the boy in your eyes.

I, in those mirrors of sapphire,

Could be hugged by frosty desire.

© Copyright 2022 Ryan Mangan

On the Question of Fatherhood

 

There is mischief in nature

In me is a trouble-maker

It is I who would have you 

If my wishes could be true

 

No chance for my soul to melt

Dripping down through generations 

The inertia of my name 

Tradition no more the same

 

What use are these lessons

A journey only for me

The elixir hardly shared 

As if I never cared 

 

To the child I’ll never have

Nature gave me the key

Which rusts in my hand

And sheds itself to sand

 

O woman of my loins

O man of my conscious 

I hold the key sound

But the door is never found

© Copyright 2022 Ryan Mangan

A Boy With An Oar

(On a painting: "A boy with an oar"

By Henry Scott Tuke)

 

You there, Sailor

Sail your mighty ship

Your way is directionless

Change course

My voice is silent

I know you hear me

Take my oar

Take my oath

I am the mist on bronze

I am your sinning secret

I am captain and comrade

I am bare and yours

I have what you seek

I seek what you have

Both are bearing

Both desiring

How can you row

With only half the gear?

How can you love

With only half the tools?

How can you dream

With only half the soul?

© Copyright 2022 Ryan Mangan


 

Sport You Salty Sea Boys

(On a painting: "Green and Gold"

By Henry Scott Tuke)

 

Fleshy water nymphs of the shallows,

You pay no mind to your performance.

Delight in your dance is lost to your perception.

Enchant me with your rude pas de deux. 

How can we be so inwardly separate?

How can you be so far from me,

Yet housed in my amorous gaze?

 

Will your sport inspire rich appetites in us? 

Already this tongue tastes a tender treat –

Ambrosia nibbled at our dewy lips.

Dare and let the ichor of Himeros filter our youth.

 

You slippery dogs, can you not see?

You soak in emerald nectar –

The earth’s glittering aphrodisiac.

© Copyright 2022 Ryan Mangan

O Fair and Fine Design

(On a painting: "French Barque on Falmouth Bay"

By Henry Scott Tuke)

 

Hail, great vessel!

 

Mighty in your adolescence,

Unaware of your strength,

Blind to your faults,

Rocking like a monstrous cradle.

A manly din replaces recent lullabies. 

 

Fair virginal youth,

Precise in your sinewy rigging,

To where will you sail 

And how will you fare?

Join your fleet of the finest athletes.

 

With a soul as your sail,

Stretch out your eager limbs.

Kiss, with tempting lips 

The feast of divine potential 

Mighty is your breast and rude is your mast.

Hoist your anchor and let it rust aboard. 

© Copyright 2022 Ryan Mangan

On Art

 

O Art, you great brain of consciousness, 

Nourished in a self sustaining cycle,

From God ourselves,

Sourceless and forceful.

O verse, O harmony, hallucinogenic hues,

Expose ourselves to ourselves. 

Rude, cruel, and tastefully bitter;

Plain goodness sipped up naked.

As my heart dissolves of itself,

Let not the necessary dissonance expire.

© Copyright 2022 Ryan Mangan