Song of Ulysses

For greatness and glory’s sake
For all things rich and noble
In proud ships tall let us make
Again where only men are able

Tired we’ve grown of glitter and gold
Of the clamor of the market place
Let us dream of Delphic days of old
That Poseidon’s rage could not erase

Come, arise, my men, arise
For tomorrow we shall sail
Again under bluer Aegean skies
There to find newer walls to assail

Circe’s song had made us weak
For we had slept too long and late
But now for greater joys let us seek
Knowing we are masters of our fate

This woeful world is much remiss
Yet only in a world such as this
One without comfort, joy, or bliss
Do we dare climb the steps of Olympus

Come my men let us venture
Into the depths of the setting sun
There we’ll find new worlds to conquer
Long, long after this day is done.


Piper Pan

Out from his grotto and grassy glen
The Piper Pan will play again
Casting his charms for all to hear
Over the fields and forests near

Dizzy the dance in moonlight dells
With golden cups and magic spells
The Piper plays his rustic pipes
While Bacchus rounds the purple rites

The pastoral pipes play so clear
The Sylvan songs we long to hear
As Dionysian delights regain
When the piper will play again.


Reply of an Athlete

(for Housman)

Yes there was a time I won a race
As they chaired me shoulder high
Up and down a market place
To this place where I now lie

For I knew then and so did she
How frail the strings of mortality
As a widowed mother wished me stay
At home to nurse my time away

But you know not the reason I ran
Not to defend some challenge cup
Nor for laurels nor to prove a man
Nor for the record they still pin up

The rows of pictures on the piano
Top have hardly moved to show
One last smile from one smart lad
Who had won a race for dear old dad.


Born in Walton-on-Thames, England in 1945, Clinton Van Inman graduated from San Diego State University in 1977 and is now a retired high school English teacher in Tampa Bay where he lives with his wife, Elba.

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5 Responses

  1. Yolanda

    I loved all three. Touches of the past mixed with regrets of something lost. Enjoyed very much

  2. Carole Mertz

    These (poems) are so male
    they need response;
    I do not rail,
    only hold the sconce

    of a female touch.
    For noble, too, are females’ days;
    of these you’ve not given much.
    For History too, women’s lives displays.

    (Enjoyed them, all the same, Sir Van Inman)

    • clinton van inman

      I don’t think Ulysses had women on aboard, but thanks for your comments..Clint

  3. John Kolyav

    Song of Ulysses I liked more. Let us dream of Delphic days of old/That Poseidon’s age could not erase.. and many more. Very nice! It inspired me to chant Tennyson’s poem once again. Thanks!


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