Visiting the Ruins of Tintagel Castle

I wander through a forest deep
in Cornish countryside
And think I see some elves asleep
And giants run to hide.

The branches gnarled like magic wands,
Green velvet moss on trees,
The ivy cloaks around the ponds,
Soft rocks bejewel the streams.

I wander further out to where
The hedges wall the roads;
The open hills go rolling there
As on the tongue roll odes.

Then smash the ocean hits the land
And pounds upon the coast;
I see a battle vast expands
And shakes my earthly post.

The Force of Man stands tall and proud
Filled up with stubborn rock,
Draped in a grassy battle shroud,
O’er eons, taking stock.

The Force of Nature peers right back,
So endless, flat, and deep.
An earthquake or a tidal attack
May make Man’s fatal sleep.

What’s speckled on the battlefield
Midst stairways, bridges, paths?
The people small try not to yield
To war’s long grinding wrath.

They’re pushing onward on their way
With virtue in their hearts,
Creating beauty every day,
Each waking, playing parts.

Gray castle like gray rock outcrops,
Confronting timeless sea,
Here, perched upon green mountain top,
King Arthur came to be.


On the Launch of Cathay au Lait

Flush flowers: roses, lilies, orchids on
The flowing fabric patterned delicate,
Its wearer casts her knowing gaze upon
The tea from which rich fragrances emit,
Then lifts her crystal eyes with subtlety,
Suggesting that you join these splendid folk:
In dress as much in mind nobility,
Like figures whom grand tales have often spoke.
She calls you there to join their teatime spot:
A leafy outlook over rolling hills—
That view! Familiar yet the name is not,
A mem’ry hidden by her dress’s frills.
____She turns and pours something into your tea,
____Says, “Cathay au lait,” and motions to the sea.


Early Experiences Doing Falun Dafa Meditation

I’d like to tell you that it feels serene,
But it does not, as all your thoughts in knots
Of sweet desires, mean fires, anything but clean,
Now tie you down defenseless to that spot.
And then a gamut of strange scenarios
Like contrived scenes onstage you wish would end
Play out before your eyes, which you can’t close…

When actors spent, who look like you, descend,
Your force of thought has weakened all the knots
So that the fetters easily fall off
And you float up through waves of glowing dots,
Your problems small, your majesty aloft.
These last ten seconds of the hour sit
Transform a year of mental sludge to grit.


A Limerick

On reading Darwinian Fairytales by David Stove

There once was a ninny named Darwin,
A scientist but more like a charlatan;
He said “Man was made
Without Godly aid,
No debt to be paid, quite a bargain!”


Evan Mantyk teaches history and literature in the Hudson Valley region of New York.

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9 Responses

  1. Ruth

    Tintagel Castle was one of the most atmospheric places I visited when I was young, and its memory remains powerfully with me. I enjoyed your poem, recalling the enchantment of the countryside around, and the sparse, wild majesty of the castle ruins themselves.

    • James Sale

      Yes, a wonderful and atmospheric evocation of a magical place; it’s over 20 years since I was there, but this poem brings it back. Marvellous. One can re-imagine Arthur all over again. Next time you are in England, Evan, let me know! The new knights of the new Round Table ought to consort for some adventure!

  2. David Watt

    Thank you Evan, I enjoyed each individual piece.
    I have never been to Tintagel Castle. Although, on second thought, now I have.

  3. Evan

    Thank you, Ruth, Dona, and David, for your kind words. Atmospheric is the perfect word for Tintagel.

  4. David Hollywood

    Tintagel is wonderfully evocative and full of heroic imagery allied to a charm for days long over and so your poem does it charming justice allied to a rustic reverence.

    With regard to your Limerick about Darwin I found it wonderfully constructed and witty and it still brings a smile to my face, albeit I personally respect his gigantic contributions to scientific discovery, and to such an extent that you will hopefully forgive my differing with you in my opinion of him.

    As for Cathay au Lait it emits simply wonderful mellowing imagery, and which has brought me back to it a couple of times.

  5. Joseph Charles MacKenzie

    And here is what is interesting, and perhaps a lesson: The poem which is most densely packed with thought, shall we say the most profound of the selection, is actually the shortest, namely the limerick. It perfectly exposes the arrière-politique of the so-called “Enlightenment,” but also that of any system founded upon the false dogmas of evolutionism, to include Vatican II’s fundamental heresy of the “evolution of doctrine” condemned by Pope St. Pius X, among others. I don’t recall ever reading a finer limerick.

  6. Sultana Raza

    Just to mention that one feels like ‘Visiting the Ruins of Tintagel Castle’ of your imagination, as well as the place in your ‘Cathay au lait’. Both are very atmospheric, as stated above by others already. Also nostalgic in a way. ‘Early Experiences Doing Falun Dafa Meditation’ seems to be quite honest and candid. While Limerick makes one smile, I agree with the sentiments echoed there. It’s indeed the ‘most densely packed with thought,’ as stated above by Joseph MacKenzie


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