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Seth Jani

3 Poems

Issue One

          August 2016

Past Lives

I don’t think forgetting you is at all

What matters.

So little is held over from life to life,

Both the little lives we quietly live

From moment to moment,

And the big cosmic ones carried round

On the Buddhist wheel of samsara.

It’s actually certain barely-remembered details

That fill me most with such exquisite longing.

Not remembering the smell of your freshly-showered hair,

The shining looks of love and disbelief,

The sweetness with which you touched my hand.

If I forgot it all, perhaps I would be struck

By the weight of some unimaginable presence,

A karmic ghost in the backlights of my life,

A birthmark on my heart which no one believes

Is the sign of some great lost war from long ago.

By Barnlight

Impoverished by the constant

Pull and worry

I gave the moon one hard

Fucking prayer

And strolled out among the grasses,

Among the altitudes of snow.

Slugging back my dark, beloved stuff

I slept openly on the frozen hay.


The beautiful way these birds

Have come from their night’s journey,

Come to the balcony, and the edifice

Of days,

Come to startle our lives

Intimately with song.

We must be strong as these calm

Tamers of the wind,

Know the heart’s blue affair

With flight,

Learn to speak the ease of trees;

Sumac, Poplar, the meridian

Of foliage and sky, in which the clouds

Are like wide thoughts under heaven.

What better ship for the strange voyage

Proceeding life?

What better music for the pivotal

Birth of dawn?

Every evening the dream that draws

The soul to sleep

Is a bright thread

From the Raven’s caw.

Seth Jani currently resides in Seattle, WA and is the founder of Seven CirclePress. His own work has been published widely in such places as The Coe Review, The Hamilton Stone Review, Hawai`i Pacific Review, Gingerbread House and Gravel. More about him and his work can be found at www.sethjani.com.