Three Poems

by Seth Jani



That place where memory sits
Is a kind of ragged bone,
A clearing in the forest
Where the moon floats over
Illuminating snow.
It is the spot
We used to call the soul,
A depository of light and shadow,
Of years burnt low with love.
It is the place where life is born
Blind and absolute,
The hunting ground of nostalgia
With his long, blue bow.
It is where we sometimes set out
To meet the secrets of creation,
And upon arrival find a child
With our name
Spinning a small and perfect thread
As the darkness turns.


I want to enter fully into midnight,
The bookish dark of winter,
The unhewn plentitude
Poked through with stars
And treetops.

I want to carry the singing
Into my own unlit body,
The primitive anthem of
Birds at dusk,
The cricket’s carol of sundown,

Each moving through my blood
Homebound on its reddened current.
I want to believe that I can embrace
As fruitfully as sunlight
The strange interior of earth,

Can find my own black portal
And lay down with that bruised
Underworldly music.
An orphic ear cocked to listen.
A shuddering heart native to the dark.

Freight Train

Synchronous light, hedging up the horizon
Like bulwark on the ship of death.
And the commodious apple of the brain
Shrank in winter’s white-wan climate,
Shriveled electric slag with its stem
Stripped out.
This is how the body goes,
Quiet piecemeal dark
And images, top-heavy,
Like someone’s rain-filled fountain.
In spring we will be the damp odors
Rising from the earth,
Like resins fuming in the trees
Our festival will be unmarked
And unattended,
But marvelously ablaze!
So many flowers come out of nothing
Like dreams in the dorveille dark
Of the drunken sleeper
Or notes left hanging
After the pianist and his machine
Are blown into the kingdom.  
When we die rhododendrons will burst
From our skulls like someone’s bright idea,
Like a freight train from the other world
Tunneling through our final thoughts
And marrow.

Seth Jani resides in Seattle, WA and is the founder of Seven Circle Press. His own work has appeared throughout the small press market in such places as The Foundling ReviewThe Hamilton Stone Review, Hawai`i Pacific ReviewGingerbread House and Gravel. His most recent collection, Questions from the Interior, can be read online here.

2 thoughts on “Three Poems

  1. Awesome poems, Seth! “Freight Train” is definitely my favourite poem out of the three.

    Funnily enough, my photography has also been featured in “Gravel”.

  2. Hello Teigan!
    Thanks for the kind words, I’m glad you liked the poems. And actually I was thinking how your name seemed familiar and I realized that I recognize you from you poem (He Whom I Loved and this is not a love poem) in The Blue Bonnet Review. A very beautiful and clever poem that I greatly enjoyed.

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