Seth Jani – Five Poems


Rain Ledge

I followed the trail
To where the lotus
Bloomed like lightening.
The sky was contiguous.
It breached the mind.
It accepted seasons,
Turbulent or clear.
The rain passed over
Everything and made
The world shine.
I couldn’t be lonely
With that gigantic organism
Of air and trees, roots,
Birds in their multicolored flight.
Listening closely, the garden could
Be heard, soft as the sheath of anger
Falling from a heart.


The light falters, horse-like,
Over Jakarta, or is it Tel-Aviv?
Or maybe only the thought of them
In the head of a small child
Asleep in Minnesota.
He might be a prince,
Or maybe only an ordinary boy.
Either way, the light is his crowning jewel,
The hallmark of his royalty.
It floods the house in secret,
Filling those rooms
Like the tides of green fire
That wash over the earth
At the start of spring.

Grace Tectonics

Better than chance, the tectonics of grace
Are always shifting beneath our feet.
And we constantly learn to walk
In their wild aftermath,
Creatures endlessly undoing
Our habitual patterns
That we may experience,
Over and over, the one
Clear moment;
Be dazzled by gentians
Or our lover’s hands,
The barely-visible flight
Of migrating geese
Through winter darkness.
We are one of creation’s
Many ways to witness
Its own unfolding.
When a slip of moon erupts
Through the vestibule of night
It glows inside our pupils
Like a jewel.

Letting It Be

I would walk down this street forever,
With the rain hitched to my side
(old elemental companion of my youth)
And the early moon flowering above the city,
Above the lonely light of coffee shops,
Above the disenchanted, unemployed smokers
Howling from rooftops, or flaring up
In the dark of alleys.
I would walk this street
As though I were coming home
To the one clear spot inside myself,
The only safety I have known.
I would walk this street
And let the singular earth,
With its habit of letting sadness exist,
Continue on, beneath the soaking plastic
Of my shoes.
I would let it be alive, with all its
Broken happenstance, inside my body.
And if nothing but a single bird
Ever crossed my path,
The most ordinary swallow or jay,
I would let it remain, joyful and undisturbed,
In the middle of whatever troubled road
I happened to be on.

The Man Who Sings at Sundown

The afternoon of his singing
Breaks through the leaves
And stasis,
Rains down like a final prospect
In the hills of music.
Each harmonic ore
Wedged between the laryngeal fire
And the cooling bird
His foliate heart confides.
Whatever the clouds resemble
They are only notes in his contrition,
Places where the light grows thin,
Where the phantom acts of evening
Sail and dissolve.
As his voice threads
The dusk-colored air
All the patterns of green
Fill with water.
The brittle coda spliced
Into the plants and shadows
Filters out.
Acquitting no one,
The terminal insects percuss
Their jagged wings.


Author’s Statement on Beauty

I think of beauty as a superfluous grace. It’s an unpredictable and spectral light born out of our perceptions. It livens and freshens. It need not have any calculable form or ethical value. It can appear differently to each individual. A symbiosis between the world and the perceiver. Or maybe it is transcendent, something floating down (a bird? a star? a wind?) out of nowhere and momentarily awakening our senses. It can’t be manufactured. It belongs equally to art as it does to city streets, to trees and trash, to great love and inexplicable loss.


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 Chiron Review, The Hamilton Stone Review, Hawai`i Pacific Review, VAYAVYA and Zetetic: A Record of Unusual Inquiry. More about him and his work can be found at