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Seth Jani


Horse Valley Nocturne

Clouds black as someone’s passing out. 

Birds like skeleton keys 

Unlocking the sky. 

Bulb-lit pages buzzing with texts 

And codas. 

Whiffing the luminous 

I trail my heartache 

Down to the river’s 

Glass dominion. 

I catch fish in the stone’s 

Small pools, 

Watch dragonflies 

Skirt like blue storms 

Over the rifts and hedges. 

I want no more stories 

That do not lift me deeper 

Towards the earth. 

No more angels unless 

They’re black and full of worms. 

The fireflies are like living sparks 

In the mind of matter. 

I catch one thought in my hand 

And follow another 

To some haunted oak wood. 

There, they string the leaves 

Like tiny ranges 

Gas-ovening the night. 

Death is like this, 

The barely noticed breath 

Of the other world 

Permeating your lungs 

While you sleep. 

In your dreams it appears 

As perfect summer clouds 

Drifting over. 

As someone’s lost mare 

Nudging your face, 

Delicate and cream-white. 

Her soft fur all you cling to.




Seasoning the Ship of Death 


It drifts with no other cargo
But the salt of your experience. 

The riches, pains, crystalized days
All sprinkled on the darkened planks, 

The deep materials.
It has no name, no destination,
No captain but a strong, courteous wind. 

And each grain, lost or added, 

Causes beautiful delays. 




Autumn Equation 


That luminous trail cannot be traced 

By any hand. 

It shuttles between worlds
Carrying the birds and their small apples.
One day turning a corner we may find
The wind has many sides. 




Sea Cliffs 


Whatever the sea is 

It lights the mind 

With its arrival. 

White water, and the 

Dancing froth, 

Gull-colored clouds 

Over darkened barges. 

North of memory 

A wildness 

Opens in the brain. 

We were home here once, 

And could be still.

horse valley nocturne
seasoning the ship
autumn equation
sea cliffs
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