Seth Jani – Four Poems

Seth Jani-Author PicSeth 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

A Streak of Red

The morning is spilling
Its volcanoes into the air.
The lava-flow ends
Over Cascadia
Where a stream of turquoise light
Enters the water.
In that spot a fissure
Lays aside reality
Like a folded cloth.
Something exits there,
Or perhaps enters,
Coming and going
In the depths of stone.
Whatever it is,
Its thin, crescent shadow
Ghosts along,
Dissolving in the purple meters
Like a cosmic flash,
An underwater star.
Its gold angles the sun
Like someone’s daydream,
Like a molt of heaven’s fire.
For as uncatchable
As it will always be,
It lures a man, obsessively,
To its shore.

The Wet Season

The diviner’s bones cannot predict
How readily a heart breaks
In this season full of rain.
On the water-logged glyphs,
On the murals of summer horses,
Who can hear the hysterical crying?
The way even the wrens and trees
Give up their green transcendence
For the darker notes of the solstice?
Winter comes, not marked
By the ice-shagged statues,
By the specters of starvation,
But by a sinking down
In the individual heart and hammer.
Muscles weaken, the light grows
Coarse as coral,
And whoever has been out
Gathering the promised honey,
Returns now, with their sweet,
Overflowing jars.


The luminous cords come down
Causing the rocks to shine,
Causing the hidden faces
Of skinks and minnows
To fill the crevices,
The darkened pools.
In this sudden, unaccounted for rain
There is no trace of thirst,
No parched, pent-up longing
Rolling out from the gravel,
No desperate lynx
Or combustible grass,
No wind-slapped alder
In desert nooks.
Only a mineral gratitude,
The visible fire of grit and stone.

Banana Slugs Near Piper’s Creek

They only know the kingdoms of the rain.
Under a clear leaf
They shine like summer murals,
Like something the wind brought in,
A yellow secret.

Whatever they think about
Must be small,
A morsel of sun
In their shiny nerves.

All day I follow them
Across the roads of black water,
Protecting them from footsteps,
Admiring how little they fear
This corridor of giants and trees.



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