By Seth Jani 

Mountain Pass

I erased myself so I could learn
The inner life of things.
This river has a name,
But it’s not the one we give it.
The grass blades are silent
But they voice the summer wind.
I believe there are meridians
That brush the edges of the light
And become the ground
For something new.
We awake in other worlds
With only a faint taste
Left from this one.
Is it mustard seed or wine?
The powerful distance between friends?
We come to a mountain
With a door built into the stone.
On the other side we don’t remember.
We emerge repeating
“There’s only this, only this.”


The blue ferns trailing all day
The silence of the sun itself,
Holding the darkness like a key.
I lay under them, shrunk to my
Proper size,
My medial, clockwork being.
It’s not about religion
But simple awe,
The river that moves deep fossils
Into the child’s searching hands.
Those dragonflies continue to exist
And they land on the ancestral stones.
Years from now, will someone feel
The light exactly as we do?
The whole summer miraculously present
Before vanishing through the rain?

The Landscapist

The white butterfly comes through
And says, “No Problem.”
It’s been happening all day,
The shadows crosshatched,
The sun contending with rain,
And still, these dismissive wings.
I walk with two hands open
Not holding on to a single thing.
Water pours through my fingers
But the heart is always full.
Its golden cisterns reflect
The constant passage.
Even the city is there, windblown,
Full of beautiful refuse.
There is something wildly bright
That illuminates us even in sleep,
Even in death with its backroom exit.
The landscape is present in all seasons,
Bending the light branches,
Not caring where you place
Those heavy stones.

Bare Hymn

I rise-up, Saint Francis,
Into the simplicity of night,
The field and industry
Of joy.
We have been burdened
For so long,
And the animals come
With such lightness,
Such timidity in their steps.
See that hand reaching out
And grazing the world of innocence?
What does it bring back?
In the place where the mower doesn’t go
There is a hard presence.
The white stones stand by it.
All it takes is a close eye,
An ear titled to the wind.
All it takes is absolute stillness.
The water in the garden
Fills with reflections.
A small wing nests
Inside the light.

Unfinished Business

Unfinished business
Rises-up from the radial point of sleep
Into the world of waking.
How can we correct
The transgressions of dreams?
Retract the unconscious violence
In those glittering nocturnal worlds?
Does the good we do here, or there,
Plant seeds in all the gradients
Of awareness?
After a lifetime
Of trying to be lighter,
Easier on the heart,
Does the universe gain
Even a particle of radiance
When we return to no one
On this rain soaked earth?

About the Author:

seth jani

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, Pretty Owl Poetry, El Portal, The Hamilton Stone Review, Hawai`i Pacific Review, VAYAVYA, Gingerbread House, Gravel and Zetetic: A Record of Unusual Inquiry. More about him and his work can be found at